So basically the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was like all of my dreams come true. When you are there, it really feels like you are living in the world of Harry Potter (if you can ignore the hoards of people around you). Many of the stores on Diagon Alley are actually physical stores that you can walk into and the inside is just as amazing and meticulously thought out as the outside. It is so over the top and wonderful. Everything was clean and efficiently run and the people that work there were great and many acted as though they are really wizards and we are muggles. Which I kind of took offense to. Obviously I am a witch and not a stupid muggle. The Hogwarts Express and the train station they built for it is an experience in itself. I would tell y’all every detail but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who wants to go. And you totally should. So I will just share some of my pictures. I narrowed them down as much as I could but there are still so many.
Definitely stand in line for the show at Olivander’s wand shop in Diagon Alley. It was one of my favorite parts. Also, I bought Hermione’s wand to cast spells throughout the park. Duh.
Butterbeer icecream. Oh man, what I wouldn’t give to be eating some of that right now.
Knockturn Alley was like its own little world and super creepy.
Inside Borgin and Burkes was so interesting. There was also a vanishing cabinet with a faint bird sound inside.
Can you even?
The ride inside Hogwarts is probably the best ride I’ve ever been on. Even Chris (who likes Harry but is not obsessed like me) agreed that this is the best ride that we went on in Universal.
The last day we were there, we stuck around the park till later so we could see Hogsmeade at dark. I really enjoyed that as well. Diagon Alley was closed already so we couldn’t see that at night.
The Three Broomsticks
It is sad that we are not still there but I am awfully glad I went. Such a special place.
You might also like:
It should really come as no surprise to people who know me best that I have always dreamed of becoming a witch. Now no one needs to get all worried or worked up about this. I am not talking about a devil worshipping and curse casting kind of witch. I am really mostly talking about the kind of witch that can make magical cookies or light a candle by blowing or something like that. I go to sleep most nights with a small hope that I will wake up and it will be so. A few summers ago, in jest and when I was being silly, I went through this phase when I called things “practical magic” pretty frequently (I am aware this is quite dorky and I should be ashamed to discuss it but I am surely not). In part because of my obsession with the movie but also because I just like the idea of practical magic. Even though I was not quite sure what it was.
Image credit 1 2
At the beginning of the summer, right before and when I was in Europe, I got on this reading kick with a very fun and light author called Sarah Addison Allen and I very quickly read three of her books with my favorites being The Girl Who Chased the Moon and Garden Spells. Her books walk the line between reality and fantasy in a way that I found to be very enchanting (and also reminded me a bit of the movie Practical Magic). Many of her main characters possess a touch of magic but in a way that it almost seemed believable. Examples include a man who loves cake so much he can smell it baking from miles away (so basically me) and a family of women who know the exact ingredients that need to be added to food to influence the people consuming it and impact their emotions.
After reading them, I thought to myself “That right there…that is practical magic.” And I quite like that idea. The idea that we may all possess our own unique magic. Or that maybe even though most happenings have a scientific explanation, they may be helped along by something else preternatural as well. Things like the scent of lavender causing us to relax, or the visible light sparks made by freshly laundered clingy sheets when you pull them loose from each other. Or maybe even a person knowing just the right amount of vanilla to add to a recipe to make it taste like heaven without having to measure. I think I sometimes prefer to think of the world that way and why not really? It certainly makes everyday events seem just a bit more special.
What do you guys think? Do you suspect you could have a secret magical gift?
Make sure to do something spellbinding with it this weekend and have a delightful Labor Day!
You might also like:
I don’t know if you guys noticed, but our “quote of the week” has had a theme recently. Our theme for the month of October, and for our Halloween party, is none other than Harry Potter. We have wanted to throw a Harry Potter party for many years and have been entirely too excited to finally start decorating and planning for one. For the invitations, we originally had all these crazy schemes in our head (boxes with potions and wands! envelope that a balloon with a dark mark magically floats out of!) but we finally decided to be reasonable people and do a good old stationery suite. I designed the invitation itself with all the Harry Potter fonts I could find (if you’re wondering what the border is, it says THE DARK LORD HAS RISEN on repeat). After printing on card stock, we dipped them in tea to make them look a little bit vintage. Unfortunately, I can take no credit for the ridiculously fantastic Marauder’s Map. I found it here. After we were patting ourselves on the back for printing out all the invitations, we realized that our names were nowhere to be found on them. That is what happens when rookies are doing the designing. I mean, people would probably know it was us (because who else would send them something so crazy), but on principle we should probably have our names. So we decided to make little RSVP cards out of feathers. For finishing touches, we wrapped them in a thin black ribbon and sealed with a very authentic Hogwarts wax seal.
You might also like: