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Saturday, September 1, 2018

We're Going Back to Hogwarts

So, we had our annual Harry Potter party, did a bunch of fun wizarding-related things, and then I went back to Hogwarts. As all of you Potterheads know, today's the day all those little witch and wizards board the Hogwarts Express from Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station. While I don't get to be there today (sad face) and get in on all the awesome back-to-school stuffs happening, I was able to beat most of the crowds getting robes and wands in order to tour the castle.


First thing's first, you head straight to Forbidden Journey, where you can walk through the whole castle before being attacked by everything terrifying the school has to offer. It's not genuinely scary. It's actually very cool, but you will get tossed around some, so this is why you get food and a Butterbeer after. Here are some fun castle shots:


Hogwarts in the morning

Mandrakes in the greenhouse. They aren't book accurate, but they are still pretty cute. Check out those dragonhide gloves!

These portraits really talked! (click to see bigger)
The house hourglasses. Why is Ravenclaw doing so badly???
One of my favorite characters in Harry Potter: the Sorting Hat


Now's when you take a bit of a break to get on Flight of the Hippogriff, because it's chill and also you get to see Hagrid's Hut and garden, and Buckbeak!




It's Sirius's motorbike!
Don't forget to bow, or you might end up like Malfoy!
Hagrid has a lot of things that may or may not be safe for students. Make sure to look around when in line.

Now, you can go have some Butterbeer before your wand chooses you, hit up the other stores in Hogsmeade and make some magic before the castle show!


One of these wands might be yours!


It may be small, but Madam Malkins is literally packed with actual props! (click to see full res.)


I really just love the look of the Three Broomsticks amid the other buildings in Hogsmeade. And yes, it's always winter.


The food is delicious. We got fish and chips with Tongue-Tying Lemonade and
the cheese toastie with chicken and a Pumpkin Juice (because yaaasss!).
You gotta love the Butterbeer trucks!
I can't even tell you how much I love Honeydukes. I bought so much
unnecessary candy.
Do not miss the castle show. It plays a bunch of times after dark and is only 5 minutes, but SO worth it.
It's magical, you guys!

You did it! A successful back to school experience. Whether you're a first year, heading back to the first place you call home or still waiting on your Hogwarts letter, Hogsmeade is a magical experience for all. Your Universal trip should start and end there. Now, don't forget to watch out for Peeves, keep up with your homework and practice hard for the Quidditch Cup!

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Have a great term, everyone! Have some treacle tart for me. 
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