So I went down to Florida because I thought California was getting a little too “paradisey” for me. And if there’s one thing everyone loves about Florida it’s that it’s not trashy AT ALL. But, being down there my sister and I decided to pay a visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Or as we lazily called it, Harry Potter Land.
Now, we were both incredibly excited for this. And truth be told, we’ve been anticipating it for a while. See, I never read the books growing up. My kid sister (who can be found on Twitter @Andreainmyeyes) read all of them. Sister got me into the movies and I have since started reading the series. (I know, it’s a great story, I should tell it at parties. You can hear more of my lovely musings by following me @danborrelli :)
At first we couldn’t stop smiling. It was like we were being given a ticket into Wonka’s factory along with 100000 other families. 90% of whom had back tattoos. Which was the real problem here. We were expecting a magical place that would transport us to merry ol’ magic-England and instead we got Orlando. The crappy kids with negligent parents, the long lines, Harry Potter version of Glee…
But we were still excited, and decided to go exploring.
First stop was Olivanders to get a wand. Which we each did. The shop itself was great. Two kids are selected and wands “choose” them. They are each instructed on how to use the wands and CHAOS ensues. Boxes go flying and lights short-out as we find out they were mistakenly given each-other’s wand. Then off to the gift shop! Where I may or may not have purchased myself a little Sirius Black number. You know, for formal occasions. I swear I’ll wear it more than once. Then we stopped off for a drink…
Finally, we reached the main attraction. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey…
It was a disaster. We were in line for an hour before we reached a section of lockers. After placing our stuff in a locker, we spent another 45 minutes waiting in line. We were hot, sweaty, and still a little wet from a Popeye ride our 10-year-old cousin convinced us was a good idea. This was shaping up to be a horrific experience. And as we were shuffling through the halls of Hogwarts with kids throwing their Crocs at us; we started to wonder if maybe this whole place was overrated.
Then we finally got seated and the ride began. And for two minutes, I wasn’t worried about lines, or my work, or dating, or back tattoos, or what’s going to happen on Breaking Bad. Because for those two, glorious, glorious minutes. I was flying with Harry Potter, battling Dementors, and running away from a dragon. And I realized that all of the things I love about the stories, all of the things that one woman created for millions that I still had my own personal connection with, all of that imagining; came back to me.
It’s incredible how one person can create a world that makes millions of out-of-place kids feel accepted. And as we were leaving through the gift shop with over-priced tchotchkes and loud Croc-chucking children, it didn’t matter anymore. Because for two minutes we achieved the impossible, the same thing we tried to achieve in every page and every scene of the stories; escape. Because for those two minutes, we were at f*cking Hogwarts, bitch!
Have you been? What did you think? Let me know by tweeting at me @DanBorrelli or in the comments below