Looking at this image of the Hogwarts castle under construction at Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter — which opens this spring — my thought process went as follows:

1. I’ve never been so excited for an attraction.

2. This is the first time I’ve felt a need to visit Orlando since my high school band went in the early ’90s.

3. Thousands of tourists are going to ruin the illusion that I’ve stepped into this magical other world.

4. The only answer is to get in there alone…

5. The only way that would happen is if I were a terminally ill child making a wish or, possibly, Miley Cyrus celebrating a birthday.

Anyone else contemplating a return trip to Orlando for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter? In addition to the Hogwarts castle, the “home of a thrilling, new, state-of-the-art attraction — Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey — that uses ground-breaking technology to bring the magic, characters and stories of Harry Potter to life in ways never before experienced,” there’s Dragon Challenge (a twin high-speed roller coaster with iconic elements from the Triwizard Tournament), Flight of the Hippogriff (a family coaster simulating a Hippogriff training flight over the grounds at Hogwarts), and the many shops and restaurants in Hogsmeade.

In addition to letting my wand choose me at Ollivanders, I fully plan on purchasing a remote control Golden Snitch at Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods. Hmmm… Children starting wand fights and ignoring the DO NOT FLY YOUR SNITCH UNTIL YOU GET HOME, PLEASE sign could be enjoyable chaos. Okay, I’m now open to sharing.

Photo credit: Kevin Kolczynski/Universal Orlando Resort

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