Let me say that the Harry Potter theme park at Universal is truly a magical place. (All pun intended.) Of all of the themed areas, they have really done this one up right.
From the moment you walk through the gates, you feel like you’ve been transported into a fantasy. Approaching the gates you hear the music playing from the movie. As soon as you clear the gates you see the train all massive in size and blowing steam like a political pundit. You see Daigon Alley in all its splendor, with Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, and Ollivander’s Wand Shop, and a huge Butterbeer keg, and Muggles, and you can see the roof tops for what seems like forever…until, way off in the distance, you see Hogwarts!
That’s when you really feel like you’ve been transported into a fantasy. We got the chance to eat an English breakfast at The Three Broomsticks Inn, sit at an old wooden table, and drink Butterbeer. Then on to Hogwarts where we walked and rode through the castle and received quite a few tips on wizardry from the cast…or at least videos of them.
And finally, we rode………the Dueling Dragons roller coasters. They have two: the Chinese Fireball and the Hungarian Horntail. It was exciting to make our way through the line while listening to the current riders screaming as if they were being eaten by the dragons themselves. We made it to the front, we boarded our specific dragon, and then we took off like we were being chased by Dementors.
We turned and zoomed and did three sixties and all the amazing things that a great roller coaster can do. We came flying around a turn towards the platform, where we once left all hope of future life, only to leave our spleens in the claws of the Hungarian Hornet when we went from fifty miles an hour to two in less time than it takes to say “Accio!”.
As we gingerly tried to find what appeared to be the ground in front of us, I remembered something very important……..I don’t ride roller coasters ’cause they make me sick!!! You see, ever since I moved to the South, my sinuses have been messed up. With messed up sinuses, you tend to have a messed up equilibrium. If you divide the sinus by the equilibrium, carry the Hungarian Horntail, multiply by the lack of spleen, and you get a sick Chris.
If there’s one thing missing from the Wizarding World, it would be the much-needed rest area at the exit of the Dueling Dragons with oxygen, water, cots, and a hologram of a mother yelling, “What were you thinking?!” I think I just got caught up in the fantasy and convinced myself that I could do something that my body disagreed with.
Sometimes I think that’s exactly the way we make decisions in life. Sometimes we just get caught up in the fantasy and beauty of what we’re experiencing, only to find out that we’re deceiving ourselves.
I believe that’s why so many people go deeply in debt. There is this magical world of…STUFF that has been constructed before us. And by the looks of how many people are enjoying it, certainly we should as well. Unfortunately, no matter how fun, and exciting, and magical the Wizarding World is…it’s not real.
You realize this when you leave the gates and the music changes to Dr. Suess. And while we can use debt to buy all kinds of fun and exciting magical stuff…eventually you realize that you have to actually pay for it all. You realize that you’re going to have to come up with the money somehow to get out of that mess. It’s when that understanding comes rushing in…you wish they had a little rest area!