Taller wizards in the back – Disney World Half Marathon trip, Part 2

Dan and I met up with everybody at Hogwarts in Harry Potter World in Islands of Adventure. I had heard that it was going to be cold that day, but I wasn’t  prepared for how cold. It was about 8 Celsius, which would usually be ok (we’re from Canada) only we weren’t dressed for 8 degree weather.

Hello Hogwarts

Hello Hogwarts!

Kristen was at Hogwarts ready to greet me with Butter Beer! We had fun making butter beer moustaches like in the movies. Unfortunately the butter beer didn’t taste that great. It reminded me of sweetened root beer or root beer with a buttery taste. Later we theorized that this was probably why the dragon ride was always broken down (people kept puking on it and they’d have to stop it to clean it).

butter beer

Butter beer at Harry Potter World.

We spent a long time waiting in line for the Hogwarts ride (I mean hours and hours). It was one of those lines where you think you’re getting closer and you get to the next level and the line twists and turns and you realize there’s another hour. We were freezing and soon had to pee from drinking the butter beer. But there was no leaving the line. We knew it would only get worse during the day. We made it into the tunnel and there were lockers to put your bags and things away. Unfortunately it was very dark and people who were getting off the ride were also running through trying to get there stuff. Because of this it turned into pure chaos (A+ for atmosphere, F for practicality). Anna was trying to put her book and Trina’s bag into a locker but couldn’t find a free one and finally found us again. She said that she saw Dan’s sweater and it helped guide her back. I bought Dan that sweater one Christmas so I immediately took credit.

hours in line

Hours in line. Freezing. So cold.

I can’t even explain how happy I was when we finally got inside the castle. First of all, it was warm. Secondly, the amount of detail they put into it was amazing. We finally made it to the ride and only five of us rode it (the others don’t do well with motion sickness). The ride was incredible. I felt like I was flying with Harry Potter and we were all excited when we got off.

lunchtime and so cold

For lunch we went to Anna and Eddie’s van where we made sandwiches and warmed up. Paul and Sue were leaving after this so Kristen got them to give us their warm clothes.

After lunch Dan and I headed back to Harry Potter World to do more exploring while the others rode more rides. I had bought a Ravenclaw scarf (Dan said I’d be in Ravenclaw). Dan was thinking about buying a Hufflepuff scarf but thought nobody cool came out of Hufflepuff. When I heard this the next day and told him Cedric Diggory was Hufflepuff he wished he had bought the scarf. Oh well. Maybe next time.




Honeydukes. We bought chocolate wands and Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans here. Dan very loudly ate the Every Flavour Beans and screamed when he got the sausage flavoured bean.

Dan and I lined up again outside Ollivander’s Wand Shop.This was another hour in line. It was still pretty cold at this point and everybody was dressed in Harry Potter clothes (Griffindor hats and mitts and sweatshirts and Hogwarts clothes etc.) probably because they were so cold and that’s what they could buy.

in line outside Ollivanders

In line outside Ollivander’s.

Inside the wand shop Dan was really happy when Ollivander said “Taller wizards in the back.” Dan whispered really loudly “He called us wizards!” Ollivander picked 10-year-old Emily for a wand fitting and her younger brother kept saying “That’s so cool!” it was really cute.


Ollivander’s wand fitting.

After the wand demonstration we were led into Dervish and Banges. I was really happy that we got to go right in because there was another line (outside) to get in and I didn’t think I could do it again.

Dervish and Banges

There were a lot of fun things to look at in Dervish in Banges. I liked the monster book of monsters and the remembrall.

We also mailed a bunch of postcards from the Owlery in Harry Potter World and got a few stamped with the postmark as souvenirs for ourselves.

stamped at the owlery

Special Hogsmeade postmark at the Owlery.

with the Hogwarts Express

We took pictures with the Hogwarts Express.

I was really cold at this point and didn’t really want to go on any other rollercoasters. We left Harry Potter World and went to Seuss Landing. It was so pretty and whimsical.

Seuss Landing

Us at Seuss Landing. I love that place.

I insisted on riding the Caro-Seuss-el. I have a thing for carousels. I picked a pink cow and I could move the handle to make its bell ring. I spent the entire ride ringing the bell and screaming “Needs more cowbell!”

Needs more cowbell!

Needs more cowbell! Dan’s creature moved its head around. It was pretty awesome.

pressed pennies

We also pressed our own Dr. Seuss pennies before leaving. I’m still carrying the pennies around in my wallet.

That evening we met up with everyone else in the house they were staying in and caught up on the rest of our day. We had pizza and salads for dinner while watching The Biggest Loser. Dan loved screaming “Last chance workout!”

group photo taken with Paul's camera

Paul took this group photo using the camera timer.


Trina bought this Hippogryph for a friend. I liked to hold it because it’s the same size as my dog.

We spent the rest of the night playing Bohnanza. Yes Bohnanza is amazing and soon we had more people addicted to it! We also watched the news and heard that it was the coldest it had been in 10 years. It was supposed to drop below freezing that night. We laughed at some of the people they interviewed because they talked about how they worried that their cars wouldn’t start in the morning (trust me it’ll have to be a lot colder than that for the car not to start). Sadly, we also heard what the impact was on the orange crops.

The next day was a low-key shopping day. Some highlights included:

Plaza de las Palmas

Dan and I liked posing with this sign because his lastname (my married name) is Palma.

62 leopards

In Forever 21 I came bounding at Kristen wearing this leopard hoodie. “62 leopards were used in the making of this hoodie,” said Dan.

Next up, the Disney World Marathon Weekend Expo and visiting the Magic Kingdom!

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