It’s almost that time of year when witches, wizards, and muggles alike gather at Universal Orlando Resort for A Celebration of Harry Potter. The event runs January 29 to 31 this year and is free with your theme park admission.
What are some of the things you can do at A Celebration of Harry Potter? If you love the books and movies, you’ll find so much that it might feel overwhelming! The list below will give you a flavor for what goes on at this wildly popular event. Plan to spend all three days at Universal Orlando Resort, if possible, if you want to enjoy everything. Even if you can only come for one day, arrive early and plan to stay until closing time to pack as much Harry Potter into your day as possible.
A Celebration of Harry Potter isn’t the only special event coming up soon at Universal. Go here to get an early flavor of Mardi Gras.
Panel Discussions With Harry Potter Stars
The panel discussions with Harry Potter celebrities are always a big draw at A Celebration of Harry Potter. The video will give you a flavor of one of the discussions in years past. For 2016, see Rupert Grint, Bonnie Wright, Katie Leung, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch live and in person as they share memories of working on the Harry Potter films.
Wand Dueling and Other Demonstrations
You’re not just a passive observer at A Celebration of Harry Potter. Attend special demonstrations and even try your hand at skills like wand dueling. The wand dueling demonstration is held by choreographer Paul Harris, as seen in the video. Other activities for 2016 include a chance to chat with head prop master Pierre Bohanna.
Harry Potter Expo
The Harry Potter Expo is the epicenter of excitement for Harry Potter fans. See props and costumes close up, meet people and companies intimately involved with the making of Harry Potter’s world, from the books to the films to the Pottermore website. Slate plenty of time to browse the Expo because time will easily get away from you as you move from booth to booth. The video of the 2015 Expo gives a quick idea of what there is to see and do.
You’ll see high profile actors at A Celebration of Harry Potter, but you’ll also learn more about the more subtle contributions that created Harry’s world so effectively. It’s a true behind the scenes peak for super fans. See panels with people like Eduardo Lima Miraphora Mina, who did all the graphic design for the films. The video shows a chat with them in 2015, and they’ll be back this year to share more about their work.
With the massive popularity of the Harry Potter movies, it’s easy to forget that everything started with J.K. Rowling’s original books. Scholastic Books will be on hand to keep her legacy alive with a massive wall where you can share your own personal message about what Harry Potter means to you. They’ll also host a number of fun giveaways of illustrated books, coloring books, and more. Last year, artist Kazu Kibuishi was on hand to demonstrate how he created the re-imagined drawings for the latest editions. You can see him display his talent in the video.