April 30, my birthday, and the reason we went to Florida in the first place: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I am actually surprised I managed to sleep at all the night before, I think I was so exhausted from the day before that my body left me no choice.
That morning I got up extra early so I could do my hair and make up and look all fancy for the park. I also wanted to make sure that we did NOT miss our bus, no way was I going to be cutting in to my Harry Potter time!
Now, when you see previews for Harry Potter world on tv, the one thing they do not tell you is how FAR you have to walk just to get there. When you’re already super excited and want to get there before the lines start, the walk feels like it takes forever. It wasn’t actually that long, but really, Harry Potter!
When you finally get there, you don’t walk right in to the world of Harry Potter, you end up in London where you see the Knight Bus, 12 Grimmauld Place, and Kings Cross which for me, only added to the excitement. Of course, I had to stop and take pictures with #12, and secretly laugh and be baffled by the people who took a picture with 15 Grimmauld Place (did I miss something in the books?). I was going to take pictures with Stan and the Knight Bus but man, is Stan ever popular!
We’re finally at the moment I have been waiting for, through this little hole in the wall, and around the corner you find the entrance to Diagon Ally (Hagrid must have been there already because the bricks were already opened (yes, I’m a dork..). Because I’m me, I couldn’t just walk through, I had to marvel at it for a moment, and then wait for the entrance to be clear so I could take a picture of it.
The first thing I noticed when I walked through was Weasley Wizard Wheezes with it’s bright orange and purple facade and the giant animatronic guy who tips his hat. It was the first store we went in to (that’s what a lot of Harry Potter world is and I loved it!) and it looked just like in the movies. There were so many people and so much stuff in there it was hard to decide what to get (if anything). I did buy some Bertie Botts beans, a chocolate frog and some U-No-Poo (smarties).
Because shopping builds up an appetite, we hit up the Leaky Cauldron for breakfast. I kept expecting Harry, Hermione, or one of the Weasleys to appear it looked so authentic. They never did though, cue heart break 🙁 After that I went and got my wand. The wands were piled high to the ceilings and there were people everywhere. I could have bought a wand based on my birth month but decided to get Hermione’s wand because it was pretty (such a girl, I know).
After that, we wet on the Gringotts ride. Now, I am a ride person, just not roller coasters, and I can definitely be apprehensive about them so I was a little nervous to go on the Gringotts ride because you can’t see it. I had no clue what it looked like and god forbid it go upside down. The ride though, was AMAZING and almost the whole time you’re waiting to go on you stand in the bank watching the Goblins go about their daily business or look at moving photographs.
Once we’d seen everything in Diagon Alley and Ryan bought me my robe (dork, yes, I know) we headed to Hogsmead via the Hogwarts Express, an actual train that takes you from Universal Studios to Islands of Adventure, where they play scenery outside your window and some stuff happens… I also was recognized as a student and wished a good semester (I guess that’s what happens when you wear a robe to go on the train…)
Hogsmead isn’t as big as Diagon Alley, there’s not as much stuff to do there I found, but it had the castle and Honeydukes, and the Three Broomsticks which were all awesome. The ride inside the castle was intense and I think I actually liked it better than the Gringotts one, not by much, and Ryan still says the Gringotts one is better. We had lunch at the Three Broomsticks and I finally tried butterbeer. It is one of the most amazing things ever. And when it’s frozen… OH. MY. GOD!
After exhausting every shop, we took the Hogwarts express back and decided to head back to the hotel.
That night, there was an amazing sunset and Ryan and I walked around the resort taking pictures of it and as we were standing there Ryan wished me a Happy Birthday (after not saying it to me all day) because he was waiting for the most romantic moment (yeah, he’s cute like that <3) .
It was an amazing birthday, and dare I say a magical day. Now, time for some pictures!
Awesome. Love the story and pictures. Can’t wait for the final installment.
I still have 3 more posts before then 🙂