Japan Adventures – Wizarding World of Harry Potter

I originally had no idea that this was even in Japan. Again, Chris was the one who brought it up. I was thinking of Disneyland, until I heard that Universal Studios had the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We didn’t want to go to two theme parks, as they are expensive! We also bought the express pass for Universal Studios which was also expensive but so worth it!! We only went on the rides that we could use the pass on, so we spent almost no time standing in line which I loved. That is always the worst part of theme parks. The wait time for the Harry Potter ride was 90 minutes (!), but with our pass, we were only in line for 5 minutes. If you ever get the chance to go, do grab that express pass!

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Now the whole theme park itself is huge! We did explore other areas like Jurassic Park, New York, Hollywood, Amityville and so on. But all I really want to talk about is the Harry Potter area.

You go through a forest area for a while before reaching Hogsmeade. You get to come across Ron’s old car stuck in the Forbidden Forest. The car moves and smokes and honks, which was so cool!

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As you enter Hogsmeade, you pass the Hogwarts Express.

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Hogsmeade is literally how I imagined it in my head. They have permanent snow on top of the buildings which is hilarious since it was a bright sunny day. That being said, all the stores I remember reading about were there. Madam Padfoot’s Tea & Cakes, Three Broomsticks, Gladrags, Ollivander’s, Honeydukes… I was pretty much buzzing with excitement as I looked at all the stores.

I really wanted to see Hogwarts though, so before exploring the stores too much I ran ahead. When I saw the castle in the distance, I literally gasped. It’s incredible being able to see Hogwarts in real life!

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All the stores were pretty much selling the same Harry Potter merchandise in each shop. But they were decorated to fit the theme of the store. They were amazing. My favourite was seeing the Monster Book of Monsters (which was huge!) in the Quill shop. It moved and growled in a giant cage! We bought quite a few snacks in Honeydukes. Including Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans,  and Pumpkin Juice. We also stopped by Three Broomsticks (again) to get me another butterbeer, but this time in the fancy takeaway cup!

You could go inside Hogwarts, but it was part of the Forbidden Journey ride. We explored the dungeons, Dumbledore’s office and a bit of the library before reaching the ride. It was amazing!! There’s a video that plays, and you ride along with it. It’s super vivid, and since you’re being moved around on the ride, it feels like you’re part of it. We flew over Hogwarts, played Quidditch, got attacked by Death Eaters and Dementors, even a dragon! It’s cool cause when the dragon came and opened it’s mouth, you got blasted with hot air. I was so happy the whole time! On the way out, we found some Quidditch flags supporting each house. I had to show my Huffelepuff pride!

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We also watched a live “Wand Studies” Performance which was really cool. They had a normal conversation, but in Japanese and then English. So both groups could understand what was going on.

We bought a decent bunch of souvenirs from here, and it made it a little harder when we were working our way back to Kyoto. It was definitely worth it though! We had a fun time at the other sections of the park, but nothing can compete with being at Hogsmeade. I’ve been a very big fan of Harry Potter for a long time, and I never thought I’d be lucky enough to visit the Wizarding World at Universal Studios. It’s definitely something I can cross off my bucket list!

Previous Japan posts:

On Monday, we’re back to Tokyo! I’ll be sharing about visiting Tokyo Skytree and our day trip to Mt Fuji and Hakone!

Angela.

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30 Day Movie Challenge – Days 1 and 2

30 Day Movie Challenge – Days 1 and 2

Well hello all, guess who’s doing another 30 Day Challenge. Also, guess who forgot until today she wanted to do another one. But hey, I started the last one 4 days left, so apparently I’m always late to everything. Anyway, I want to do another 30 Day challenge, because I loved the last one. This does mean that you’ll be hearing from me 2-3 times a day again. So sorry in advance for spamming you guys 😂

The challenge for this month is from Pinterest. Like previously, I’m going to keep the prompts to myself so it can be a surprise for you guys. Also, since the last challenge was about me and my blog, I wanted to do something different. I talk about movies a little, and this challenge will encourage me to talk about them more and a little more in-depth.

Okay, enough rambling Angela. Get ready for days 1 and 2.

Day 1 – The Last Movie You Watched

Star Wars Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

I am slowly watching all the Star Wars movies as part of my bucket list. I tried to watch the first prequel and got so bored I couldn’t finish it (Why The Phantom Menace, why do you suck?). So instead we went with the original trilogy.  I enjoyed A New Hope, but I really really loved Empire Strikes Back!

All the best things happen in this one, all the iconic scenes and lines. I thought the “I Am Your Father” was in the last one, but apparently not. I paid attention throughout the whole film, and even got tense during some of it, even though I know what happens in the end. Also, Yoda is high af. Was he always like that??

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I vaguely remember him in the newer prequels (Star Wars is so damn confusing), and he seemed more serious and ‘wise’. In this one, he’s just plain crazy.

Anyway, this was what a sequel should be. It raised the stakes from the first movie, the acting, cinematography and music were all gorgeous, and like I said before, it’s iconic! I’m excited to see the last Star Wars movie soon. (I’ve already seen all the newer ones), and then I’m crossing it off the bucket list (I don’t care to see the prequels ever again).

Day 2 – A Favourite Fantasy Movie

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

This took ages to think on. I knew that HP would be my favourite fantasy film ever in all time. But which one?? Finally, I landed on the last one.

You guys have no idea (or maybe some do), the hype that I had leading up to this film. I watched each trailer at least 1000 times. Even rewatching it, I feel butterflies again. Watching it at midnight, I was so happy that I was crying the whole time pretty much. It went back and forth from happy to sad crying. Afterwards, I left the movie feeling drained and knowing I would never feel this way about another film ever again. And I haven’t.

Here is one of the best scenes, featuring the best spell by the best boss witch.

Looking back, the film isn’t perfect. (Why did Harry break the Elder wand before fixing his own, now he’s wandless the idiot.) But overall, the film was amazing. The music was perfect. The acting of the main cast shows how far they came from when they started. The battle of Hogwarts was insane. For us who grew up with Harry Potter (both the books and the movies), it was a fitting end.

So I just went off and watched more of this movie and I cried again. It keeps getting me, after all this time 😢

Anyway! Hope you guys enjoyed Days 1 and 2 of this movie challenge! If anyone else wants to join feel free too! Flick me an email if you want a copy of the full list. Let’s get into some movies together!

Angela.

Harry Potter Party!

Did you guys know that Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone came out on June 26 1997? Which means today marks the 20th anniversary! How awesome is that! In recognition of this, I’m sure you guys have seen the new fancy covers they’ve come out with.

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Isn’t the Hufflepuff one the best??? (no bias here 😛 )

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Before I get started, my fellow Harry Potter fans and blogging friends Hannah and Pamela have also posted about this Harry Potter milestone too!

The Books

Back in June 1997, I was only 5 and a half years old. We were living in the Philippines and I didn’t even have a clue what Harry Potter was.

In fact, I didn’t start reading Harry Potter until I was 11. That’s right, I didn’t start reading them till 2003, when there were already a few out. Order of the Phoenix was just coming out and people were freaking out cause apparently someone kinda important dies. I had not much interest in the books, but I picked one up at random from the school library, and I was hooked. It was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Yes, I read the fourth one first. No idea why, ask 11 year old me. Once I finished that, I went back and read the first three. There was no turning back at this point.

I read the fifth and loved it. In 2005, I read Half-Blood Prince and finished at midnight, yelling at my sister about Horcruxes. In 2007, I read Deathly Hallows and cried at the end. I loved these books, since finishing Deathly Hallows, I have gone on to read the entire series countless times.

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The Movies

When the first one came out, I had no interest, but everyone else did. I was the new kid back from overseas and had no idea what this fuss was all about. After I got into the books, I went to the movies to see Chamber of Secrets. It was okay. I wasn’t wowed though. Neither was my dad, as he fell asleep. I lost interest.

Then around 2007, they were marathoning the first four on tv. I decided to watch Prisoner of Azkaban and my mind was blown. The movie was good! It didn’t follow the book to the letter, but the acting was decent, the effects were good, and it looked good. I was suspicious that this was a one-off deal. So the next night, I watched Goblet of Fire. It was also good, the child actors were now growing up and beginning to hold their own. I was getting attached to the movie characters as much as the ones in the book. Well shit, now I need to see it in the theatre.

Order of the Phoenix, I watched that in the movies. Then while waiting for the sixth to come out, my friends and I had Harry Potter movie marathons where we watched all five. We watched Half Blood Prince in theatres in 2008 and cried. Then we had more marathons. Finally, we watched both parts of the Deathly Hallows at midnight screenings in 2010 and 2011. During part 2, I bawled my eyes out and cheered with the crowd. I was among my peeps, and you could feel the emotion in the room. I went home exhausted at 3 am, and got up for a 9am class for uni. It was cancelled as our professor was sick. So two of my friends who also went to the midnight viewing, decided to see it again. I agreed. We went and cried again. Later that week, a friend who hadn’t seen it wanted to go. I came with, and yes I cried. I now watch it without crying but I still get all the feels. I have yet to do a marathon with all eight movies. I don’t know if I could now, but I would be willing to try.

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The Obsession

This all helped to fuel my love of the magical world of Harry Potter. I joined Pottermore the second it opened. I was sorted into Hufflepuff which I always felt a kinship with. It led to endless conversations with my friends, and speculations about how it would end before we knew. It led to me owning all the books, and all the movies. It led to my friends and I buying each other Harry Potter merchandise and gushing about how amazing it is. It led to endless gift ideas for me, as you know I’ll love it as I love anything Harry Potter related. It led me to admire the actors from the franchise, to watch them grow alongside me and see how incredible they have become.

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Now that my rant is over, it’s time to party. If you’re a fan (like me!), then share your own story of how you came across Harry Potter, whether it be books or movies or both. Share what house you’re in, and what your favourite characters or moments are. For today, Harry Potter has been around for 20 years, and that is amazing.

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Image result for harry potter book reading

All the images come from Pinterest. I don’t own them.

Angela.

Pottermore Profile

Pottermore Profile

Hello all. So if you’re not interested in Harry Potter at all, then ignore this post. I reread some Harry Potter during my holiday/honeymoon and thought this would be a fun post to do!

I wanted to share my Pottermore profile with you all. I don’t really go on it that much, I enjoyed when it was like another way of reading the books, with all the visual pictures. Also, you got to make potions, and try find the collectibles in each picture. At some point, it changed when I logged back on and I lost interest. By the way, anyone here remember in the early days of Pottermore, where you were given a ‘wizard name’? I still remember mine. I was Wizard River 10. When did that change to just be your regular name?

However, I do take the quizzes that come up to determine how I would fit into the magical world. So let me share with you all, my Pottermore profile.

Continue reading “Pottermore Profile”