I just went on a whirlwind of a vacation to Universal Studios Orlando with my mom, sister and daughter.
This is my second time to Hogsmede/Hogwarts and the first time to Diagon Alley/Knockturn Alley. It was every bit as magical, if not more, as it was the first time I went in 2012.
Hogsmede with Hogwarts in the background
I took a bajillion photos of the dragon in Diagon Alley.
Few seconds later.
It was hard to resist taking photos of the dragon's fire every time it happened. You knew he was about to blow when everyone was lined up with cameras up...you just fell in right with the crowd!
Food from the Leaky Cauldron. Ploughman's dinner. My favorite was the Scotch egg. I hope to try my hand them soon. I forgot to get a photo of my breakfast pasty. It was egg, mushroom, and leek pasty. At the Three Boomstick's I went wild and had the American breakfast. My favorite both mornings was the potatoes. We had fish and chips for lunch and somehow my daughter and I got free Butterbeer! We enjoyed icecream at Florean Fortescue twice...Butterbeer and strawberries and cream. R had what Hagrid bough Harry his very first trip to Diagon Alley- chocolate with raspberries. I tried the Hogshead brew and the Dragon Scale brew, both were a little too hoppy for me. I wanted a Newcastle but they no longer had it. I settled for a Bottingtons instead. I wish I would have tried the green beer instead.
Tale of the Three Brothers
I love the puppet shows of Tales of Beedle the Bard! The puppeteers were great and the puppets were really cool. The hands moved and everything. The scene above is from Tale of the Three Brothers. We caught it twice. The other one was The Fountain of Fare Fortune.
Also, you could watch Celestina Warbeck perform. We only caught the very last of "A Cauldron of Hot Strong Love." I enjoyed the show way more than I thought I would at first.
ETA-Wrong video...R's wand wasn't working properly. The last night a wizard "magic spot" attendant suggested it to be taken to Olivander's for repair...aka replace.
Here's the correct one:
We went to Olivander's both in Diagon Alley and Hogsmede about 4-5 times. They never chose a child, always a teenager. One, the girl was over 21 (she was drinking alcohol so pretty evident.) I don't think she even knew much about Harry Potter. She couldn't recite "Wingardium Leviosa." Every Harry Potter fan at least knows that spell!!
A really fun part to the parks this time was the interactive wands. My mom ran across the interactive wands before we left for the trip. R wanted one from B&N bookstore. I suggested to wait and good thing we did! There are what I call "magic spots" around Hogsmede, Diagon Alley and Knockturn Alley. You cast your spells and watch the magic.
Ginny's wand (mine) and Hermione's wand (R's) with the map. And, my time turner.
Weasley Wizard Wheezies collage
Hermione's Yule Ball gown...real movie prop
Harry's Yule Ball dress robes...real movie prop
I missed the third real movie prop which was the Ford Aglina car.
Knockturn Alley was hard to capture since it was a dark alley way even in day time. In fact I think this photo was taken in the day time.
Borgin and Burkes
We of course went and did other things besides Harry Potter, but it really made the trip.
I have tons more but this post is getting heavy. OH and the train! The Hogwarts Express was fantastic! We rode it many times! Twice we were in the same cabin with families actually from London which was a treat.
One last of the dragon: