It all began several years back. My mom used to get books on tape for long car trips and it just so happened a trip was coming up. So she got the first Harry Potter book. Of course we’d heard about them our whole lives and we had a lot of good friends who recommended them, so we gave it a shot. My family was sucked in. We listened to the whole thing. A few days later we rented the movie. I decided to read the books. So over one summer, my eleven or so year old self read the entire seven books. Everytime we’d finish one, we’d watch the movie. Then came the day I finished the last one. I didn’t want to finish it because the idea of having no more new Harry Potter books to read was a terrifying thing. So I probably took longer reading the last one than I did the entire series combined. I treasured every page. I finished it. I felt extremely sad. But at least I had the next two movies to look forward to. So then came November 2010 and I got to see 7. Then came July 15th, 2011, which was the day I sadly saw the last Harry Potter movie. It’s my favorite, but it’s extremely sad it’s all over. So when Dad told us we’d be spending a day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it was the best day ever. It isn’t all over. It never will be. I shall let my kids read these one day when they are eleven and experience the magic they give us all.
The older I get, the more I realize just how wonderful this series is. Sure, it’s cool that’s they are wizards (don’t get me started on the Witchcraft debate. I don’t see how reading these books are sinful. It’s not like we can go to Hogwarts. It is not the sort of Witchcraft nowadays. It’s fantasy. FANTASY!!And no one seems to complain about the Witches in the Wizard of Oz, Gandalf the Wizard, or The White Witch…all fantasy. Sheesh, people…) but the books are more than that. They are the greatest story of friendship. They teach about the power of good and evil. They teach the beauty of family. They teach love is stronger than all evil. While they are not Christian books, they have themes that point to Christ. I even believe this series has the most amazing Christ parallel I have ever seen (better than Narnia, folks). In all, this is probably the best series on the block for a family to read.
So in all, I love this series. Going to the theme park was a dream come true. I was thrilled with what they’ve done with it all. The day was filled with amazing memories of taking it all in, drinking loads of butterbeer, going to shops that were plain awesome, eating at the Three Broomsticks, Josh and I quoting the books all day, listening to the soundtracks everywhere, and so so so much more. It was one of my favorite days of our vacation.
“No story lives unless someone wants to listen. The stories we love best do live in us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”–Rowling