Confession: I didn’t read any of the Harry Potter books when they came out in the late 90s/early 2000s. I was in high school/college, and honestly? They were barely on my radar. I knew there was a TON of excitement and a HUGE fandom, but I just wasn’t into it at the time. I was busy dating my (future) husband, graduating high school and college, getting a job, getting married…. You know, boring adult stuff.
Then in 2012 at age 32, I was diagnosed with cancer and I was looking for something to read that would take my mind off the stress of cancer surgery and treatment. The Potter series was always something I figured I’d get around to reading someday, so when my mother-in-law gave me her copies to read while I recuperated from surgery, I dove in. I mean, a lighthearted story of a boy wizard and the magical hijinks he creates? How fun and whimsical and just what I’d need to take my mind off of the daily pain and stress of cancer treatment.
But guys. GUYS. Did you know that one of the central themes of the HP series is dealing with loss and death? I. Did. Not.
But how perfectly appropriate for what I was experiencing when I read the books. And I am forever changed because of those magical stories and I have been unapologetically nerding-out about them ever since.
So, to celebrate 3 years cancer-free in 2015, my husband and I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWoHP) at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. So here, for your viewing pleasure, a small sampling of PotterPalooza 2015:
Our breakfasts in the Leaky Cauldron and the Three Broomsticks:
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at night:
I have hundreds more pictures from our trips to the WWoHP (that’s right, we’ve been there twice), but I don’t want to ruin the fun for you because it truly is other-worldly and there are Potterhead surprises everywhere you turn.
If you can’t get to Universal to experience it, the next best thing is the all-day Harry Potter fun we’ll be having on July 30th to celebrate the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Stop by the store for the magical fun!