Celebrating Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
I moved to Florida a few years ago, and ever since, I’ve had a hard time feeling the holiday spirit due to the lack of seasons here. I spent most of my life getting ready to celebrate Christmas by bundling up to go out in the snow to buy presents or just to play. The feeling of winter was unavoidable, and my entire world turned into a Christmas scene from Harry Potter. Since I’ve been in Florida, I really have had a hard time recreating the feeling of Christmastime. Thankfully, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has more than enough decorations and fake snow for me to feel at home and greatly helps me find some holiday cheer. Here are my favorite things about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter during the holiday season.
As soon as I walk through the brick wall and enter Diagon Alley, I feel like I’m at home. This is the world I grew up in. Hogwarts is wonderful, but I truly feel welcomed in Diagon Alley. There are shops everywhere and groups of people who are shopping or just taking in the atmosphere. Knockturn Alley is only a turn away, and as a Slytherin, I quite enjoy spending time in the dark alley that is the home to Borgin and Burkes. Being in Diagon Alley takes me back to when I first saw it in the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone movie. It reminds me of being home surrounded by my family. It’s my happy place, and being there helps me remember how I felt during the holiday seasons growing up.
Decorations are definitely an important part of Christmas, and the decorations in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley do not disappoint. There is already fake snow on the buildings year-round, but there is now fake snow falling from the sky in a few places. The traditional aspects of the wizarding world are shown through the classic decorations of wreaths and garlands everywhere that you look. Everything is brought together with a light display on Hogwarts that lights up the castle and even shows a Christmas tree on the castle. This is a modified version of the Christmas light show that has been displayed on the castle in past years.
Butterbeer is a must whenever you visit the WWoHP. This is Florida, so it comes in cold and frozen versions year-round. Unfortunately, the best and only canon version, hot butterbeer, is only offered seasonally. Hot butterbeer is my favorite by far. It warms you up from inside out and is sweet, but not too sweet. Some people like hot chocolate during the holiday season, but I prefer hot butterbeer. It’s a delicious treat, and I highly recommend that everyone try it when they visit Orlando.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has two Christmas-themed stage shows this year: the Frog Choir in Hogsmeade and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees in Diagon Alley. Both shows happen year-round, but they have a special show with holiday songs for this magical time of year. The songs that they perform in both of these shows are wonderful. My personal favorite is Celestina’s song “Accio Christmas,” which will get stuck in your head for ages after the show is over. I am very glad that they were able to bring both of these shows back with physical distancing so that we can all enjoy them this holiday season.
There are many new safety protocols in place due to the pandemic, but Universal Team Members make sure to bring the magic of Harry Potter alive in the theme parks while doing their best to keep everyone as safe as possible. If you have a chance to safely visit any of the Universal theme parks, I highly recommend it. Will you be planning a visit during this holiday season?