My Wizarding Experience at A Celebration of Harry Potter

Muggles, Witches, and Wizards all came dressed to celebrate The Boy Who Lived this past weekend at A Celebration of Harry Potter inside Universal Studios Orlando.

And let me tell you that it was absolutely epic!

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Enter the Harry Potter Expo Center at A Celebration of Harry Potter
Entering the Harry Potter Expo Center

I came as a fangirl instead of my normal ThemeParkHipster persona and met up with the Slug Club of Orlando and the Tampa PortKey to Magic adult Harry Potter clubs.

Ravenclaw in the lobby with luggage stacked at A Celebration of Harry Potter Universal Studios.
Ravenclaw in the lobby

If there is any way to enjoy J.K. Rowling’s wizarding event, then it’s enjoying it with other adults who love the bewitching universe just as much.

Starting the Day at A Celebration of Harry Potter

Deep inside Gringotts Bank at A Celebration of Harry Potter
Deep inside Gringotts Bank

My day started off at Universal Studios to check out the Harry Potter Expo. It was my way of avoiding the morning rush to the first actor’s Q&A session, since the Expo Center had a modest line of other wizards and witches who shared the same idea.

Wand combat lesson in the Expo center...don't mess with these ladies!
Wand combat lesson in the Expo center…don’t mess with these ladies!

The workers at Universal were very organized and many of the events went on as smoothly as a Harry Potter festival could go.

Universal Orlando Harry Potter Vacation Package

A Celebration of Harry Potter Expo Center

Walking into the expo center put me in Wizarding World overload!

There were so many sections and things to do such as:

  • Photos in a Gringotts vault
  • Wand combating lesson
  • A photo booth to reenact the famous “Have you seen this Wizard?” with you role-playing the infamous culprit
  • An area to have your Harry Potter stamps signed by William J. Gicker (one of the art directors for the stamp collection)
  • Pottermore updates with the Sorting Hat Experience
  • Film costume displays
  • An up close experience with MinaLima (the graphic designers of the Harry Potter films)
  • A chance to meet with Kazu Kibuishi, the new illustrator of the redesigned Harry Potter books.
Pottermore booth with laptops to take a quiz for your Hogwarts house at A Celebration of Harry Potter Universal
Pottermore booth

Meeting the Harry Potter Designers

I can say that the highlight of my day was speaking with Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima of MinaLima Design.

Harry Potter film costume exhibition with a dirty Hermonie and Harry Potter clothing from Deathly Hallows.
Harry Potter film costume exhibition

They were extremely nice and spoke attentively to anyone who came up. They were even so kind to take a picture with me and other members of the Slug Club.

ThemeParkHipster with Mauricio, Miraphora, and Eduardo of MinaLima Designers of Harry Potter Films
ThemeParkHipster with Mauricio, Miraphora, and Eduardo of MinaLima Design

Their most notable work in the series was the hand draw Marauder’s Map and the famous Daily Prophet designs. 

When speaking with them I could immediately tell that they were just as passionate, if not more, about the Potter franchise than many of the die hard fans.

You may recognize some of the famous MinaLima designs from the Harry Potter films especially the Quibbler with Red and Blue Glasses
You may recognize some of the famous MinaLima designs from the Harry Potter films

Diagon Alley Construction Update

After spending a couple hours in the expo center, I went over to the Diagon Alley construction site.

Tall Crane Hanging in Diagon Alley Construction photos at Universal Studios January 2014
Diagon Alley Construction photos

All it did was get me and the other Harry Potter followers excited about what’s to come in the summer of 2014. The architectural detail alone was enough to have the most calm fan geek out!

NikkyJ of ThemeParkHipster Peaking into the London waterfront area of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion. Warning: you may be surprised by the things you see :)
Peaking into the London waterfront area of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion. Warning: you may be surprised by the things you see 🙂

A Celebration of Harry Potter Q&A Session

Once I fed myself and grabbed an adult beverage, I headed over to the Toon Lagoon Amphitheater for the Q&A session.

Evana Lynch, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Matthew Lewis, and Devon Murray surprise fans waiting in the Q&A line
Evana Lynch, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Matthew Lewis, and Devon Murray surprise fans waiting in the Q&A line

My group had to wait in the line for an hour and a half, but when you’re in line with dedicated Potterheads, it makes the time go by pleasantly fast.

Q&A session with talented actors from Harry Potter sitting on stage at Islands of Adventure
Q&A session

I also met so many awesome wizards and witches and we were even given a surprise visit from the actors who waved at us from the side of the amphitheater.

I can admit that I had a brief fangirl moment 🙂

Evana Lynch during the Q&A session sitting on stage at Islands of Adventure
Evana Lynch during the Q&A session

This got the whole line hyped up and within ten minutes of that tease we were all escorted into the theater.

The Phelps brothers at the Q&A session sitting on stage at Islands of Adventure.
The Phelps brothers at the Q&A session

Once inside, Evana Lynch, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Devon Murray, and Matthew Lewis answered on the spot questions from selected guests in the audience.

Devon Murray and Matthew Lewis during the Q&A Session from Harry Potter sitting on stage at Islands of Adventure
Devon Murray and Matthew Lewis during the Q&A Session

Ending the Day inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade

Hogwarts students gathering together for adult concoctions of Long Island Ice Tea and Fruity Cocktails in Hogsmeade Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Hogwarts students gathering together for adult concoctions!

Since the hours for Islands of Adventure were cut short (9 a.m.- 6 p.m.) due to the special event afterwards for the paid vacation package purchasers, I spent the rest of the day hanging out in front of the Hogshead in Hogsmeade with the Slug Club.

At one moment I felt really a part of Rowling’s magical world.

Breathtaking scene of Hogsmeade Village with snow top buildings to end an excellent day at Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Breathtaking scene of Hogsmeade to end an excellent day

Wizards in robes were in clusters all over the streets of Hogsmeade and hanging out with my friends made it feel real.

Wizards and witches gathering in Hogsmeade
Wizards and witches gathering in Hogsmeade

For a moment I sat quietly watching everyone look splendidly happy in their conversations with one another as Hogwarts sat majestically in the background.

Hogsmeade at Universal Hogwarts Castle Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Hogsmeade at Universal Hogwarts Castle Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

I took a mental photo of it never wanting that memory to ever go away.

Final Thoughts

It was definitely an incredible Harry Potter Celebration experience with soul soothing warm butterbeer to top it!

Warm, creamy butterbeer with white foamy top is a winner that you must try inside the wizarding world of harry potter.
Warm butterbeer…it’s a winner!!!

If you ever get the opportunity to attend this event, then definitely make an effort to go.

Trust me, you will not regret it 🙂

Learn how to have an epic day at A Celebration of Harry Potter with these amazing tips here!

If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love these:

Are you planning a Universal Orlando vacation soon? Read the Universal Vacation Planning Guide for your next dream trip!

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

NikkyJ

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