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Universal Releases Schedule for 2018 Celebration of Harry Potter
Posted by Megs

Universal has released the full schedule for this year’s Celebration of Harry Potter at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort! Some new exhibitions have also been added to the 2018 Harry Potter Expo:

  • An all-new virtual reality experience featuring Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Step into Newt Scamander’s case to explore the spectacular world of the film in a breathtaking cinematic virtual reality experience – including face-to-face meetings with six beasts!
  • Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, a mobile game launching under Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s Portkey Games. Experience the magic of Hogwarts castle with a life-sized gallery wall, giveaways and hands-on gameplay. Plus, don’t miss out on the chance to hear from developers of the game during a special panel presentation later in the weekend.

Special activities that will happen throughout the weekend have also been revealed:

  • A Celebration of Harry Potter 2018 Scavenger Hunt – Throughout the weekend, guests will be tasked with searching for the answers to a series of clues hidden in both magical and Muggle locations throughout The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. A fun experience for all Harry Potter fans, families and kids alike!
  • Hogwarts Houses Rally and Costume Showcase – This is your chance to shine onstage and showcase your house colors, passion and creativity in a competition for the best themed attire. Each contestant who is selected can be individual or group costume and will be judged on the quality and craftsmanship of their costume. Come dressed to impress in your wizarding world best! Click here for more details and guidelines on the Costume Showcase.

The full schedule for the weekend is as follows, these events will be livestreamed on the Universal Orlando Facebook.

Friday, January 26

  • 7:15 PM – 8:30 PM: A Celebration of Harry Potter Opening Event
  • 9 PM – The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle Project Experience

Saturday, January 27

  • 10 AM – 10:30 AM – Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: Special Effects Secrets with John Richardson (Panel)
  • 11:15 AM – 11:45 AM – Graphic Design for the Harry Potter FIlm with MinaLima (Panel)
  • 2 PM – 2:30 PM – Learn Wand Combat Skills with Choreographer Paul Harris
  • 4 PM – 4:45 PM – Q&A Panel with the Harry Potter Film Stars
  • 5:30 PM – 6 PM – Hogwarts House Rally: Costume Showcase
  • 6:45 PM – 7:45 PM – A Celebration of Harry Potter Evening Tribute

Sunday, January 28, 2018

  • 10 AM – 10:30 AM – Dance Like a Beauxbaton and Battle Like a Durmstrang
  • 11:15 AM – 11:45 AM –Harry Potter The Exhibition: Magic of Costumes
  • 2:30 PM – 3 PM – CineConcerts – Sound & Image: The magic behind the music, and the journey to construct a complete score live to picture (Panel)
  • 4:30 PM – 5 PM – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment: Explore Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (Panel)
  • 5:30 PM – 6:15 PM – Q&A Panel with the Harry Potter Film Stars
Filed Under: Celebration of Harry Potter, Universal Studios Orlando, Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle Coming to Universal Orlando
Posted by Megs

Click to view full size image

The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle is coming to Universal Orlando Resort! Fans in California have been enjoying this nighttime show since June of 2017 and now it’s Florida’s turn!

The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle will debut on Wednesday, January 31 and is scheduled to run Feb. 5, and Feb. 7 – Feb. 12 (additional dates will be announced at a later time). You can preview it during A Celebration of Harry Potter on Saturday, Jan. 27 and Sunday, Jan. 28.

A few photos of the light show can be seen in our gallery!

Get out your house robes and scarves – a new projection mapping experience is coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle celebrates the four houses of Hogwarts by transforming the castle in a dazzling display of lights, special effects and music.

As night falls, you’ll see the spirit of each house wrap itself around the castle. Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff will all be represented, each house showcasing its pride in its own unique way.

And of course, it’s all set to incredible music based on the original scores from the Harry Potter films.

And – if you’re A Celebration of Harry Potter package holder, you can be among the first to see it during an exclusive preview event on Friday, Jan. 26.

Click to view full size image

Filed Under: Universal Studios Orlando, Wizarding World of Harry Potter
What We’ll Be Eating at the 2018 Celebration of Harry Potter
Posted by Megs

Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour at Diagon Alley

We’re just a over a couple weeks away from the 2018 Celebration of Harry Potter at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando! Each year the event gets better and better and we’re sure this year will be no exception. Cast members Bonnie Wright, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Natalia Tena and Stanislav Ivaneski will be there to participate in panels, photo sessions and more. But today, let’s talk about all the tasty treats you can eat in the parks!

I am a constant visitor to the parks since my first trip there in 2011 so I have a few “must eat” treats while in the parks. Here’s what I’m most looking forward to eating (and drinking) this trip!  Since I don’t drink butterbeer (*gasp*) My choices are a little unorthadox. Be prepared for some deliciousness!

1. Cornish Pasties from The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade

One of my favorite meals to get in the parks is the cornish pasties and salad from The Three Broomsticks. What’s great about it is the fact that you get a tiny bit of veggies (okay, lettuce) to counteract all the sugar and fried foods you’ll be eating. You get three delicious patties filled with meat and veggies plus a salad with a dressing of your choice. It’s a perfect small lunch to get you ready for your next ride. You can also get just the pasties at The Hopping Pot in Diagon Alley for an afternoon snack.

Fun Fact: The first time I had cornish pasties was with Harry Potter art director (and also art director for the theme parks) Alan Gilmore during the press preview for Diagon Alley. He said we just had to try them and boy was he right! I get them every visit.

Cornish Pasties from The Three Broomsticks

2. Otters Fizzy Orange Juice from The Leaky Cauldron or The Hopping Pot in Diagon Alley

This is my favorite drink in the parks. I’m not a Butterbeer fan so this is what I order when all my friends get their hot or cold Butterbeer! It is a really nice, slightly carbonated, orange juice with cinnamon on the rim. The cinnamon is a perfect finishing touch and makes the drink so unique.

Otters Fizzy Orange Juice from The Leaky Cauldron and The Hopping Pot in Diagon Alley

3. Cauldron Cake from Sugarplums in Diagon Alley

In the Summer of 2017 Universal introduced a new form of their beloved Cauldron Cakes. These new cakes are much larger and come in a box with a cauldron that you can keep after finishing your cupcake. Fair warning: there is a LOT of frosting, but it’s so good! You’ll probably want to let it warm up before you eat it – they keep it in a fridge – so the cake is a little softer when you enjoy it. It is $9.95 but a few people can share it. A great dessert to eat at the park or take home to enjoy later.
Cauldron Cake from Sugarplums in Diagon Alley

4. Fish & Chips from The Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley

One of my favorite London meals is fish & chips, so of course I would have to get it in the parks as well! I usually get the children’s portion so I can have dessert and more snacks throughout the day. The batter is so crispy and the fish is delicious. The fries (or chips) are very tasty as well. The kids meal also comes with grapes, so you can feel a bit better about eating all that fried fish.

Fish and Chips from The Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley

5. Ice Cream from Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour in Diagon Alley

You can’t leave Diagon Alley without getting ice cream, that’s insanity! I’m pretty boring so I just go for plain chocolate but my friends love the earl grey & lavender, chocolate chili and clotted cream. And soft serve butterbeer, of course!

Ice Cream from Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour in Diagon Alley

The 2018 Celebration of Harry Potter will take place from Friday January 26th – Sunday January 28th. Tickets and packages are still available.

*all photos from my personal instagram*

Filed Under: Celebration of Harry Potter, Universal Studios Orlando, Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Natalia Tena Added to Celebration of Harry Potter Lineup
Posted by Megs

Natalia Tena has been added to the 2018 Celebration of Harry Potter guest lineup! She’s joining Stanislav Yanevski, Bonnie Wright, James Phelps and Oliver Phelps for the three day event that’s sure to be as amazing as the four previous years! The actors will be participating in panels, autograph and photo sessions and may make special (surprise) appearances at the Harry Potter Expo during the course of the weekend!

At A Celebration of Harry Potter™, you’ll have the chance to see some of your favorite film talent. Plus, enjoy interactive question and answer sessions to discover what it was like to work on one of the most successful film franchises in history.

Filed Under: Celebration of Harry Potter, Natalia Tena, Universal Studios Orlando, Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Bonnie Wright Added to Celebration of Harry Potter Lineup
Posted by Megs

Pottermore has announced this morning that Bonnie Wright has been added to the lineup for the 2018 Celebration of Harry Potter! She will be joining her on-screen brothers James and Oliver Phelps as well as Stanislav Yanevski.

The 2018 Celebration of Harry Potter takes place at Universal Orlando Resort from January 26th – 29th. The weekend will be full of panels held Jany Tamime (the costume designer,) John Richardson (special effects supervisor) and more! The Harry Potter Expo will also be returning to the event.

To find out more about this year’s A Celebration of Harry Potter, including ticket details and information on packages, take a look at the official website.

We will keep you updated as news develops and will be attending the event to bring everything to you as it happens!

Filed Under: Bonnie Wright, Celebration of Harry Potter, Universal Studios Orlando, Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Opens at Universal Studios Hollywood
Posted by Megs

Click to view full size image

Last night, Universal Studios Hollywood celebrated the opening of “Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” transforming Hogwarts castle with a breathtaking light projection show, choreographed to a musical arrangement from the Harry Potter movies.  The all-new “Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” experience will take place daily from November 24, 2017 through January 7, 2018.

A video preview can be watched below and photos of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter all decked out for the holidays may be found in the gallery!

More on Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter:

Universal Studios Hollywood celebrated the opening of “Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry PotterTM,” transforming HogwartsTM castle with a breathtaking animated light projection show, choreographed to a musical arrangement from the Harry Potter movies as The Entertainment Capital of L.A. kicked off the yuletide season.

The evening program introduced Karen Irwin, President & COO, Universal Studios Hollywood, as she welcomed the land’s new holiday festivities. Following an original a cappella Frog Choir performance of “Christmas at Hogwarts,” Irwin and a group of children—clad in attire representing each of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry houses—wielded wands and cast a spell that revealed the light projection spectacular:  “The Magic of Christmas at HogwartsTM Castle.”

“We are delighted to welcome ‘Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ as a new Universal Studios Hollywood holiday tradition,” said Karen Irwin. “Millions of guests visiting from around the world have already experienced the incredible offerings of this immersive land. This exciting new holiday program further expands the Harry Potter universe by bringing some of the holiday spirit from the films to life for guests to experience for themselves.”

The all-new “Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” experience will take place daily from November 24, 2017 through January 7, 2018.

Hogsmeade village also shines brightly as the quaint town celebrates with festive décor uniquely themed to each of the individual storefronts, along with holiday-themed fare served at Three Broomsticks and the eagerly-awaited seasonal return of hot Butterbeer.

The newly-introduced Holiday Dinner features a sumptuous roast turkey with gravy platter that includes pigs in blankets, a medley of vegetables, braised red cabbage and roasted potatoes served with cranberry sauce, along with Christmas Pudding.

As night falls on Hogsmeade village, the familiar sounds of Harry Potter music will resonate throughout “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.”  Multiple times an evening, colorful projection mapping will illuminate Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle.”

The a cappella Frog Choir, comprised of Hogwarts students and their giant throaty frogs, will also perform original holiday themed songs over the course of the seasonal event.

From stockings to ornaments, the addition of specialty keepsakes and gift-giving items complement the land’s immersive holiday festivities as the theme park continues to envelope guests in the captivating world of Harry Potter.

A wide selection of all-new custom-made Christmas ornaments created especially for “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” are available this holiday season. Collectibles include a variety of decorative Hogwarts castle snow globes, Hogwarts crest and mascot ornaments representing each of the houses, as well as a collection of unique tree toppers and house pennant garland. Wizard robes and wands and an array of Quidditch game accessories are perfect for gift-giving.

Click to view full size image

Universal Studios Hollywood is also offering up an amazing selection of holiday themed items, perfect for gift giving (or for your, we won’t judge):

From stockings to stuffers, the addition of these specialty keepsakes and gift-giving items complement the land’s immersive holiday festivities as the theme park continues to envelope guests in the captivating world of Harry Potter.

Featured items include an array of all-new custom-made ornaments designed especially for “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.” A variety of decorative HogwartsTM castle snow globes, as well as Hogwarts crest and Hogwarts mascot tree ornaments are available in addition to a selection of Christmas stockings, stocking holders and a variety of unique Hogwarts-themed tree toppers and house pennant garland. Name ornaments will also be available or they can be customized. Items available for purchase are representative of each of the four Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry houses.

An original Hogwarts Express collection is also available featuring an array of holiday and everyday themed items. From Platform 9 ¾, Hogwarts Railways and Hogwarts Express train ornaments to stockings and holders, as well as themed scarves, hats and gloves to a selection of clothing and collector Hogwarts Express tickets.

For guests who prefer to channel their inner Slytherin, Professor Severus Snape’s dramatic full length wizard’s robe makes a grand debut, adding to the selection of existing house robes from the four Hogwarts’ houses: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin. For fans of the popular Quidditch sport, a keepsake Gryffindor Quidditch robe scores as a must have and can be paired with either the impressive full size Firebolt or Nimbus 2001 broomsticks as well as select Quidditch accessories, including the coveted Golden Snitch, Quaffle ball and Bludger.

Several new interactive namesake wands are added to the collection, including the Cho Chang, Cedric Diggory, Yaxley and a new Death Eater wand.

Click to view full size image

Filed Under: Universal Holidays, Universal Studios Hollywood, Wizarding World of Harry Potter
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