Recently, I turned sixteen.
When I got clothes and money, I smiled and said my thanks.
And when I got an IOU for a trip to HARRY POTTER WORLD…I almost knocked the couch over while I ran around screaming.
Needless to say, I reacted like any other sixteen-year-old girl would.
Blogging Harry Potter World
â–º Finalist 2011 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
“Just so everyone knows, I will be spending the entire time here speaking in a British accent,” I informed my family—Mom, Dad, Younger Sister—as we sped-walk the way to the most magical land in the world.
My mom sighed. “I was afraid of that,” she said, smiling. “Does that mean I can too?”
I shot her a horrified look. “Mom, I love you and all, but if you start doing that, I’m going to have to leave you—” My words were caught short by The Sign: Hogsmeade.
Inside, it appeared there were about 312,388,505,998 people who felt the same way as me. The place was crowded, which was to be expected and all, but wow. There are a lot of Harry Potter fans in the world!
Younger Sister was hopping around, trying to master the pitfall she had encountered: being short. Which was a shame, because the place was breathtaking. Buildings looked like they had been taken right out of the movies, with lopsided architecture and practically-real looking snow covering the tilted rooftops. I knew that only about half the shops were actually real, but as far as scenery goes, it was a Harry Potter nerd’s dream. The floors were cobblestone, and flags advertising the four houses stood waving gently in the occasional breeze.
“So, where to first?” Dad asked, after the first 500 or so pictures were taken.
First, we began with—what else is to be expected in a place this crowded?—a line. It was the line to get into the most talked about ride here, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. But this was no ordinary line. This was the Mother-of-All-Lines-Ever-Waited-In line. It was a line. To get in a line. To get in another line. To, finally, get in the actual line. Which then led to another line inside.
A hint to those considering travelling to Harry Potter World in the future: It is not for the impatient. There will be lines. For. Everything. There will be lines for butterbeer (get it frozen, by the way), and lines for the six shops and THERE WILL BE LINES FOR THE THREE RIDES.
Another hint? There is usually a single’s line for the rides. TAKE IT.
Harry Potter World is a place to wear your MUGGLE t-shirt for the day, and make other magic-loving friends. It is a place to take a million pictures, and marvel at the majesty of the fake Hogwarts. It is a place that is almost always more pure and wonderful in your imagination, but still pretty darn wonderful in person. A place to let your inner giddy child free, as long as your giddy inner child has cash.
For me, Harry Potter World did not change my life. Perhaps I grew up a little—I realized the impossibility of truly recreating the magic realm I believed in so determinedly. And perhaps, at the same time, I reverted to my inner child a little, reveling in what I could at least pretend was the real Ollivander’s, or the real Hogwarts. Because Harry Potter World is spectacular enough that if you close your eyes and pretend, you can almost hear the train whistling, the owls hooting, and the magic world coming to life.
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