Monday, September 5, 2016

Wave that wand!

Ollivander checks through the many boxes for the right wand
We knew we would be happy in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood at Universal Studios.
We've been to the opening of the Wizarding World in Orlando and traveled by floo powder to England to the Harry Potter studios where you get to see all the props, costumes, wigs and paraphernalia used in the movies.
We've enjoyed each of them.
We are all Harry Potter fans. We've read all of the books, seen all of the movies. I own a Hedwig and my husband owns a nice wand.
A sweet visit
Grandpa and his girl
Now my granddaughter has a wand too — because she and her mom finished the Harry Potter series and she turned 11 at just the right time, she got a golden ticket to Hollywood with us — and her wand actually least in the park it does. She can make treats twirl on their plates, trunks full of bludgers open and close, chocolate frogs croak and a party dress rise up and down. There are magic spots all over the park where something happens if you wave your wand just right.
Adell can do that.
She can drink Butter Beer and Pumpkin Juice and share a chocolate cauldron.
$million-dollar home
We bought Pgymy Puffs, All-flavor Beans, a chocolate frog, a T-shirt with a Phoenix on the front and an owl friend for Hedwig.
Adell bought the wand that chose her at Ollivander's Wand Shop after she tried a few tricks with it. (Never mind that she killed the flowers. She brought them right back to life!)
This new Wizarding World in Hollywood is a duplicate of the world in Florida with the snow-topped roof, the grandeur of slightly off-kilter spires high in the sky, and the HogWart's Express engine waiting and puffing at the station.
It doesn't include (yet?) the additional park with Gringott's Bank and a moving train but I bet that's not far off because people love this imaginary world, this clever, magical world with never-ending surprises.
It is immersive and transformative from the joke shop with its slightly disgusting wares to the Forbidden Journey with Harry dramatically leading you through the castle on his broom.
(While the Forbidden Journey ride is breathtaking, it's also nice to take a little longer walking through the castle rooms and halls to see the sights.)
A ride on the Hippogriff is short and sweet. You might want to plan on taking that flight several times over.
There are lots of muggles in the land so start early and plan to stay late if you go.
The lines get long even with a Front-of-the-Line pass. It can be easy to spill your Butter Beer.
Magical times
If you haven't visited yet, now's a good time.
The park has been open since April so it's more possible to get in and do more than wait in line. It's well-managed with friendly wizards and witches close by on nearly every turn to help get a locker open, make a wand work, or find the Owl Post.
It's clean and elegant, beautifully done.
It's a unique experience and a truly fun way to make money disappear!

Smiling faces...


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