The Wizarding World

YAY!

YAY!

At the risk of overhyping and raising your expectations, I’d just like to say that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida is near perfection and I recommend that all Harry Potter fans visit (alternatively, Hollywood’s planned opening is 2016, so you can bet I’ll be there too).

Riding Hagrid's motorcycle straight to Diagon Alley.

Riding Hagrid’s motorcycle straight to Diagon Alley.

Prior to last last week, I hadn’t been on an extended, non-holiday vacation for a while. Not to mention, going on an airplane (which turned out not to be so bad overall). At first, I found it difficult to adjust to relaxing, not keeping up with my daily routines, and not having everything I’m used to having around me. Eating out every day, not working out, etc. etc.

Going to Gringott's for some money, but then getting in trouble, oops.

Going to Gringott’s for some money, but then getting in trouble, oops.

You know what they say: draco dormiens nunquam titillandus.

You know what they say: draco dormiens nunquam titillandus.

The weather was actually pleasant. I’ve been to Florida before, but we stayed near the Everglades, so perhaps Orlando weather is less fickle. It did rain heavily and randomly some days, then it would brighten up. Most days were sunny, breezy, and not at all humid. It was very much like SoCal weather.

Getting our wands from Ollivander's. Mine is made from ash with a dragon heartstring core.

Getting our wands from Ollivander’s. Mine is made from ash with a dragon heartstring core. #thatbitchriley

Trying on robes from Madame Malkin's. #noravenclawsbye

Trying on robes from Madame Malkin’s. #noravenclawsbye

I actually didn’t spend that much money, thanks in part to my rich sister. But seriously, things weren’t overly expensive, and most of my money was spent on food (and the rest on merchandise). We weren’t there to do all the touristy Florida stuff, so we pretty much just stayed at the park the whole time (which may seem crazy, but every day, there was always something to do).

Going through Platform nine and three quarters.

Going through Platform nine and three quarters…

...to the Hogwarts Express!

…to the Hogwarts Express!

I’m not gonna spoil it for y’all. It’s something that you should experience beyond words. All the little details were so well-done. Each time we went back, there was something new to experience. All the workers were pleasant, many were in character at all times, and they just made everyone feel so welcome. The atmosphere was incredible (y’know how I’m a big fan of proper ambience). Everything felt so real. The rides were pretty fun, but they’re not even the main attraction for me. They had little shows every 30 minutes or so. You could do magic spells as you walked around. You could go into your favorite shop from the books. It was almost overwhelming at first because there’s so much to see and do.

It was honestly so magical and I loved every minute of it.

We made it to Hogwarts!

We made it to Hogwarts!

Made it to Hogwarts!

Woohoo!

The rest of the park was great fun, as well; not to mention, it’s huge. The hotel was really close, CityWalk was cool (Rising Star = karaoke with a live band and back-up singers, what?!), day-drinking, staying up late, all that good stuff. All the signs of an amazing vacation satisfied. We stayed semi-overnight in an airport, which is a bit eerie when it’s quiet and empty. I also worked out a bit, though it was more towards the beginning of the trip, when I was overly confident that I could still fit in workout time while on vacation.

Getting sorted...

Getting sorted…

What I take away is the reminder that money is better spent on experiences, memories, rather than material things that may give us ethereal joy. I actually have a lot of travel time planned this year already, and there are so many more things I want to plan this year and next. On that note, I’ve added a new category to file my posts- Life Traveled, for all my future travel posts (and maybe I should ret-con some of these old ones).

Enjoying the Great Feast at the Three Broomsticks. #wandscasuallyonthetable

Enjoying the Great Feast at the Three Broomsticks. #wandscasuallyonthetable

Freed a house elf so that she may seek other employment.

Freed a house elf so that she may seek other employment.

It is also great to embrace your inner child at times, and nerd out when you feel passionate about something. I loved seeing all the kids and adults walking around enjoying themselves fully. I definitely forgot how much love I have for the Harry Potter series, but never again.

Hung out with Beauxbatons and Durmstrang students.

Hung out with Beauxbatons and Durmstrang students.

Hung out with the frog choir.

Hung out with the frog choir.

If I see you, I’ll probably wax poetic (fer dayz) about my trip; if not, feel free to contact me for details (especially if you’re planning on going and need some insight)! Writing this makes me all sad now because I just wanna go back and relive the fun times of vacation. But I guess there truly is nothing like home, sweet home. Back to the Muggle world…

The Deathly Hallows.

The Deathly Hallows. We are all officially witches and wizards. #yerawizard

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~ by Btab on 5 April 2015.

One Response to “The Wizarding World”

  1. […] It was exactly a year ago today that I had the opportunity to go to Orlando to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. […]

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