If you know me, you know that I am a child. I am a little innocent child at the center of it all and that is how I love living my life. I don’t turn a blind eye to all things, but if I can control how I see a situation, it is very often with a child’s innocence. For this reason, and many more, I have a vivid imagination as well as an insatiable appetite for all things magical.
I’ve been counting the months until I would be able to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Oh yes, I adore Harry Potter…more than you are understanding right now. So when I got the chance to give a lecture in Florida, I immediately resolved that I would be going to visit the Harry Potter theme park. It was Tuesday. I woke up in a flurry of excitement very much like I used to do as a child on the summer day when I would get to go to Hershey Park (my local theme park) once a year. I put on my best magical wardrobe that I had traveled with (completely with fairytale white dress, TARDIS knee socks, a cloak, and pigtails) and headed out the door.
When we started walking up to the park, I realized that I had forgotten my camera. I felt heartbroken! I wanted so badly to capture the magic of the day. We didn’t even have cell phones with us. So it was decided that when we got into the park, despite it being far overpriced, we would buy two disposable cameras. I hadn’t used one in about 7 years, and holding it in my hand felt magical somehow, as though I had stepped back in time to when that was normal. I loved not being able to see the pictures I was taking. I loved not worrying about camera settings. I just took pictures of everything that made me happy, silly or not, and I was completely content.
I got many knowing winks and nods and shouts from people who recognized my Doctor Who socks and even waited in line with someone I went to college with, all the while approaching the wand shop (my favorite thing). When I finally got to go inside there was a demonstration of how to use a wand, and myself and my sister-in-law were chosen to demonstrate the feat. I was over the moon. I was smiling ear to ear and couldn’t believe that I had been chosen. Yes, chosen. Don’t hate.
After my wand chose me and I got to perform a spell in front of the crowd I hurriedly moved into the wand shop to purchase my pride and joy…a tourist trap, perhaps, but completely worth the money spent. To feel like a child. To feel magical. To feel powerful. To believe in make-believe. A wand is just a stick in the wrong hands, as so many things in life are. Any situation can be turned negative or positive. Any part of life can be seen with magic or without, and it is up to us to decide which side we are on: the side of magic, or not.
The pictures I took with my disposable camera show the happiest of memories. I was beaming all day long and still am, thinking of how in control I felt over my happiness. I truly felt as though I let the magic in me shine.
Russ Turner - Ah! So cool! Thanks for sharing! I’m hoping to go this fall and get the chance to escape for bit into the Wizarding World.
brookeshaden - Yes do go! Most magical place ever!
Jillian Peeples - I felt the SAME way when we went! Thank you so much for sharing. Perspective sometimes is everything! 🙂
brookeshaden - Ahhh that is wonderful. It brings out the kid in you in the best ways. I adore it 🙂
Amani - And here I was thinking you couldn’t get any awesomer.. I LOVE HARRY POTTER!! I grew up with the books and later, the movies and I can definitely say that it was the best part of my childhood.
You do look super happy, and I’m happy for you! And the pictures turned out great. They have this vintage feel, it’s awesome.
brookeshaden - Thanks Amani! I adore HP! I also grew up with the books, always being the same age as the main characters. I thought it was just incredible.
Daniel Tuck - I went there with my wife last year and we both loved it SO much! Also you need to go to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London which is just as incredible
brookeshaden - Ooooh sounds massively fantastic!!!
Kim - Oh yes.. I understand everything single word you have written only all too well. I went to Warner Bros studio in London with my son. We met up with around 18 Potterheads from around the globe whom I met on Pottermore. I was literally like a jumping bean all day but totally immersed in it all.. and your face of wonder up there was my face of wonder that day. ps: still waiting for my letter of acceptance to Hogwarts X
brookeshaden - Oh my gosh meeting up with other fans must be such a blast!
Margherita Introna - Ah what an adorable post! Life is filled with magic… one must just never stop looking for it <3 I hope we will be seeing your new wand in an image soon 😉 <3
brookeshaden - Life IS filled with magic, and I adore you for embodying that Margherita!
Paul Kepron - Brooke, you are so lucky to have had the chance to go! Looks like you had a blast. We all need to embrace our Inner Child once in a while and let it out! 🙂
brookeshaden - I agree – I felt like the luckiest kid in the world 🙂
Mary Angelini - How utterly AWESOME!! My daughter went there with her dad a few years ago and I was totally jealous. The entire Harry Potter series is awesome (the books are better than the movies, which themselves are pretty darned good). It looks like you had a blast and were in the perfect place to feel free to unleash your inner child! Fabulous!
Alysha - So amazing!! I love love LOVE Harry Potter. We took the kids to Florida just so we could go to Harry Potter World. Did you hear there’s a new Harry Potter section opening I think this year??
Sorry, I feel like such a creeper – I’ve watched some of the Creative Live classes you’ve done and you are incredible inspiring! Thank you for sharing your talent. And I’m so excited that you’ll be at the Click Away conference in Sept (registered for your class) 🙂
Nicholas Cormier - Brooke!! Haha. I can’t stop laughing while reading this! It’s awesome! I can’t wait to get back stateside and travel south and visit Hogwarts! Thanks for this, I needed a great story and laugh today 🙂
Anne - Please remember that all Snapes are not naughty! I am Anne Snape and I live at Snape Cottage….throughout my childhood I often travelled ‘through the wall’ and, actually, I can still go there whenever I so choose. Brooke, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog.
Jen Kiaba - This made me tear up a little bit to read! I loved the idea of approaching something with unabashed joy and wonder! Bravo!
Tom Newforge - I love it Brooke. So funny how the images you shot are so similar to mine. When I visited, I was with my wife’s friend and her young son.
I tried so hard to make all the images in that area appear as if we were actually in that world. We had so much fun and the ride was a blast! One of my favs for sure. Imagine something even bigger with more actors and more of a renaissance faire feel. I’ve always had fun at those. Being sent on “quests” and totally immersing yourself in that world. Fun stuff. You put a smile on my face even though I’m still fighting this nasty cold that’s going around. Thanks for that.
kate hailey - i very much wish to visit this one day. now that most of my family is in florida, i’m sure it will happen!
i just watched a bunch of the movies again, so wondrous! glad you got to go there.
Erin - I love reading your blog and find you so inspirational! This blog entry is just wonderful! I am a huge fan of fantasy and sci-fi and think that a little bit of whimsy in life is very important! Thanks for sharing your images, they are fantastic! (And awesome socks!!)
Crystal Dickerson-Hancock - Thank you so much for sharing your magical day with us!!!
Carlee - You are a true role model! Like these photo still wow me and make me want to be a better photographer . You a re just amazing! Thank you so much making this blog. Also may I ask you a questions I love the dresses you use in photos! How/where do you find them? Do you make them? Thank so much for being you :-).
Jenna - I adore this! I love how you just embraced your inner child and inner geek, I am totally jealous of those tardis socks! Also, I think the disposable camera was just what you needed for that magical day, the images are priceless! You wouldn’t have captured the same moments with digital. : )
jen sulak - i hope you nodded/winked/waved at the blue man group production there <3 🙂 looks like a GREAT TIME girl. and i love your tardis sox. 🙂
Kelly - Any situation can be turned negative or positive. Any part of life can be seen with magic or without, and it is up to us to decide which side we are on: the side of magic, or not……. You are so wise for your young years, ever been told you’ve an old soul? I would love to visit Harry Potter world, my kids grew up avid readers because of books like this series. I’ve been told I see things through rose colored lenses & I always reply & why would I want it any different, keep the magic alive! 🙂
Josh Cloud - are you going to gallifrey one later this month?? I just need to finish sewing the purple coat and my eleventh doctor costume will finally be done ^.^
Paige Jahoda - Brooke, you are magical! You inspire me to no end, you exude so much whimsy!
With love,from one Whovian to another. 😉
Britney - If you get the chance, try to go to the one in London. It is the movie studios where they filmed all of the films and has all of the costumes, sets, props, and I nearly died!! ALL of the everything. I am obsessed and planning to go back for the second time this year! I actually made a texture pack including textures from the Triwizard cup, the rug in the Gryffendor common room, and the mirror of Erised 😉