On my holidays, I visited Hogsmeade, Hogwarts Castle and Honeydukes.
Look, it's Hogwarts!
...No, not the real one, unfortunately. Since I'm a die-hard Potterfan, I visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida.
IT WAS AWESOME.
It was so awesome that I can't even convey the awesomeness over the internet. Hopefully some of you people that read this are also Potter-obsessed and can associate with my excitement.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (or Harry Potter World in short) is a part of the Universal Studios Islands of Adventure theme park. It's rather small; 17 football fields in size, apparently.
Walking through the soaring gateway at 8am with a sign depicting a hog and the words 'PLEASE RESPECT THE SPELL LIMIT' above was truly magical - yes, magical; corny but true. A replica of the Hogwarts Express belched steam just beyond the gate and I felt like I was walking into the quaint little village I had read about in the Harry Potter books. The roofs of all the slanting buildings were even adorned with 'snow'.
There are 3 different rides; the Flight of the Hippogriff, a small roller coaster; the Dragon Challenge, a high speed thrilling roller coaster where two 'dragons' (full of screaming people) twist and turn around each other; and the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, a mixture of '4D' visual adventure and real sets that travels around Hogwarts and through the Forbidden Forest.
All kinds of Potter paraphernalia can be found in Ollivanders, Honeydukes, Zonko's and Dervish & Banges. Wands were one of the main reasons I wanted to come to HP World, and Ollivanders didn't disappoint. The cluttered room piled high with wand boxes was just like the Ollivanders in the book and movie. The wands themselves, made of resin, are surprisingly heavy and look incredible. I love them.
There are many other cool things - sweets in Honeydukes, random bits such as Fanged Frisbees in Zonko's and everything else (Hogwarts robes, mini cauldrons, broomsticks) in Dervish & Banges.
Now, the pictures. I took my Canon EOS so the photos look good!
There were a couple of huge kegs full of butterbeer scattered around Hogsmeade.
Honeydukes, the sweet shop, was adorable and had all kinds of goodies inside.
Stuff in jars...
Various hard lollies...
Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans...
Here's the Three Broomsticks eatery - it's connected to the Hog's Head pub at HP World. The interior was really realistic. I especially liked the soaring roof with beams and walkways crisscrossing the air.
I hope your New Year was as good as mine!