Jan 29, 2018 02:41 PM EST
Wizards, Witches and Muggles Alike Gathered Once Again at Universal Orlando for A Celebration Harry Potter
If you are a huge Harry Potter fan and have never been to Universal Orlando Resort A Celebration of Harry Potter, you must make it a point to go. If you have been before, you need to go again as every year offers something new and exciting. Regardless, the annual event is a unique experience that should be on the top of any Harry Potter fan's list.
Now in its fifth year, A Celebration of Harry Potter draws thousands of loyal fans to the Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure theme parks in Orlando as they bring together some of the best creative teams the films had ever seen. From the Return of Mina Lima to the addition this year of Costume Designer Jany Temime (Skyfall), the three-day event packs in so many terrific moments and is a memorable weekend for all to enjoy.
The 2018 version offered guests some excellent, new experiences while bringing back some fan favorites. For the second year, Audible.com returned with their popular game, Audible Recall, making the contest even harder for the second go around. Once again, fans were able to test their knowledge of the famed books and win prizes as well as fight for the ultimate prize and bragging rights.
New this year were panels about Graphic Design for Film: Creating Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - Discover behind-the-scenes secrets with award-winning Special Effects Supervisor, John Richardson and The Magic of Costumes in Harry Potter. These panels were a great addition to the already popular sorting hat and Wand arts experiences fans have enjoyed for the past several years.
Also making its "sneak peek" debut is The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle. This projection-mapping show offered graphics celebrating the four houses at Hogwarts on the walls of the Castle in Islands of Adventure. This adaptation comes on the heels of December's popular The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle.
The event also offers fans a chance to hear from some of the stars of the films as they discuss their experiences while filming and their lives since then. For 2018, the Universal Orlando Resort brought the talented Natalia Tena (Nymphadora Tonks), Stanislav Yanevski (Victor Krum), James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley) and Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley) to speak at panels throughout the weekend which is always a highlight for fans.
Of course, one of the best parts of the weekend is to see all the various costumes participants create as they pay homage to their favorite characters and films in the Potter universe.
One thing is for certain, the energy felt in and around Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure is electric as fans from all over the world meet and greet each other as if they are all members of an elite club. They share their love of the books and films while making new friends and learning more and more about the series and all the work that went on behind-the-scenes.
No word yet on 2019's dates and schedule but I'm sure it is going to be as much fun and as unique of an experience as prior years. All I can say is start saving up and planning your costume now - you won't regret it!