Upon entering the park, I really can’t tell you how much we geeked out at our first sight of Hogwarts castle.
I read my first Harry Potter book at 11 years old, the year I was supposed to get my very own Hogwarts acceptance letter. Devastated that it never actually arrived, being able to go to Hogwarts at 25 years old in a way, kind of made up for it.
When you walk into Hogsmeade, (for those that don’t know-the little village outside of Hogwarts), the beautiful soundtrack from all of the Harry Potter movies plays all around you. You hear shopkeepers yelling in their British accents, offering butter beer and trying to sell you all different kinds of magical objects.
Yes, I know these objects aren’t truly magical. But I did almost convince myself to buy another magic wand, (yes I already have one) a remembral, a quidditch quaffle ball, and a gryffindor t-shirt.
I’m a sucker for silly souvenirs!
But luckily I didn’t fall into any of those traps that day and my only souvenir ended up being the wonderful memories we made.
As well as a glass of butter beer.
Butter beer was much sweeter than I always imagined it being.
But delicious nonetheless.
For the book lovers who visit the park, the attention to detail in the shop windows is magic in itself.
From cauldron shops, tea shops, tiny book stores to “Gladrag’s WizardingWear,” I was blown away at the accuracy of the little town of Hogsmeade.
And seeing Hermione’s Yule Ball dress in all its glory was such a fun surprise!
There was also a little quidditch shop that’s store windows were filled with the many different gadgets that were described in the books, and even then some.
We stopped in the famous Three Broomsticks for a late lunch of traditional British fare. Ordering fish & chips at a theme park is risky business, I know. But they were absolutely oh-so-delicious!
After stuffing our bellys and drying off under the sun on the Three Broomsticks patio, we then revisited all the shops and rode the rides just one more time, soaking in the magic before we headed back to our hotel for the evening.