Happy Christmas Harry

As Christmas draws closer it only seems appropriate to talk about the other happiest place on earth I visited this year: Hogwarts.

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LA was uncharacteristically overcast that day, which was perfect for imagining we were in the UK. 

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The Hogwarts Express

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Don’t forget your luggage. 

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Snow-capped rooftops all year long. 

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Hogsmeade and Hogwarts street signs

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PLEASE RESPECT THE SPELL LIMITS. 

First order of business? Butterbeer, of course. I’d heard a lot of fuss about the butterbeer and it did not disappoint. You could get regular butterbeer, frozen butterbeer, and even a butterbeer cream dessert. I tried all three, you know, purely to be thorough in my comparison and reporting.

There was also gilly water [Which I didn’t sample], pumpkin fizz juice [Which I did, not bad, but not near as good as the butterbeer], and a variety of other wizard beverages to try.

We wandered all around Hogsmeade.

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See that little Hermoine with her wand on the right? You could buy wands that interacted with the window displays. I believe in this moment she was trying to summon a chocolate frog.

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Owl Post

My favorite was probably Honeydukes [Zonko’s joke shop was nearby and basically a part of this shop as well].

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I took home some chocolate frogs and ended up with a Godric Gryffindor card.

I also loved seeing the wands of all the characters at Ollivanders. While we were in there we spotted Angela Kinsey [The actress who play Angela on the office]!

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Hermione’s wand

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Borrowed Hermione’s wand for a minute. 

You could also buy other wizard items like a rememberall, quill set, quidditch apparel, or even a Weasley sweater.

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sweaters

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The infamous monster book occasionally tried to bite people. 

Of course, if you needed money for any of these things, you can always visit Gringotts. My own muggle bank found itself very confused with my visit, which led to me taking a short time out from the merriment to let them know there was no fraudulent charges to my card, I was just on vacation. However, just to be safe they had me verify my last few charges were legitimate. Flitwick’s emporium? Yup, that’s me. Butterbeer cart? Yup, that’s me too.

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The Forbidden Journey ride was amazing. The line itself was an attraction. It winded you through Hogwarts, taking you through the outside greenhouse, classrooms, and corridors. Talking portraits and young Hermione, Ron, and Harry greeted you along the way.

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Found the Weasley’s car. 

The ride was even better. You glided through a convincing quidditch match, faced real life versions of the Forbidden Forest spiders, dodged the whomping willow, and found yourself up close and personal with dementors.

There was also a second coaster that took you past Buckbeak’s nest and Hagrid’s Cottage. Not nearly as elaborate, but still fun.

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Buckbeak coaster cars

Eventually, despite all the butterbeer, we worked up an appetite, so we headed over to the Three Broomsticks. I had the beef stew. We tasted all the desserts. Everything was good, but we especially liked the toffee pudding.

We had a flight to catch so we couldn’t stay too long, but it was a wonderful escape into the world of Harry Potter. I hope I have the opportunity to do it again sometime [Orlando & London, look out].

Thanks Jo, I had the time of my life. And I owe it all to you.

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All the staff stayed in character and some congratulated me on winning the last Gryffindor match. This was very cute and not at all awkward and traumatizing. Unlike the time a guy cornered me by the soda machine while interrogating me about quidditch scoring technicalities when I went to see Fantastic Beasts [This was especially traumatzing because they were also out of the diet Dr. Pepper I wanted]. 

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No muggles here. 

Currently: Wrapping presents and watching [made for tv] Christmas movies.

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