In Episode 65 of the Wandering But Not Lost Podcast, co-hosts Matt Emerson and Jan O’Brien welcome Susanne Zedlitz to the WBNL Podcast Studio. Suzanne is the team leader of the Zedlitiz International Real Estate Group and will be sharing her thoughts and experiences with team building. In Wandering Zen, Matt takes us to The Universal Orlando Resort to explore and discover the incredible Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
WBNL 52: Susanne Zedlitz discusses her approach to Team Building
Born and raised in Leeds, England, Susanne moved to Las Vegas 30 years ago to pursue the great American dream. Helping people achieve their own dreams in real estate has always been her passion.
Her past careers in entertainment and as the Special Events Director for MGM Resorts has provided her with the opportunity to travel around the world and work in such places as Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, Macau, Thailand, Japan, Russia, Canada, and Hawaii. This extensive travel has strengthened her appreciation for the diversity that Las Vegas brings and the cultural expectations of her clients.
When you choose the Zedlitz International Real Estate Group at Home Connect America, you can count on having a knowledgeable expert in your corner to navigate the selling and buying process from start to finish. Their reputation, dedication, enthusiasm and strong work ethic set them apart from other Realtors in town.
If you are selling your home, they implement proven National and International marketing programs that will attract the right buyer and the right price for your home. they utilize all the latest technology including video, photography and creative social media not to mention the already proven techniques in their 30 point marketing system.
If you are buying a home, you will receive their complimentary home warranty and your dedicated, loyal agent will offer strong negotiation tactics, impeccable operational skills, and top-notch service to put you in the home of your dreams.
Susanne has built a team of experts that service all areas of Las Vegas and they are committed to helping you achieve your goals in the selling and buying of traditional residential homes, new home sales and investment property.
They look forward to earning your business and serving your real estate needs.
Contact Susanne and the Zedlitz international Real Estate Group
License #: BS 0143932
Wandering Zen – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
If you are a Wizard or a Muggle, you will find the experience in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Orlando Resort, unlike anything that you have ever experienced anywhere at any time. It certainly helps if you are a fan of J.K. Rowling’s books or any of the 8 movies adapted from them, however, it’s not mandatory. The attention to detail and immersive design should delight any guest. If you aren’t feeling it though, just grab yourself a Wizard’s Brew and it will all be fine!
Diagon Alley ~ Universal Studios Florida
Imagine that you have received your invitation to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. First thing on your list is to ensure that you have collected all of the necessary supplies that you will need for the school year. As you begin to approach the entrance to Diagon Alley you’ll see Kings Cross train station and a row of brownstones, one of which is the secret meeting place for the Order of the Phoenix (watch the window on the second floor and you may get a glimpse of Kreacher, the house elf, getting a glimpse of you!) You might also want to stop and visit the Knight Bus and chat with Dre, the shrunken head, and copilot of said bus. But now, you’ll want to get a move on and enter Diagon Alley, but take note of the classic red Brittish phone booth just outside, you may want to stop back here later – or perhaps when you have some official business at the Ministry of Magic of course. Just dial 62442 (MAGIC).
In the alley behind the Leaky Cauldron, you’d typically find a brick wall where, if you tapped the correct brick (from the trash can, three up and two across), the wall would open and Diagon Alley would be at your feet. Luckily, there are so many people making a similar trip as you that the wall seems to be permanently open!
Now you are free to roam Diagon Alley. Enjoy. There is much to see, do, eat, and drink, in this magic place but don’t forget to purchase your school supplies and be vigilant that you have to catch the Hogwarts Express later.
- Quality Quidditch™ Supplies
- Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes
- Sugarplum’s Sweetshop
- Wands by Gregorovitch
- Gringotts™ Money Exchange
- Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment
- Magical Menagerie
- Borgin and Burkes™
- Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions
Libations & Nosh
- Leaky Cauldron™
- The Hopping Pot
- Eternelle’s Elixir of Refreshment
- The Fountain of Fair Fortune
- Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour
- Gringotts™ Money Exchange
- Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Once you have your supplies at hand, you are sufficiently sated with Butterbeer, enjoyed the song stylings of Celestina, and have escaped the wrath of ‘he that shall not be named’, it’s time to head over to Kings Cross and Platform 9 3/4 to catch the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade. Remember, you have to have faith as you lunge toward the solid brick column – the only way to enter platform 9 3/4. You’ll make it. As you await the train, think about the magical times that await you at school.
Hogsmeade ~ Universal Islands of Adventure
Expecto Patronum! Thankfully Harry and friends were aboard the Hogwarts Express to ward off the Dementors. Besides the chocolate frogs that escaped the trolley, the rest of the trip was rather pleasant. The beautiful English countryside, a flying car sighting, and a warm smile from Hagrid before entering the Hogsmeade station.
Hogsmeade is another quaint hamlet where you can pick up any last minute things before you head off to the castle and your school year. Your wand probably already selected you at Ollivander’s in Diagon Alley so perhaps you should pick up a Maurader’s Map here so that you can see everyone’s comings and goings in Hogwarts Castle. With that, I proclaim, “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good”.
Tour Hogwarts & Fly with a Hippogriff
Libations & Nosh
- Maybe this is a geek tip more than a pro tip, but I like my first visit each trip to start in Diagon Alley with the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade. It truly makes you feel as though you are on an adventure. I dare say, wandering, but not lost
- To make the Wizarding World even more immersive, you will find many small bronze plaques in the ground, in front of the shop windows, fountains, and other location throughout both areas. These give you instructions on how to cast a spell which will make something magical appear or animate. Of course, you will need to purchase an interactive wand at Ollivander’s in order to participate. Believe me, when I say, it is every bit as fun to watch people try to cast their spells. The look of excitement from young and old alike is often priceless
- You have to try a Butterbeer at least once. They are super sweet but super delicious. The lines can get long, but I’ve found that you usually find the shortest line at the Hog’s Head in Hogsmeade. They also serve a few different lagers and ales along with some whiskey firewater, if you are in need of a pop!
- The attractions are incredible, and thus, the queues can get very long. Universal offers an Express Pass and Express Unlimited Pass. The Express Pass allows you to enter through a separate MUCH shorter, queue. The Express Pass allows you to enter each attraction one time per day and the Express Unlimited Pass allows you, well, Unlimited queuing. During our last visit (Spring Break) we never waited for more than 15 minutes using our Unlimited Express Pass
- If you stay at Lowes Portofino Bay Resort, Hard Rock Hotel, or Loews Royal Pacific Resort, you’ll be issued an Express Unlimited Pass as part of your hotel package. This is a nice perk. But if you are not staying at one of the resorts mentioned above I recommend that you fork out the extra loot and buy either pass. It will make your day much more enjoyable
- Even the Public Conveniences (Rest Rooms) get into the act. It’s worth a pit stop
- Gringott’s dragon spews fire every 15 minutes or so
- DO NOT miss the soft serve Butterbeer ice cream in Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour. If Butterbeer just isn’t your thing, they have a long list of other delicious concoctions to enjoy
- The Hogwarts Express has a different show as you ride to and from each location so you’ll want to ride it both ways
- The Nighttime Lights projection show is great and thus crowded. You should see it at least once, so arrive early enough to get a good spot in front. Once you’ve seen it, I’d opt for taking a ride on Forbidden Journey while everyone else is outside waiting
- The food at the Leaky Cauldron and Three Broomsticks is good, so eat at one of these places at least once on your trip – it too is immersive and adds to your experience
- Just take time to really explore and look in every window and around every corner. There is so much to see here and so many little details that you will miss them if you are not looking. It’s actually a bit overwhelming – but in the very best way!
By now you can probably tell that I am a huge HP fan and every time I step into either of these places I am taken to a happy place. Even though they are jammed packed with people and they were designed to be intimate spaces, I truly find Wandering Zen here. Every detail is perfect, the food and drinks are great, the merchandise is fantastic, and the attractions are mind-blowingly good. To this Wanderer, it is hands-down my favorite theme park offering – anywhere.
The Universal Hollywood Hogsmeade is a near duplicate of the one in Florida so if you can’t make it across the country it will definitely deliver. They have yet to add Diagon Alley and Hogwarts Express, but I have no doubt that they will make their appearance in the future. The addition of Diagon Alley to the Florida park most certainly rounded out the experience. You really feel as though you are walking in Harry, Ron, & Hermoine’s footsteps.
In June, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure will debut in Hogsmeade, in Florida. This ground-breaking roller coaster will be unlike any other and will take you on a wild ride through the Forbidden Forest where you’ll meet some Cornish Pixies, Fluffy, Centaurs, and the Devil’s Snare. It’s is said to have multiple launch sequences which should make for a thrilling ride. Lastly, rumor has it that an area and attraction designed around the Ministry of Magic is on the horizon.
They can just keep on building and I’ll keep on returning. Mischief Managed!