Harry Potter World!!!

Last month we went on an awesome cruise for Christopher’s 30th birthday, but that’s not all we did. We flew into Orlando a day early and spent that day at… HARRY POTTER WORLD! It may have been Christopher’s birthday celebration week, but that day was a dream come true for this girl. 🙂

Hogsmeade (2)

Our first order of business was to ride all the rides. Christopher’s favorite was the one at Gringotts bank in Diagon Alley (Universal Studios) and mine was the one inside Hogwarts at Hogsmeade (Universal Islands of Adventure). We both really enjoyed the Dragon Challenge one as well, though! And the Hogwarts Express between both parks was way too fun! It was like a ride in of itself! But the best part was just being there. It really felt like stepping into the pages of one of my favorite series.

Hogsmeade (7)

Like a lot of people my age, I grew up with Harry Potter. When the first book was released in the US in 1998, I, like my dear friend Harry, was 11 years old. He and I nearly share a birthday in fact (mine is July 30th and his is July 31st). {side note: Apparently Harry’s “real”  birthday was July 31, 1980, but I didn’t know that the books were set in the 90’s when I read them as a kid so for all intents and purposes – I grew up with HP}. When he went through his awkward teen years, I did too. The moodiness and crazy hormone changes… yup, we went through it together. So Harry has always had a special place in my heart.

Plus the books are just SO captivating. Winner all around.

diagon alley (3)

So stepping into Harry Potter World was like stepping back into my childhood and teenage years. There was a lot of giddiness and general bouncy-ness when we first arrived. And as the day wore on, I just became more and more enamored with everything.

diagon alley (4)

Except for the butterbeer. Which is hilarious to me because when I read the books I always thought it sounded like the most wonderful drink. And everyone and their brother talks about how great the frozen butterbeer is at Harry Potter World. So Christopher got one. And I tried a sip of it. This was my actual face when I tried it:

diagon alley (2)

 It. Was. Awful. Ha! Christopher says it’s because the drink was pure sugar and I’m not used to the way sugar tastes anymore {for new readers: I have a heart condition so I limit my sugar intake}. He says it was really good. So I suppose it must be alright. But it definitely wasn’t the drink for me. I’m thinking if we ever go back that I’ll have to try a sip of it hot and see if that is any better. 😉

diagon alley (1)

But everything else about this place was magical. From lunch at Three Broomsticks to walking through the villages and taking in the sites. I honestly could happily go back over and over again. But we made sure to do all the things we really, really wanted to do just so we wouldn’t feel like we had missed out on anything major.

Hogsmeade (5)

And Christopher was a real sweetheart about it all. He never read the books, but he did see the movies and liked them. He thought it was cool to be there and enjoyed the day, but he said his favorite part of Harry Potter World was getting to be the one to take me because it made me so happy. He’s a keeper, that one. (pun intended 😀 )

Hogsmeade (3)

You guys, it was an awesome day. And now I need to reread all the books (again)! 😉

Did you grow up reading the Harry Potter books? 
Have you been to Harry Potter World? 
Love Rach

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36 responses to “Harry Potter World!!!

  1. Ahh, I have to go there someday. Looks like so much fun. I read the books in 2014 so all 7 as an adult. I love them! Then I had Kevin read them and he loved them. They are so good!

  2. Harry Potter World is pretty darn awesome! I never read any of the books, but I always enjoy checking it out whenever we go to Islands of Adventure. I also love Jurassic World though!! And Toon Lagoon!! It’s all fun 🙂

  3. Drew and I watched the movies leading up to our trip and then we came home and maybe watched them all again! Haha. I got the illustrated HP (Sorcerer’s Stone) for Christmas and I am totally going to be reading that soon!!! I’m so glad you guys had fun…your day sounds exactly like ours…riding the rides, Lunch at 3 Broomsticks (so fun) minus that we both loved Butterbeer. I hear the best mix is half hot, half cold. But I’m sure it’s full of sugar both ways. Haha. Yay for your recap and a perfect day at HP World! XOXO

    • Aww, I can’t wait to hear all about the book you’re reading! You’ll have to let me know how it is!

      I love that you guys loved Harry Potter World too! It was such an amazing day! And 3 Broomsticks had way better food than I anticipated. I figured it would be overpriced mediocre food, so I was super surprised by how reasonable and even tasty it was!

  4. I read all the books and watched all the movies. Enjoyed the books A LOT!
    We are heading to Universal next month – so excited! Thanks for your review, now I’m even more excited.

  5. “He’s a keeper that one.” YES! HAHA. Oh my gosh, I MUST go here. Every time I see it somewhere online I swwoooonn so hard. I relate to everything you said about HP and growing up with him. It’s like we’re all basically best friends.

  6. yayyy!!
    first off, oh my gosh. i would NOT have recommended butterbeer if i had known that. it is absolutely all sugar haha. i don’t know if they serve it hot there, i know it’s supposed to be hot in the books. also, i had no idea harry was born in 1980. he’s older than me! haha. glad you had such a good time.

    • Oh girl, no worries! I totally knew it was a sugary drink before we went. Everyone we talked to about Harry Potter World said we had to try the frozen butterbeer so I knew I was going to try a sip of it. I just didn’t expect it to taste so terrible, haha! But Christopher really did like it so I suspect it’s just that I’m so unaccustomed to sugar in high quantities.They had three options for the butterbeer when we were there. Hot, Cold, and Frozen. Maybe “hot” was an option because we went in December? It could be seasonal. Anyway, we picked frozen because that’s what everyone said was so good, but I really think I might like the hot one better. But most likely I’d think it was crazy sweet too. 😉 Just gives me a reason to go back! Thank you AGAIN so much for all your advice. It helped so so much!

  7. Oh that sounds like so much fun!! Definitely will have to go there some day. Looks like you guys had a fantastic time! Also, that is hilarious about the butterbeer. I have never tried it, but like you, I thought it sounded delicious. 😉

  8. I have this DREAM of going to that place with my brothers, sister, and Mom. My brothers and Mom LOVE HP and my sister and I have always been in it for the movies. BUT, I’m collecting the books and once I have them all in paperback, I plan to read them.

    So…I can’t wait! We WILL go someday. I just hope it’s soon(ish). 🙂

    Glad you guys got to go! Which book is your favorite?

    • Oh my gracious, what a great dream! I hope you guys do get to all go together! That would be incredible!

      I’m so excited for you to read the books! You’ll have to let me know what you think of them! I couldn’t pick a favorite book if I tried. I know which one is my least favorite. It’s when Harry walks into his teenage years and becomes super moody and kind of bratty. I did not like his behavior very much. But funnily enough I read it when I was going through that myself and it helped me see the way I was acting from someone else’s point of view. So when I say we grew up together, we really did! The early books are easy reads and the later books begin to turn a little darker (not bad or evil or anything like that – just more grown up/serious as Harry grows up). But they all have good parts to them!

  9. you two have the very best adventures 🙂

  10. I have never read the books or seen the movies. Your day there did look amazing though! It is funny that you weren’t a fan of the butterbeer at all, because I have heard nothing but good things about it from others who have gone and tried it. I bet Christopher is right about it just being too sugary for you.

    • Oh my goodness, everyone raves about that stuff! Clearly I’m in the minority when it comes to not liking the butterbeer, haha! If you like to read then you should definitely read the books. They are so good! And the first few are short and quick reads. 🙂

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  12. Wait for it, wait for it…
    I’m not a Harry Potter fan, and I actually don’t like the series. (Maybe I should have asked you to sit down first?). Ha, ha. For the record, I am aware that I’m probably the only English major out there who doesn’t appreciate the series, as ALL of my friends are obsessed. It is rather strange, since I have enjoyed all the other teen series (except for ‘The Twilight’ series).
    I think maybe Harry Potter felt too dark… I don’t know! I have absolutely no idea other than I couldn’t get into it, and I can’t even sit through a movie. (Although Nate likes the movies, so he has watched them without me). 😉 I guess it was bound to happen. We can’t be the same ALL the time, or else we’d be the same person. Ha, ha.
    On another hand though, I know that I would have loved going to Harry Potter world. I’m sure it was fascinating to explore and step into a completely different world like that!
    How exciting that you love the series and were able to step into them, so to speak. I can only imagine how incredible that was!! 🙂

    • Nicole, I’m not sure if we can still be friends………..

      ………….just kidding! I know not everyone will love Harry Potter as much as I do (or at all in your case, haha!) and I still love ya anyway! You’re right that we can’t be the exact same all the time otherwise we’d just be the same person, haha! I’m glad you at least gave the books a try! And I think you’re right that you would love Harry Potter World too even though you didn’t like the books/movies. There’s just so much to explore. 🙂

      • I’m SO glad that we can still be friends!!! 🙂 And I hope we can soon put this behind us. Gulp, this not liking the same thing is just too strange for me to handle! Ha ha ha!

  13. This is so cool! I’m sad that they didn’t have the Diagon Alley portion when I went to visit–the Gringotts Bank ride must be amazing! I remember even thinking that it would be a good ride when I first read about it.

    I didn’t get into Harry Potter until I was a junior in high school, on account of taking my little cousins to go see the Sorceror’s Stone in the movie theater. So I was feeling a bit old/behind at that point, but I started reading through all of the books anyway! I’ve never heard that Harry Potter was set in the 90’s–how did you find out about that?? I guess that’s how she explains limited references to technology in the Muggle world? But I know Dudley gets a computer for his birthday in the first book…. LOL, I’m probably thinking about it too hard.

    • I remember hearing about it in passing a couple of years ago (about the books being set in the ’90s) so before I write this post I Googled it just to be sure I hadn’t remembered that incorrectly. And sure enough, JK Rowling has said that Harry was born in 1980. Maybe the 90’s is when she started writing the books and that’s why she picked that time frame?

      Also, you should totally go back now and check out the Diagon Alley side! It’s so neat!

  14. Ahh, loved reading this! I sent this post to Jimmy, too, because he is a HUGE HP fan and wants to go to HP World super badly! LOL at the butter beer not tasting good to you! Too funny! I’m so happy you had such a fun time! Love all of the pictures and sunshine. It’s so cold/snowy here, so seeing you in shorts and a tank top makes me miss warm weather!

    • Ahh! You guys just have to go!! I’m thinking that would be an awesome anniversary trip for you two at some point! You would have the best time!

      And girl, it’s SO cold here right now. I am missing wearing my tank top and shorts too!

  15. i’m hopefully going next month–i’m loving your trip!!

  16. oh That’s awesome!!! I’ll get there one day. I, as you did, grew up with Harry Potter!!! Love it!

  17. Hahaha, the keeper pun! Harry Potter World looks amazing! I’m glad you guys had so much fun 🙂 Your face drinking the Butterbeer is priceless…too bad it wasn’t as delicious as you had been told! It does sound like the most delightful drink in the books!

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