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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
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sgt.null
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cameraman Jenn wrote:
zackly!


i am Mr. Pop Culture!

so are there any really good books about Harry Potter i should be checking out? something that helps flesh out his world...
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Menolly
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the weekend so far...


Beorn with the Hogwarts Express conductor


Inside The Three Broomsticks watching an interview of the actors who play Luna Lovegood and Arthur Weasley through a window.


Another view of the interview from inside The Three Broomsticks.


The first celebrity Q&A session we attended. A staff member was handing out free tickets outside the gate; we received another set to a later Q&A I'll mention lower down as part of the package I won.

This Q&A featured the actors who portrayed Kingsley Shacklebolt (featured on the big screen while answering a question), Argus Fitch, and a DeathEater named Scabrious or some such (he has the line "Hello, beautifil" in DH, which he said during the Q&A in answer to what his favorite lines from the films is).


Hogwarts!


Beorn getting an autograph from the actor who portrayed Professor Flitwick and Griphook.


Me doing the same.


Me with Evanna (the actress who played Luna Lovegood).


I could not get a decent shot of Evanna while Beorn was with her, so here is another shot of her.


Hogwarts Choir (with singing frogs)


TriWizard Cup celebration with the ladies of Beauxbaton and the men of Durmstrang


The ladies of Beauxbaton in action (I was unable to get a decent shot of the men of Durmstrang's bo kata; which is what it was even if they didn't use traditional bos.)

That's all the photos so far.

Now, for Wayfriend's question asked above. The answer is that seems to be pretty much all there is to the WWoHP so far. It is an enjoyable day, if you are interested in the various performances as well as the rides and show in Olivanders. The shops are well done, and I'll admit I really like the butterbeer, even though I need to limit myself to one a day, at most. But if you are not interested in the rest of the Universal Orlando resort, I can see it being really hard to justify the cost to come. And the lines can be really long to do what little is here.

As part of the package, we have early admission to Islands of Adventure these three days. General admission is 9:00 am, early admission for resort guests is 8:00 am. My package gave us early admission of 6:00 am all three days. We didn't take advantage on Friday, and found the lines too long to wait in for the shows and rides. So we got up early today and were at the park at 6:30. We were in and out of everything we wanted to see which had lines on Friday before the next early admission time of 8:00. So we spent the rest of the day until about 5:00 seeing various performances, attending scheduled events that were part of my package (the autograph session and a second Q&A), and doing other areas of the park. Beorn especially likes the water rides. Then we returned to the resort and spent some time in the heated whirlpool.

As far as the second Q&A session, all I can say is: "Wow."

The "official" celebrity Q&A session I received as part of my package featured five of the "Weasley's:" the actors who portrayed Arthur, Bill, Fred and George, and Ron! It was great and we had much closer seats to the stage than the Q&A session we attended with the "free" tickets being handed out.
Unfortunately, my phone battery died as we were waiting for the Q&A to start, and that is the only camera we had with us. So no pictures of Rupert or any of the Weasley actors from the Q&A to share. My phone is charging as we speak, and I'll get what shots I can should we see any more celebrities tomorrow.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the share, Menolly. You guys must have had smiles on all day.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks like an awesome time!
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Friday and Saturday were awesome, but Sunday was killer.

We had a "non-exclusive" tour of Islands of Adventure, meaning we got VIP access to most of the rides and a little behind the scenes view of the areas other than WWoHP. The reason why there was no behind the scenes view of WWoHP is because we were told that area runs "on magic, and there is nothing to show."

After the park closed, those who bought or won celebration packages was invited back to WWoHP for a "Night time Gala." It started with all 2400+ guests (rumors said at least 1200 packages were sold, and many were to full families) lining the red carpet to greet the celebrities as they arrived at the park. Beorn brought his copy of DH to try and get signed by passing celebrities, and we lucked out in our positioning. We were placed at the very start of their walking past the public, and the celebrities were all fresh and eager to pose and sign when they got to us. Beorn only missed out of getting the autographs of four of the celebrities there, the actors who played Kingsley Shacklebolt (I was disappointed; I really wanted that one), Bill Weasley,
Fred Weasley, and a Death Eater called Scabbior or some such. I did my best to take photos of those Beorn did get autographs of, but I am a terrible photographer and my phone has no flash. But here are what I managed to get:


Beorn wearing his weekend credentials


A closer view of our credentials


Filch


Cho Chang


Seamus Finnegan


George Weasley (will need to look at the autograph to determine if it is Oliver or James)


Arthur Weasley (Mark Williams, he is so funny)


Lavender Brown


Flitwick/Griphook


Luna Lovegood (Evanna)

...and


Rupert Grint!
(for those who may not know, he played Ron Weasley)

After the red carpet, celebrities and package guests were let in to the WWoHP where tables of food and sweets, along with unlimited drinks (both soft and hard, as long as you walked around with only one drink at a time) were offered, all inclusive in the package. The buffets had various salads and cold marinated vegetables, hot roast chicken, shepherds pie, and sliced to order roast beef (a bit well done for my taste). The sweets table was amazing. They had cauldron cakes and other pastries from Honeydukes (I had paid to have one cauldron cake for each of us earlier in the day, as I had no idea there was going to be free food and drink at the gala), bowls of trifle, treacle pudding, ice cream, and I don't know what else. Inside The Three Broomsticks they were serving made to order fish and chips. And butterbeer was available from both carts and inside The Three Broomsticks. During park hours, you can purchase a collectable butterbeer mug which is refillable with any other soft drink for a discounted price throughout both parks. At the gala they used special pints which supposedly were only used at the grand opening celebration before. These can also be brought back and used for the discounted refills, but I think I'll put mine with my few mementos.

Honeydukes and Olivanders (a Hogsmeade branch of Olivanders; the wizard who chooses who gets to have a wand select them readily admits he is not Mr. Olivander, as he is only at the Diagon Alley location) was open, but very few were going in. Beorn and I got to go in with no one else there, so Beorn got to have a wand choose him. It's pretty easy to see how the wand is chosen, as they ask your birthdate and the wands are displayed in the shop next door by Celtic birth month wood. These birth month wands are supposedly only available in the Ollivanders shop; the others throughout the park and online are character replica wands only. However, Beorn decided to pass on the wand for his birth month; it was too short for his liking.

As the food offerings died down, the celebration continued on a large stage area. During the day, a frog choir performs alternately with a Tri-Wizard rally which features Beauxbaton ladies and Durmstrang men. I posted a couple of pictures of that above. Each group consists of four performers, but for this event they combined all of the groups, so there were 12 to 16 of each group performing. The actor who portrayed Flitwick conducted the frog choir. I was pretty far back for this, so you can't really make him out, but he is in the white jacket in the center:



And that was pretty much it. Things wrapped up about midnight, Beorn and I returned to the resort and slept for about four hours, and I got him back to campus in time for his 10:00 am class. Right now I am using his computer in the dorm, we'll meet for lunch, say our good-byes until Thanksgiving, and I'll head home.

A truly, truly memorable trip.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Menolly, your trip report is way better, but I saw this online, and thought I'd share this other article about the big weekend:

Returning To Platform 9 3/4 - The Producers, Director, and Cast Talk About The End Of The HARRY POTTER Films
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, way.

There was an event similar to the grand gala we attended on Sunday strictly for media after the park closed on Saturday night. It also had a red carpet event before hand. Universal staff members were randomly handing out tickets to park guests to line the red carpet only, but we heard those of us with credentials for the Sunday night gala were automatically disqualified from being selected. Sad

The actors were great sports about doing a red carpet event two nights in a row!
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool.

I just picked up the books to read for the first time. Very enjoyable.
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