Ahh, Hogwarts. I think we could have spent all day just gazing up at the castle. It was magnificent. Two winged boars (hogs?) sat at the entrance, and the walkway ran up to the entryway embellished with the Hogwarts school seal. The Forbidden Journey ride was in the castle, and the line wound through the familiar rooms and past the magical objects that had only existed in my imagination.
We first tunneled through towards the back of the castle, passing the Mirror of Erased and doors to the potions classroom and the kitchens, finally reaching the greenhouse in the back where we encountered some devil’s snare and a few potted Mandrakes. Back into the castle we saw a few statues including the hippogriff statue that marked the entrance to Dumbledore’s office. We also saw the hourglasses keeping track of the house points (RavenclaW was in last place… boo!). Then we moved into a tall corridor covered from floor to ceiling with framed oil paintings. The four “paintings” of the school founders were talking to each other discussing an upcoming Quidditch match. From there we moved into Dumbledore’s office. It had cabinets full of dusty objects and a pensieve off to the side. Gryffindor’s swore sat on the top of one of the cabinets. And there above Dumbledore’s desk was a hologram of Dumbledore. I didn’t really catch what he was talking about, but Kelley said he was just spouting random quotes. (Urging us to be good I’m sure.)
Then we moved into the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, where Harry, Ron, and Hermione appeared from beneath the invisibility cloak (again in hologram form). They were talking about how Professor Binns was going to be teaching DADA that day and that we should probably skip class to watch the Quidditch match instead. Ron then tried to cast a spell but instead made it snow; snow was very welcome after standing in the Florida heat all day. After that we shuffled through the Gryffindor common room and came upon the sorting hat, which I thought was really funny. He was chanting the safety precautions for the ride… “Do not ride this ride if you are pregnant. If you get motion sickness or feel dizzy you probably shouldn’t ride the ride…” Heheee.
Then came the ride. It was amazing; I think it’s the coolest ride I’ve ever been on. Each “cart” held 4 people in a row and it was separate from all the other carts. First we saw Hermione we threw green powder on us to make us fly. A burst of green air blew on us and our seats were raised up and we were off! I don’t know how well I can explain it without using my hands as props, but sections of the ride involved moving movie screens so it looked and felt like we were flying around the castle or on the quidditch pitch as our seats moved with it. The screens were curved so you couldn’t see the edges – it was just really cool. We were immediately chased by one of Hagrid’s escaped dragons. We were moved from the movie screen past props of fire breathing dragons, water spraying spiders, the flailing whomping widow, and spooky dementors. After successfully vanquishing the dementors and escaping the dragon a couple of holograms of the movie cast waved and cheered us on and we were back at the beginning. I know it sounds lame when I describe it but Kelley and I rode that thing five time – it was definitely one of my favorite parts.
And now I’m back at home and back at school, but I had such a good time! It was fun hanging out with Kelley – playing 20 questions in the long lines, making videos for everything edible (“Butterbeer! *points* … *sips* …mmmm!”), and making fun of her for playing with her wand in the hotel room (hahaa <3). Kelley also knows way more about Harry Potter than I do; I used to be such a devoted fan! I need to reread the books.
I feel like I’m back at the Dursleys’, now that I’ve been to Hogswarts. *sigh*