“hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home”

I’ll be honest, I’ve wanted to go since I heard they were starting construction years ago. After watching the movies for the last ten years, I couldn’t wait to see it all come to life in person! I had heard such great things about how it all turned out, and after over a year of trying to find a time to go, this past weekend all schedules lined up and we made it happen! Last weekend my mom and I made a quick trip down to Florida to spend some time with our favorite McCawley girls and go see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and it was just as incredible as it seems! The attention to detail in everything thats there, from the window displays to the architecture of the castle, is just amazing. I just wish there had been more of everything; I think they could have done the entire park as the WWoHP instead of just one section of it and it still wouldn’t have been enough!

As we walked through the park and the castle it was just incredible to me how this entire thing, the books, the movies, the park.. it all came from an idea JK Rowling had on a train one day of a boy who didn’t know he was a wizard. Gosh how insanely creative she is to dream up a world like this! I would have loved to see her walk through the movie sets for the first time and see her reaction to her world and books coming to life, I can’t even imagine! There’s a quote from the first book where Professor McGonagall says when Harry is a baby, “he’ll be famous- a legend! Every child in our world will know his name!” and its so crazy to me how TRUE that statement ended up being. There were just as many billboards around Orlando with Daniel Radcliffe’s face on it as Mickey Mouses. Crazy, huh? :0)

Anyway, I’m so glad Ingrid, Amanda, Sarah, and Katie were able to come and spend the weekend with us! We always have the best time with the McCawleys and don’t get to see them nearly enough! I’ll come meet you girls back there for a butterbeer anytime though :0) Happy viewing, friends!

The first night we were there we walked around downtown disney and stopped at Ghirardelli for dinner ;0)

Then the next day we headed to Hogwarts! Once you enter the park you have to pass through Who-ville to get to Hogsmeade, and the girls decided to help these two with their holiday shopping:
.. it was bound to happen sooner or later! ;0)
and Katie looks more than happy to be driving them away ;0) amazing.
dear JK Rowling, you’re a genius. love, jessiei’m packed and ready!
They had this exact same display in the movie when you walk into Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes! “Why are you worrying about You-Know-Who? You should be worrying about You-No-Poo – the constipation sensation that’s gripping the nation!” yes, Ollivander’s is packed full of hundreds of wands from floor to ceiling… yes, the Quibbler does come with your own pair of spectrespecs… and yes, the monster book of monsters really will attack (hence the cage) :0) We were all in agreement, it was worth the entire trip just for the Butterbeer alone! best. drink. EVER! I can’t even explain what its like sufficiently, and I’ve never tasted anything similar to it. YUM!the Owlery is a little busy this time of year.. what can i say :0) When you go inside Ollivander’s, you can choose to watch a “wand presentation” where the wand keeper will choose one young witch or wizard to receive their wand- and when it was our turn to go in Katie was chosen! It was one of my favorite parts of the day as she tried a few different wands, but finally came across one that chose her ;0) I am so regretting not video tapping it, but if you go onto youtube and search for Ollivanders Wand Shop you can find lots of examples to see the presentation, like THIS ONE :0) Since Katie had a wand choose her specifically, Amanda, Sarah and I had fun trying out all of the others :0) the youngest Ravenclaw around:
They had lots of storefront displays set up for you to see, but only a few stores you could actually go inside:
loved seeing Hermione’s dress from the yule ball up close, and i’m sort of regretting not grabbing a pumpkin juice for the way out! They don’t let you buy the butterbeer in cases, but you could take bottles of pumpkin juice to go: “Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” – JK Rowling
one of my favorite shots of the day: The Herbology classroom: As I’m sure you can imagine, the castle was absolutely incredible, and also VERY dark, so there are very few pictures from inside.. BUT here’s a fun one of all the moving portraits! and notice that random hallway in the middle of the picture? i kept waiting for the staircase to move over to it :0) and last but not least a few more fun instagrams: 
Happy Friday! Have a great weekend!

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  1. […] I got on a plane to go somewhere fun.. California, Cancun, Puerto Rico, Colorado, California, and Florida!  121,248,712- the number of kisses i’ve stolen from these 5 kids that make my world SO much […]

  2. Kimberly Lerchenfeld says:

    i Loved these photos! I went for my birthday in August, and it was like a dream come true! I am a HUGE Potter fan, and your photos captured WWoHP beautifully! =)Thank you for sharing!!

  3. THIS. IS. AWESOME. I had no idea it was like this! Man, now I’m dying to go!!!!!! Enjoyed these pictures so much! Thanks for sharing!

  4. mom says:

    So much fun! Loved it all – Hogwarts, Butterbeer, and especially spending the weekend with my favorite girls! You sure know how to do up a birthday Jessie, even if it does take a while to get there! xoxox

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