"We are all wanderers on this earth...our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams." ~ Gypsy proverb

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A visit into magic and a surprise :)!!

If there is one thing that Orlando does well, it's bringing stories to life.  We don't have the history that Europe has with its beautiful castles and churches, but what we do have is a knack for imagination and some great engineering.  Meet Hogwarts castle at Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Oh yes we have been devouring the stories here in our home. I read the series years ago when they first appeared, and to share them now with my children has been an absolute delight.  But the magic, oh my. To be able to take them to a place where they can see something like this, well, let me just say all of our hearts were pounding with excitement!

Hagrid's Hut


It was all there.  Hagrid's hut, Buckbeak, Hogsmeade, the Hogwarts train, even the moving "Wanted" signs of Sirius Black.  Though we didn't make it into Ollivander's due to the long line, we did make it in for a walkthrough of Hogwarts castle.  It houses the ride called The Forbidden Journey which has a height requirement preventing M. from going on.  But I admit, I am chomping at the bit to go back so that E. and I can!!

Of course, what's a theme park if it can't offer you everything that the story can: Butter Beer, Bertie Bott's Jellybeans, Chocolate Frogs, dress robes, owls (stuffed of course), and wands (a wizard like Harry's or Voldemort's, or a wand that chooses you).

The Owlrey

I did look for videos that could show you a bit of the inside of Hogwarts, and this one has some wonderful glimpses. But to truly see and feel the magic, you will have to come for a visit yourself :). And if you just happen to come this way, please let us know, we will join you!!!

Oh and one more thing.  A little giveaway souvenier for Harry Potter fans like us...

Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans!! And yes, they do taste what they say they taste like!! This box of candy is completely sealed and purchased directly from Honeydukes Candy Store. Just leave me a comment on today's post and I'll pick a winner Saturday morning!!!

Sweet cheers and much love

xx oo

P.S. I may be quiet for a few days as E. and I are visiting some wonderful friends in beautiful Seattle. I'll try to send postcards!!!


  1. Wow wow wow -- truly like stepping into a story book! Amazing!

    We would enjoy the beans here -- well, maybe not the rotten egg one. :)

    Safe travels to you!

  2. OH MJ this place looks fantastic! I have always steered away from the Disney sort of thing with my kiddos, but seeing this set of photos! Wow! I've got to take the kids. We are all Potter fans at our house. The kids have read all the books multiple times, they would be beside themselves. Oh and thanks for the super duper give away! What a treat that would be:)

  3. Oh what a cool place! I would love to visit there and how fun for all of us to go together! : )

    Count me in, my two muggle wizards would have so much fun with those!

    Thanks MJ and enjoy Seattle!!

  4. Seattle?? That yarn shop crawl awaits your visit! Perfect timing ;-) Would love to meet up for a coffee (although with only 3 days I'm sure you're time will be packed).

    I'm wondering if there's ever a time to go to Disney's Wizarding World that isn't packed? Thankfully we have a few years before we start reading the books so maybe the fervor will die down a bit - ahh, who am I kidding? How could it ever die down?? ;-)

  5. Orlando does do a magnificent job! I love it! Hey did you just start reading HP to your kiddoes. Mine are 6 and I wonder if they are a bit young. I do think Doran would like them!
    Have an awesome trip!

  6. Love this! We're huge fans of HP but I have to say I was sceptical about the park, not being a "theme park" kind of gal. But the pics make it look fab! My two are too little to appreciate but hubby and I would :D


  7. Oh, this looks like a fun adventure! Lovely, lovely photos.

  8. Oh, I want to live there!! Just move right in. Maybe in Hagrid's hut. How lovely!
    We're reading the set for the first time, currently we're on book two. I've missed reading lately, as I've got a wicked cough and sore throat, and hours of reading aloud just doesn't help matters. But now I'm antsy to get back in it!
    How cool that they have the treats! And frogs?? :)

  9. That looks so AWESOME! We have to go there!

  10. Oh wow! It looks so amazing and really realistic too. I would love to visit! x

  11. wow- i had no idea this existed! super fun! i'm a huge fan of hp, and can't wait to read them to quinn... which is a good thing to ask you: how old were your kiddos when you started the books? quinn loves chapter books already, i just haven't been sure how much of the darker side might be too scary for him yet...

  12. Thanks so much for bringing me here today -- the pictures are awesome. I taught sixth grade when Harry Potter was just taking off, and I'm still in love with the series. I can't wait to share it with my ladies when they're a bit older.

  13. Angela and mb-

    My son and I started HP when he was 7 years old. I started out reading to him but then he wanted to get the tapes so he could listen whenever he wanted. I wasn't reading fast enough!! He is on Book 5 now and just plowing through!! My 6 y.o. enjoys them but doesn't have the attention span quite yet so will walk in and out as she pleases.

    We have enjoyed the movies (after the books) up to number 4, but that was a bit scary for the 6 y.o.. We'll see how it goes from there!!

  14. Oh my gosh. This place looks amazing! I loved all the HP books too. I cannot wait until my girls are old enough to love those stories! The movies were a rare exception to the rule that "the book is always better". I thought they did a pretty bang up job on those movies!

  15. Have a great time on your trip! Can't wait to see the pics.

  16. Sherie (rainblissed)- As far as the best time to visit Universal, right now May- early June is good, I think late September through early Nov. also seem to be good times. Hope you make the trip out one day soon!!

  17. cool! i love harry potter! great pictures... can't wait to share the books with my children when they're older too.

  18. It's on my list of places I would like to visit and even more so now that I have seen your photos. They really capture the size and how life-like things look. Really... worm flavored jelly beans? Did you try all the flavors first hand? I can't wait to see the final movie!!

  19. They have certainly created a perfect Harry Potter wonderland! Looks exactly like the movies. Enjoy your trip to Seattle. I'm sure it will be a blast. Jacinta

  20. Wow! Looks amazing. The kids must have loved it!

  21. Too fun! My husband was brave enough to try the jellybeans before. At the risk of being a bit TMI, he almost vomited the "earwax." Needless to say, I passed.


“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
~ George Bernard Shaw