It’s been one whole week since one of the most adrenaline-filled, exciting, and rewarding experiences of my life; I attended the Universal Orlando Diagon Alley Grand Opening on Tuesday, July 8th. Relive this amazing day with me as I count down my Sweet 16 favorite moments of grand opening day!
15. Selecting just the right outrageous outfit to display my Potter spirit on grand opening day
14. Getting awesome shots of the London waterfront at dawn
6. Singing along with Celestina Warbeck, the witch who’s always on pitch, and The Banshees! It’s truly a phenomenal show. Come on soundtrack!!!
4. Having a tasty lunch in the Leaky Cauldron and being greeted by the team members as an old friend because I had already been there quite a few times during the preview period. What can I say? The food is yummy and there are so many different things to try!
1. Hands down my Number One thrill of the day was going through the single rider line and going straight onto the Escape from Gringotts ride! We were one of the very first cars to get underway which is extremely fortunate considering the extreme wait times for this ride. It isn’t like anything I’ve ever experienced before. We dropped, turned, and spun! With He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named hot on our trail, my heart was racing as I tried to anticipate what was going to happen next. It was impossible to predict and extremely thrilling! I cannot wait to ride it again.
To make the day extra special, we were interviewed shortly after the ride by the Orlando Sentinel and our quotes and thoughts on the day were cited in the Tampa Tribune on the front page, the tbt*, and several other online media outlets. I also gave my very first radio interview on WMFE Orlando NPR which was a really cool experience. See press for links.
After reading about the tragic story of Cassidy Stay, the young girl who is the sole survivor after the murder of her entire family, I was moved to hear her quoting my favorite Harry Potter quote at a memorial service. “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.” (Prisoner of Azkaban) My fellow members of Central Florida Slug Club and Portkey to Magic (local Harry Potter clubs) are collecting items to donate to Cassidy in effort to show her the love and support of fellow Harry Potter fans like her via the efforts of the Houston Harry Potter Meetup Group. If you too are a Harry Potter fan who lives locally in the Tampa Area and you would like to donate items preferably HP related to Cassidy’s care package you can reach out to me directly and I will coordinate including your items with ours. I would need to have the items by July 25th. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you do not live locally but would still like to send her something you can mail to the following address, deadline is August 1: HHPMUG, Attn: Headmistress, 14991 Usher Ln Splendora, TX 77372
Anyone else who is touched and moved by her story and would prefer to make a monetary donation may donate to a trust fund set up in the name of her family here:
Lauren G., Outdoorsy Diva
All pictures and accounts are the sole property of Lauren Gay unless otherwise indicated. Copyright 2014