Reflections of Universal Studios, Orlando
“I think this is what heaven will be like!” This is what I told my daughters as we passed under the gates into Universal Studios in Orlando. The attendants were joyful and they looked at us as if they were waiting just for us… I felt welcomed. And the emotions did not stop.
Every detail was perfect. Mel’s Diner from American Graffiti, the backdrop of New York in the distance, the details of the recreated streets of Little Italy in New York, Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, King’s Cross Station and Grimmauld Place in London and then… the entrance to Diagon Alley. As you walk through the bricked entrance you begin to hear the sound track from the Harry Potter movies and the sounds of the busy alley. Directly to your left is The Leaky Cauldron, then the dragon atop Gringott’s Bank a little further in front towards your right…it was perfect! I WAS in Diagon Alley. I was a young witch going to get her Hogwarts school supplies! I wanted a new broomstick from Quality Quidditch Supplies… I couldn’t wait to get my hands on my new schoolbooks and choose the wand that would choose me!
Ever since my daughters told me about the theme park, we made ourselves a solemn promise to make this trip. We read all the books (bought copies for each one us so we could read them at the same time!) Now all that was missing was the experience. The joy and wonder did not stop at Diagon Alley because the next stop, of course is Hogwarts and Hogsmeade. I was again a young witch on a school holiday enjoying some well-earned time off with my fellow schoolmates sipping on a creamy, delicious and perfectly chilled Frozen Butterbeer.
How wonderful to have been accompanied by my daughters through the amazing (boy, did I work this word to death!) and the fun of the Escape from Gringotts and the Forbidden Journey. From waiting in line through to the entrance of both rides, to finally boarding on the ride (Hogwarts Express included) I loved every detail. The details of construction, materials, the attention to little things that one takes for granted (the marble in Gringotts! the wrinkles on the Goblins!), everything was perfect.
I am ready to fail my Transfiguration class, Potions too, if need be, in order to relive my experience at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Repetum Experientia – my new spell to “relive the experience”!
Featured image (Universal Studios – Hollywood – sphere) by Davide D’Amico via Creative Commons