The McDougal family decided to decamp to Florida for Christmas break this year. My sister Kate proclaimed that this year, she’d rather we gave each other an ‘experience’ as opposed to a physical gift. Her suggestion: head on over to Orlando for some Butterbeer ‘n magic (a classic combo) at Universal Studio’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I’m not a big theme park person, but anyone with even a passing interest in Harry Potter has to admit – you want to check that shit out!
We went the day before Christmas eve and, while the cloudy day made he photos look even more Great Britain-accurate, the 80 degree weather and swamp-like humidity didn’t do a THING for my hair. Most of our photos were lovingly hashtaged #hermionehair, because whaddyagonnado?
From the minute we stepped into Diagon Alley and spotted the Self-Knitting Needles, I knew we’d made the right call. We grabbed some frozen Butterbeer (non-alcoholic ) to really start the day off right. We rode through Gringotts, found the passage to Knockturn Alley, took the Hogwarts Express, went on the surprisingly fun Tri-wizard Tournament roller coaster twice, and even had time to indulge my Harry Potter crafting impulses!
Using Go Team Go from The Plucky Knitter, I whipped up some custom House ear warmers for Kate and I. Kate identifies strongly as a Gryffindor whereas I’m definitely more of a Ravenclaw (read: cowardly brainiac). We both subconsciously repped our house colors in our stripey shirts we wore that day. Even though it was super hot, we did manage to don our woolens long enough snap a quick pic before leaving Hogsmeade in the afternoon.
You can read more about the materials I used over on Ravelry. It was pretty cool to be in a land where EVERY-damn-thing is for sale and to have something Harry Potter-related that was custom made for us. It sure beat paying $60 for a wand (even though, let’s be honest, Ollivanders is so freaking cool).
All in all, a delightful pilgrimage. I am in no hurry to return to Orlando any time soon, but if anyone finds themselves at WWHP any time soon, I’m still having some regrets about not picking up the following:
Bonus points if you accept payment in earwarmers!