Wizards for a Day

We’ve just returned home from a glorious week in sunny Los Angeles, our primary aim to visit the brand-new Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood. #nerdalert

I’m the only one in the fam who’d previously been to Universal, but that was way back in ’91 when I was Firstborn’s age and Harry Potter was still a mere twinkle in J.K. Rowling’s eye.

throwback! (from left: me, mom, much older sister)

Don’t be jealous of our fanny-packs.

Now check this out…

opposite side (doh!) of the same sign

Husband agreed it was essentially a nerdy book-worm pilgrimage, but also an enriching homeschool field trip. Firstborn is on the last Harry Potter book, and we are halfway through book six aloud as a family. We had a terrific time immersed in the wizarding world of Hogsmeade and Hogwarts.

entering hogsmeade; we bought the pass to go in an hour early w a gaggle of equally geeky potterheads and i *might* have teared up
platform 9 3/4
the sorting hat… “slytherin!”
viva butter beer
firstborn was chosen at olivander’s (they take groups of about 25 in at a time and choose one wizard to get a custom wand) it was, well, magical… and i *might* have teared up again
saved their own money for months to purchase interactive wands. center sister chose a replica of hermione granger’s
expecto patronum!
interactive spots throughout the park
hagrid’s hut
hogwarts choir, complete w beat-boxing toads
hedwig at the owl post
a very english lunch in the charming (ha!) three broomsticks
pumpkin juice

It was just the best. I enthusiastically recommend a visit. Our kids might not be head over heels for princesses anymore, but I’m grateful that we can still enjoy some fantasy and make-believe as a family.

Now if only there was a Hobbit/Lord of the Rings/Middle-earth/Shire theme park– we’d pack up and go there next.


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