There’s A Spell For That: How To Magically Transport Yourself To The Land of Harry Potter

Harry Potter Theme ParkIs it possible to wear out a DVD?  The question came to mind this past weekend as my son watched Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix for what seems like the millionth time since he opened the package on Christmas morning.  Add his new-found habit of walking around the house practicing his “spells” with a home-made magic wand and I think it’s safe to say we have a die-hard Harry Potter fan in the family.

Which is why I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised at the ensuing excitement when I casually mentioned the fact that the Universal Orlando theme park was opening a huge new attraction called “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.”  If you know someone equally smitten with the mysterious goings-on at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, well, we’ll most likely see you there when the place opens this spring.

While this three-dimensional version of our hero’s cinematic world will undoubtedly be great fun, it also raises one unavoidable question.  Where does the serious Harry Potter enthusiast go from here?

Fortunately, with a little digging, I’ve turned up three extraordinary experiences where hardcore wizard-wannabes can take their Potter-mania to the next level:

HP Fan Trips

This is the ultimate Harry Potter experience.  While there are no trips scheduled for 2010, sign up for their mailing list to make sure you get the details of the 10-day tour they have planned for July 2011.  High points will include storytellers, a ride aboard the Hogwarts Express steam train, and a grand Hogwarts-style farewell banquet in the great hall of Edinburgh Castle.

London Taxi Tours

Combine a ride in one of London’s classic black taxis with visits to a long list of memorable Harry Potter filming locations, including the chance to have your picture taken at King Cross Station’s Platform 9-3/4.Harry Potter - Platform 9-3/4

The Jacobite Steam Train

Roll through the stunning scenery of the Scottish Highlands on the train that played the role of the Hogwarts Express.  Memorable moments include a trip over the dramatic stone viaduct featured in Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets and a chance to ride in the same carriages where Harry and Ron first met Hermione.


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