This blog post is nothing but pure indulgence for me. When we took our girls to Universal Orlando this summer, we were celebrating our oldest graduating from high school. She and I are equally obsessed with Harry Potter, so it seemed like the perfect place to go.
When you get to the entrance to Diagon Alley, you have to know what you’re looking for. It’s very nondescript, and that’s as it should be! Keeps the muggles out, right?
It’s VERY overwhelming for a true Potterhead because it. looks. exactly. as. it. should.
Our first stop was Ollivander’s, and my oldest daughter was beside herself. It was her graduation trip, and she’s more of a Potterhead than I am (if that’s possible). She got chosen to have her wand choose her! I swear it was like she was five again!
In addition to that, you can shop at Flourish & Blotts, Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes, Quidditch Supplies, Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour, and you can get butter beer and fire water!
Did I mention Hagrid’s motorcycle? The Hopping Pot? The mermaid fountain where you can cast spells?
Then there is the ride on the Hogwart’s Express from Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade. So. Cool. The train ride itself is actually an amusement park ride. Instead of a window, there is a screen that plays a video of your “journey”. On the trip to Hogsmeade the train plays one video, and on the trip back Diagon Alley is a different video. Hogsmeade is AWESOME. It looks snowy (even in July in Orlando!). Honeyduke’s Sweet Shop is there as well as The Three Broomsticks.
A friend of ours is a travel agent, and she took care of booking the trip and all the little details included. One of those was an appointment at Shutterbuttons for a photo shoot. We had no idea what this entailed, but since we had paid for it, we decided to take advantage. Little did we know that it would be the best souvenir we could have taken home. Click on the link to see our very own photo album that mimics the albums in Harry Potter. Meaning, the pictures move. Yes. They move. Like in Harry Potter.
Are. You. Kidding.
When I saw it, I think I almost cried. So if you’re a big HP fan, you’ll geek out over it too. If not, it’s still pretty neat. 🙂