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Harry Potter

Happy Hufflepuff Day!

This week on Pottermore is the Hogwarts Houses Week and I’m getting in a little early for Hufflepuff!

Happy Hufflepuff Day!

Technically the 18th is Hufflepuff Pride Day, which is today in New Zealand, but the Ravenclaw Pride is still going strong over at the Pottermore Insider.

I was sorted into Hufflepuff a very long while ago over on Hogwarts Is Home and ever since then, I’ve been a very proud Hufflepuff! We’re the overlooked house at Hogwarts, with many saying that we’re where the unwanted or unsortable “non-heroes” go. It’s definately true we don’t get as much coverage as the other houses in the books, but Hufflepuff is still very important! Cedric Diggory was one of the most honorable and loyal students at Hogwarts, offering a re-match in Quidditch to give the opponents a fair chance and then offering Harry the Tri-Wizard cup because he felt Harry deserved it more. Tonks is also in Hufflepuff and was a crucial member of the Order of the Phoenix. And, of course, let’s not forget JK Rowling herself said that she would be in Hufflepuff!

Plus, we’re very good finders.

What’s your Hogwarts House? And how do you show your house pride?

 

 

Harry Potter, USA

Waiting at Universal Studios

So after being turned away TWICE at the Universal Gate were waiting outside the gates to Universal Studios for Diagon Alley!

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At 5.45 they opened the turnstiles and let everyone in. We snaked around the Simpsons and MIB area to where they had a standby line. We’re currently now waiting inside the kings cross station area.

Harry Potter, USA

Diagon Alley Opening: Pre-Preparation

We’re getting ready for Diagon Alley’s big opening; Lizzie’s going to drop myself and Bec off at Universal early, then join us once the parking garage opens (we heard around 5am).

We went to go and get supplies for our camp out at Walmart. I’m super excited!

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As you can see, healthy eating is one of our top priorities.

Harry Potter, USA

Soft opening for Diagon Alley??

Lizzie as I hear whisperings that they were going to open Diagon Alley for guests today so we’ve made our way over to Universal Studios to have a look.

It rained hard.

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Nevertheless, we decided to wait it out with our umbrellas and ponchos. Sure enough the storm cell passed, but then a team member came out to tell us that there was no chance Diagon Alley would be opening today.

So, instead we made our way to Hogsmeade. They’ve opened a bypass from the Sinbad adventure themed area I’m never quite sure of to the Jurassic Park area, which I’m assuming is in preparation for the 8th with people unable or unwilling to go the madness of Hogsmeade.

But this bypass offers a beautiful view of Hogwarts Castle.

 

We also found an abandoned queue line, apparently.

 

 

Despite riding Forbidden Journey twice, I still wasn’t dry, so we got popcorn and say outside the Three Broomsticks. I still can’t believe that this is something I can just do on my day off. With my program end date looming on the horizon, the urge to do EVERYTHING NOW OMG is getting bigger and bigger.

NOT LONG TILL DIAGON ALLEY GUYS!!!

Harry Potter, Travel, USA

Diagon Alley opening announced!

I got an email from Universal Studios today to announce that Diagon Alley would be opening on July 8th!

We’ve been waiting for this for what seems like forever. With the Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train now open at Magic Kingdom, completing the New Fantasyland expansion, it had to only be a matter of time before Universal opened Diagon Alley.

My friends and I plan to be practically sleeping at the gates for when it opens, Hogwarts scarves, robes and wands at the ready!

There are some concerns I have about the new Diagon Alley expansion, though. Because as much as I love Hogsmeade, it sometimes presents some problems.

While it’s wonderful that Universal have taken their job so seriously at recreating a tiny unknown Scottish village, I think they’ve been almost a little too faithful in this endeavor… by which I mean the place is really tiny. Like, “we could have had more room in this shop but we wanted it to be ~*authentic*~ so now everyone is crammed in like sardines to the point it looks like a safety hazard” tiny. Because there are only a few shops in Hogsmeade, namely the merchandise shop (which is the exit store for the Ollivander’s experience) and the candy store, if people want to shop, they have limited space in which to do it. The Three Broomsticks never feels that crowded for me, but Ollivanders is hard to breathe in sometimes.

My other concern isn’t as much a concern as me bring nitpicky. I find it particularly on the Dragon Challenge ride, but sometimes the theming of the park can be a little transparent. The queue for Dragon Challenge is wonderful, and even though it’s a long walk, I feel as though I’m walking through an area of Hogwarts set aside for the TriWizard champions. Until you get on the actual ride and suddenly all around you as you go through is industrial sheds and gravel. I get that seeing most of the backstage area is inevitable on such a ride, but it looks untidy most of the time, mostly due to patchy grass and overgrown trees coupled with concrete and gravel.

So I hope that the new Diagon Alley improves on this; I cannot helpbut think it will, simply because they seem to have more space available and from what we’ve seen so far the recreation has been phenomenal.

So, here’s to saving my sleep for a 3am start July 8th!

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