Thursday, November 7, 2013

We Interrupt This Crafting Blog...

... whilst I continue to work on a large project I hope to reveal very soon.

In the meantime, please enjoy the following Non-Arsty/Crafty Post.

A couple of weeks ago, I was extremely lucky to attend a medical conference in Orlando. I had never been to Florida and since I was going for free, I HAD to make it to two places I have been dreaming of seeing: Disney World and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I've already posted on my other blog about my adventures at Disney World.

It was a lot of fun, but I must say, my favorite part of the trip was Hogsmeade and Hogwarts. Warning: there are a lot of magical photos ahead - wave your wand (or mouse click if you're a Muggle) to biggify!

The entrance

I will admit to feeling giddy upon walking into Hogsmeade

It was nigh-impossible to get a shot of this without someone posing in front

The clock tower - very surreal to see "snow" in Florida! But it was a perfectly-overcast cool morning

Inside the clock tower - the Steampunk lover in me adored all the gears!

The bathrooms (entrance at the left) even had Moaning Myrtle to keep you company

The Three Broomsticks - I would have loved to eat here, but sadly had to meet friends somewhere else for dinner (Rats!)

Hogsmeade is filled with shoppes - some open for business, some not. But each one had wonderful window displays to behold.

Potage's New and Second-Hand Cauldrons (some self-stirring!)

Zonko's Joke Shop!

Inside Zonko's

Large moving chess pieces in Zonko's window

Quidditch supply shoppe

The Owl Post

Loved this measuring-tape cat in front of Hermoine's Yule Ball dress at Gladrags Wizardwear

Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans at Honeydukes

Chocolate Frogs, natch (the images in the cards moved)

This huge box opened up causing the frog to jump and croak!

And gobs of other confectioneries

Of course I had to get a wand at Olivanders

After making some purchases, I finally made it to the castle.

I couldn't believe I was really there

Hogs (natch) at the entrance

Because I was on my own, I got whisked through a special corridor, past the crowds lined up and was able to tour the Castle all alone and at my own pace! It was incredible to walk up the staircases, the paintings talking to you, and no one to block my view.

Dumbledore's office

The Headmaster made an appearance asking us to please report any dragon sightings

Harry, Ron and Hermione appeared from under the Invisbility Cloak in the Defense Against The Dark Arts Room

I also took the Forbidden Journey ride... quite by mistake, however. More about THAT can be found HERE on my other blog.

After wandering about the castle, I went back outside and tried some Butterbeer. It's not beer at all; but rather a butterscotch flavored drink. I chose the "frozen" version which was like a Slurpee with a sweet foam topping. It actually helped me get over the effects of the Forbidden Journey escapade!

All this snow really made you feel cool!

The Snowman didn't mind at all when Sam (my traveling companion) and I sat beside him for a bit enjoying the frozen Butterbeer

There was even entertainment!

The Hogwart's Choir - complete with two croaking toads

Durmstrang demonstrated their martial-arts style skillz

Beauxbatons students performed a lovely ribbon dance

Of course I had to bring home a few souvenirs for daughter, hubby and my Studio:

Postcards, mugs, patches and my Harry Potter wand

Meggie modelling the latest in Gryffindor fashion

What a trip! If you want to go, wait until next summer... they are adding Diagon Alley!

Since we have a long weekend coming up, I am looking forward to staying indoors while the snow falls and finish my large project. Hopefully I will be posting about it by Monday!


  1. What a totally fun experience. I love Harry Potter and the books. My favorite HP memory is taking Ben to get a book at midnight when they came out. He was probably in second or third grade and I let him stay up to read after we got the book. (can't remember which one it was). Anyhow he could stay up as long as he wanted reading. I tucked him in and he started reading. I asked him if there was anything else he wanted before I went to bed...he said he would like a cup of tea! It was so perfect to say. He stayed up ALL night and read and finished the book the next day. (he is a crazy reader). The quicker he finished a book the sooner I got to read it too. He would love to go see this HP land...

    1. Oh I hope you and he get to see it together! They play the music from the movies; you really do feel like you're in the film. What a great story - we can thank JKR for instilling a love of reading to that generation of kids; my daughter was the same... she loved to read the series too (and then I borrowed them to read right away!). We even had a HP birthday party for her as she was the same age as Harry when the movies came out! She still has her Hermoine costume she wore at midnight for the book reveal too. What awesome memories.

  2. I want to go sooooooooooo bad!!!!! I have a feeling I'd have to ship home a box full of souvenirs!

    1. Ha! I had to be careful as bringing home souvenirs on airplanes is a tricky business... can't be too big or fragile.

      I was thinking of you when I was there, my Pottermore buddy!

  3. Thanks for the tour, what a fun place to visit!

    1. It really was a great time. I was so lucky to get a chance to see it.

  4. Oh my gosh, I never even knew this place existed and I LOVED the tour. Thank you so much for sharing. Must go now and read about your, um, adventure.

    1. You're welcome Kathy! I would highly recommend this place for any Potter fan... and there are a LOT. The place was the busiest area of all of Universal Studios.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your pictures. I'm afraid this is as close as I'll ever get to visiting this magical place.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It was a dream come true to actually be standing there. Something I shall never forget.

  6. I am playing catch up...
    Thanks so much for your visit and good for you getting to go to Disney for conference!

    1. Welcome back Debbie! I must pop by your place again; I saw that you have been very busy... thanks and yes, I am so lucky to have had the awesome opportunity.

  7. WOW! Thanks for sharing all these wonderful photos Maureen. Harry Potters Wizardry World is one place I want to go. I wonder what you will be creating next having been on these adventures. Can't wait to see. Karen.x

    1. It was a great place - I definitely have to use it as inspiration on a future project. Perhaps after Christmas.... hmmmm. Good idea Karen!

  8. I am not exactly a fan and even I want to go now!
    What a great time. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Now I am off to explore your other blog.

    1. Oh it is a great place, even if you're not a Potter nut (like me) ;)

  9. Oh, that is great! LOVE the photos! I want to go!

    1. Oh I hope you can one day - it really was a magical place. I enjoyed it so much more than Disney World even!


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