Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Day One)

Warning: TONS of pictures ahead. Before we left for our trip, our kids all got a stomach bug. Unfortunately it hit Ken our first night in Florida. So, day one at Harry Potter he was at the resort sick. It was such a bummer, but I'm so glad I had the Bacons and Rawlings to accompany me. 

 The first thing I noticed when we arrived was the Knight Bus. Complete with Stan Shunpike. 
 Then 12 Grimmauld Place 
Then you pass through a brick wall and suddenly you are in Diagon Alley. A picture will never do it justice. You really and truly feel as though you've stepped into the pages of a book. 
The candy shop. 
 Butterbeer! Oh man was it delicious. We preferred the frozen ones. So, so good. 

 Ollivander's wand shop. There were boxes and boxes and boxes of wands. Floor to ceiling, two floor up.
 They had this desk at the back of Ollivanders and the chair was stationary, definitely meant to just be looked at. I figured I could climb in there though for a picture, so I did. When I got out, a kid thought it was a good idea and started to climb in too, his dad grabbed his sweatshirt and yanked him back, reprimanding him about following the rules. Oops. 

 Tom outside of the Leaky Cauldron.
 We ate lunch there and it was SO good. 

 The sign to the bathroom.
 Of course, we couldn't resist a little photo op, Sandy and I were trying to get into the Ministry.

 Kings Cross Station and the Hogwarts Express. It was possibly my favorite part, if I could actually decide on a favorite part. I really, really loved riding the Hogwarts Express.

 The Hogwarts Express took you to Hogsmeade. There we found Hagrid's Monster Book. At this same shop you could mail postcards, Hogsmeade certified so we sent a postcard home to the kids.
 The Sorting Hat
 Hagrid's motorcycle
 The talking mirror in Madame Maulkin's Robes Shop. It told me I was wearing very interesting looking robes.
 You could exchange your money at Gringotts. It was fun to pay for my butterbeer using Gringott's money.
 A back view of Hogsmeade.

 Diagon Alley at night, with pumpkin juice, which was also delicious.
 Every so often the dragon on top of Gringotts would breath fire. It was so cool looking at night especially.
 We did break away and walk around and ride a few rides in the other portions of Universal Studios.
 Sandy convinced Holly and I to ride this ride. It was not what I expected. When we got off I was shaking like a leaf, but laughing so hard. We had to stop and sit until we finished laughing.
 Dr. Seuss

 Jurassic World (one of my very favorite pictures)
 As the park was closing they had a screen showing clips of Universal Studio movies and fireworks were going off. Holly sat down and Justin sat behind her. Sandy and I couldn't resist joining the party. 

It was as we were riding the Gringotts ride, that I realized my face hurt from smiling. I was so happy. It would have been a perfect day if Ken had been there with me. 

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