On this tour stop, we have an awesome guest post about the brand new Harry Potter theme park and a giveaway. Please check out my review of this special MG fantasy book HERE. Don’t forget to stop by the other blogs on the tour for more guest posts, reviews, interviews, and chances to win a copy of The Serpent’s Ring! You can see the full tour schedule at CBB Book Promotions.
Gateway to the Magical World of Harry Potter
Guest Post by H.B. Bolton
I remember the first time I held my paperback copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Not only did J.K. Rowling spin magic between those pages, she brought to life a world full of mystery, enchantment and delight. She wrapped the world of Harry Potter into a charming little package called a book. But it didn’t end there: Next came the films, capturing the essence of Hogwarts, Diagon Alley and the Forbidden Forest, thus bringing these treasures to a wider audience. And then came more books and more movies. It was like eating chocolate frogs; although I savored every morsel, I wanted more … and that’s just what I got.
On the morning of June 18, 2010, the first guests were officially welcomed into Universal Orlando’s new Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I was not one of them, and I waited a bit before heading into the park — crowds and all.
Finally, on one brisk morning in December 2010, I walked along the cobblestone streets of Hogsmeade. Muggles were bustling about, buying butterbeer and pumpkin juice. Thrill seekers charged onto the Dragon Challenge roller-coaster ride. A queue wrapped around the outside of Ollivanders wand shop, each person waiting his turn to choose his wand … or have the wand choose him. Either way, I left Ollivanders with a wand very similar to Dumbledore’s.
And the first time I walked through the doors of Hogwarts, I was breathless. Portraits were talking to one another; as I entered Dumbledore’s office, he bid me welcome; Harry, Hermione and Ron gave instructions that I was supposed to meet them in the Room of Requirement; candles floated above my head; and then I sat on my broomstick (a seat for the ride).
I flew with Harry Potter, raced away from a dragon, dodged between Dementors, and barely escaped spitting spiders. I managed all of this while closing my eyes — well some of the time, anyway. This ride might be one of the most amazing rides I’ve ever encountered, but it made me feel slightly nauseated. I suppose I won’t be trying out for the Quidditch team any time soon.
Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter not only met my expectations, it might have even exceeded them. Since I live in Orlando, I’m fortunate in that I’ve been many times, and when I wander past Zonko’s joke shop, Honeydukes and Hog’s Head pub, and gaze through the many storefront windows that line the street, I still marvel at the innovation and attention to detail that is all things Harry Potter.
If you are a fan of Harry Potter and would like more information about Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visit this ingenious site: Harry Potter at Universal Studio
The author is giving away a paperback copy of The Serpent’s Ring, a Rune Treasure box, and a signed bookmark for one lucky person. This giveaway is opened internationally.