Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Most Magical Place on Earth Deserves a Better Title Than This: Part I

This was me less than 5 minutes ago, before I started writing this post: "Alright, deep breaths. Close your eyes. You can do this. You can write about Harry Potter world like a normal person without totally freaking out. You can keep one train of thought. You can compose a normal blog post that makes sense to the reader because you are a wizard and you can do anything you set your mind to." So, with that said, I'm gonna try and tell you about my vacation to Florida and the motherland of all motherlands - The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Two weeks ago I boarded a plane to Florida to visit a girlfriend. Except that technically I hadn't met her in real life before. Like, we text message and video chat all the time and everything, but since she lives in Florida we don't always hang out. And by always I really mean never. Cause you know, Florida and Arizona aren't exactly a five minute drive down the block. So what brings two girls on opposite ends of the country together for a few days to frolick around Orlando together? Blogging.
I met Mosby via her blog. In the huge, gigantic, ginormous world of blogging, one day I somehow landed on hers a couple of years ago, left a random comment on a random post, and like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, that random comment turned into a real-life friendship. A metamorphosis, if you will. ...do I get extra credit for that analogy? So long story short, Mosby is who she said she was and I didn't get catfished...nor did she try and kill me in my sleep, so that alone makes the trip a win, right?

I got into Florida late Thursday afternoon and our first order of business (besides wine... Oh and sushi for dinner.) was...drumroll please...The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
We woke up super early, made a pit stop for coffee, and drove to the park to be there as it opened. And like the punctual ladies we are (I'm not actually that punctual, but for Harry Potter I will be) we did just that.

As soon as our tickets were scanned and we passed through those turn styles we kinda looked at each other with bug eyes as if to nonverbally say, "OMG WE'RE HERE!" Who am I kidding, we verbally said it too. And that moment has to be documented right? So we took a quick selfie and then power-walked through the rest of the park to finally arrive at Harry Potter World's newest addition - Diagon Alley (queue harps and angels singing).  
Diagon Alley just opened this summer so being the newest of the two Harry Potter parks we decided to tackle that one (and its lines, and crowds, and all of the lines) first.

The main attraction in Diagon Alley is its ride, Escape from Gringotts, which is like, a roller coaster/4D simulation thing. Inside of Gringotts. Like, you get to go in it. And there's goblins for bank tellers and newspapers with moving photos, just like in the book and ohmuhgosh I'm getting excited just thinking about it again.
Is that a picture of a picture, you might be asking? Yes. Yes it is. Cause I'm an amateur blogger and don't have a scanner. There's probably a spell of sorts to turn a hard copy photo into an electronic version but since I left all my magical powers in Diagon Alley you're just gonna have to deal with a picture of a picture. Muggle life...the struggle is real.

After we successfully escaped from Gringotts on the back of a flying dragon it was time to peruse Diagon Alley.

We started by ordering none other than a butterbeer. Cause how else are you supposed to start your journey through Diagon Alley?

We then proceeded on to Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes,
Stopped by The Daily Prophet,
...couldn't find Rita Skeeter however. Rehydrated with some Gilly Water,
then continued on past Flourish and Blotts,
And even cruised through Knockturn Alley by Borgin and Burkes (no vanishing cabinets for sale, however)
...we didn't stay long though; all that dark magic is bad ju-ju.

The grand finale was at Ollivanders where you guessed it.......I bought a wand. A magical, interactive wand.
My wand didn't choose me per, say. I chose it. Mostly because the little show they do where Mr. Ollivander actually comes out and pulls someone from the crowd to have a wand chosen for them, they always pick the kids. It's not fair. Grown ups are kids too OK? Don't make me stand there and raise my hand and stomp around yelling, "Pick me! Pick me!" Cause I'll do it. But I digress. I went with Luna Lovegood's wand because I liked the look of it, I love Luna, and I too - like Luna - was personally sorted into Ravenclaw House via Pottermore, the "Unique, online, Harry Potter Experience." But don't tell anyone about the Pottermore part - I have to be careful about the level of Harry Potter fandom I publicly divulge because I still need people in some aspects of my life to take me seriously, like the 27 year old adult that I am.

So after all that spell casting, it was definitely time for lunch at the Leaky Cauldron. Casting spells really works up an appetite.
Lunch wasn't complete with an adult (albeit, still muggle) beverage: A Dragon Scale brew.

After we were finished at Diagon Alley we figured it was time to head over to Hogsmeade. Do you know how you get to Hogsmeade?? You guessed it:
The Hogwarts Express!
We made our way over to Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station and ohmuhgosh is it 
We pulled out of the train station in London and made the magical journey to Hogwarts, and it was just that - magical. Like, the people that work on the train tell you, "Have a magical day!" as you exit. I always replied with an enthused, "THANK YOU! I will definitely do that!"

And we did. We had a magical day. A magical day that ended with a couple glasses of wine in Mosby's backyard.
Cause that's where this post is ending.

I'll tell you all about Hogsmeade in another post because I think this one can only be described as "long-winded" so far. Oops. I was trying to do this logically and separate the two posts into Diagon Alley and Hosgmeade - but truth be told, we were at both places, back and forth, all day, errry day. We apparated between the two parks. Or used Floo Powder. They teach you how to do that at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you know (not really, but one can hope)

So there it is. Diagon Alley is everything you would imagine it to be times a million. Yes, A MILLION.

Net up: Hogsmeade!

 photo townsend-sig_zpsd6f7a124.jpg


  1. Amazing amazing amazing! Let's go back right now!!

  2. This is AWESOME and I can't wait to read part 2.

  3. Just so you know...I stalked your facebook because of this. Next time..me and you need to go!

  4. OMG - so jealous! I want a wand, a broom, and that 9 3/4 tshirt!!!!! LOL So glad you two had such fun!!!

    I'M SO JEALOUS!!!!!!

  6. Ahhhh so jealous. My brother went there on opening day....now that's a fan! Haha. I CAN NOT wait until the one in LA is done being built.

    Ok can you tell me....what the heck does butterbeer taste like? I've wondered for so long....

  7. my first thought was OMG I LOVE HER NEW LAYOUT!
    my second thought was OMG I AM SO JEALOUS - so i don't hate you, but i am so jealous that you went here AHHHHH can i say i'm jealous again?!
    soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo i can't wait to go here!
    thanks for rubbing it in ;)
    and i'm with justine, what exactly DOES butterbeer taste like?



design + development by Strawberries and Wine