Friday, July 6, 2018

5 Fandom Friday - Favorite Things About the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando

Seems really specific doesn't it? It's summer, though, and many people are traveling to this much-loved destination. After a somewhat sad experience at the Wizarding World last summer when I attended, I wanted to reflect on what I loved about being there.

Note: I wasn't unable to go on any of the rides at the time due to seat size. I was body shamed by an employee who thought they were being helpful, but sent me into a panic attack and embarrassed me. The only good to come out of it was that I was able to walk through the intro to the ride with my daughter and mother. It was Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.

1. The PINS!
I don't know how open I've been about this anywhere on my blog, but my goodness I have a pin addiction! It's like that old-person addiction to shot glasses or spoon souvenirs. I have to have PINS! Hard Rock Cafe can take my money, just give me the pins! It's my favorite way to identify places and events. And holy crap... there are carts of pins all over the place and the stores all have ones too! I needed an intervention, because it was becoming a bit rough for my pocketbook and where I'm going to, one day, store them. Oh my goodness I was in love! The proclamations were fun and I bought this one for my classroom, because it was silly.

2. The Butterbeer
Yes please! It was a real treat and it was hard not to go back for more and more and more! Sugar, yo... it's dangerous! The recipe that is floating around isn't as good, but I was able to finagle it to our liking. Let the butterbeer flow....

3. The Interactive Wand Adventure
So you can buy a special wand and then walk around to special locations, perform a spell action, and something will happen! No, we didn't do the ceremony of being assigned a wand. The line was a bit too insane for my liking. Everyone got in on the action, though, and I thought it was a really amazing touch to add to the magic.

4. Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley
It... was just amazing.... for realz. There are all the shops with all their amazing little curios. There are dancers and people to talk to. Everyone is, of course, in character. All the things to see will just melt your heart.

5. Hogwarts Express & King's Crossing
I used to live in Edinburgh, Scotland. I saw so many of Rowling's inspirations there. When I went to London to do some research for my PhD, I couldn't pass up going to King's Crossing. To see it replicated here just made my heart long for my life back in the UK. The express itself was a relaxing little trip between the two Harry Potter locations and I loved the videos and the interactive experiences that occur while riding.

I'm sure if I had been able to do more of the rides it would have been even better. I'd love to go back now that I've lost so much weight. Universal Orlando, overall, is my absolute favorite place and I'd go back there every year if I could. My daughter wasn't fully into Harry Potter and was a bit young to understand the geeky implications of what we were doing, but her interest was peaked. She was more obsessed with the Jurassic Park area. Oh my goodness.... the obsession is bigger than any hardcore Potter fan. No offense, but I'm so serious.

Even if you're not a Harry Potter expert, you'll find something to love and enjoy.

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