Ok, so, when I was putting together this post, I realized that there’s no way I can squeeze all my Harry Potter World pictures and ravings into only one entry, hence the “part 1” in the title. There will be two parts.
And before I dive in, let me just explain to you a little bit about my love for Harry Potter. For those who also love Harry Potter, there’s no need to explain—you already get it—but for you who aren’t already fans and haven’t read the books, allow me to clear a few things up. It is probably tempting to think love for Harry Potter is very nerdy and rather immature, since it’s a children’s story, right?
Wrong. Well, wrong about the children’s story part, anyway.
I read all the Harry Potter books for the first time in Fall of 2010. I watched the final movie in the theater (I’d seen all the previous movies, but didn’t consider myself a die hard fan at that point), and after watching that last of eight movies, I was so in awe of the story and the way it ended that I decided to purchase the first book and give it a try. Two days later, after finishing the first book, I bought the rest and, literally, lived in that wonderful, magical world for about a month straight (some of the books are extremely long).
It was practically my reason for living during the period of time while I was reading the stories. Every morning I’d get lost in them while I sipped my morning coffee, I’d reward myself with some midday reading, and I’d read late into the night before bed. If we’re being honest here, some days I didn’t actually do anything else besides read. They are that good. I was completely amazed by J.K. Rowling’s brilliant story telling, and couldn’t even fathom that such an intricate world came out of one woman’s head.
But it’s the characters and the plot that get you. This is no children’s story… or it’s certainly not JUST a children’s story. Readers of Harry Potter grew up right along with the stories, and as such the stories changed and evolved over time. There are incredible themes of good versus evil, friendship, death, courage despite fear, and yes, love.
Nearly every important aspect of living and dying is addressed in these stories, and the writing is absolutely beautiful. These days, you don’t have to be a good writer to sell millions of novels (think Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey), but Harry Potter is the best of every world. I finished those books feeling like I’d just become a better person. They changed me.
Having said all that, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear it’s been a dream of mine to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, which is a part of Universal Studios. And guys, it blew my mind (though it was a little smaller than I expected it to be). It was raining half the morning and pretty terrible weather overall the day we went, but that didn’t damper my excitement. They did an incredible job of accurately portraying Hogwarts and Hogsmeade right down to the smallest of details, and it was just… magic. A day I’ll always look back on with so much fondness. I was thrilled to have a fellow Harry Potter connoisseur and friend by my side, and we just had the BEST time.
More to come this afternoon on Hogwarts, dining (and butterbeer drinking!) at the Three Broomsticks, and a perfectly magical mini-show inside Ollivanders Wand Shop. Stay tuned!
More coming later…