Today Terry and I went to Universal Studios in Orlando Florida. We went to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. After walking from the parking lot and halfway through City Walk and a slow bag check we were finally in Universal. A question to a nice worker and we were on our way to my destination! Soon we were in London! We passed Kings Cross but did not board the train, after all, school doesn’t start till Sept. 11. We spotted the Knight Bus, dark purple and 3 stories tall. Then we saw #12 Grimald Place. While I knocked on the door, Kreacher looked down at me from an upper window. He did not let me in….. Then we went to Diagon Alley. We did not go through a pub, but simply went through a hallway, but OH MY, once y we were really in Diagon Alley! I stood stock still, awestruck to see my beloved book come to life. I wanted to run wildly around screaming look, look, look, but I restrained myself, though my face got sore from smiling so hard. As we walked along, our heads turning in all directions, we saw a stage. We paused and Celistina and her back up singers came out. She sang my love is a hot caldron and it was wonderful. We passed a small off shoot of Gringgotts that was a money exchange but the rate for wizard money was much to high, $35 US for 3 wizard coins, no thank you. Then we saw the real Gringotts with a huge dragon sitting on the roof. Terry stalked that dragon and took a great picture of him shooting fire from his roaring mouth. We went into Gringotts to take a cart down to a vault. As we strolled along we went through a lobby with several working Goblins. One head goblin directed us to an elevator that took us to the carts. Once off the elevator we were in an office. A goblin was about to direct us when BIll Weasley came in. He greeted us and argued with the goblin a little. We were about to go to the carts when Harry, Hermione and Ron flew in on a dragon, they shouted to Bill that they were sneaking in and then flew off. We continued to the carts, each one had 4 rows of seats that held 4 people. We were in the front seat. (back to reality, it’s a roller coaster and I don’t want to be in front!!!) We had safety goggles (3-d glasses) and off we went. It was fast but fine until Harry and pals came flying by shouting they had been discovered, Bill appeared and just as we were about to be engulfed in fire, he cast the spell and shot water on us. Then the ride became wild, monsters attacked us, walls caved in and the tracks gave way. When safety seemed close, Bellatrix and Valdemort appeared and began to shoot spells at us and threaten us. Of course we were saved by the heros, Harry, Ron and Hermione flew by on the dragon and blasted open a wall so we could escape. We were all applauding and cheering as we pulled into the station. WOW! Once we were back in Diagon Alley we saw it all. The Owlery, Eyelops, The Daily Prophet Office, Flourish and Blotts, Madam Malkins and Olivanders. I did not buy a wand, Olivander was not there, why get one without him. We did see that many of the wands caused magic to happen here and there, but we still passed. ($35-$50). It was great inside Weasley’s Wizard Whizzes, I saw Puking Pastilles and all the other funny items the boys invented.I went to Florean Fortescues to get ice cream, YUM! I did not select the butterbeer flavor, but many others did. Terry spotted a narrow opening and it let to Knockturn Alley. We entered cautiously. many wand holders made spooky magic happen as they waved their wands at the various displays. We did go into Borgin and Burkes, it was filled with creep things including the Vanishing Cabinet that Harry hid in. They also had The a Hand Of Glory on display. We got out of there without any incidents. We finally found the Leaky Caldron, it was a large restaurant with long tables and benches, we did not go in. Butter beer was being sold in souvineer mugs, but I will wait to try it at Hogsmede. We walked through the entire alley two more times and then reluctantly (me anyway) left to check out Universal Studios. (info on this place is another blog). Tomorrow we will take the Hogwarts Express to Hogwarts and Hogsmede, I can hardly wait.
SPECIAL INFO – when you go into the London phone booth, near the knight bus, and dial MAGIC it will connect you with the Ministry of Magic.