A Tale of Two Sisters - A Photo Essay of Our Trip to Harry Potter World and the Four Seasons Orlando

This past weekend I took my sister (AKA @puppiesandbrunch) on a birthday/graduation trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter via the Four Seasons Orlando.  In one of the videos you will see in this post, my sister says it is the "best day of my (her) life and the third best day of Blayne's life - only because she's married and has a child."  I concur.  The magic of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was overwhelming.  I may or may not have cried when we walked into Hogwarts.  I'm totally OK with you judging me for that.  Not only do I love reading and love the stories and the movies, but spending 10 years talking about Harry Potter with my sister bonded us in such a special way.  There is nobody in the world I would rather have gone on this trip with, and I will remember it forever.  

When we felt we had "managed our mischief" at the Wizarding World, we headed back to the Four Seasons Orlando for an afternoon of cocktails, chips and guac, a trip around the lazy river, and bonding time in the spa hot tub.  At the end of the day I called room service and said, "all we want in the world is to lay in bed, watch a movie, eat pizza and have a beer.  Is there any way you could make that happen?"  An hour later we opened the door to find all that plus popcorn.  Once again, I was overwhelmed with the level of service Four Seasons offers.  It's as if they know what you want before you even ask.  They presented Kate with a Harry Potter birthday cake when we checked in, and everywhere we went we felt special.  I asked for permission to drink a beer in the lazy river, and they not only encouraged it, but brought us beers in special cups within minutes.  They arranged our umbrellas at the pool and gave us a full tour of the spa.  I will never go to Orlando again without staying at this hotel.  I could not give it a higher recommendation.  And without further ado... our trip.

Headed to Disney and @fsorlando with @puppiesandbrunch 😎😎

A photo posted by Blayne Macauley (@thisphotographerslifeblog) on

Our arrival at Four Seasons Orlando.

Our arrival at Four Seasons Orlando.

@fsorlando for the win of the century!!! Happy Birthday @puppiesandbrunch ❤️❤️❤️ #21yearsyoung

A photo posted by Blayne Macauley (@thisphotographerslifeblog) on

A note to accompany the cake.

A note to accompany the cake.

Our First Glimpse of Hogwarts!!!

Our First Glimpse of Hogwarts!!!

Freaking out!!! - photo as we approach the entrance.

Freaking out!!! - photo as we approach the entrance.

Matching shirts were a must.

Matching shirts were a must.

Above is our first view of the park.  Kate is snapchatting away... which she did all weekend... apparently all the kid's are doing it.  It made me feel very old ;)

Above are photos from inside Hogwarts.  The light was very low...  but it was so life-like.

Hagrid's Hut.

Hagrid's Hut.

Buckbeak!  I knew he would be there!

Buckbeak!  I knew he would be there!

Video on our Flight of the Hippogriff.  Only half of that screaming is mine... and mostly because I was afraid I would drop my phone.  Try to look at the views.  They were all so real!  Extra fun fact - the woman behind us was convinced she was going to die and talked about it the whole way up the first part of the ride.  Hence the "YES!  I made it!!!" scream at the end. 

After that exhilarating ride we were in need of refreshment and headed to the the Hogs Head Inn.  I could live at that bar.  We returned later for lunch, so all the photos below are from our time spent there.  

Hogs head. Yes. #hotforhogwarts #moreplease #butterbeer #bestdayever

A photo posted by Blayne Macauley (@thisphotographerslifeblog) on

Panoramic Photo of the Hog's Head

Panoramic Photo of the Hog's Head

Click an image to enlarge it. After lunch we toured around a little, checked out the Butter Beer, and went on the Dueling Dragons. That was by far the most intense ride.  They were so serious about no cameras that you had to go through a metal detector.  

Yesssssss! #hotforhogwarts #bestdayever #butterbeer #moreplease #harrypotter

A photo posted by Blayne Macauley (@thisphotographerslifeblog) on

Post wands we went to Honeydukes.  I am not really a candy person, but I was really impressed with the selection.  It was all the candy from the books and nothing added.  Perfection.

And after we got candy for our family and friends, it was time to head over to platform 9 and 3/4 and head to Diagon Alley.

Platform 9 3/4

This is the best day of my life. 🍺🚂👓⚡️

A photo posted by Kate (@puppiesandbrunch) on

The Hogwarts Express lets you off on the streets of London where you can go into a phone booth and call the Minister of Magic or look at the Knight's Bus.

kate in a phone booth - harry potter.

#bestdayever #butterbeer #hotforhogwarts #gringotts #dragons #harrypotter #boom

A photo posted by Blayne Macauley (@thisphotographerslifeblog) on

In Diagon Alley we rode the last ride, "Escape from Gringotts" and looked around a little.

We were finally ready to head back to the Four Seasons Orlando for a little R & R.  We were both a little sad leaving, but as soon as we arrived back at the hotel we were so happy to be there!!

Lazy River at the Four Seasons Orlando

When I dip, you dip, we dip. #pbgistheplacetobe

A photo posted by Kate (@puppiesandbrunch) on

Drink at the Four Seasons Orlando
Lazy River at the Four Seasons Orlando

Spa Water. Not a bad way to end the day!! #luxury #travel #ilovefourseasons #besthotelever #refreshing @fsorlando ❤️❤️❤️

A photo posted by Blayne Macauley (@thisphotographerslifeblog) on

kate at the spa
Our Beautiful room at the end of a perfect day.  This view is from my bed over Kate's pullout  and to our private balcony.

Our Beautiful room at the end of a perfect day.  This view is from my bed over Kate's pullout  and to our private balcony.

This is a view from our room to one of the pools where they were showing a movie for the kids! - Kids... I mean, we ALMOST went. 

This is a view from our room to one of the pools where they were showing a movie for the kids! - Kids... I mean, we ALMOST went. 

Our flight was not until 3 PM Sunday, and the hotel was nice enough to give us a late check out, so we spent the morning exploring the hotel a little more.  We got breakfast and breakfast dessert at Lickety Split.  After that we hung at the pool, hit up the water slide, and made one more trip around the lazy river.

"There has never been a sadness that can't be cured by breakfast food" -Ron Swanson

A photo posted by Kate (@puppiesandbrunch) on

ge•la•to: (noun); Ice Cream's sexy Italian brother.

A photo posted by Kate (@puppiesandbrunch) on

Up next? Gelato! @fsorlando 🎉🎉🎉 #luxury #luxuryvacation #disneyworld

A photo posted by Blayne Macauley (@thisphotographerslifeblog) on

Frozen Amenity at the Pool - Strawberry Lemonade ;)

Frozen Amenity at the Pool - Strawberry Lemonade ;)

Scenes from Four Seasons

As luck would have it we got upgraded to first class on the way home!  

First Class!

When we got home my step mother was waiting to pick us up, and she had my sweet man with her!  She watched him all weekend while he was teething so that Kate and I could go on this amazing trip, and I am so thankful!

Watching planes like my daddy.

Watching planes like my daddy.

A massive thank you to Four Seasons Orlando!  I will never forget this trip!

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