Monday, January 10, 2011

Georgia's Wish Trip - Part II

Friday, we spent New Year's Eve day at Universal Studios and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Probably - no, definitely - the highlight of the trip. Even if you're not a Harry Potter fan, you'll love this place. And if you ARE a Harry Potter fan, you'll really LOVE this place! It's like walking through the books and movies, just as you imagine everything would be. Georgia and Ivy were in heaven!

The sign says, "Please respect the spell limits."


The Hogwarts Express!

The main attraction, The Forbidden Journey, is an incredible ride inside the castle. You pass through hallways with talking portraits, Dumbledore's office, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, and the Great Hall (which is where you start and end the ride). It's pretty intense, but Georgia loved it so much, we did it twice in a row. Highly recommended - just watch out for the SPIDERS!

The streets of Hogsmeade are packed with little shops (the employees kept saying the shops aren't small, they're "authentic." Whaa-whaa). You can actually go in Zonko's Joke Shop and Honeydukes Candy Shop, which we did:

Then you can go in Olivander's and Dervish and Banges, which we also did:

There's a bit of a show that happens in Olivander's, where a volunteer is selected to "chose" their wand. We were chatting with the doorman beforehand, and he noticed our "Happy Anniversary" buttons (Trevor and I got married New Year's Eve 1997). Before we knew it, another employee brought us a surprise gift of two mugs of butterbeer (for which the lines were incredibly long!), and we all shared the delicious frozen treat, kind of like a frozen cream soda. So. Good.

Afterwards, we went into the actual shop to choose wands, and THAT is where the real magic happened. Really! You can choose wands based on a special day, so Georgia used her birthday and got a lovely birch wand. Ivy was next and wanted to use her birthday as well, and when the wandmaker(?) brought out the box, he said, "OK - this is the wand of Ivy." I thought, oh yes, she's wearing that button with her name on it. But she wasn't! So I said, "Did you say 'the wand of Ivy?' Because that's her name!" He looked at me with huge eyes and said yes and showed us the back of the box, which said, "Ivy wand!" I just know it was a sign from our beloved Dumbledore! : )

We bought t-shirts at Dervish and Banges, sent a few postcards from the Owl Post, and decided to call it a day in Hogsmeade. It was really SO fun - you must go!

We spent some time in the Dr. Seuss area, including a stop at yet another ice cream place, "Hop on Pop," and enjoyed a few rides and all the Grinchy Christmas decorations.

Georgia, the Christmas Ball Photographer

Later, we headed back to the village to ring in the New Year! We have so much to celebrate - the most important being Georgia's diagnosis anniversary - and this was the perfect place to do it! We played a rousing round of putt putt golf, some people ate MORE ice cream, and then we had a countdown with Georgia and Ivy's newly-adopted pygmy puffs, Strawberry and Ginny. With the village all decorated for Christmas, including a tree in our villa, it was quite a festive party!


  1. It looks like y'all had a blast! Happy New Year!

  2. Goodness! I'm all out of breath just from reading about it. Sounds like so much fun!

  3. I love your blog and I'm so glad you love to read. I visited the WWoHP in November and I agree it was amazing. I travelled all the way from Australia especially for it.

    Hope you are doing well Georgia!