Sunday, August 17, 2014

Harry Potter World, the reason we went

Back, a long time ago, we talked about going to Harry Potter World in Florida.  We thought it would be so fun to go, while the kids are still excited about Harry Potter.  Grandpa Gray was awesome and arranged for a condo to be ready for us and we made the rest of the plans.
 This was our first day in the park.  Everyone is excited.  Cold water bottles are filled with Arrow Head water (Florida water tastes terrible and it is always warm).  We are ready for fun.
 The entrance to Hogsmede.  It was such a fun place to walk around and look at things.  There were a ton of people, the shops were small inside and it was really humid-hot.  But we explored with the best of them.
 We spent our fair share of time waiting in lines.  The worst line was for the Gringots ride.  It was over 2 hours long!  But the boys did it.  Caleb of course loved the ride, hated the line.  Rob was done after that.  William and Peter were not impressed.  
Hogwarts Castle in the background, with three happy brothers together.  Caleb was a terrific brother.  Taking care of someone at each turn.  William was a trooper keeping up with everyone and staying on his feet even though he was tired.  Peter was loving all the Harry Potter stuff and wishing he were taller to go on more rides.
The Hogwarts Express.  It took us from park to park and had a fun little movie inside that you watched as you traveled.  The kids enjoyed the cool air on the train.  Haley liked seeing the owl.  They even had a part of the wait in line set up so that it appeared as if you were walking through the brick wall to arrive at platform 9 and 3/4.  Very cool.
So, who enjoyed what?
 Caleb was tall enough to go on all the rides and he loved the roller coasters.  He rode the Hulk several times.  I know, it is not Harry Potter but it was at the entrance to the park and he loved the rush of the ride.
 Another one of the roller coasters Caleb loved, Dragon Challenge.  He especially loved being able to go single rider and shoot past all the people waiting in those long lines.  Like I mentioned, Caleb was great.  Generally had a good attitude, was always trying to help someone or just going along with the gang.
Peter wished he was taller so he could go on more rides.  He was able to do the Gringots ride (did not like it), the Hogwarts Express he enjoyed, the Castle ride he liked and he also had fun on the Hippogriff.  But he also enjoyed the simple rides.  He loved getting splashed on the wet rides, very refreshing on a humid day.  He was a sweet brother and went on the carousel with Haley many times, and he was patient while waiting for Haley to go on the tea-cups over and over.  But I think  he just enjoyed experiencing a little more of Harry Potter and what it felt like to be there.
William's most favorite part had to be Flight of the Hippogriff.  His favorite part of Harry Potter (aside from Quidditch) is Buckbeak.  William even brought home a stuffed animal Buckbeak.  William was fortunately tall enough to go on this ride and we went as many times as we could.  He is such a sweet boy.  
Haley surprised us by LOVING the tea-cups!  She requested this ride several times a day.  And we went at least 2 or 3 times each day we were there.  I, Diedre did my sacrificial throw-up ride.  No, I did not throw-up but I did keep my eyes closed the whole time so I would avoid getting sick.  Haley loved it!  The spinning, the speed, the excitement.  She was happy.
 She also loved the Dr. Seuss carousel ride.  She always wanted a pink animal and always wanted to go again.  We passed this ride on the way to Harry Potter World, so we could not make it past without at least one (or two) rides a day.
But Haley's very favorite part of the visit was seeing Hermoine's pink dress.  She was so happy looking at that dress.  When the boys would be on their rides and she could not go, we would go look at the dress during our wait.  She is a sweet girl.
Of course we all loved spending time together and having fun.  At one point or another we all went swimming in one of the several pools offered at the condo.  The boys loved jumping and swimming.  Haley loved putting her head under the water and swimming like a mermaid.  And it was nice to relax and play together.
I believe Rob enjoyed the experience and feeling of Harry Potter World most.  He was able to take one morning with two of the boys and explore Diagon Alley.  They saw the dragon breathe fire several times (Haley hated that part!) and they just walked around and looked.  I, Diedre, surprisingly enough enjoyed the Hogwarts Castle ride.  For a girl that gets motion sick it might not be your choice.  But it was very cool!  And I had a sweetheart of a boy that yelled out to me halfway through the ride to "CLOSE YOUR EYES MOM!" so that I would not get scared or sick.  I have good kids.  I also enjoyed the Hippogriff and most especially seeing my kids genuine smiles.  That was fun.

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