10 Secret Adventures You Might Miss When Visiting The 'Wizarding World'

10 Secret Adventures You Might Miss When Visiting The 'Wizarding World'

Now you just HAVE to go back to check them out.
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If you have had the immeasurable pleasure of entering the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, you know that it most definitely takes the cake as the happiest place on earth.

Universal has done an impeccable job creating a world that truly mimics the images we have imagined in our dreams since we were young kids delving into a series that would forever change our lives and instill in us some of the most valuable lessons we could ever learn.

Although there are some obvious attractions that are a must-see in the Wizarding World there are some that really will put you right in the middle of muggle heaven that are a little harder to find, so let’s make like Hufflepuff’s and get to finding:

1. HOG’S HEAD & HOG’S HEAD BREW

Hog’s Head is a must-see bar in Hogsmeade right next to Three-Broomsticks. It is VERY easy to miss and quite honestly I walked past it a hundred times over the past few years. There is a small rustic sign that dons a hog outside of the entrance that is really the only identifier of the bar. Once inside, you will come across a taxidermed hog’s head as the center of the bar, well at least you think he’s stuffed until he snarls at you. They offer a beer exclusively to this bar that is my absolute favorite Harry Potter beer, Hog’s Head Brew. It is a Scottish red ale and it will not disappoint, but make sure you grab it here because it’s the only place you’ll be able to get your paws on it!

2. DIAL 62442 FOR THE MINISTRY OF MAGIC

Outside of Diagon Alley is what looks like a prop London telephone booth. Go inside and dial 62442 to actually talk to the Ministry of Magic and listen to their anecdotes! “You have nothing to fear as long as you have nothing to hide.”

3. WAIT FOR THE DRAGON TO BREATH FIRE & GET A DRAGON SCALE

The Dragon in Diagon Alley will breathe fire randomly throughout the day and night and it is actually really amazing. Also, if you didn’t know the outside of Diagon Alley is colder than any other outdoor area of the park, don’t ask me how it works, but it is significantly cooler once you reach Diagon Alley. Dragon Scale is another Harry Potter brew that is a Vienna Lager and is really well made.

4. HAVE A DRINK AT THE FOUNTAIN OUTSIDE DIAGON ALLEY AND PEOPLE WATCH

This is going to be some of the best people watching and relaxing you may do the entire day, so grab a brew and head to the fountain. It is right next to the Knight Bus so you get to watch the bus driver and Dre Head interact with everyone. Tip: Diagon Alley can be tricky to find the first time, it is extremely easy to walk right past (making people watching at the fountain that much more fun). Looking at it head on it is just a brick wall, from the side it almost looks like it could be a restroom entrance, however if you walk behind the brick wall, the bricks open up into a whole new universe.

5. ACTUALLY ENTER THE KNIGHT BUS

You are able to meet the bus driver and Dre Head most hours that the park is open and it is very easy to find. However, what most don’t know is if you head to the back of the Knight Bus you can actually crawl in and see all the beds and the entire interior of the bus.

6. RIDE THE ESCAPE FROM GRINGOTT’S & THE FORBIDDEN JOURNEY

I cannot tell you how many people have gone to the Wizarding World and came home to tell me they never actually went inside Gringott’s or Hogwarts. In my opinion, the wait is just as exciting as the rides because they are filled with so much wizarding memorabilia. You will see things in line for these rides that will make you feel like you are inside the largest Harry Potter museum; they really are an experience all in themselves. Mandrakes, Goblins, and Dawn French oh my!

7. BUTTERBEER ICE CREAM

You heard that right, move over frozen butterbeer, bring on the ice cream. You can find this in Diagon Alley at the ice cream shop right in front of Gringott’s or at the Hopping Pot.

8. DON’T FORGET KNOCKTURN ALLEY

Knockturn Alley is located in Diagon Alley and is often overlooked as it is kind of hidden in the side of the park. You’ll kind of get a chill looking at displays and make sure to head into the store that holds real memorabilia from the movies and will have you embracing your inner Bellatrix.

9. OTTER’S FIZZY ORANGE JUICE

This non-alcoholic orange drink will have you going back every hour to the Hopping Pot in Diagon Alley to get another for it’s refreshing yet dense taste. It is one that is definitely underrated.

10. HARRY POTTER TATTOOS

Feeling risky? There is a tattoo shop located in City Walk, Hart and Huntington Orlando, that has had their fair share of experience in a wide variety of hp tattoos for all your muggle needs. They really do an amazing job and are super easy to work with. Their shop also has a ton of Harry Potter themed paintings so be prepared to be in ink heaven.

Take your time to really take in everything in the two worlds, there really is so much to see and you will undoubtedly see something new every time if you keep your mind open. After all, it’s the safest place in the world.

Cover Image Credit: Brandi Harmon

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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Poetry On The Odyssey: It's a Girl

An ode to the little girl raised to be insecure.

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They raise little girls to be insecure

Little girls grow to be big girls

People always ask big girls why they're so insecure

Big girls aren't quite sure

Day after day the big girl can't keep up

She's exhausted

Her soul feels worn

The big girl learns to grow hard

In a way, she's a bit stronger

People call her a bitch

Bitch

What is that?

How can she let that affect her

It's simply the only way to be her

She mourns that little girl

Hoping that one day

She'll be strong


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