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An Adopted Kid’s Thoughts on Escape from Gringotts


My Thoughts on the Escape from Gringotts Ride at Universal Studios Orlando

from the quill of Jasmine Fink

It was really crowded at Universal Studio’s Diagon Alley area when we had to put our stuff in a locker. The park will not allow any bags or loose items on the ride so you are allowed a complimentary locker for a short amount of time. Then, we had to wait in line for a little bit. It was kinda cool waiting to ride. At the front, where you first walk into the building, there are some goblins working at the bank teller stations and one talks to you. The other goblins are working in a huge hall of Gringotts Bank that has three huge chandliers. [The whole story behind the ride is that you are a Muggle (a non-magical person) here to open up an account at Gringotts Bank.]



After you wait for a while in the main bank hall/lobby, you go through a smaller back hall of the bank. [You pass offices of the various goblins that work at the bank. If you pay attention you will even see the goblin Griphook’s office. Griphook is a big part of the Harry Potter books. Visitors then walk into Bill Weasley’s office. Bill is a wizard and brother to one of the main characters in the books. Bill and another goblin show up in the office via video screen to tell you that they are taking you to your vault in the underground caverns.] After passing through Bill’s office, you are led into an elevator. You have to go down to the caverns to get to your vault that you are opening. Next, you get some 3D glasses. Then, you go up some stairs, and some staff ask how many people are in your party. After that, you are seated by four into ride carts. Next, you ride through a fantastic and realistic ride. I think that everyone should be able to go ride Escape from Gringotts.

The ride was very enjoyable for us because we like fast and jerky rides. There was a part where you got sprayed by a few drops of water, but isn’t very wet. We got thrown, hit, and spun. It was a lot like the sister ride in the Wizarding World, The Forbidden Journey, but this ride is in 3D and not as scary. (There are no spiders.)

[Spoiler Alert – My description of the ride itself]


Hufflepuff-daughter-adopted-hogwarts-orlando-floridaYou are trying to open an bank account. [You begin your descent into the caverns in your Gringotts cart. Bill and his goblin friend show up on a track ahead of you to attach their cart to yours.] The defenses are set off because there are imposters in the bank somewhere. Bellatrix, an evil witch, is warned and finds you thinking that you’re the imposters trying to steal from her bank vault. She hits you with a spell. You go down a tunnel on the cart and Bill Weasley [saves you by casting a spell that halts the cart. You see Harry Potter, Hermoine Granger, and Ron Weasley in another cart. They tell Bill that they are hunting horcruxes (magical items keeping the evil wizard Voldemort alive). The bank defenses throw the trio from their cart and trolls show up to take care of you in your cart.] Trolls throw you [and knock you off the cart track and you begin falling. Bill shows up again to hit you with a spell that ceases your falling.] You land at the spot Harry, Hermoine, and Ron are on the dragon and Bill saves you from the dragon’s fire by casting a water charm. Then, you are told to go into your vault, because you’ll be safe from Bellatrix and Voldemort in there. Voldemort breaks through the wall of the vault. Bellatrix is also there and she tries to torture you. [Both of them know that you saw Harry Potter and think you know where he is at.] Voldamort says, “Maybe a little dose of pain to help you remember!” Then, he blows a big ball of fire, but the trio on the dragon shows up and blows the fireball away. Last, Harry, Hermoine, and Ron get you out of the caverns, but I won’t tell you how. You have to ride the ride yourself.

Note: This ride may be loud for smaller children.






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Chapter 14 – Are You Seeing Things Correctly? – Kids’ Discussion


Another chapter that is full of happenings.

  • Hermione is driving Harry and Ron crazy about studying for exams.
  • All three kids want to know what Snape is up to.
  • Everyone is curious about how to get past Fluffy and the other enchantments.
  • Hagrid has a dragon egg!

After reading this chapter, our family began a discussion on the dragon egg story. We all found it interesting how Hagrid treated the dragon. What did you notice about Hagrid’s care for the dragon?

Here’s what our adopted kiddos noted about the dragon as a pet – reality:

  • Norbert is going to be way too big for a home.
  • Dragons bite and their bites are quite dangerous.
  • A dragon could burn your home to the ground.
  • Baby dragons seem to be independent – they can take care of themselves.

However, the kids noted this about Hagrid:

  • Hagrid desperately wanted a dragon and ignored the dangers to get what he very much wanted in life.
  • Hagrid treated the dragon as if it were helpless – like a baby human.

As we read about the situation with Norbert the baby dragon, there was a lot of laughing and jaws dropping in surprise. The whole situation just seems comical and ridiculous. One of my kids asked, “Why can’t he see what is really happening?”

This brought us to a conversation about how we all do the same thing. The kids had to think for a bit about this one. They just didn’t think there was any way that they could be like Hagrid. We do it all the time though in everyday life and with special foster care circumstances.


Foster/Adoptive Specific:

  • My daughter told us that she believed that being put into foster care was her fault. She thought at first that if she could just behave long enough she would get to return to her biological home. She saw the situation like Hagrid. She now says that she knows she couldn’t stay at her home because her mom couldn’t take care of her properly. In fact it was dangerous.
  • My middle son explained that he had no clue what was happening when he went into foster care. He just saw the situation as adults doing mean things to him. In fact he thought his whole life was going to be a series of moves from one foster home to another. To him adoption was just something that the adults told him about but was not something that was really going to happen. Now he understands that caseworkers really were trying to keep him safe, they were searching for an adoptive home for him, and his biological home just was not safe.

Everyday Life:

  • My youngest son doesn’t like to brush his teeth. Can you relate to that? He brushes as fast as he can without hitting all the teeth with the brush. He only brushes his teeth so that mom and dad don’t get upset. He sees brushing teeth as a way of avoiding getting into trouble. The reality is he needs to brush his teeth so his teeth won’t get cavities and decay.
  • One of our kids doesn’t like to read – A LOT. Dad has required a chapter of reading from this person every night or else that person has to pay a dollar from their allowance. This kiddo sees reading as a possible way to lose money. In reality if this child doesn’t improve their reading, when it comes time, the school will not let them get a learner’s permit to drive. It will also affect what kind of job they will get in the future.



We learned in this chapter that even though Hagrid was seeing things in an odd way, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were not going to be able to change his mind. Why?! Hagrid really, really, REALY wanted a dragon and did not want to see reality. The trio wanted to keep their friend out of trouble, BUT it was not their responsibility.

As kids, you see adults and your friends do strange things all the time. It’s not up to you to help adults or friends to change their strange behavior. You are responsible for YOU. Foster kids want their biological parents to change so they can go home. Adopted kids (even our kiddos) want to go back and help their biological parents. However, my kids agree that until a person wants to change, they are NOT going to change. In some circumstances, they can’t change. There could be mental health or physical problems that keep them from being able to change their behavior.

You can show a morbidly obese person how to eat healthy, but you can’t teach someone born without legs how to walk.

It’s Normal to want Normal

At the end of our conversation about Chapter 14, my oldest son offered this thought. He explained that he really loved his adopted family. However, he really would like to be back in his biological home. He knows that there are good reasons for him being in his adoptive family, but he wishes that the issues were not there. All the kids agreed with him. It’s normal to want to live with the family you were born into. However, he is still glad for the family he has now.

Now It’s Your Turn:

  1. What would be the scariest thing about owning a dragon for you?
  2. Is there a chore that you don’t like to do? Why do you have to do it?
  3. If you’re an adopted/foster child, why were you put into foster care?
  4. What did you learn from this chapter?

Help Other Kids and Families:

Share your ideas and thoughts about this blog in the comments below. Your comments and opinions will help other families as they discuss this topic in their own house.


Kids’ Discussions:
Ch. 01
| Ch. 02Ch. 03 | Ch. 04 | Ch. 05 | Ch. 06 | Ch. 07 | Ch. 08 | Ch. 09 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15 | Ch. 16 | Ch. 17

Parents’ Discussions:

Ch. 01 | Ch. 02 | Ch. 03 | Ch. 04 | Ch. 05 | Ch. 06 | Ch. 07 | Ch. 08 | Ch. 09 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15 | Ch. 16 | Ch. 17