If you’re a millennial, you’ve likely entered the Harry Potter universe, dubbed ‘Potterverse’, at one point or another throughout your childhood, adolescence, and even twenty-something years. You’ve probably taken online quizzes to determine your Hogwarts house to establish whether you’re a Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin. Chances are high that you’re one of the buyers of the 450 million copies of books sold worldwide. If you’ve never read the books, odds are good that you’ve seen the Harry Potter movies featuring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and iconic feminist Emma Watson.

In short, Harry Potter books, films, and merchandise have impacted millennials in endless ways. Millennials grew up with Harry. From childhood to adolescence we stuck by Harry, learning important life lessons like the depth of true friendship, the fight between good and evil, finding the strength to face our fears, and the eternal power of love even through loss.

The Harry Potter franchise has left a mark on the lives of so many millennials, which is reason enough to want to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Being a millennial with a huge love for the Potterverse, I knew I had to make a trip to Orlando, FL to see the wizarding world for myself.

4 Reasons Millennials Should Visit Harry Potter World

1. The rides are epic.

It probably goes without saying that the rides in Harry Potter World are absolutely thrilling. There are two major rides in the Potterverse and they are equally worth waiting in an hour long line (or more) to experience.

The first one is Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts which is located in Diagon Alley in Universal Studios. This ride is truly awesome. What makes this ride worth the wait is that you while in line you walk through Gringotts bank. Upon entering Gringotts, you are greeted by animatronic goblins seated in desks on either side of the room, working as seen in the movies. The room is gorgeous with every detail in the movie coming to life in the amusement park. The ride itself is fast-paced, dark and moody, and jerky in all the best ways as a 3-D and 4-D motion simulation plays.

The second major ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, is located in Hogwarts in Islands of Adventure. In this ride you wait in line inside Hogwarts, walking by Dumbledore’s magical office, down hallways of talking portraits including the films’ iconic Fat Lady, and more. This ride in particular is incredible. I actually cried because I was so full of emotion. Throughout this rollercoaster you hang with your feet dangling and you soar around with 3-D and 4-D simulation. I was overwhelmed with emotion as I was flying in a quidditch match, spiders fell from above in the Dark Forest, and dementors chased me.

As a millennial who grew up with the books and movies, it felt like my childhood dreams came true.

2. The shops are everything.

The shops everywhere are impossibly realistic. Buy a wand at Ollivanders, eat lunch at the Leaky Cauldron, enjoy a butterbeer ice cream, and more. In Diagon Alley (Universal Studios) above Gringotts sits the dragon which actually roars and breathes fire–you can feel the heat! In Hogsmeade (Islands of Adventure) there’s Hagrid’s Hut, a choir of singing characters, and more.

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Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes is a must to shop at if you love Fred and George, especially their toys and jokes. The shops and sites on both parks are truly magical.

3. The merchandise is swoon-worthy.

Bookmarks, holiday ornaments, cloaks, wands, bags, mugs, jewelry, and more are available in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley for purchase. There are countless souvenirs that any millennial could justify buying to bring back home as a keepsake. True fans of the Harry Potter franchise are bound to find far too many magical options to choose from.

4. Your childhood dreams will come true.

If you’re a millennial, Harry Potter undoubtedly found a place in your life. Maybe the books motivated you to read (thanks for that J.K. Rowling). Perhaps you went to the movie theater upon each film’s release. Whatever the circumstance, if the Harry Potter franchise influenced you in a positive way, you are bound to have your childhood dreams come true of riding the Hogwarts Express, walking through the halls of Hogwarts, visiting Gringotts Bank, and more.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the place for any fan. Make it a point to visit if you can. You won’t regret it!

Have you been to Harry Potter World? If so, what was your favorite part of the experience?

All photos and videos courtesy Rachael Tulipano.

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The Magic of Harry Potter (And Why We Still Love It) For many of us, Harry Potter defined our childhoods. And now, he defines our adult lives as well.