November 15, 2017

Hogsmeade in Utah...

Hogsmeade in least a very, very small version of it.

In a bit of business brilliance, South Towne Mall in the Salt Lake Valley decided to have a holiday version of Hogsmeade--the small shopping village in the Harry Potter series. There is a version of it at the Universal Studios in California and Orlando. Those are amazing places to go (we like Orlando better than California). So we had high expectations. Maybe a bit too high .

We went the first night and there was a line from the entrance snaking back to the JCPenny's nearby. We were surprised of how small it was for the amount of media attention it had received. We also were surprised at the amount of people there. However, it is not surprising when you think of all the Harry Potter fans around the area.

The next day Lucky Dragon begged to go back. I went back with he and Koala Bear. We were there on a Saturday at 1000h. I did not realize the Hogsmeade shops did not open until 1100h. I was going to find something else to do but there were several people already in line. So after consulting with Lucky Dragon, I spent the next hour by myself in line with a 4 year old and a 10 month old! Luckily, he was so excited for the experience (he is an avid Harry Potter fan) and that there was a family that brought there pocket sized dog along with them (yes, very cliche to go shopping with a bag sized dog). Koala Bear was amazingly enthralled with it.

We played games like "I spy with my little eye" and reading the signs of the shops nearby. It is especially fun to see that Lucky Dragon is reading now--small words like SUN and STOP. The long line waiting was broken up a bit when an elderly lady had a stroke of some kind and smashed onto the cement floor convulsing before going still. In a flurry of medics and police ensued and she was taken off. It was a bit chaotic. And sad. Lucky Dragon was so interested to see. He was extremely interested in what was happening and how.

It was fun to see all of the people in line with their Harry Potter themed clothing. T-shirts, cloaks, wands etc all adorned these people. JK Rowling truly did create a world of wonder!

We finally made it into the shops--the small area of shops. We looked at every wand they were selling. It was not the same size of selection at the Theme Parks. It was fun to see them and see how Lucky Dragon loved opening each box and trying it out. They had a film crew onsite and they asked to film him...he gave them his best "Expecto Patronum!" spell. They also filmed him playing the little game of Quidditch.

It was fun. Really just a small selection of things to buy. The theme-ing for the shops was done well. They did not sell Butterbeer and the line was REALLY long for what was there. After we had purchased some pen wands and a chocolate frog for Lady Hiva we went out. The line was literally clear down to the other end of the mall!! I would estimate it was nearly a mile long!  Glad we went. But also glad we have had the chance to go to Universal and get a better feel of it.

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