“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” ― Albus Dumbledore
I have been dreaming about this day since the 6th December 2000. I was 10 years old when I first went to the cinema and watched Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone with my Godparents in Melbourne. I may not have gotten my official Hogwarts acceptance letter BUT walking around and through Hogwarts castle, tasting red scale dragon ale in the three broomsticks in Hogsmead and wondering down Diagon Alley was certainly what dreams are made of.
Catching an Uber from our lovely Airbnb in Orlando, we arrived at Universal Studios with bright faces and an eagerness to step into the world of Harry Potter for the day. As we were walking on our way to enter the Harry Potter area, I was graced with Kings Cross Station and for a second I thought I was back in London. The facades are unreal!
Before entering and going through the wall to Diagon Alley, we visited the night bus and had a very interesting conversation with that weird talking head that dangles down. He copies everything you say and literally has a conversation with you. However, I still have no idea where that man was hiding who was doing the actual talking….
Diagon Alley was everything I imagined. Walking through Weasley’s Wizards, quidittch stores and sugar plums, which are filled with happy and excited faces. As you continue down Diagon Alley, you end up at Olivanders and can witness the live show of having a wand selected for you. You re-live Harry Potter’s moment when the phoenix feather wand chose him, with a full force of actors. Funnily enough, it chose one of us which made it all the better! The great thing about these wands is; that if you choose to purchase it, it can interact with different sites throughout the whole world so you really do feel like a witch or wizard of Hogwarts!
Whilst here you can visit Gringotts bank and go for a ride on the rollercoaster cart through the underground bank. In my opinion the best ride out of them all! With fire breathing dragons, feeling the fires heat on your face and being lightly sprayed with water. Whilst here you can also visit knockturn alley or have a pint in the leaky cauldron.
You then make a departure from platform 9 3/4 and catch the Hogwarts Express over to Hogsmead and Hogwarts! As you come to walk through platforms 9 and 10, the people in front of you literally do look like they are walking through and disappearing through a wall. Its a very cool stimulator! Once you have boarded the Hogwarts express, you experience the ride with the full effect of travelling through the Scottish country side, being visited by dementors and selecting sweets off of the trolley from your cabin.
As you get off the train you are awestruck by the enormity of Hogwarts castle. Making your way up to the school in your Hogwarts house regalia, you see the singing toad choir, your greeted by the large gates and then the passageways of the famous school. There is a ride inside the castle which I would rank as the second best ride in Harry Potter world.
After the castle, wonder through the streets of Hogsmead, have a hearty english meal wth a pint of Butter Beer in the Three Broomsticks (with your Hermoine Granger moment) and wrap up the day with a final stop in Honey Dukes Cellar.
As cliche as it sounds, it was an absolutely magical day in the World of Harry Potter. A childhood dream of loving the movies and books has come true!
“‘After all this time?’ ‘Always,’ said Snape.”