CALLING ALL POTTERHEADS! This is not a drill. I repeat. This is not a drill.
Muggles, this is not a list for you. In fact, I think only the most avid Harry Potter fans will attempt to cross everything off this bucket list. But fear not, this is not the Ministry of Magic and Umbridge is not here so everyone and anyone (muggles included, we do not discriminate here) who enjoys Harry Potter is more than welcome to attempt this challenging list. This is the list for those who know the stuff about witchcraft and wizardry inside out – the extreme, adoring fans of JK Rowling’s magical world. So, for all those who adore Harry Potter, the true Potterheads out there or simply those who appreciate the series and want to give this a go, I’ve rounded up a long list of things that I think ever Potter enthusiast should try to experience at least once in their lifetime.
I’ve been a ginormous Harry Potter fan for a very long time, and honestly getting to try out all of these fantastic Wizarding World experiences is above and beyond what the guide books can tell you. It’s simply magical. Now, after writing this post, I realised it was actually super super looooonnnngggggg. So instead of putting it all in one and making it a very long read, I’m splitting the list into two, and I’ll post the second part next week.
Without further ado, I suppose the only correct way to start off this post (part one) would be to say:
“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”
Read all the Harry Potter books
This might be a bit of an obvious one. Duh, how can you be a fan if you haven’t read the books? But there are actually tons of fans whose love is sparked from watching the films. However, even if books aren’t your thing, I’d highly recommend giving the books a read. They are definitely worth it because after all, that’s where the magic started, right?
Watch all the Harry Potter movies
Another obvious one but please bear with me. The movies are a must – filled with mischief and magic, and just the right touches to fully transport you into the wizarding world without having to ignite your own imagination. Whether you’re watching them all for the 100th time (like me), doing it for the first time or challenging yourself to a full Harry Potter marathon, watching all the films is an excellent pass-time for those who are looking for something to do during this never-ending lockdown.
For those ultimate Potterheads who have seen the films multiple times, how about ramping up this challenge to see if you can watch them all in a single day? All I can say for those who attempt this is caffeine caffeine CAFFEINE!!
(P.S., please let me know what your favourite film is in the comments section.)
Watch Fantastic Beasts 1 & 2
For the true fans and those who want to see more of the backstories of the Wizarding world, then watching these films are a must. Sure we ultimately know how it’s going to end, but getting to see so many of those wonderful magical creatures, seeing the before-story of the wizarding world unfold and Newt Scamander (I can’t not love these movies – a Hufflepuff is the protagonist!!) makes it well worth the watch.
See Harry Potter and the Cursed Child live
So we’ve done the prologue, the main event but what about the epilogue? I know some people aren’t very enthusiastic about this addition to the Potterverse but having seen the play myself, I’d definitely say that it’s well worth a watch. Even if you just go for the crazy cool effects, use it as an excuse to head to the theatre (or even just to tick it off this list). There’s no judgment from this side of the screen.
Visit the wizarding world of Harry Potter (Universal Studios, Florida)
It’s like stepping through the pages and into a place literally pulsing with magic. From the thrilling rides to the beautifully recreated shops and all the wonderfully wizardy treats and trinkets you can buy, I’d say this is probably the ultimate spot for those who love this series. I’ve been there, and the best word I can use to describe it is heaven, heaven that comes with butterbeer and lots and lots of people. Next time I go though, I’m buying myself a robe.
If any of you have been, what did you love most about it? Do you have a favourite ride/food/store?
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
I got a chance to visit while I was on my gap year and let me tell you it is a phenomenal experience. Visiting the wizarding world at Universal Studios is like stepping into the books or movies, but the Warner Bros. studio tour is like getting a VIP pass to see the behind-the-scenes and how they were able to bring those beautiful books to life on screen. To make sure you get enough time to see and appreciate everything, I’d highly recommend blocking out at least half a day to do this. And beware of the gift shop at the end … your wallet will not see it coming (and for those who can’t resist the beautiful merchandise like me you’re going to need all the liquid luck you can find).
Take a swig of butterbeer
An iconic beverage in my mind, especially after that beautiful foam moustache Emma Watson models after taking a healthy swig of hers. The drink is continuously mentioned throughout the series and sounds nothing short of divine, so next time you get the chance, buy some! Personally, I prefer the cold one, and it is just the perfect sip of sweet, tart, fizzy and creamy.
YUM! Do you think I could get one delivered?
Visit 4 Privet Drive in Surrey
What more can I say other than it’s the house of the Boy who Lived until he discovered he was a wizard?? There is a replica of the house on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, but I think you get a bit more street cred for visiting the actual location don’t you?
Receive your Hogwarts acceptance letter
I’m still waiting for mine … I guess that flight all the way to South Africa must really be confusing the owls. Even if you’re not eleven and are still waiting patiently for that beautifully embossed envelope, don’t worry you can still experience the magic of receiving your acceptance letter from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You can order one that’s custom made for you (only $19) at this site. Just remember though, no post on Sunday’s, and hopefully, the owls are still flying what with the COVID-19 pandemic and all.
Have tea at the Elephant House in Edinburgh
The true fans will all know exactly what I’m talking about. The Elephant House is where JK Rowling wrote the Harry Potter books over coffee and cake!! It’s a relaxed, reader and writer-friendly cafe (no kidding there) and it’s a wonderful shrine to the birthplace of these much-loved novels (and several other writers who chose this tea and coffee house as their workspace). Plus, I’d highly recommend actually going in there for some tea and cake – I can see why JK Rowling chose it as her writing hub based on the menu alone, nevermind the gorgeous location.
And that brings me to the end of part one of this long, but super fun ultimate Potterhead bucket list. While you wait for the second part, what have you been able to tick off the list so far? If you’ve visited Universal Studios, what was your favourite Harry Potter World experience? Last but not least, what’s your favourite book/film?
Let me know (I love chatting to people who love Harry Potter as much as I do) and hang tight for part two, which will be coming through on Wednesday!! However, if you can’t quite wait for Wednesday to read some more Harry Potter content, you can check out my blog post on Harry Potter sites in Oxford (to be mentioned in part two).
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx
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