Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Harry Potter Bachelorette Weekend

Harry Potter World may sound like an odd choice for a bachelorette getaway but we've all done the beach trip, and the clubs, and the bars before so I was super excited about a change of pace for this girls' trip. It just sounded like the most fun thing to do with my best friends, and if you know my friends, you know we shamelessly love Harry Potter. We've all read the all the books and we were first in line for the midnight double showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2 back in 2011.
 The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was high on my bucket list and I was not alone. So we booked flights and park tickets and rented an Airbnb house for this past Thursday through Sunday and slowly ticked off the days until we would be together in Florida.

I got in ridiculously early on Thursday, 5AM, but luckily my other friend had driven down overnight and had gotten us a hotel room to sleep off the jet lag until we were able to check into our house. While we waited for the other girls to arrive we got settled and went grocery shopping for the weekend, planning to have most our meals at the house and in the park.

We headed back to the airport in the evening to pick up the bride and another bridesmaid and then headed to bed knowing we'd have a really early start. Setting my alarm for 6:45 am I tried my best to not think of that as 3:45 am. Jet lag sucks but is totally worth it for these girls... and for Harry Potter. In the morning we dressed for a day in the park, grabbed chik-fil-a breakfast,  headed to the airport yet again to pick up the last arrival, and then finally we were on our way to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Harry Potter World is divided into two parks. Diagon Alley (the newer bit) is located in Universal Studies Orlando, and Hogsmede/Hogwarts is located in Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. If you have the park hopper you can take the Hogwarts Express back and forth between the two which is exactly what we planned to do. We made a beeline through the turnstiles of Universal Studies Orlando and headed straight to the back and suddenly found ourselves in the middle of London and oh boy, the attention to detail is spot on. I texted this pic to my parents... I felt like I was right back at home.
 We knocked on the front door of 12 Grimauld Place and watched Kreacher peek through the curtains, we dialed MAGIC in the phone booth and spoke to the Ministry of Magic and then we snuck behind the Leaky Cauldron and were instantly transported to Diagon Alley.
Simply magical. Nothing was overlooked when they built this. It has all the cute stores where you can buy your Weasly Wizard Wheezes' products, your text books for next term at Hogwarts, a new broom, and of course your wand. We had so much fun popping in and noticing little things from the books and movies.
 
 Of course towering over the little wizarding village is Gringotts and it's dragon which breathes fire every so often. We headed inside the "bank" for the first ride of the day, and really the only actual ride in this part of Harry Potter World. Waiting in line for the rides is actually just as enjoyable because there's so many little details to notice and see while you move through the queue. 
We moseyed around a little longer before heading to Kings Cross Station, Platform 9 3/4 and hopping on the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmede. If you go, definitely take the train both directions as you see different sites from the film outside your car window.
 
 
This little area is so cute, everything is "snow covered" and you feel like your tucked in the alps somewhere.  We grabbed lunch at The Three Broomsticks and candy from Honeydukes before heading to Hogwarts to tour the castle. This ride is so fun because you really feel like you're flying over the quidditch pitch and around the castle grounds. 
We also did the Flight of the Hippogriff and the Dueling Dragons roller coasters  before we declared ourselves too dizzy for any more rides and headed back to our house for the rest of the evening. We snacked and played bachelorette party games with a Harry Potter twist (I'll share more on these details in a second post) and had a little dance party before calling it a night.

The next morning I woke up at 11am and was sure everyone would be waiting for me but was quite happy to see I've chosen my friends well.  We took our time leaving the house and then headed back to the parks for round two. We planned to do our favorite rides again and then explore the rest of the park outside of Harry Potter.
After another fun long day we ended the night with a little lingerie shower, this was after all still about our bride-to-be. I am just so glad to have friends as nerdy as me!

5 comments :

  1. What fun!! We live 45 minutes from there and haven't been yet. It does look like fun. I read all the HP books with our granddaughter, years ago. An amazing world indeed!

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  2. This is making me just too excited for April!!!

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  3. SO FUN!!! We haven't been to Diagon Alley because it wasn't built yet when we went but I'm dying to go!! This is such a good idea for a bachelorette party! I'm so jealous I didn't think of it :)

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  4. Woohoo! That sounds like SO much fun! Nate and I are going to go at some point... Hopefully... ;-)

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  5. How lovely Harry Potter Bachelorette Weekend!! I am sure you all had wonderful time there. Glad to see these fun photos! Well, I am going to throw a small bachelorette party for my sister. I have selected one of the domestic LA venues for this event.

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