Monday, November 13, 2017

I Went To My First "Harry Potter Dapper Day!"

There's a small fan-run event here in Orlando (and also LA) called "Dressed To The 9 3/4s," held in the Wizarding World sections of Universal. It's essentially Dapper Day with a Harry Potter twist (um, YES PLEASE), so yesterday John and I went along with a few friends to check it out!

I really liked the low-key, friendly vibe of this event. Disney's Dapper Day (which is next weekend) has gotten SO big that Disney had to ban official group meet-ups, so it's more intimidating to strike up conversations and meet fellow Dappers, what with everyone going their own way.

Here at 9 3/4s, though, it was a small enough group to allow everyone to be together, chatting and mingling about, but large enough that you still felt part of a group. The outfits ranged from fun to fabulous, and to put a sparkly cherry on top, most of the new Christmas decorations are up now around both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley! So prepare for lots of outfit shots *and* magical scenery:

 (I've decided I need to embiggen all my Snitch ornaments now.)

The toothbrush! So wrong, so funny.

Here's the whole group all together:

Several more showed up later, but this gives you an idea of how many we had. And I'm sure it'll keep growing every year!

John and I even found some Huffley things in our own closets to wear, though I forgot to get a picture of us together. (Oops.) Here are the photos I shared over on Instagram:

I sewed the little felt badger face on my $10 Walmart purse late the night before, and both it and my wand holster were a big hit. 

And John's show-stopper shot:

Aw yeah, MY MAN.

 That coat! And that newsprint dress! Swoons-ville.

A cute Niffler-themed flapper (!!) and a lady who themed her entire outfit around the Wiseacres shop!

She made all of her jewelry and accessories, and the details are stunning. Look at that necklace! IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL.

Wiseacres is the celestial-themed, steampunk-style shop in Diagon Alley, btw - so of course it's my favorite:

Quick scenery break:

I like the owl feathers in this wreath - such a great little touch.

In fact, all of the themed wreaths and garlands are pretty spectacular. The Daily Prophet wreath has a letter-press star in it:

While Flourish & Blott's has flowers made of book pages:

K, back to outfits.

The Slug Club encourages vintage styles, so a lot of folks were straight out of Fantastic Beasts:

Hogwarts House flappers!

And a dapper Tina vibe here on the right:


 Some too-cool-for-school Sytherins:


I joked with the lady on the right that she needed to do a leg kick to show off her green petticoat - so she did! Yay!


Here comes another of my favorites: this lovely reporter for the Daily Prophet had her whole backstory figured out, plus a variety of props to choose from for photos! (I went with the quill and notebook. :D)

Look at all these gorgeous details!

So good.

Then I went chasing after these: 


The lady in purple on the right has Knight Bus signs on her hat & belt!

A little Tonks & Lupin love:

(That's Seraphima Cosplay as Tonks.)

And this group was too funny:

That's Agent Cho Chang of the Ministry of Magic, giving a dirty look to a Ginny & Harry's PDA.  :D

I should mention that in general the organizers frown on specific character cosplays, but all of these folks did a beautifully subtle job of it, so it's OK. Just don't show up with Luna's lion headdress or something. ;) 

More new holiday goodies:

There has to be a dozen different kinds of garland just around Diagon Alley alone. Most are fairly generic/unthemed, but this bit on the Apothecary is especially dreamy.

And Ollivander's suddenly looks complete with its new trimmings:

Like it's the thing that's always been missing, right?

Madam Malkin's garland has the sweetest pink ribbons and cheery flowers in it:

And segueing back to costumes, you can see a little of the SugarPlum's garland behind this picture-perfect Beauxbaton's student:


Don't let this next Slytherin gent's stare fool you: he got picked to go on stage with Celestina Warbeck, and can leg-kick-while-wearing-a-boa with the best of 'em:

That's our friends Jen, Emily, & Jeff there on the left: they're great to hang out with.

 Actually John and I were with quite a few different friends throughout the day, and it turns out I was gone so much (off taking photos) that a lot of people assumed our friend Traci was John's other half, taking pictures and telling them what a cute couple they were.
When they told me later, I knew something had to be done about this, IMMEDIATELY.

That's better. (Hi, Traci!) 

Then John dipped Jeff, because John is John and Jeff is a good sport:

We're a real hoot to hang out with, you guys. :D

Sometime after this the whole group took the Hogwarts Express over to Hogsmeade:

While in line we spotted the BEST Delores Umbridge. Look:

 Tell me she doesn't have the expression down. Ha!

Over in Hogsmeade we met up with some more dear friends, Steph & Mitch:

Actually, it occurred to me everyone we got to hang out with yesterday - at one point I think there were 9 of us? - John and I met through Epbot.  I mention that because I'm always getting messages from people saying they're too shy to meet up with us, or to say hi if they see us IRL. So please, SAY HI. I've met nearly all my best friends that way.

Now more pretties:

 That clock tower is probably my favorite thing in Hogsmeade - yes, even more than the castle. If you're ever nearby and hear what sounds like a weird train whistle, look up.

This adorable wooden owl comes out! And now I want one.

My Sugar Plum self portrait:

See me in the reflection? 

Hogwarts castle is surprisingly hard to photograph with all the people around, but here's a little  section of it: 

And the snow-wizard with his snow-owl:

And finally, a photo that completely fails to show just how magical Hogsmeade looks at night now:

All the lighted garland throughout the village is twinkly heaven, you guys. I made the group walk through it twice on the way out - I think I could have stayed all night! Next week all the official Christmas stuff begins, including the castle projection show and new treats & entertainment, so I can't wait to go back for that.

Hope you enjoyed your virtual visit with me! Locals, be sure to like the Central Florida Slug Club FB page to watch for news of next year's event. I've also uploaded all my photos - including several more than are posted here - over on my Flickr, if you want to check those out. 


  1. Wowza, the place looks amazing when decorated like that! I think the best ornament was the dapper attendees. ^_^
    Thanks for the photo tour!

    Pinkie Welborne, 17

  2. What great fun this looks like, and in the funnest place on earth! I hope that my wife and I will get to see Universal at Christmas some time -- that last pic, particularly, was VERY enticing.

    BTW, isn't the torch singer Celestina Warbeck? I was called up to be onstage with her on our visit a year ago -- a little disorienting for a shy old (68) guy!

    1. Ha, yes, you're right about Warbeck - not sure where my brain went there. All fixed, thanks!

  3. It hurts that I haven't seen the new Diagon Alley, and likely won't be able to for years... Looks so amazing!

  4. Fantastic timing! We're doing Harry Potter and the Kurisumasu-ai event next month, so I thought we could do a Potter-bounding workshop with Animania this week based on my poke-bounding one.

    These pictures are PERFECT! Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. Oh, what a fun event and great pictures! Your Hufflepurse is too cute for words.

  6. This looks like SO. MUCH. FUN! You and John rocked the Huffledom! :)

  7. Wow, that last shot looks stunning!

    Hey Jen - I’m getting some awful advertising that takes over the page. Is there someone I should email about it?

    1. John's on it, thanks for the head's up! (Curse these ads. I'm more and more tempted to do some kind of pledge drive to get them off the site completely! :/)

    2. Thanks John :) Ooo I would definitely give to that!

  8. My wife just literally clapped at the monitor for John's portrait! :)

  9. This is so cool and fun! It definitely gets me even more excited for our yearly fall Disney/Universal trip at the end of November.

    Hubby and I need to move to the Orlando area, so that we can participate in all of these amazing events and have a chance to run into you guys! Only being able to make it two times a year just doesn't cut it, haha.

  10. The Ginny is Sketch Deviant Cosplay, Harry is Morgan Wolfblood, and the Cho Chang is Caustic Musings, on all social platforms!

  11. Jen I always appreciate your photo tours so much! I can sort of join in all the park fun that way. Loved all the dapper costumes.


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