If you are anything like me, Harry Potter is not just a series of books or a franchise of movies, it’s home. It’s the comfort zone you come back to again and again. When the films air on TV, you watch them intently as if you have never seen them before. You take immense pride in your house (fellow Slytherins, I love you) and you can literally make friends with any stranger you see sporting your house colours. So the simple notion that I can spend a day in Hogsmead and wander the castle is just better than cake. Today I got to do just that.
I have already had the chance to visit the Harry Potter theme park in Orlando, Florida and I obviously loved it. A close friend of mine had never experienced any of the Harry Potter parks before and we needed to find something to do with our trip to LA. Choosing to spend the day at “home” was the best idea and I can truly say it was like experiencing the park all over again for the first time.
Shoes – Primark
If you ever find yourself in Los Angeles with a fellow Potter obsessed friend, I highly recommend heading to Universal Studios and bee line it for Hogsmead. The first stop that we went to was Ollivanders to receive our wands. We had the privilege of being a part of the wand ceremony in which our wands chose us (wind, lights, and magic included). My wand is made with dragon heart string with a vine base and I’m already deeply attached to it. This wand also works its magic throughout the park using spells and different wand motions which I tried many times.
Right so you will get extremely hungry from all the excitement and The Three Broomsticks is the first place you need to head to. I ordered fish and chips and a pumpkin juice which I highly recommend. The frozen butter beer in the souvenir stine is another must. It’s packed with sugar and topped with a buttery whip cream that you will guiltily find yourself going back again and again to order another.
The highlight is, of course, the ride within the castle itself. Aside from the ride being so much fun, waiting in the queue is a nostalgic thrill all of its own. It’s hard not to just take photos every three seconds of absolutely everything. I almost hated the fact that I was in a queue that had to keep moving at times because I got so caught up in what was around me. After you’ve ridden and eaten everything in sight, I dare you not to buy everything in the shops. From house scarves and full robes to stationary, I found that I had to force myself to go to the till. Get to the till and get out of the shops because if I didn’t, I would have just told them to ring up every Slytherin item I laid eyes on. The day ended with a light show at the castle that I won’t ruin for you but was stunning to watch and I highly recommend sticking around for to see for yourself.
With it being that time of year when everyone is getting ready to head back to school or university, today felt like I needed to go home and check to make sure I had everything for this upcoming term. That I have all my books ready for potions and defence against the dark arts and a new cozy sweater for lounging in the Slytherin common room all autumn long.