ORIGINALLY POSTED: August 11, 2010

When I first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, it was way back when the second book had only been in stores a few months and most of the world hadn’t yet been bitten by the HP bug. It took a few chapters, but when we got to Diagon Alley I knew I’d stumbled upon something special. I remember feeling like I witnessed history in the making, feeling assured that once the books caught on, we’d have another Narnia Chronicles on our hands. The most vivid emotion though was that this book was the first time I’d read something as an adult that made me feel like books used to when I was a kid. I realize that is a terrible sentence, but hopefully you know what I mean. In short, I was mesmerized.

I quickly devoured the book, then the second, then waited impatiently for the third (which totally blew me away) and about this time word started spreading and the world was about to catch HP fever. It was the first time I remember ever dreaming about characters from a book and it happened more than once. The characters, the world was so real to me that when I was intrenched in one of the books I was completely surrounded. I remember catching myself before telling a friend that the next time I went to England I wanted to make a special trip to Hogwarts.

This last month, that silly fantasy of mine came true. Or as true as it can within our Muggle world. While in Orlando for the RWA conference, me and Emily and my mom made a side trip to Universal Studios to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We got up super early, we hired a car to take us to the park and we walked the long way to the entrance of the park. But we’d been smart and we’d pre-purchased our tickets so we were able to just walk right in. We made a beeline to the HP area (mostly we followed the crowd because that’s where everyone else was going too!)

And then we rounded a corner and there it was, across the way, but Hogwarts rose up from a hill just like I’d seen in my mind so many times. I’ll admit it, I got a little misty and giddy and started snapping pictures. We kept our trek through the park, passing by some really cool looking other areas, but we were on a mission.

Suddenly we were there, right up to Hogwarts door. There’s a ride in the castle, but I had read enough stuff on-line before hand to know that my motion sickness would probably cause trouble, so mom and I headed into the tour line where we were able to just walk through the castle while Emily went on to the ride. (she’ll have to tell you about it when she returns from her family vacation) Inside the castle we saw the hall of portraits where some of the pictures moved and talked. Then we saw Dumbledore’s office and the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, and the entryway to the Gryffindor common room with the Fat Lady’s picture. It really was totally magical and my only complaint was that I wanted it to be longer. I wanted to see the Great Hall with the floating candles and I wanted to see the actual common room and the floating staircases.

But never fear once we were out of the castle (dumped conveniently into Filch’s Emporium, a gift shop where I purchased my own copy of the Maurader’s Map) we walked strait into Hogsmeade. Now technically this was a mixture of Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, but it was just fantastic. We bought wands and we had butterbeer (so tasty!) and we saw the Hogwart’s Express (another misty moment for me!) and we bought chocolate frogs in Honeydukes and went into the Owl Post. And I have to take a moment to personally thank all of the English families that were there that day, their lovely British accents really added to the experience for me. Then in the bathroom (which they called “public conveniences”) you could hear Moaning Myrtle whine and cry.

All in all, it was, well for lack of a better word, magical. I loved every minute despite the fact that it was like 1000 degrees outside. I can’t wait to go back again someday with The Professor.

So how about you, what fictionalized world would you like to see come to life? If you could step into any book you’ve ever read, which one would it be? One lucky commenter will win a collection of books I brought back from the conference.


23 thoughts on “The Best of Robyn’s blogs…Hogwarts!

  1. Connie Fischer says:

    This may be a bit off the mark of your blog, but I would like to see the life of Downton Abbey come to life. If I could visit that time and place for a few days, I think it would be fabulous!

  2. I would take any Medieval castle – granted, they’re not theme parks, but the ones I’ve seen are ruins, out in the countryside where you can sit down on a stone wall and just contemplate life in the Middle Ages. I love that!

  3. Shana Shana says:

    I’m with Connie. I’d love to see the Downton Abbey, or even the place where it’s filmed.

  4. Rebekah E. says:

    Downton Abbey would be cool, but I think I would want to see Game Of Thrones intsead. I agree that any Medieval setting would be wonderful to see.

  5. pearl says:

    If I could step into any novel, I would be enthralled with the experience of living at a different time and place. Mr. Churchill’s Secretary during World War 11, England The bravery, sacrifice and ultimate victory.

  6. catslady says:

    Oh, my daughter and her friend went there last year and just loved it too! I am going to pick Kathryne Kennedy’s Elvin series. Especially in one of the books she goes to this magical garden and her descriptions are fantastic.

  7. diane says:

    My fictionalized world, which would be an experience that would be memorable, is Garden Spells, a magical garden that transforms the individuals, their moods, abilities and the beauty of the garden and its produce.

  8. Elise Rome says:

    Now you’ve made me really want to go to Disney World. =) And I agree with others so far–I’d love to be able to visit the grounds where Downton Abbey is filmed and visit in person the rooms I see on TV. Of course, it’d be really nice to meet the actors, too. =)

  9. anne says:

    A captivating story where I could live and love exploring is a book in another realm, and time. Filled with danger and intrigue yet irresistible, The Resistance.

  10. Maureen says:

    I would love to visit Pride and Prejudice put into a fantasy world.

  11. Na S. says:

    Oh how I wish I could make all my favorite worlds come to life, and while I’m at it the characters too. There are some historical worlds that I want to come to life and it’s believable because it’s fiction based on the past. I would like to ride in a carriage, attend a ball or try riding a horse ;)

    If there is one world I’d like to come to life, it would be the world of the Chronicles of Narnia. Everything is so magical and the creatures something else.

  12. Chelsea B. says:

    Hmmmm… Let me think… I think definitely a historical novel, like Pride and Prejudice, and have every lady walking around in beautiful dresses and men in nice suits and hats. Oh! That would be so much fun! No cars, just carriages and it would be scandlous if a man so much as touched your bare hand…. *sighs* Now THAT is a place I would like to visit! Such fun! Especially knowing you had AC waiting for you back at home…. hahahaha!! :cool:

  13. Gayle Cochrane (@GayleCochrane) says:

    I like to hangout with the Hobbits. I always thought that the Shire sounded like the perfect place to live. I don’t even want to see the movie, because I like how I imagine it already.

  14. Jane says:

    I’m with Gayle. I want to go to New Zealand see Middle Earth.

  15. bn100 says:

    I’d like to see the Lords of the Underworld series come to life.

  16. Melody May says:

    I have been trying to think of a book all day that would be cool to see. I rally couldn’t come up with anything. I do like the idea of going to Hogwarts and the village nearby. Maybe a pirate ship from a romance novel. That might be fun.

  17. Cathy P says:

    I would like to be in a historical novel during the Regency period and be a kick-ass heroine. Beverley Kendall’s Elusive Lord’s series or a series by Nicole Jordan come to mind.

  18. Silvia says:

    I would be interested into stepping in Shanna Swendson’s book Enchanted inc. Loved it and think it would be fun to see with my own eyes.

  19. Emily McKay says:

    I’m not really answering your question … Just thought I’d add how much fun I had that day. What a great experience!

  20. CateS says:

    LOTR fan here… would love a hobbit hole visit…

    FYI… Downton Abbey aka Highclere Castle is open to the public.
    http://www.highclerecastle.co.uk/index.html

  21. My youngest son just visited Universal — said Harry Potter world is ‘banging’!

    I would love to step into Elizabethan England and the court of Elizabeth I — love that time period and situation!

    Terri

  22. LilMissMolly says:

    Hogwarts definitely comes to mind. Universal Studios just opened up thier world in Florida and my family and I plan on visiting in January! :roll:

  23. Kimh says:

    Dowtin Abby is good awrimkle in time

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