Wizarding World of Harry Potter #atozchallenge

Taken June 13th outside the attraction "H...Image via Wikipedia

As promised, here’s a snippet about our trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Red1’s tenth birthday she received this letter that must have come by owl.

February 18, 2011
Miss J***

First Bedroom on the Left
***** United States of America

Dear Miss J***

I am so terribly sorry to have to send you this by owl, but your parents’ Muggle fireplace is not connected to the floo network. I have a matter I need your help to resolve.

Rest assured that this letter is enchanted to protect our secret from the Muggle world. Even reading it out loud is safe to do, as they would only hear you humming. To a Muggle this page would appear to be a blank piece of paper.

I send you this letter firstly to wish you a very happy birthday. It isn’t every day someone turns ten years old…unless that is, if you happen to have a Time-Turner, then it might be possible to turn ten as often as you like, I suppose. 

That brings me to the second purpose of this letter. A student at our school returned a Time-Turner to me, but the rest of them were destroyed in the Battle of the Ministry, and now mine has gone missing. I fear someone may have mistaken it for a keychain or a bit of ordinary clock works and sold it in a Muggle store called Ebius Bay. Have you ever heard of such a place? Mr. Weasley describes it is a place in a cloud where Muggles buy and sell precious objects. I am not sure how Muggles get into clouds, it sounds much too magical to me, but there are so many things I do not understand when it comes to matters of the Muggle word. Perhaps your mother has heard of such a place.

Professor Snape and I have completed a tracking spell and believe we have located our precious artifact in your very own house. This artifact is very precious and I fear that it is being hunted. It will be protected only if it is accompanied by three young witches. Please look for two other witches to help you return it to my office at Hogwarts.

I have asked one of our house elves to deliver an article of clothing in your foyer cupboard. If you put this article of clothing on while your father is holding the Time-Turner, you will trigger a series of events in which he will instantly travel back in time to plan a trip to the Muggle version Hogwarts. Please let his poor Muggle mind believe that this was all his idea.

Once you are in my office, hold it up that I may see it. It must only be near me so that I may collect some of its charm to have more created. I will say, “follow your heart” and tap my wand on the balcony to collect the charm without the Muggles knowing a thing. After doing so, you may keep the Time-Turner as long as you wish. 

Sincerely yours and happiest of birthdays,
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

P.S. Please do hurry.

She managed to figure out the clues, find the shirt, the Time Turner and grabbed my arm. As soon as the spell was cast, we were off to finish packing the car. All three little witches had a blast and the park was terrific. The ride in the castle was the most incredible, non-roller coaster I’ve ever been on. Read the reviews, go, enjoy.

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Harry and Hermione

Jacket art of Scholastic (US) edition.Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been talking about Harry Potter for a good bit and of course, with good reason. As a parent and a lover of fantasy, HP is home run.

Our girls have been “reading” the books for years via the audiobooks. They can’t get enough of them. Now they’re working on the Sisters Grim series with the same veracity.

We decided to make Red1 (4th grade with a 14th grade reading level) wait to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows until it was on DVD. We screened it first and even we wished we had a pause button at some points.

Hermione GrangerImage via Wikipedia

It made me cry before the titles came on. Seeing Hermione erase herself from her parents’ home and life was pretty disturbing for this dad.

We’ll wait for the DVD for the family viewing, but it was very tempting when Harry showed up at our favorite dollar theater.

Speaking of Harry, we also were able to finally make our pilgrimage to the Muggle Hogwarts this spring. That’s a post all to itself and maybe we’ll save it for another letter in the A to Z Blog Challenge

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D23 Expo: The Search for Harry Potter Part 7 of 6

Image by bluemoose via Flickr

This series of posts began as a hunt for peaks inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Harry’s adventure ride through the books that opened this summer. We’re all pretty big fans of the kid.

We’ve been waiting for the theme park to open up patiently at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure and began our searching through blogs for pictures of the construction.

We found slews of news stories to tease us of possible equipment to be included in the ride. Sounds like this roboarm or Strong Arm, actually did win out in the end.

As launch approached and the fanfare started, we tried to find clips of what the park looked like from the inside! The numbers grew really fast. Walk throughs of the shops and long loving looks at window displays, but we wanted to see the good stuff. We were looking for the big ride.

Even on opening day it took the bloggers a while to get the ‘ride through’ clips posted. We had already seen a few videos of the que. The line show where you walk the grounds of Hogwarts, explore the halls, chat with the paintings, get the ride story from visions of the characters themselves, but it took another day or so to see the videos from inside the ride itself.

We’d been enjoying video clips of rides at other parks. Sharing stories of the evolution of the Jaws ride at Universal Studios. (The first year it opened, the boat skipper blew the shark up into big bloody-looking pink floating chunks of shark meat. It was closed up pretty quickly.) There are so many good stories. The girls like hearing about the rides that have closed too.

Photo of the Back to the Future studio car. Th...Image via Wikipedia

The Back to the Future ride was the best. It was so revolutionary in its day. One of the first “flying car” rides inside an IMAX((?)) theater. When it opened up the parks were going through a great transformation of ride technology and LINE deception. As a perpetual patron, I really appreciated the “pre-show” line entertainment. Even the very simple solutions of TV sets running cartoons and the addition of actual fans to cool you off.

But I must get back to the thread…  We were searching for the clips that showed the inside of the ride itself. After finally finding it I was terribly disappointed. NOT in the ride, but in the ability of the riders to be able to capture the ride on video. They couldn’t! It was too dark. Too fast. Too much for the little cameras to capture it all. It was even almost too much for the microphones to handle.

This is the clip we finally saw that freaked everyone out a bit. It’s a spoiler so don’t click on it if you want to stay in the dark. (Which is kind of a joke, because half of it IS just blackness!)

What I learned was that perhaps the little ones need a little more time to age before we embark to Hogwarts. I’d hte to get them there and not feel comfortable letting them ride the Big Ride. What a let down that would be. But, man, I can’t wait. And after a year or so, they’ll have some of the bugs (not the good ones, they promise) worked out. Getting stuck on this one seems like it would be a blast too.

Looking forward to the day we get to go. This explains how we got ourselves distracted and started enjoying the D23 clips. The anticipation may be more fun than some of the rides and places themselves. The dreams of princesses and dragons will have to do. We have the books. And all the other books with no rides and theme parks.

I think we’ll be fine as we wait.

To read all of the posts in this series, click on the keyword “wonder”. I reserved that word for this series. Enjoy!

[Link to the Harry Potter wiki for more details.]

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