Pack Your Bags: How an Old Double-Decker Bus Is Being Turned into a Dream Vacation Spot

There is certainly no shortage of beautiful homemade creations from fans of the Harry Potter universe. We see many of them at MuggleNet, and to be honest, we love it! One fan in particular has decided to take on the challenge of tackling a massive Harry Potter project, and we just had to share it.

Shannon Moore, the owner of Magical Mountain Vacation Rentals and Green Lion Realty, is restoring a 1955 Scottish double-decker bus. Now, we wouldn’t hype up an exciting find like this if there wasn’t some magical twist to it. It’s being transfigured, as the knowledgeable witch might say, into a version of the Knight Bus and will be used as a unique vacation rental. Such an exciting venture begs for answers. MuggleNet had the opportunity to speak with Moore about the project. 

This restoration journey has just begun, but Moore, a proud Hufflepuff, let us in on how she came about finding the old double-decker bus. 

After stumbling upon a beautifully restored bus home (known as a skoolie) at a tiny home expo, I began searching for my own bus in need of a little magic to bring back its former sparkle. After months of searching the Daily Prophet (known as Craigslist in the non-magical world), negotiating, and untangling logistical snarls, I successfully purchased and transported a 1955 Scottish double-decker bus to the location in Mars Hill, North Carolina – just outside of Asheville.

With the bus now in her possession, Shannon Moore has been working diligently to bring it back to its former glory. The process takes time, of course, and there is still plenty to be done since “it sat in an open barn for the last 20 years, and we exposed to the elements.” Many have been following the restoration of the bus on the Magical Mountain Vacation Rentals TikTok page. So far, the videos have gotten over 1.5 million views.

 

@magicalmountainrentalsCraigslist and Facebook Marketplace are great places to find buses ##skoolie ##airbnb ##vacationrentals ##northcarolina ##foryou ##foryoupage ##fyp ##tiny

♬ original sound – magicalmountainrentals

 

Moore explained some of the planning that goes into revamping a large vehicle from 1955.

I’ll need to completely gut [it] and start again. I am, however, leaving most of the original parts – the running lights, original front grill [sic], headlights and drivers [sic] seat. It’s going to take a lot of hard work to make the bus sparkle again.

Of course, this kind of project can’t be accomplished alone. Hiring help is all part of the process.

Well, right now it’s really hard to find people to work on the bus. Our bus builders had to take off to [Tennessee] for two weeks to work another bus, but they are returning tomorrow. We’ve also hired an additional crew to help them get it finished because they have another bus build in mid[-]May. We’re hoping to have it completed by the [f]all of 2021.

 

@magicalmountainrentalsWhere are all my Harry Potter fans? 🪄🪄🪄 ##skoolie ##airbnb ##harrypotter ##schoolbusconversion ##doubledecker ##rental ##foryou ##fyp ##foryoupage

♬ The Journey – Sol Rising

 

It takes a village, as they say. But due to the fact that there has been so much careful planning, love, and attention going toward the bus, we expect nothing short of a spectacularly magical vacation experience once it’s completed.

We also love being able to tell you that Shannon Moore has no plans to stop once the bus is done. She wants to purchase and restore a train car and build a version of Hagrid’s stone hut too. In addition to the bus, the train and hut will also be utilized as vacation rentals under Magical Mountain Vacation Rentals in the Asheville, North Carolina, area. You can probably guess this isn’t just a weekend hobby for Moore.

In addition [to] the Magical Mountain Vacation Rentals, I do own a real estate company in SW Florida named Green Lion Realty. Both are company’s [sic] that I’m very passionate about.

A full website for Magical Mountain Vacation Rentals is going live in the coming days for future guests to explore. Moore also plans to hold an essay contest for a free three-night stay on the Midnight Bus after it’s finished. All applicants can submit their essays to magicalmountainvacationrentals@gmail.com with “Midnight Bus Essay” as the subject line. More information can be found on the Magical Mountain Vacation Rentals website after it goes live.

MuggleNet would like to extend a very special thank you to Shannon Moore for her interview.

Full Transcript with Shannon Moore, Monday, April 19, 2021

For consistency and confirmation, what is your name, where are you from, and what is your occupation (as much as you are comfortable providing)?
My name is Mary Shannon Moore, I was born and raised in SW Florida and I own a real estate brokerage named Green Lion Realty.

How did you come to be a fan of the Harry Potter series?
I have three girls: Coral, 29; Willow, 23 and Iris, 16. My girls have always been huge fans of the Potter series. When they were learning to read it was one of the first series of books they started with.

The double-decker bus is quite a find! The story is posted on your Tik Tok and Instagram pages. But can you explain, in fresh words, how you came to own the bus?
After stumbling upon a beautifully restored bus home (known as a skoolie) at a tiny home expo, I began searching for my own bus in need of a little magic to bring back its former sparkle. After months of searching the Daily Prophet (known as Craigslist in the non-magical world), negotiating, and untangling logistical snarls, I successfully purchased and transported a 1955 Scottish double-decker bus to the location in Mars Hill, North Carolina - just outside of Asheville. While the purple, triple-decker bus you’re thinking of zipping in and out of traffic at warp speed, my Midnight Bus will be stationary, sleeping 2 on the upper deck and 2 on the main level, in an interior outfitted with all the wizarding comfort you need for an overnight journey to dreamland.

Can you explain your planning process and what it takes to get the bus from its current condition to how you want it?
It’s going to take a ton of work to get the bus in any kind of shape for anyone to stay in it. Not only is it old, but it sat in an open barn for the last 20 years, and we exposed to the elements [too]. I’ll need to completely gut [it] and start again. I am, however, leaving most of the original parts - the running lights, original front grill [sic], headlights and drivers [sic] seat. It’s going to take a lot of hard work to make the bus sparkle again.

What are your plans for the bus once it's finished?
Once the bus is finished it will be an Air BnB in Mars Hill, NC-just outside of Asheville.

How much progress have you made on the bus since your latest video?
Well, right now, it’s really hard to find people to work on the bus. Our bus builders had to take off to TN for two weeks to work another bus, but they are returning tomorrow. We’ve also hired an additional crew to help them get it finished because they have another bus build in mid[-]May. We’re hoping to have it completed by the [f]all of 2021.

You mentioned you are also in the process of obtaining a train (or train car?) and making a stone hut that resembles Hagrid's house. Where are you in the process of creating them?
Yes! After we finish this project we’re going to buy a train car and theme it as well and our third project will be a stone hut. I’m hoping to have groups of three themed homes on each plot of land. Our forth [sic] project will be a hobbit home in the side of the mountain. Stay tuned for updates!

What do you plan to do with the bus, the train, and the house once they are all completed?
All will be rented out as AirBnB vacation rentals.

Can you talk a little bit more about Magical Mountain Vacation Rentals? Do you plan to utilize your three Harry Potter builds as vacation rentals?
Yes! All three places will be rented out as AirBnBs. They will have sweeping Mountain Views. They’re also located on the property of the Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, just outside of Asheville. So in the winter, you can ski, and in the summer, you can hike the Appalachian Trail and explore nearby Asheville.

From what I gather, you are a broker with Green Lion Realty. Is that correct? Can you clarify how Green Lion Realty and Magical Mountain Vacation Rentals are affiliated, if at all?
In addition [to] the Magical Mountain Vacation Rentals, I do own a real estate company in SW Florida named Green Lion Realty. Both are company’s [sic] that I’m very passionate about.

Do you have a favorite Harry Potter book and/or movie? What is your Hogwarts House?
I’d say my favorite book is probably Harry Potter and the Sorcerers [sic] Stone. Because that’s where the magical journey begins.
A close second is is [sic] Harry Potter and the Prison [sic] of Azkaban because of the mysterious purple bus. I’m a Hufflepuff! Go Badgers 🦡

 

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