It’s no surprise that Harry Potter has had a colossal impact on who we are as people (well, at least for me). I come from a family where the phrase “It doesn’t always have to be about Harry Potter” is spoken at least three times every family gathering. From the books, to the movies, to the park, to the trivia from behind the scenes, the Lambright and Porter families are well-versed. So in honor of, what I’ve deemed Harry Potter Month (simply because so many of the anniversaries happen this month), here is the story of the Lambright/Porter Harry Potter family excursion.
To properly set the stage, we’ve got to go back to when the Harry Potter Universal Studios park first opened. Just a year after the grand opening, the big three of my family (Mom, Uncle, and Grandmother) decided it was a good idea to take the whole family to the park! Slightly insane on their part considering there were ten of us, but we had fun nonetheless. I mean, look at our faces!
It was really cool, though, because we were one of the first people in line and so they let us open the park! Mostly it was because they thought that my cousin and I (two blonde girls in front) were twins and then they wanted only our immediate family to come with us, but unfortunately for them our immediate family was rambunctious and wouldn’t take no for an answer.
So we’re in the park, announcing the opening of the gates and then immediately book it to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter all the way at the back of the park. At that time it was just the castle, Hogsmeade, and a stationary version the Hogwarts Express. Which was pretty damn impressive to nine-year-old Gracie. The Harry Potter series was revolutionary to little old me. It was the book that got me into reading, which I’m sure is true for a lot of Millennials and Gen Z readers. So being able to go to this park that brings all of that to life, and makes it accessible for a little kid from Texas was something that was almost indescribable.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second book in this iconic series and probably one of my favorites. Chamber of Secrets gives readers a better look at the life of Harry and the family dynamics of the Weasley’s (honestly one of the best scenes). This is when we meet Dobby, and we get more screen time with Draco and Lucius. We meet the Womping Willow and Aragog and learn more about Hagrid because Harry is sucked into that one journal by Tom.
In the long run, Chamber of Secrets is one of the better books just because there’s so much there to digest. It’s still in that lighthearted fantasy portion of the series because we all know the real turning point happens during Goblet of Fire. (This is a point that I will not debate because it’s the truth and the rest of y’all are just wrong).
Like many people, Harry Potter was the books that got me into reading (thanks, Mom), but it was more than that. Harry Potter (at least to me) was a lifestyle, you couldn’t just casually enjoy it. This was definitely the big ticket item that kick started me into the fangirl that I am today. I mean, look at the material of my family.
Even though it can go without saying, Harry Potter holds a special place in a lot of people’s hearts. It’s on the same level as Star Wars, Twilight, Firefly, and several (several, several, several) other series in my family. So yeah, we went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Florida and it was truly a blast. I keep hoping that (since they’ve expanded now) we’ll go back and it’ll be like a fun little thing, but it has yet to happen. My parents want me to pay for myself since I’m an “adult” now, which is no fun.
I still get Harry Potter themed gifts from distant family members, still re-read the series (especially my fav, Chamber of Secrets) when I’m stressed, re-watch the movies when I’m studying, and have full conversations with my roommates in Harry Potter quotes with horrific British accents. It’s safe to say that Harry Potter will be with me until the end of time (as it should), and I’m not mad about it.
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