Would you hate me if I said I didn’t really care for Harry Potter?
The books were awesome, there is no doubt of that. The books were on level with readers of Harry’s age. They grew up with the readers, going through the same problems as the audience (well, almost the same since we can’t all be fated wizards). The story arc was complex and the villains fleshed out in a way that broke some of our hearts and kept some of us up at night. I know Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets did.
That said, I don’t really love any of the characters besides Minerva McGonagall, and that’s just admiration. She was a boss ass bitch. The rest of them never leapt off the page and into my heart the way that characters like Karou (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) and Mac Lane (The Fever Series) did.
I love Rowling for another reason, her world. Since I was a kid I had an obsession with magic and witchcraft. For every Halloween I put on the green face paint and grabbed my broom. When I got older I settled for a witch’s hat and probably will when I take my future children trick-or-treating. I own every season of Charmed as well as any witch movie I can get my hands on.
Falling into a world where you can go to school for magic spoke to me in such a way that I was waiting for my acceptance letter. I wanted to brew potions and make things fly with a flick of my wand. I wanted to put on the sorting hat. I wanted to quick travel through floo powder and portkeys right into Diagon Alley. Rowling had created a world of whimsy and infinite possibility.
This was my jam.
But the Hogwarts letter never came. There were no owls waiting for me. Believe me, I checked the mail a lot just for that reason. The logical part of my brain said DUH. The other, smaller, part of my brain was crushed. I set aside the books and feigned disinterest in them. The movies I watched out of curiosity, mostly. For a while, I looked down on Potter-heads. I didn’t understand (or maybe, I was jealous that they weren’t crushed).
I think I’m healing. My interest in Harry Potter, or at least the world, is returning. I took a venture through Pottermore and took the sorting hat test. I’m disappointed that I’m not a Ravenclaw, but after some honest introspection Slytherin made sense. I’m a bit of an ass. Other fun quizzes online told me that my patronus would be a horse (pretty awesome) and that I’d make a good journalist in the HP world (why is that not surprising?).
Now, to our delight, Universal Studios offers two Harry Potter experiences. At Universal Studios Florida you can visit Diagon Alley and all of their magical shops. You can get a wand at Olivanders or check out Weasley Whizzes for general michief. You can check out Gringott’s Bank and the rollercoaster ride through the vaults. At Universal’s Islands of Adventure you could check out the town of Hogsmeade and grab a butterbeer before hopping on the Hogwarts express that takes you between the two attractions. There, they took inspiration from the Harry Potter books and created two more thrilling and magical roller coaster rides.
I can’t say I wouldn’t absolutely love this. A part of me squeals with excitement when I think about it and I’m not a squealing kind of gal. In the meanwhile, I’ll wait another year for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to be released. The movie is set to be released November 18th or 2016. I would have died to see goofy and wonderful Matt Smith, the eleventh Doctor, play the lead, but I’ll give this other guy a chance while I line my pocket for the trip to Universal Studios.