Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mischief Managed.

It started like any other morning.

Berry White and I got ready at the hotel, stopped at Super Target to replenish our dental hygiene products (which were still on our bathroom sink back in VA) and to buy him some new socks (the ones he was wearing were bunching at the heel.)  After a quick, classy toothbrushing session in the parking lot, we headed over to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

(Got a little picture happy on this trip.  Just a heads up.)  

Remember that giddy, pee-your-Osh-Kosh-B'gosh-corduroy-jumper feeling you got as a child when you walked into Disneyland or the circus or Toys 'r Us on your birthday?

Yep.


Can I interest any of you in a cheeseball?




Welcome to Hogsmeade, HP heads.

"Snow-topped" roofs with crooked chimneys, intricately decorated store fronts, cool signage, carts selling butterbeer and pumpkin juice, Harry's Wondrous World playing in the streets.  You don't know where to look, what to do, where to begin.








In case you need to deposit some galleons into your vault.



Oh Padfoot.



Hermione's Yule Ball dress.  Tiny little thang.


If you've had too many butterbeers:


Listen for Moaning Myrtle while you're in there.  She's quite chatty.

Towards the end of the village, we caught a performance by the Frog Choir.  




I didn't tell Mike at the time but my eyes got a little dewy during their performance of Hedwig's Theme.  I'm so ashamed.

We made our way out of the village and up the hill...and there it was.  Off in the distance.  Sparkling like a majestic sandcastle in the sky.


Hogwarts.

I wasn't sure what to expect prior to arriving at the park.  The castle was the part I was looking forward to most and I was worried that it was going to be a scaled down version.  Like, great on the front of a postcard but lacking grandeur in person.


It wasn't scaled down at all.  It was beautiful.


There was a 90-minute wait to get into the castle for The Forbidden Journey, which we were cool with.  Both of us were eager to take pics and didn't want to rush the experience.  We figured it would be wise to keep the big buddy secured in a locker and use our smaller, ride-friendly camera phones instead (hence the shoddy pics ahead.)

Herbology.



Most epic entrance ever.


Yes, some of them actually talked.



Not Slytherin, not Slytherin...


I did as little research on the park as possible so that my expectations weren't already set high by another parkgoer's review.  It paid off.  The castle and the coaster/simulator hybrid at the end totally blew me away.

After The Forbidden Journey, we headed back to Hogsmeade to recharge.


So, how was the butterbeer?  Oh, it was only the most ridiculously tasty cream soda in the world, topped off with a thick, frothy layer of butterscotch clouds.  That's all.

Mike's not even a soda drinker and he destroyed it.


Three Broomsticks for lunch.




The ribs aren't going to win any Thomas Keller throwdowns any time soon but for an amusement park, not bad!  Better than the Raptor nachos or whatever they were serving at the neighboring Jurassic Park area.  The cool thing about the Wizarding World is that nothing is commercially labeled.  The menus, the trash bins, even the soda fountain is Potterized.


The Hog's Head pub is attached to the restaurant.  They offer a selection of English ales, hard cider and their own Hog's Head brew on draft.  A great place to unwind with a pint, meet with other members of a secret student organization, etc.


Hagrid's crib.


Will work for dead ferrets.


Ollivander's.



Amazing.  Every last inch of shelf space was crammed with wands. 

The wandmaker didn't choose me, unfortunately.  Sad face.


I take that back.  Swoon face.


After perusing the wand shop, it was time to start packing up our trunks and head back to Platform 9-3/4.



If you're considering a trip to the Wizarding World, I can't emphasize enough how incredible the place is.  Seriously, just go.  Find that one friend who is always up for some crazy, impulsive shit and go.


Mike doesn't know it yet but I'm going back next year.


Permanently.

23 comments:

  1. Amazing!! I want to go :D Where is this located? How much was it to get in the epic gates? :)

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  2. I am still so jealous. We're seriously considering it next year. It pleases my little heart to hear that there isn't any product placement. The pictures are awesome. They capture the magical place it is.

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  3. Glad the trip was a magical as you had hoped. Did you bring back any new trinkets for your shrine? And I totally need one of those self stirring cauldrons.

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  4. really nice pics to present context. the food and beer are looking mighty tasty. and your point about being a kid so excited he pees his pants... i can totally understand. there is a kid in all of us dying to come out. i am 36 and i am still a toys r us kid.

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  5. jealous jealous JEALOUS. i'm a little misty eyed just thinking about visiting! i mean really really envious right now.

    have you read Mark Reads HP. he does an anaylsis for every single chapter and it is HILARIOUS. it's like i'm reading HP all over again.

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  6. Mae Belle - it's at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure in Orlando. For a one-day pass, it's $80 (that gives you access to all 5 "islands") or about 12 galleons.

    Margie - quick plane ride from TX! You must.

    Wendi - I considered buying Snape's wand but decided that the framed pic of him on my desk was creepy enough. Mike bought me a Prefect pin which I am proudly rocking on my Mischief Managed tote. The self-stirring cauldron would be great for making Commitment Chili.

    Matt - thanks :) Turning 30 was interesting. I don't feel 30 and I sure as hell don't act 30. I don't think you ever really outgrow your inner child.

    Angry Asian - dude, that site is hysterical. I'm making my way through it now. 23 DAYS!

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  7. I am SO jealous!! I wish this place wasn't so far away from me :(

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  8. What a fantastic tour. Great Job. Now I want to go too!!!

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  9. I can still feel Aragog's spit on me from the Forbidden Journey and I think some of the guys in the mens public conveniences room were enjoying Moaning Myrtle's voice a bit too much. Creepy.

    All in all a wicked good time and the perfect way to celebrate my wife's 30th b-day. Love you.

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  10. We should have practiced our beluga patronuses before getting on that ride. M3.

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  11. Wicked! I'm going!!! I'm dragging that scallywag of a husband along too! Too much fun. Thanks for sharing. Lumos! (22 days)

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  12. Oh wow, I'd totally love to go! Did you get the t-shirt there? I want one

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  13. Danazia - HP fans and scallywags alike will love it. Remember to bow to Buckbeak.

    Sorcha - thanks for visiting all the way from Ireland :D I got the shirt from Evie Tees. You can find the shop on Etsy.com

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  14. First post - and only my second read, ha. I loved your cookies in the last post (I think I might try my hand at some royal icing to make them for my halloween party).

    Anyway, I'm commenting here to tell you I'm insanely jealous that you went to the Wizarding World. I want to go to there. So bad.

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  15. how jealous am I? what a great post, I love d all the pics...and the butterbeer...oh I want one...
    sweetlife

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  16. Alice - hey there! Thanks for commenting :D I just checked out your blog - I love the pic of the toppings and the beer in the background. Having an adult beverage close by while you're cooking is a must.

    Sweetlife - thanks Bonnie!

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  17. Aww Ali, I'm not even a HP head, but I really enjoyed this. ;) Glad you & Mikey had a wonderful bday weekend together! <3

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  18. Take me with you!
    I would totally get misty eyed hearing that theme! I'm already freaking out for the 11/19 movie release. Oh yeah, and since I'm in advertising, I even know when their ad campaign started...

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  19. Manda - <3

    Katie - yes! In anticipation for the epicness on the 19th, HBO has been showing Half Blood Prince. And wouldn't you know, I've seen the damn movie 10+ times and I still tear up during the scene in the tower...

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  20. I watched it 3 times this weekend! And everytime I act as if I have no idea what's going to happen! ps. still love alan rickman. pps. i'm dying to make butterbeer!

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  21. I love the last picture of the castle.

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