June 5, 2012

Harry Potter World, Part II

First off, sorry for the quality of some of the pictures inside the castle! It was so dark in there, and I was impressed that my camera was even able to capture ANY light!

Sooo… one of the first things we did when we got to HP World was get in line for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which is the main event ride inside of Hogwarts.  The line was long, and it was raining and sticky, but once we got inside the castle, all was well. :) Part of the fun of waiting in line is the tour you take through the halls and chambers of Hogwarts, including Dumbledore’s office, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, and the Gryffindor common room. It was all done SO well. I was in awe.  Totally felt like you were actually inside Hogwarts! Then it occurred to me that J.K. Rowling and the actors in the movies had been there right where I was standing, and I was tempted to kiss the ground a little bit. But don’t worry, I refrained.

The ride itself was completely mind-blowing. This is when I cried. (both times we rode the ride) It was way scarier than I thought it would be, though I really went into it not knowing at all what to expect. It was like a cross between a roller coaster and a virtual reality simulation, and there were dementors and dragons and big ass spiders, and you were flying with Harry through caves and over Hogwarts and the Quidditch fields, and at the end you’re back in the castle and all of Gryffindor is cheering for you and yep, I lost it. I was overcome by emotion after the awesomeness that was that ride. Tears of joy, I tell you.

IMG_8224-1storyboardtest023 

Next we had lunch at the Three Broomsticks, where there was a fabulous selection of traditional dishes they ate in the books, like Shepherd’s Pie, fish and chips, etc. I ordered the frozen butterbeer (I’ve heard it’s much better than the iced butterbeer), and it was so, so good. Tasted kind of like a Werther’s or butterscotch. There was a thick layer of sweet cream on top and… my mouth is watering right now just thinking about it  It was really rich and I couldn’t finish the whole thing, but I will be thinking about that butterbeer for weeks to come, I’m sure.

Here’s a few shots in the Three Broomsticks…

IMG_8237-1 IMG_8248-1 IMG_8242-1 My shepherd’s pie

IMG_8243-1 Butterbeer!

IMG_8251-1Dad and Joseph

Now, there’s one last thing I wanted to tell you about. Inside of Ollivander’s Wand Shop, there’s a little “show” you wait in line to see. It’s a small room with a maximum occupancy of 30 people, and you all pile in within the high walls filled with wandboxes upon wandboxes, just like in the stories. An old man with a very long beard plays Ollivander, and his voice is eerily similar to in the movies. He talks about wands and wand law and picked a little boy out of the crowd to be a part of the demonstration. He was the cutest little boy ever, maybe 7 or 8 years old, and I teared up yet again as I watched his wide eyed wonder. “Ollivander” handed him several wands to try and had him wave them at different things in the room, such as a pot of flowers that wilted immediately when the little boy cast a spell on them. His eyes looked like they would pop out of his head; he thought he was really doing it. It was THE cutest thing. Then, just like in the movies, when Ollivander handed the little boy his third wand, there was dramatic music and lights… a wand had chosen a wizard. :)

It. was. amazing. Pure magic. Oh, to be a kid again, eh? Personally, I don’t think we ever have to really stop.

IMG_8318-1 It was too dark in the room, so this is the clearest picture I got. Love that the little boy was wearing a Gryffindor Quidditch team t-shirt. :)

And that about sums up our Harry Potter World experience! I would most definitely love to go back one day. But until next time, I think I’ll just dive back into the books… I hope you’ll give them a chance, if you haven’t yet!

storyboardtest021

Part 1 here.

46 comments:

  1. Is it my birthday? You just posted HP pics twice in one day! My fingers are gettinng closer typing "buy" on this plan ticket to orlando!
    My mom and dad brought me backa wand from Ollivanders! I usually just use it on the dog...#alwaysfails

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  2. ok.. you TALKING about crying and everything made me tear up a little... i LOVE when experiences just DO that to you- like the experience KNOWS you want it to be a good one, and then BAM! it slaps you in the face with awesome...

    i want to goooooooo!!!!!!!! ugh, and i would have LOST it watching that boy... i mean, i'm losing it right now...

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  3. ok.. you TALKING about crying and everything made me tear up a little... i LOVE when experiences just DO that to you- like the experience KNOWS you want it to be a good one, and then BAM! it slaps you in the face with awesome...

    i want to goooooooo!!!!!!!! ugh, and i would have LOST it watching that boy... i mean, i'm losing it right now...

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  4. I am pretty much insanely jealous!

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  5. everything you just described is exactly how I feel about britney spears.

    serious. I cried at her concert.

    ...........

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  6. I am almost positive that I will tear up too! I got chills just looking through the photos and reading your post!

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  7. These pictures... It just makes me realize how much I want to go even more!

    I loved the little story about the little boy. I can't imagine the look on his face!

    This was so sweet and I'm so glad that you had the chance to go! I really can't wait to go now!

    xo Krystin

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  8. what a fun experience... i need to read the books first though, i know gasp i haven't read them!

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  9. The pictures are amazing. And so is your hair! How about a tutorial on how you did it. I love it!!

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  10. Ahh! So cool!!! I better get to go there sometime!

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  11. I was so bummed I didn't get picked to do the wand experience, I really wanted to. I'll have to settle for seeing it. It was pretty cool..

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  12. So... I'm not a big Harry Potter person, I think I read the first 2-3 books and I know I saw the first movie. But that was it. That said, since seeing all the stuff over here (Alnwick Castle, The Shambles, Glenfinnan Viaduct), I think I'll probably want to watch them just to see these places again after we have to move! I hate to see movies without reading the books first, so I'll probably get them on my Kindle for move-time, to fill the boredom spaces. Check back in the fall; I'll let you know how your peer pressure worked ;)

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  13. OMG I want to go now!! Awesome!!
    I want to try the butterbeer... and that sheperds pie.. yumm!

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  14. I bet "Ollivander" made that little boy's life! I would get emotional too if I was watching that kid's joy and the ride sounds like it was pretty mind blowing.. going to Harry Potter World is now on my bucket list :) thanks for sharing

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  15. Oh man I am SO JEALOUS!! I want to go so badly!! I'm a huge Potterhead.

    You'll appreciate this... It's a wand that works as a remote control for your TV. I don't have one, but kind of want one.

    http://www.amazon.com/Kymera-Magic-Wand-Remote-Control/dp/B002SJKWZ4

    You're welcome. :)

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  16. Aww, I loved the part where you talked about the little boy being chosen and doing those 'magic' tricks. Anything with kids, to make them feel special, makes me smile.
    I'm glad you had a great time!! And I really need to check out those books soon.

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  17. kjdsfadfjahdigadkjffkdjflkadj;klajdlk;fajdlkgjdf.

    Words cannot articulate how jealous I am so that keyboard smash will have to do.

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  18. Actually, I think it's pretty spectacular that you got indoor pictures at all...it was sooooo dark in there! I enjoyed reliving the magical moments over here today immensely. :-)

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  19. Oh dear sweet girl, you're the cutest ever. Your joy of being there is so infectious!!
    Emily at Amazing Grapes

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  20. The ride is amazing isn't it!!! We arrived early and got straight on the first time. We came back later in the day (as you do) and had to wait in a LONG line. We were thinking of doing it a third time but refrained due to the line length.

    We may or may not have purchased robes [nervous sideways glances]

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  21. I love that you cried (mostly because I think I would too - which reminds me to go first with a fellow HP obsessed friend instead of my husband!)
    Ollivander's sounds amazing - you are right, what it would be like to be a kid again right in the middle of that!
    I think I better move Harry Potter world up the priority list :)

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  22. Ok I knew this place existed.

    I knew I wanted to go.

    But your two posts? These wonderful pictures?

    ....

    I am now ACHING to go. This is killing me. I live in Australia. I already tried convincing my fiance to take me on our honeymoon. I failed. *sigh*

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  23. I am dying to visit Harry Potter World! My Mom and Brother went last year and sent me two butter beer mugs in the mail - I use them everyday!

    xxx
    Jenna
    ps I'm still waiting for my letter from Hogwarts to arrive :/

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  24. Get me on a plane to Florida NOW!!! I've been to San Francisco 3 years running but I think it's time for me to visit the east coast now! This sounds far too amazing to miss!

    I visited the Warner Bros studio tour in London a few months ago and it was amazing but I'm a sucker for rollercoasters and your descriptions have got me totally sold!

    :) x

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  25. I'm so jealous!!! We're hoping to go to FL for Thanksgiving this year. My son loves Harry Potter & so do I, so we'll def be going!!! I can't wait!

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  26. ohhhh Jenni!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I'm dying of jealousy and excitement for you. It must've been so so so so so amazing. I can just imagine being there in Harrys world! Oh the jealousy.

    *sigh*

    xoxo
    jackie

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  27. Love your recaps so much!! I'm so nostalgic for that place and I was there just 2 months ago. The frozen butterbeer is the best thing EVER. If you're ever really craving it, go to Starbucks and order a caramel frappucino with whip cream. Basically as close as you'll get in real life to having another butterbeer :)

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  28. I peed my pants a little when I saw that you were doing a post about HP today. I love Harry Potter!!!! I am SO JEALOUS you got to go! I am now planning a trip so I can go too :)

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  29. This makes me want to go EVEN MORE!!!!

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  30. Ok, I made the bf promise we can go there for vacation next year!

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  31. I'm glad to see and hear that you had a wonderful time!

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  32. These pictures are so magical!!! I can't wait to go to HP World someday! I've wanted to take Dave to Disney World in general since we met, he's never been and I grew up going ever couple of years. Once HP World opened, my wishing and hoping to go soon has gotten out of control...I can't wait!! Glad you guys had such a great time, Ollivander's Wand Shop looks like a dream and I would have cried at that kids excitement too. :)

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  33. Um, I just teared up a little reading this post. SO jealous. (As I watch HP 7.1, of course.)

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  34. I am so jealous! What an amazing adventure! I hope to visit someday...

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  35. Looks amazing! I love HP, too. I definitely want to go there one day. And you've made that ride sound amazing!!

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  36. I grew up with the books (started at age 15) and just immediately fell in love with the world of Harry Potter. My now-hubby and I would wait at midnight at the bookstore for the next one and I legit cried during the last movie solely because I was SO. HAPPY. I got to be a part of the journey. Because that's what it really feels like, doesn't it?

    Also: check out Pottermore (if you haven't already). At first I thought it was just for kids, but there are background stories and other little pieces of trivia about the books!

    I just HAVE to get out to Orlando!!

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  37. First of all, I love that you cried! That is something I would do. I want to go there so badly! And I finally {after ten years} convinced my mom to give HP a chance. She is on book one!

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  38. I'm so freaking jealous of you right now. I can't even. Glad you had fun, though!! :)

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  39. I`m sooo jealous.

    I realy love the Harry Potter books and films. I'm living in Germany and my chances to visit this magical place are very very small. So thank you for your wonderfull photos.

    Best wishes from Moppelelfe Steffi

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  40. Oh my goodness. I don't even read HP or (don't kill me) have ever really had any desire but I just got chills reading this! The wizard/wand story is just too awesome! Glad you had a great time!!

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  41. I am so beyond jealous, it looks absolutely amazing! I'm curious as to what you meant about J.K. Rowling and the actors/actresses having been in that very same space. Were you referring to them being part of the unveiling or the movies actually being filmed there?

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  42. Jenni, it absolutely looks amazing! You're giving me more and more reasons everyday to visit the States :-) Looks like you had a really great time!

    Lucky you ...

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  43. @Julia D - Thanks for all your wonderful comments! :) And as for your question, I just assumed that J.K. Rowling had a role in planning the park, and must have explored it and watched it come to life when they were building/unveiling. Figured the actors have been there too. One of my friends saw the Luna actress there once! :)

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