Monday, January 29, 2018

Celebration of Harry Potter 2018: First Looks Friday!

You guys, I have so much fun stuff to show you from last weekend! Universal's Celebration of Harry Potter never fails to bring out some of the best fan costumes, and the official exhibits aren't too shabby, either. (I'll start with exhibits and end with costumes, so stick around 'til the end!)

Since the crowds are a little less on Friday, that's the day John and I queue up for both exhibit areas and check out the new merch, free swag, and fun prop displays. Even on Friday that required around two hours waiting in various lines - and the halls were HOT this year, with only a few fans scattered around to ease our pain. Oof.

But! Thanks to our efforts we scored the exclusive new Celebration wand (only 1,000 made, so it sold out Day 1! Yikes!), which was not only in stock, but also a million times better quality and design than last year's:
 So pretty. The end is a shiny black "gemstone" - actually plastic, but very convincing.

Plus they were giving out this Knight Bus poster and pins for free:

These posters change every year, one per book. I'm excited that we still have all the previous ones; someday that's going to make one heckuva wall display.

And the free pins:

Of course the posters are already all over ebay, so just remember, folks: we got them for free, and could take several if we wanted to. (We only asked for one each, but others were clearly stocking up.) So don't let anyone scalp you too badly, k?

I also see the wands are going for up to $300 on ebay, so just so you know, they cost around $60. And no, we won't sell you ours. ;)

Now on to the big BIG surprise: John experimented with video this weekend! Here's a quick look around both expo buildings - including the Studio Tour, which took another hour's wait to see, so don't miss the end:

My favorite part is around 1:50 when you can see all the glittery goodness in the Weasley twin's suits!

This is John's first ever attempt at something like this (he's teaching himself iMovie), so I am super psyched. In fact we have plans  - crafty plans, you might say - for the future, so if you're on Youtube go subscribe, K?

Getting back to the expo,  you can see it's quite dark in there. The booths included a VR experience, stuff for Pottermore and the new phone game that just debuted, advertisements for The Cursed Child, etc.

Of course I also took pictures, so here are a few favorites:

MinaLima is always the best area, just for all the COLOR. They introduce new art prints and postcards every year - and the floor was especially awesome this time:

I found it interesting that prop baby Harry has green eyes - as he should - but they didn't give Daniel Radcliffe green eyes for the films:

Also I can't tell you how creepy it is that the first thing you see in this giant, pitch-dark exhibit hall is a crib under a spotlight with a staring fake baby in it. WHAAAAT.

The owl mobile over it was pretty dang awesome, though:

After seeing these film-used omnoculars, I'm super impressed with the toy version you can buy in the parks - the two are almost identical! I just need to add a better strap to ours and find a way to swap out the plastic dome for a big glass one.

For the costume exhibit you could wait in another line to go up on stage for a closer look. The lighting made full-body shots almost impossible, but here are some cool details:

This headpiece still baffles me. It's made up of hundreds of tiny metal flowers on pins? I think?

I want that suit for me. So sparkly.

Right, that's the exhibits, now let's look at some of my favorite guest costumes!

Lovely Beauxbaton students!

One of my favorites was actually in line with us for the expo: here's little Noah in his very own Hogwarts Express!

Talk about parents of the year! This family was so cool - and you guys, just WAIT until you see Noah's mode of transport on Saturday. IT GETS EVEN BETTER. But you'll have to wait 'til my next post to see it, because I'm cruel like that.

Standing in line also meant I got to catch a few people as they were leaving the expo. Here's a great Madam Pomfrey and Professor Trelawney:

The Ghostbusters geek in me loves this backdrop for them, ha. Also, I love that they have props! Props make everything better, gang. Next Halloween I really should tackle making my own Skele-Grow bottle.

Here comes the most stunning Occamy sculpt I have ever seen:

Er, we're looking at the occamy, ladies and gents. Focus. ;) 

Seriously, that occamy is a masterpiece. The entire body was covered in feathers - mostly peacock down the tail - and the head sculpt is the stuff that dreams are made of. Look at the tiny iridescent feathers on the face! And the horns! It's so beautiful.

Speaking of occamies, you might remember this puppeteer had a really cool occamy last year, but when I spotted him Friday he'd swapped it out for a baby dragon!

You guys know I have a soft spot for costumes that involve puppets, and this one is fab.

Here he is in motion:

Just a few feet away this Newt gave me a prize for being a fellow Hufflepuff! (Shh, yes, I've decided I'm a Puff now.)

I got a hand-knit mini Newt scarf, AND a little glowing vial of Swooping Evil venom for any "memory problems," hint hint.

I love interactive cosplay, and I now I need to figure out where you get teeny tiny glowsticks! You know, for reasons.

Speaking of fun interactions, check out this Trolley witch from the Hogwarts Express:

She built the trolley onto a stroller, and it's loaded down with so many sweet details:

My favorite is her Bertie Bott's hat, though; look at that magnificence.
This Arthur Weasley had a whole queue of people waiting to take a photo with him - and it's easy to see why:

The squeaky rubber duck clinched it.

This professor Trelawney is one of my favorite regulars - she had the most radiant smile before getting into character, and after I took the shot she stage-whispered, "Fifty points to Hufflepuff!"

A Quiddich player and a gorgeous Daily Prophet dress:

Here's your double-take of the day: this Harry and Ron also had a queue of folks waiting - you could go sit between them for a pic:

Even better, Harry sounded just like Harry! And note his sweet copy of Advanced Potion Making.

Last but never least, all the kudos to this Ilvermorny student for being the only fan I found all weekend in robes from the American school, Thunderbird house:

And what gorgeous robes they are!! Wowie. I'd love to see more Ilvermorny love like this!

Hope you guys enjoyed, and hold on to your Sorting hats, because I have SO MUCH MORE coming up in my Saturday post! Stay tuned!


  1. Oh wow, great pics! That occamy is GORGEOUS! And I see why the Arthur Weasley had some many picture-takers. He looks absolutely accurate, and his expression with the duck!! <3 Thanks for sharing your pics and John's awesome video, and welcome to Hufflepuff! #PuffPride

  2. I love that Ron's (probably hand me down) pants are too short. A tiny detail that most wouldn't notice specifically but it helps sell the character.

  3. Here’s info about the change to Harry’s eyes in the movies... poor Dan.

  4. Try a sporting goods store for little glow lites. They are used as fishing lures.

  5. I need about 1000 like buttons and a cry. These are fabulous pictures, tell John the video is fantastic, and ... GAH.


  6. I need the snake clasp!!! Especially since not only am I a Slytherin, I'm also a Horned Serpent. See?! Meant for me!

  7. Those are mouth glow sticks. All kinds based on quantity. Here is a hundred count on Amazon:GiftExpress 100 Pcs 1.5 Inch Glow Sticks / Fishing Floats - Assorted Color

  8. Huh, occamy? I didn't see it, I'll have to go back and look again..... Ok I'm back, Oh yeah! The occamy, sorry forgot what I was looking for, be right back.... Nope, sorry, I guess I keep missing it. I'll just go back and try again.

    1. Ha! I almost don't dare admit on here that I haven't seen Fantastic Beasts and am not much of a Harry Potter buff, so when I first scrolled down I was thinking that he was indeed a stunning Occamy. It took me a second to realize that the Occamy was probably the creature . . .

    2. Bahahaa! Oh, you guys. NEVER CHANGE.

  9. *claps* Nice to see a fellow Thunderbird. Amazing pics!

  10. Really wonderful pictures.Its so nice for me, who will probably never get to these kinds of things,Thank you for sharing!!

  11. On the subject of those Knight Bus posters - don't pay eBay prices, just swing by your nearest B&N that's hosting the Harry Potter Book Night this Saturday (2/3). Participating stores received 100 of them to hand out to people who come in that night, and I know last year our store didn't run out because so few people know to come get them!

    1. OMG thanks for this! Didn't know about this event. Now it's on my calendar to take my kiddos!

  12. The Occamy :) Also, the Ilvermorny costume- great idea. :) I'm still struggling with my Hogwarts robes, so kudos on starting to branch out. :)

  13. I know you were with John & that's why you were focused on the occamy...that guy has magical eyes! Wow & hubba hubba!

  14. Hey! That's me with the dragon! I made him the week before CoHP and everyone loved him so much I'm planning to make a series of them to sell. Have a good one!

  15. Whoot whoot! Thunderbirds! That's my house too! The robes are beautiful and what a fun idea.

  16. Oh dear, that Occamy is gorgeous. I may need my own. I was a sucker for Frank though in the movie.


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