Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Celebration Of Harry Potter 2018: The Best Costumes!

Now that I've shown you around the expos and merchandise, let's focus on the most magical part of HP Celebration: THE COSTUMES.


Guests come from all over the country to dress up and hang out with fellow fans, and every year the crowds get bigger and more intense. Of course most folks in Universal are NOT dressed up - the percentage is actually quite tiny compared to your average convention - but what these cosplayers lack in numbers they more than make up for with sheer ERMERGERSH factor:
 Game of Quidditch, anyone?


 Even the service dogs get in on the fun:

I love that fans are really putting their own spin on things, too; there were lots of fashion-bounds of non-human characters, like this Fawkes and Hedwig in the middle:

[Fawkes: Niky Sama]

Plus that's a young Professor Sprout [Hufflepuff At The Beach] and - behind them - Neville's grandmother, complete with fur stole and vulture hat!

Molly and Arthur have never looked sweeter:

And here comes their son Ron (aka little Noah), who's not only conquered his biggest fear, but is casually eating chips while riding around on it:


(This is the second wheelchair build for Noah; he had his own Hogwarts Express in my last post.)

On Saturday the Syfy Network was hanging around Diagon Alley filming cosplayers, so the corner near Wheasley's Wizard Wheezes was the place to be for great photos:

Look at this Sorting Hat dress!

[Shawna the Nerd]

When someone asked her to sort them, she had them use her little spinner board! That little bit of interactivity adds so much (I got to watch a few people do it, and they really lit up) and is one of those things that makes cosplay so much more fun for everyone.

Aha, I found another Quidditch team; I bet we'll have ourselves a match before long:

Rowena Ravenclaw and Professor Sprout:

So many gorgeous details on those two:

The cosplayers tended to band together, chatting and grouping up for photos, which was great for me:

Snape and Trelawney were perfect at getting into character:
[Legend Cosplay 67]

Before I forget: a LOT of the people I'm featuring today belong to the Facebook Group Central Florida Slug Club, which I believe is open to everyone, whether you live here or not. I just joined myself, so I don't know much about them, other than the fact they organize a lot of fan meets in the park throughout the year - including the Dressed To The 9 3/4s event I featured a few months ago!

Right, back to costumes.

Ahh, I love this next one: she dressed as the snowman:

She even has the owl! YES.

This lady Newt had the most fantastic [heh] Niffler - it's all I could do not to snatch it and run:

 Over by Celestina's stage I found this stylish Slytherin:

In fact there were several vintage-inspired House fashions around, and I have to say, I approve.

Also by the stage, this little girl was dressed like Celestina's Banshees!

(They sing a Quidditch song and carry bats just like that, so that's part of it, too!)

These lady Pygmy Puffs had some pretty epic photo-bombers:


And here' comes another super creative one: Slughorn's chair disguise!

Whaaaat. The chair they used for filming that scene was actually on display in the expo, so how cool to see a costume version.

Here comes a very different kind of seat... or should I call it a throne? [grin]

The knit plunger hat is inspired. :D She even had a TP roll on the side, and those are little plush Poo emojis in the bowl. SO WRONG. And so funny.

Turns out Beauxbaton's blue dresses pair perfectly with Sugarplum's Sweet Shop:

So sweet!

Harry and Ron's doppelgangers are back, this time in full Quidditch gear:

And I even found the Gryffindor common room's favorite painted lady:

[Mezzo Mama]

I later heard her singing a little opera, and it was AWESOME.

This band of Durmstrang ladies had the most incredible staffs - my favorite props of the entire weekend, in fact:

The staffs are all different colors, with gemstones embedded on the tops, and get this: the tops pull off to become their wands, hidden inside! AAAA! You'll see it in the video at the end of this post. (Also, spoiler, there's a video at the end of this post.)

Gorgeous. And are you picking up that this event is for all ages? Because that's my favorite part; everyone gets in on the fun.

Here comes some more fashionable twists on non-human characters. Like these two ladies dressed as Umbridge's office, if you can believe it:

The lettering for "I must not tell lies" is in shiny red foil, and there are kitten plates down the skirts!

Now here's the most magical bit: see that large round pin she's wearing on the left? THIS IS THAT PIN:

A post shared by Amy (@diz_wizcosplay) on

I have no idea how she did this, but it was SO COOL to see in person. She's also wearing the black feather quill as a pin on the other side.

Next, a group fashion-bounding as a Thunderbird, Niffler, Demiguise, and Occamy: 

And a pretty patronus:
Totally loving this Hufflepuff Lolita and the retro fifties style Slytherin and Gryffindor!

[Gryffindor: Sasssynach]
Seriously, House fashions are SO COOL.

This next fan has done the impossible: she made Dobby the House Elf adorable:

Right? And Tom Riddle's diary and the sock are excellent props.

Another picture-perfect Arthur and Molly Weasley:

And here's a real scream: Dudley Dursley and Aunt Marge mid-inflation! Ha!

 She's even holding her dog. Love it.

If you're wondering why all my backdrops are less than Pottery here it's because we're out by the Universal stage, waiting for the costume contest to start. The crowds were nearly Dragon Con level there, but it DID put all the Potter people in one place, so no complaints here.

One of the more Fantastic Newts:

And Pickett!

I had to chase down this Cornish Pixie - fortunately she was pretty easy to track through the crowd:

And check out the glorious wings on this Fawkes!

WOW. She said the wings are from an Etsy seller - I may have to go track them down. Even worn down like a cape they were just stunning.

Several of the people I've featured here were in the costume contest, but I'll end with a few more. (The light was really fading, but I did my best!)

First, a human Snitch! She said this costume had something like 5,000 hand-placed crystals on it:

Next, two sides of the same evil coin:

Graves and Grindelwald [NicholasDilallo].

I gotta say, with all love to Johnny Depp, this Grindelwald did it better.

And finally, my personal favorites from the contest: the four House Founders.

I'm sad my photos can't do these costumes justice. They worked on them a solid year, and it shows!

These four came in second place, with a really stellar Newt Scamander taking the grand prize. (Sorry I don't have a photo of him!) The Harry, Ron, & Hermione in my very first photo came in third.

As always I have more photos than I posted here, so head to my Flickr gallery to see the rest.

And finally, let's end with some live action looks, courtesy of John and his ever-growing skill with video editing, aw yeah:

John had a blast doing this, and he's already learned so much in just the last week, so you can expect more and better videos from us in the future. (The videos will always be in addition to my photos, so don't worry, MY STUFF isn't going anywhere, ha.) If you want to see our new vids as soon as they're posted, be sure to subscribe to Epbot over on Youtube. In fact I have our very first craft video going up soon, so watch that space!


  1. I love these posts so much <3! So many absolutely fantastic costumes! I'm also really impressed by the videos John has made. Keep 'em coming :D.

  2. For the kitten pin, there is a company that makes little round pins that will play .gif files. They may alternately have had a smartwatch tucked into theirs.

  3. John could give Sneaky Zebra a run for their money on filming cosplayers! Good job!! I love these posts and I definitely love how everyone is enjoying themselves. Being an -ahem- oldish person (51 next week), I am inspired. Thanks for the pictures and video!

  4. It always surprises me, how imaginative people get when creating costumes, especially those that are bounds, or human versions of objects.
    Just a small correction though, the knit plunger hat is actually crochet.

  5. Well done on the video, John! I love the bits of personality which come through like the couple who were dancing or the couple who kissed each other or the lady at the end who blew a kiss.

  6. Wow! So. much. talent. I love the range of ideas, from the very subtle bounding to the perfect recreation of the characters. John's videos are the icing on your photography cake (no wrecks!). ;)


  7. my only beef with any of these is really a beef with the movie. the Gryffindor painting is of "a fat lady in a pink dress" and that lady while movie PERFECT is neither fat nor in pink ;)

  8. Welp. Now I need to save my money to make it to one of these celebrations. Everyone's posts shared over the last week have made me so envious to have missed out on another year. I love all your photos (and John's video) though, because at least I'm not totally missing all the fun. I adore the creativity that people have. I especially love the Umbridge office ladies. Inspired!

  9. Great pics! I love the Rita Skeeter in the video!

  10. I read every post, but virtually never post (too shy). But I had to come here and say that as much as I LOVE the photos, that video made me feel like I was there, and I found it so touching that I almost cried.

    Thanks, John!!!

    1. I'm so glad! It really does bring a new kind of magic when you tell cosplayers you're taking video, and I love how some of them immediately came to life and play-acted in character, or just did something sweet or funny. It's safe to say John & I are both hooked, and can't wait to do more costume videos.

  11. If anyone finds the seller for that gorgeous Fawkes cape, please post it! I searched all over Etsy and couldn't find it.

    1. Maybe these....

  12. Little Noah has some magical parents! That just melts my heart. So mamy amazing costumes. Being a short drive from "Hogwarts" is the only thing I like about living in Florida.

  13. Sigh - I love all the costumes, but you left us out - signed Arabella Figg and Mundungus Fletcher.

    1. You guys deserve a big shout out, I have a wonderful pic of you from back stage at the costume contest, one of my favorites :)

    2. I wish I could have taken your picture, believe me! It was killing me that only premium ticket holders could go beyond the gate to where you costume contestants were right after the contest; I could see you from a distance, but couldn't reach you. [insert all the crying emojis here]

  14. The video looks great!!!! I love that you're trying this new thing.
    Pinkie Welborne, 17

  15. Loved the Aunt Marge blowing up. We got a hearty laugh out of that costume! So good.

  16. Thanks for sharing all your wonderful photos, including the one of us as the founders! I have to give you full credit because your photos of the founders costumes from the HP Expo a few years were the best source on the internet the colors and textures of the original costumes. We looked at them over and over to help pick out fabrics :) -Helga ;)

    1. Ahhh, that makes me so happy! You four really blew me away, amazing work.


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