Saturday, February 6, 2016

Universal's Harry Potter Celebration 2016: Expo Tour and Alan Rickman Tributes

Last post I covered all the awesome costumes from Universal's Potter Celebration, so now let's take a look at the special exhibits and events they had going throughout the weekend. 

First, and probably the biggest draw, there were several cast Q&As on the main stage:

These included the actors who played Ron, Cho Chang, Ginny, Neville, and Luna.  


We especially enjoyed Neville's 70's 'stache and sideburns - which he mentioned are for a new project:
The giant screens were really helpful, and even standing as far back as we were, I could hear a lot of their answers. (The Leaky Cauldron live-streamed some of these panels, btw, so click this way to watch video of them!)

The other two special attractions had enormous lines all weekend, so we didn't bother waiting for The Sorting Hat Experience:

Essentially a cast member holds the hat over your head, and a recording of the Hat's voice calls out which House you belong to. SO not worth a two-hour wait, unless maybe you have little ones.

The thing worth waiting for was the special Potter Expo:

This wait never went under an hour all three days we were there, and it even closed early 2 of the 3 days because the crowds were so big. Universal made the wait bearable by showing the cast Q&A or the movies on a giant screen over the queue, though, which was a nice touch.

Once inside you could shuffle through a short line arranged around a bunch of merchandise displays:

Oddly enough you couldn't buy any of this stuff there, though; this giant Fluffy and the Fawkes over head were from FAO Schwartz.

These Hedwig and Buckbeak hats were pretty much the greatest things in the entire building:

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Best Costumes From Universal's Harry Potter Celebration, 2016

Last weekend Universal held their annual Harry Potter Celebration, a special event included with regular admission. Though it's not exactly packed with new activities, the Celebration does include a great cast Q&A, a "Sorting Hat Experience," and a special Expo area filled with promotional items and movie props.

The best part for me, though, are the guest costumes. Unlike party-pooper Disney, which recently banned costumes on anyone over age 14, Universal actively encouraged Potter fans to dress for the occasion - with a few "guidelines," of course:

The rules were mostly common sense stuff: no face coverings, nothing offensive, and if you carry a homemade wand, it can't be too pointy. (These are all my paraphrases, of course.)

I'll be covering the events portion of the weekend - including the fan-organized tributes to Alan Rickman - in a future post. But for now, costumes!

 The Weasley's have never been more adorable. In fact, these two are in my top favs from the whole weekend.

 (I decided to give my pics a vintage vibe with the editing, btw. It just felt right.)

A dapper witch and a Blue Cornish Pixie! Hee! (Those ears are faaabulous.)

 A quidditch player and a reporter for the Daily Prophet:

The reporter had a press badge on her hat, and a custom skirt covered with Daily Prophet articles!

This group had their own Dobby and magical supplies cart:

I was delighted to see two or three Lion-Head-Lunas over the weekend:

And here's the Snape-in-Neville's-grandmother's-clothes who REALLY stole the show: