Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hogsmeade Village and the Hogwarts Castle

I still remember the first time I had seen Hogsmeade and the Hogwarts castle, it was the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Orlando, Florida and I was streaming it online. I remember the evening I received what was possibly the best surprise of my life so far. It was my 21st birthday and being a big birthday-lover I was already too excited when Abbie told me she had a video to show me. It was unbelievable. The video unveiled my great birthday gift: we were traveling to The Wizarding World over Thanksgiving break and I was going out of my mind crazy! 

Next, I still remember the excitement I felt throughout my body as we flew to Orlando, as we stepped inside Universal Orlando Resort and began walking in the direction that said 'The Wizarding World of Harry Potter', and when the sign announced 'Great Things are On the Way'. Finally, I still remember what I had felt when I caught a first glimpse of the magic.

The first picture I took of my first look at Hogsmeade

As we passed through the archway that marks the entrance to Hogsmeade, we felt the magic instantly. On our right stood The Hogwarts Express's engine, steaming away in all its glory and sending goosebumps up my neck. On our left we could see a red building that said Zonko's Joke Shop and a green one that was Hogsmeade. Ahead of us were lots of topsy turvy magical wizards' shops. Abbie and I were stunned by the magic! SO much to explore, hee hee hee!

This entry is part of the Bestie Times and the Potterhead labels

Do yourself a favor and watch the Harry Potter movies (for the millionth time, I know) again before you visit for the first time because you'll be flabbergasted by how real and identical the park is! Just like in the movies, it had snowed all over Hogsmeade and the roofs, which were absolutely crooked and bent in the strangest of ways possible, were covered with snow. A long alley stretched out ahead of Abbie and I as we set about exploring bit by bit. There were shops that absolutely amazed us because it seemed unbelievable that we were actually stepping inside places like Dervish and Banges and Ollivander's Wand shop. Some of the shop fronts were display only and had fun stuff like Lockhart's books with animated covers staring back at us. Butterbeer barrels stood in our way selling away mugs to hundreds of thirsty crazy fans.

The key highlight as soon as you enter Hogsmeade is the steaming Hogwart's Express's engine. The black and red with the Hogwarts crest in front steams after every little while and brings tears to a sentimental Potterhead like mine's eyes. It was all so emotional, I actually was crying when we first reached Hogsmeade and when we saw the engine, and when we explored each shop, and when we walked in that place, and when we breathed ... I think you get the picture!
This cute uncle stands near the engine for you to take pictures with. He switches duties with others like him too but we've been to the place thrice in three years and we've seen him on each visit. When something like that happens you automatically have emotions attaching to it and Abbie and I feel like he is somebody personal, somebody we know! Hello cute Hogwarts Express Uncle, I miss you and I hope I come to see you again soon!

You're walking through Hogsmeade when suddenly your body freezes, your eyes are staring at something high in the air, and your breathing has slowed down but your heart is pounding against your chest which feels like it will explode any second if you either don't cry or don't let out a very high pitched scream. You're looking at the mighty, glorious, gorgeous, classic Hogwarts castle. The real deal! The exact replica!
When I saw the castle first I had no idea it was approaching. I was trapped in my own body and couldn't move at first because I had tears in my eyes (told you, overly sentimental Potterhead). It was so beautiful and so real I just couldn't believe it.

My most favorite shot of Hogwarts from our recent Grad Trip 2014-15.
This night shot is one of the best things my camera has captured in the past few months!

The Hogsmeade Village and the Hogwarts Castle is too detailed to fit into a single blog entry. There are tiny details that I'd just miss and that would be total injustice and disrespect to the Potter world. I could possibly not do such a crime! I'll instead be writing separate entries covering everything there. Here is a list of entries I'll be writing very soon ... As I write and publish each entry, the index will be filled in and link up to each entry respectively!

The Hogwarts Express ~ The Scarlet Engine
The Hogs Head
The Dragon Challenge
The Forbidden Journey
A Walk Through Hogsmeade



  1. I remember seeing the castle for the first time, approaching it from outside that portion of the park - I actually gasped. So good!

    1. That is one THOSE moments when you just don't know what just happened to you :D It's beautiful!

  2. Ahhhhhhhh. This post encapsulates all my feelings from our trip there. And that night shot of Hogwarts is AMAZING!

    1. Thank you Kaitlin! That shot is one of my most favorite ones :D I love myself for being the one who took that photo! Hahaha :D


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