Universal Orlando: Wizarding World of Harry Potter [Photo Essay]

**WARNING: This post contains a lot of pictures.

They are on a hosting server, so the wait time shouldn’t be too long.

However, in other words, I hope you have a fast internet connection!

HERE is the link the the entire album online (over 200 photos). **

  • Date: December 29, 2011
  • Place: Universal Studios Orlando, Islands of Adventure, Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Who: Sasha & Keira [of Love Passion Romance: the romance novel blogzine & Sasha’s Phi Mu sorority sister 🙂 ]
    • We’re both native to Florida and are quite familiar all things Florida theme park-esque from Disney to Universal to Jungle Island down the line…

Keira and I visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter before, on December 27, 2010 [Read more…]

A Look Inside ‘Harry Potter: The Exhibition’

Harry Potter fans can rejoice, as Harry Potter: The Exhibition is on tour!

I was so excited about this. I can’t tell you how excited I was, in fact. This was mostly because when the tour stopped at the Discovery Times Center in New York City it was a previously unscheduled stop.

You must, must, must go see this in person. It’s amazing!

New York also served as the tour’s final stop in the United States before it headed abroad. [Read more…]

Harry Potter and the Self-Created Opportunity

It’s no secret that one of my favourite book series of all-time is Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.

As the second part of the final film, Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part II, approaches I couldn’t help but stop and think about its author and her story.

And as the story goes, Rowling wrote the first novel and the major crux of her ideas on napkins because she was too poor to afford paper, had been a horrendous, tumultuous relationship and was left with a baby and on her own.

Fast-forward, and Rowling is one of history’s most successful authors having sold well over 400 million (and counting) Harry Potter books.

It’s quite the reinvention story, if there ever was one. But, what I find the most inspiring about it, was that Rowling didn’t let her circumstances stop her from achieving her dream. [Read more…]

Harry Potter Mixology: Lord Voldemort, Harry Potter, Horcrux, and the Golden Snitch Cocktail Concoctions

By: Ashley Bryce and Liana Cole

“The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches … born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies … and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not … and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives … the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies …”

– Sybill Trelawney prophesying to Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)

The prophecy that was overheard by Severus Snape set into motion a series of events that connected Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter altering their lives forever.

Lord Voldemort sought out to stop the prophecy instead brought it to life, giving Harry a lightning scar and himself becoming mangled.

Destiny is best described both sharing striking similarities: half-bloods, orphaned, and viewed Hogwarts as their first real home.

But it is the differences that ultimately mattered with Voldemort caring about no one but himself and Harry holding a love of others.

The final drink Mixology post is dedicated to the Dark Lord and the Boy Who Lived! [Read more…]

Harry Potter Mixology: Hagrid, Hermione, Ron, and Sirius Cocktail Concoctions

By: Ashley Bryce and Liana Cole

Harry Potter never grew up in a caring household with a loving family, so when he entered the magical world he found friendships and a surrogate family.

His best of friends and the two men who were like father figures become treasured companions.

This post is dedicated to Harry Potter’s closest confidants. [Read more…]

Harry Potter Mixology: Dumbledore, McGonagall, Lupin, Snape Concoctions

By: Ashley Bryce and Liana Cole

The Harry Potter world would not be as magical if it wasn’t for the professors at Hogwarts Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The students are taught to brew, to charm, to transfigure, to take care of magical plants, and to defend themselves against the darkest arts.

Without these amazing teachers Harry would not have learned the hardest of lessons.

I dedicate these drinks to Harry’s greatest advisers. [Read more…]

Harry Potter Mixology: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin Concoctions

By: Ashley Bryce and Liana Cole

By Gryffindor, the bravest were
Prized far beyond the rest;
For Ravenclaw, the cleverest
Would always be the best;

For Hufflepuff, hard workers were
Most worthy of admission;
And power-hungry Slytherin
Loved those of great ambition.

Sorting Hat (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)

Hogwarts is divided into four living and learning communities named after the four founders: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin.

As Professor McGonagall stated in the Sorcerer’s Stone, [Y]our house will be something like your family. You will have classes with the rest of your house, sleep in your house dormitory and spend free time in your house common room. [Read more…]

Harry Potter Mixology: Butterbeer, Firewhiskey, Pureblood and Mudblood Concoctions

By: Ashley Bryce and Liana Cole

A recent family trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has inspired some creative concoctions.

A spiked Butterbeer, a strong Firewhiskey, and Pureblood and Mudblood shots are drinks dreamed up by a visit to that magical park.

So enjoy these creations based on the wonderful world of Harry Potter. [Read more…]

What Is Pottermore? It’s Awesome, That’s What [UPDATED]

**UPDATE – August 6, 2011 – with images of Pottermore challenges etc. below**

Following the owls has lead us to this:-

Pottermore, is an “unique online reading experience built around the Harry Potter books,” revealed by J.K. Rowling Thursday morning via a YouTube video and press conference.

Along with the interactive experience [Read more…]

Harry Potter Mixology: The Death Eaters Cocktail Concoctions Edition

By: Ashley Bryce and Liana Cole

“They were a motley collection; a mixture of the weak seeking protection, the ambitious seeking some shared glory, and the thuggish gravitating toward a leader who could show them more refined forms of cruelty.”

– Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)

The Death Eaters are the followers of Lord Voldemort.

They are known for their black hoods, masks, and the Dark Mark burned on to their left forearms.

Cruel and ruthless, Death Eaters fought for pure-blood ideals and to take control over muggles and the wizarding world alike.

Devoted to the leader, they both feared and revered, they fought valiantly in his honor knowing deflection and disloyalty meant torture and ultimately death.

In celebration of this evil group, prepare for cocktails that prove being bad never tasted so good. [Read more…]