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Photo TR: Universal Orlando's Harry Potter Celebration 2016


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This weekend Theme Park Review was hosted by Universal Orlando for the third annual Harry Potter Celebration, taking place between both Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure. The event offers unique presentations and panels featuring notable actors sharing feedback on their experience with the franchise while also providing guests the chance to see and participate with many of these film stars. Other presentations included Universal Parks & Resorts-led panels and events on the Music Plaza stage in Universal Studios Florida.

 

The Harry Potter Celebration attracts the casual and uber-fans of Harry Potter to the Universal Orlando Resort each year and this year's lineup added new stars, new panels and the newest charm of The Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter (Hogshead and Knockturn Alley). Progress across the resort continues on new projects, both major and minor as Comcast continues to invest and the Harry Potter Celebration guests were able to see firsthand all that Universal is actively working on. A new shop has opened in Diagon Alley with another relocated, Disaster! A Major Motion Picture Starring You and Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue have both been closed and are partially demolished in prep for the construction of Fast and Furious: Supercharged. Skull Island: Reign of Kong continues to look more and more complete by the day. The Incredible Hulk is beginning to retake the skyline as fresh track is slowly installed throughout Marvel Superhero Island. The photos below detail the latest progress on each of these projects.

 

Special thanks to the Universal Orlando Resort for hosting us once again for this incredible weekend filled with great talent, fantastic food and many magical moments!

 

Included in this report are videos from our friends at Orlando Attractions Magazine who were at the event as well!

 

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Tonight we're at the #HPCelebration at @UniversalORL! Be on the lookout for this dangerous wizard!

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There's a huge recreation of Hogwarts made entirely out of @LEGO_Group bricks at the #HPCelebration Expo!

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The #HPCelebration Expo features a display of merchandise available exclusively at @USJ_Official's Wizarding World!

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Here at the #HPCelebration @UniversalORL muggles can share what @HarryPotterFilm means to them.

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The @wbtourlondon is here at the #HPCelebration at @UniversalORL with props from the @HarryPotterFilm movies.

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There were many cosplayers roaming the Harry Potter Celebration Expo space as well as the rest of both parks at Universal Orlando.

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The #HPCelebration Expo is advertising @HPPlayLDN, a set of Harry Potter sequel stories told live on stage.

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Starting Day 2 of the #HPCelebration! In the Expo you can meet @HarryPotterFilm graphic designers @minalima

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There's an augmented reality experience tied to @pottermore here at the #HPCelebration.

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This year's #HPCelebration at @UniversalORL will include new announcements for upcoming @pottermore content.

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The stars of the @HarryPotterFilm franchise are here for the #HPCelebration at @UniversalORL Rupert Grint was sorted into Hufflepuff by the @pottermore Sorting Hat. He admits that he wants a recount!

 

 

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Just announced at the #HPCelebration: @HarryPotterFilm The Exhibition opens on 6/30/16 in Brussels, Belgium

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Today @Evy_Lynch announced details of 4 international schools of wizardry now detailed on @pottermore #HPCelebration

 

 

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A look at this year's @UniversalORL #HPCelebration commemorate print.

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Construction work on the former @NBACITYorlando continues at @UniversalORL to transform it into a new dining venue.

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The Incredible Hulk still has plenty of track to be reinstalled before it will reopen...

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Some fresh track at the finale of the ride has been installed near Storm Force Acceleratron.

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How many of you would like to be riding Popeye's Bilge-Rat Barges at @UniversalORL today?

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None of The Incredible Hulk's track on the lagoon side of Marvel Superhero Island has been reinstalled.

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The view here at @UniversalORL #HPCelebration is marvelous!

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You may see extra characters roaming The Wizarding World of Harry Potter thanks to the #HPCelebration @UniversalORL

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More cosplayers in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade at the #HPCelebration at @UniversalORL

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It is a very busy day in the village of Hogsmeade at @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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It may be time to catch a train... #HPCelebration @UniversalORL

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The queue for the Hogwarts Express at Hogsmeade gives guests a unique view of Dragon Challenge! #HPCelebration

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We're on the Hogwarts Express on our way to Diagon Alley! @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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As if by magic, we've traveled from Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley! @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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It is lunch time at The Leaky Cauldron! What pub favorites are you craving? @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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Trying the Ploughman's Platter (for one) and the Fisherman's Pie along with Butterbeer Potted Cream! #HPCelebration

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Butterbeer Potter Cream is a new option at @UniversalORL to satisfy your Butterbeer craving! #HPCelebration

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Sugar Plum's Sweet Shop opened earlier this week in Diagon Alley replacing Shutterbutton's. #HPCelebration

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There is no shortage of tasty treats to enjoy at Sugar Plum's Sweet Shop! @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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Butterbeer Fudge is another new item to satisfy your Butterbeer fancy! @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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And there's always No-Melt Ice Cream to enjoy at @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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Carkitt Market feels far more open despite the large crowds present for the #HPCelebration. @UniversalORL

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A look towards the entrance/exit of Diagon Alley from Gringotts Bank. @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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Wanted posters in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter actually display moving imagery of the wizards being sought.

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Shutterbuttons has moved to a new location along the main stretch of Diagon Alley. @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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The inside of Shutterbutton's....

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A new store in @UniversalORL, Williams of Hollywood sells original props from old attractions like Twister!

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Merchandise from Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue, Disaster! & @HorrorNightsORL at Williams of Hollywood. @UniversalORL

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The #HPCelebration Expo had a 180 minute wait throughout the weekend!

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Students of Durmstrang & Beauxbatons teach young muggles to dance like them onstage at #HPCelebration @UniversalORL

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Work on "Race Through New York starring Jimmy Fallon" has the Twister! soundstage gutted through to the other side.

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The green Dark Mark tattoo used in the @HarryPotterFilm production is green to allow for post-production animation.

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Only at the #HPCelebration at @UniversalORL can you be sorted into your Hogwarts house by the Sorting Hat!

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It's been another great day at the #HPCelebration at @UniversalORL! We'll be back tomorrow for the 3rd day of magic!

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We're currently hearing from Pierre Bohanna, head prop maker for the @HarryPotterFilm franchise! #HPCelebration

 

 

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The #HPCelebration is drawing huge crowds for the final morning of the event at @UniversalORL

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The line for the #HPCelebration extends all the way to Transformers: The Ride 3D! @UniversalORL

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The Hair & Makeup exhibit at @wbtourlondon #HPCelebration Expo features items from the @HarryPotterFilm production.

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This is Daniel Radcliffe's forehead mold used for consistent placement of his scar in the films. #HPCelebration

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Silicon molds were used for the mass replication of wands used during he @HarryPotterFilm production. #HPCelebration

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Beware the Death Eaters that may appear in the @wbtourlondon at the #HPCelebration Expo at @UniversalORL

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Demolition of Disaster! and Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue continues in prep for Fast & Furious: Supercharged.

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There are all kinds of odd creatures in the Magical Menagerie in Diagon Alley. @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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How many wish you were here to see the Gringotts Bank? @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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Time for a tour of the famous Gringotts Bank in Diagon Alley! @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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"Here to open an account?" #HPCelebration @UniversalORL

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Bill Weasley & Griphook share some magic before sending guests on to the Gringotts Bank tour. #HPCelebration

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Heading down to the vaults... @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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Another day, another scoop of No-Melt Ice Cream! @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes has lots of gag gifts & very colorful chaos going on inside! @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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A Pygmy Puff was just adopted inside of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes! @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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Time to leave London... #HPCelebration @UniversalORL

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The Hogwarts Express is here to take us to Hogsmeade! @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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Dementors on the Hogwarts Express! @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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The view of Hogwarts Castle from the Hogwarts Express traveling from Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade. #HPCelebration

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We've arrived at Hogsmeade Station! @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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Who wants to take a ride on Dragon Challenge? @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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The approach to Hogwarts Castle from Hogsmeade is visually stunning! @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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Some more cosplayers in Hogsmeade for the #HPCelebration @UniversalORL

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With your wizard's wand you too can make magic throughout Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley at @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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Check out performances by the Frog Choir in Hogsmeade for a magical medley of music! @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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The Durmstrang Academy boys perform their traditional entrance in the shadow of The Flight of the Hippogriff.

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The Beauxbatons dance with flair as the introduce themselves onstage. @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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More progress at Skull Island: Reign of Kong at @UniversalORL Islands of Adventure.

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How's this for a view of Hogwarts? @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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Have you heard the news? @hellokitty is coming to @UniversalORL later this year! @sanrio

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It is time for a ride on the last remaining E.T. Adventure attraction worldwide! @UniversalORL

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We have our Interplanetary Passport! Do you? @UniversalORL

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The London Waterfront masks the entrance to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley at @UniversalORL

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It is never a bad time to catch up with two of Springfield's most recognizable residents! @UniversalORL

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While in London, be sure to stop by the Knight Bus for a conversation with two very unique drivers! #HPCelebration

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Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees perform daily in Diagon Alley's Carkitt Market at @UniversalORL #HPCelebration

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In Knockturn Alley you will find a group of shrunken heads that sing "Show Me the Way to Go Home" from Jaws."

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One more blast of fire before departing Diagon Alley for the day... #HPCelebration @UniversalORL

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There are still a few references to Amity Island, home to Jaws, found in the San Francisco area of the park.

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Work continues on the removal of Disaster! to make way for Fast & Furious: Supercharged.

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The Sorting Hat Experience has a 120 minute wait & the #HPCelebration Expo has a 30 minute wait. Both close at 6:00 pm.

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Back inside of the Harry Potter Celebration Expo, original props from the Harry Potter films could be seen up close.

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This Quaffle was signed by several of the films' stars while used on set.

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A large collection of original props, all of which had graphic design by Minalima.

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With Warner Brothers having a major presence at the Harry Potter Celebration, it was no surprise that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was teased throughout the weekend. The first in a series of new films set within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter acts as a prequel to the original series, with new characters in a new locale (1920's America) dealing with the repercussions of magical creatures set loose on the non-magical world. The film's cast includes Eddie Redmayne and Colin Farrell, starring in a screenplay written by JK Rowling herself and directed by David Yates, the director of the final four Harry Potter films.

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Lots of things to see inside of the Expo!

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And plenty of freebies to take with you!

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It was announced that details regarding 11 wizarding schools around the globe would be revealed with new content within Pottermore in the coming months.

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Huge crowds fill the Music Plaza for the final #HPCelebration panel, a tribute to the @HarryPotterFilm series.

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The @HarryPotterFilm stars reflect on the lessons Alan Rickman gave them while on set. #HPCelebration @UniversalORL

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That concludes our live coverage of the #HPCelebration 2016. Look for our event recap online later tonight!

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Probably not a popular opinion, but I have to say it.

 

I went yesterday to experience to Harry Potter weekend expo and such. I arrived a mere 30 minutes after the park opened, and yet there was already a 90 minute wait just to get into the Expo. Same for the demonstrations/talks at Hollywood Bowl and Toon Lagoon.

 

The only realistic way (without spending hours in line) to experience these things would be with a package that includes a hotel stay.

 

As someone who 1) lives in Orlando and 2) has already spent almost $400 on a Premier Pass, I do not have the money nor resources to spend 3 nights in a hotel just to get priority access to all of the events. I know they offered a season pass package, but you still had to buy the hotel stay.

 

It's unfortunate since I really wanted to check out the expo, but Universal seems to value those who will spend the $$ verses their passholders.

 

Just my two cents.

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Probably not a popular opinion, but I have to say it.

 

I went yesterday to experience to Harry Potter weekend expo and such. I arrived a mere 30 minutes after the park opened, and yet there was already a 90 minute wait just to get into the Expo. Same for the demonstrations/talks at Hollywood Bowl and Toon Lagoon.

 

The only realistic way (without spending hours in line) to experience these things would be with a package that includes a hotel stay.

 

As someone who 1) lives in Orlando and 2) has already spent almost $400 on a Premier Pass, I do not have the money nor resources to spend 3 nights in a hotel just to get priority access to all of the events. I know they offered a season pass package, but you still had to buy the hotel stay.

 

It's unfortunate since I really wanted to check out the expo, but Universal seems to value those who will spend the $$ verses their passholders.

 

Just my two cents.

 

 

Or just get there early!

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It's unfortunate since I really wanted to check out the expo, but Universal seems to value those who will spend the $$ verses their passholders.

 

I say good for Universal. They must have taken notice of the success of Star Wars weekend at Disney World and wanted to get in on the "weekend" action...which makes even more sense given their growing hotel room inventory.

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It's unfortunate since I really wanted to check out the expo, but Universal seems to value those who will spend the $$ verses their passholders.

 

I say good for Universal. They must have taken notice of the success of Star Wars weekend at Disney World and wanted to get in on the "weekend" action...which makes even more sense given their growing hotel room inventory.

 

Exactly. It's been a winning formula for Star Wars at Disney, so why not for Harry Potter at Universal?

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It's unfortunate since I really wanted to check out the expo, but Universal seems to value those who will spend the $$ verses their passholders.

 

I say good for Universal. They must have taken notice of the success of Star Wars weekend at Disney World and wanted to get in on the "weekend" action...which makes even more sense given their growing hotel room inventory.

 

Then how about a passholder preview on the Thursday before? I am all for that. I am disappointed when they send out flyers and emails to passholders, yet we are unable to experience this stuff without buying the whole package.

 

Oh well...I am sure they are not losing sleep or money over passholders like me!

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If I understand correctly, all the events open to everyone repeated on both Saturday & Sunday. The expo was also open Friday as well? So an annual pass holder who wanted to make time for the events could very well have done so. If I am reading right, the only difference is Hotel package guests received an extra panel and express access to the events?

 

I'm not sure exactly what your e-mail said, but unless it said you would gain guaranteed access to all the stuff, I don't see what the fuss is about.

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Mmmmm ButterBeer Fudge!

 

It makes me wonder. Does PotterVille have the magick to conjure up...

 

Kaleidoscope Fudge ?

KaleidoscopeFudge2014.jpg.9fa67b3d7728adde158ef10e77700942.jpg

omgs... it's already been done! Now...wonder what it tastes like? (o;

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great trip report. Love the photos and videos. I was lucky enough to attend the the last half of the last day of the expo. I was flying in for an impromptu Orlando trip since I have AP's to all of the parks and got $43 round trip tickets from Houston. Did not know about the expo until a couple of days before my trip.

 

The line to get in the expo went a lot faster than the posted time. I was able to see and record most of the film talent Q&A.

 

Here's the video if anyone is interested.

 

 

Again great trip report. Personally I like the fact that Orlando is becoming a Mecca for all us nerds. It just needs some anime now. Oh wait the Japan pavilion at EPCOT.

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