Sunday, March 27, 2016

Magic is REAL!


It's the Hogwarts Castle!
I'm at Hogwarts!
 
Yesssss! I'm finally sharing pictures of my amazing trip! Sorry this is so late guys, did a switch at work and the process has been really tiring. So those of you who follow me on social media know that I went on vacation in February!! It was sort of a last minute thing but I was super excited! I basically went to all the theme parks in Orlando but I'll just share my Harry Potter World experience here~

Weasleys' Wizarding Wheezes      Welcome to Hogsmeade!

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter or HP World as I like to call it, was truly MAGICAL.

The whole intend and purpose of my trip to Orlando was for HP World so it should be no surprise, for the three days I was there, I headed straight for Diagon Alley/Hogsmeade the moment Universal Studios/Island of Adventures opened their doors. Both places were located at the very top of the park so it took a fair bit of walking to get there. I tried to walk fast to take pictures before the huge crowd surged in.

Outside Diagon Alley, I saw the Knight Bus first. I just started taking pictures right away lol~ Then I saw the red telephone booth! And there started another photo session :P A tid bit I picked up online: if you dial MAGIC (you'll see the numbers on the phone) you'll hear the Ministry's phone message. Of course I did that.

In all my excitement, I missed the actual entrance into Diagon Alley so I asked a King's Cross attendant. Her instructions were, "just turn around and you see that ____ (I forgot what she actually said), make a left and walk into the brick wall." They way she said it, it was so naturally like that's what everyone does. It really made me feel like I was in a whole other world~ (There were openings in the brick wall so thankfully I didn't actually run into anything).

From there on I basically had nonstop fangirl moments lol. It was so much fun! Special thanks to the hubby for putting up with all my excited squealings LOL. And for taking pictures (of me) for me.

Beauxbatons and Durmstrang performers.
A fun and small show featuring the students from
Beauxbatons and Durmstrang.

Some things I learned at HP Land and some tips:

1. Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade are not very big (geographically-speaking) so take your time and explore all the stores and rides!

The Hogwarts Express at Platform 9 3/4~~

2. One MUST ride the Hogwarts Express! It's short but such a fun ride. In order to get on, you need to have a park hopper ticket. I highly suggest getting it because it saves so much time (and walking) to get from one park to the other. And most people would have it already if they want to see both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade (yes they're located in two different theme parks). I rode the Hogwarts Express no less than 8 times XD.

Leaky Cauldron~      Three Broomsticks!
 
3. Have at least one meal inside the Leaky Cauldron or the Three Broomsticks! All the decorations and the atmosphere really transport you into  the HP world ;) The food is quite tasty too.
 
Goblin selfie!
Inside the Gringotts ride!

4. The rides are mostly 3D and tend to turn and shake a lot so I'd say don't go on a too full or completely empty stomach. It does get dizzying after some time. (Or maybe it's just me haha.)
 
5. If you don't mind splitting up, the single riders lane is super fast! (I did that on my second time on the rides!) Or else a pair of twos is also faster than a group of three or more.
 
6. You get free locker access for a short period of time when you go on the rides. I'm guessing this is because a lot of tourist who visit dress up (I did!). So this is to prevent them from accidentally dropping or bending their wands and etc on the bumpy, shaky rides. Don't forget the locker number assigned to you and remember which finger (and the angle) you used!

Rwarrrrr!
 
7. Yes the dragon on top of Gringotts breathes fire. But only when he feels like it (or so I was told). It's a pretty spectacular moment so I suggest not to miss it. Just stand around for a couple minutes and you might get lucky. Oh and you can absolutely feel the heat from the fire even if you're not directly in front of it ;)
 
 My Gryffindor Quidditch scarf!      Practically every kid was holding one of these lol
 
8. You won't find any shot glasses inside HP World. My sister collects shot glasses as souvenirs so in my hunt to find her a HP one, I discovered there are no official ones. I was told since HP is children-oriented, JK Rowling only approves of children-friendly souvenirs. Scarfs, robes and the interactive wands are the popular choices. I love my Gryffindor Quidditch scarf <3

9. Hogsmeade has a unique stamp that you can get stamped on your postcards. It's for decorative purposes and has no real value. The real HP stamps are ridiculously expensive (~$15 for 6 regular stamps I think). I've seen them and they don't look any special or pretty so I'd say they're not really worth the money.
 
MUST DRINK!
Butterbeer SO GOOD!

10. And perhaps the best piece of advice I can give is drink Butterbeer!! I had the frozen and hot one and they were both delicious! The hot one was a bit on the sweeter side so if you're not a fan of sugar, have the frozen one.

*says the secret password*
Wish I could visit Dumbledore!
*whispers Lemon Drop*

Thank you so much to the kind and lovely people that tweeted me advices and answered my questions about the theme parks <3

I had an amazing time!! If you guys ever go, take lots of pictures but make sure you also relax and just enjoy the magical atmosphere!

9 comments:

  1. AHHH SO HAPPY YOU HAD A GREAT TIME!! It was such an incredible experience when I went, and now that they've added many things I want to go back!! I loved the 3D ride in Hogwarts, but it was very dizzying!

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  2. OMG looks like you had tons of fun when you went! I headed off to Hogwarts two years ago on my birthday (though my initial trip to Universal Studios/Islands of Adventures wasn't because of Harry Potter actually) and IT WAS FABULOUS. I've never been a fan of HP at all but the butterbeer, 3D rides and park itself were all just so glorious. I love your scarf! I hope that I get to experience the Hogwarts in California's Universal and compare the two... though I bet that Orlando's is ten times better.

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  3. I loved the hidden Harry Potter World at Universal Studios. It was definitely magical. :)

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  4. If only my kids were into HP. I'm sure they would've loved our last trip to Universal Studios as well. Lol.

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  5. Awww I'm so glad you had a wonderful time in HP World, Eileen! Your post got me all the more excited and I really can't wait to visit. Maybe I'll go this summer but the one in Universal Studios Hollywood, much closer. And love all your photos! You look so cute and like a true Potterhead in HP world! ♥

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  6. IT LOOKS SO BEAUTIFUL! I want to go so badly! :(

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  7. Yay! I will get there some day. Ha ha. I was supposed to go after my son graduated with his Bachelors degree (last year) because when he is in graduate school he is financially on his own, but he changed his major and his college trust fund was gone, so he decided to work for a year and then it will be another year for him to graduate, so two years from now; hopefully. I will be asking you a lot of questions before I go, so be prepared! Your hubby sounds wonderful. :)

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  8. This post is giving me intense wanderlust, I miss The Wizarding World of HP! I'm so glad you had an amazing time, and I love seeing all of your photos! ^__^

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

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  9. I already told you before but I'm oh so jelly (in a good way of course!!) and so happy that you had such an absolute blast!! I so cannot wait to eventually be able to go visit The Wizarding World! I'll be for sure returning to your post when I do for a reminder of tips & advice!!

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