At the end of last year my sisters and I took a trip to Universal Studio in Orlando. Most people go to amusement parks for the thrilling rides. But, I’ll let you in on a little secret; I get sick on roller coasters. (Even as a teenager.)
So, why would someone like me go to a theme park?
I was searching for the magic I’d hoped to find at the Harry Potter exhibits. Yes, I’m a fan. What would it be like to be immersed in the world of Harry and his friends? The Internet offered a glimpse into what the parks had to offer, and the reality didn’t disappoint.
Standing in the middle of Diagon Alley was a little like being on the movie set; except it was filled with tourists in modern clothing. (sigh) However, I have a good imagination, and the wonders of the place made me forget the muggles intrusion.
The dragon on top of Gringotts is spectacular. His fire-breathing took us by surprise, and added to the heat of the ninety-degree day. After that, we stopped off for some cool pumpkin juice, then headed to the magical bank to change money and listen to the animatronic goblin explain about the currency.
Cobblestone streets, shops with quirky goods for sale, a magical train ride, and Hogwarts casting its brooding shadow over the landscape made me feel as if I’d entered the books. I loved every minute, and I brought home souvenirs: Hermione’s magic wand that I used to create my own magic in the shop windows, a Slytherin robe (I like green) and a statue of Dobby the house-elf holding the sock that gave him his freedom.
As authors, we all create worlds, but rarely are they brought to life in such a grand manner. If we’re lucky, our books will take on substance when a reader’s imagination and the printed page come together. That, my friends, is true magic.