It’s January, and you know what that means!? The fourth annual A Celebration of Harry Potter (aCoHP) is just around the corner! So pack your bags, clean your robes, plan your cosplays, and make sure your trunks are Niffler free because aCoHP starts on Friday, January 27.
After four years of celebrating Harry Potter, we cannot wait to see what Universal Orlando and Warner Brothers have in store for this year’s event. While we wait patiently, why not share some tips with some new members of the Central Florida Slug Club.
- Get there early on Friday. If you don’t happen to work on Friday or just so happen to get off early, I highly suggest getting to Universal Orlando as soon as the park opens.
- Go to the Expo first. Although the Harry Potter™ Expo is open all weekend for the Celebration, I recommend going there first to do everything it has to offer. Saturday and Sunday are the busiest days for the Expo. Plus, you’ll really want to see the panels those days.
- Stop by MinaLima. In the Harry Potter™ Expo, you’ll find a bunch of fantastic things to see at the MinaLima booth. From creating The Quibbler to The New York Ghost, MinaLima helped make the wizarding world a reality with their graphic design skills and visual graphic style. Niky Sama suggested getting their “collectible pin as soon as possible.” It’s cute and free! Plus, Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima are an absolute pleasure to meet.
- If you want it, buy it. If you see something in the Expo you really like, buy it. They could run out of that very same item the second you walk away. Especially, the special event items. So don’t hesitate. I know from first-hand experience. I waited too long to buy a keychain one year and it sold out.
- Buy a portable charger. You’ll thank me for this. Trust me. I bought a charger from amazon for $20. It was the best idea I ever had. You just have to remember to charge it every night! Bryanna Plantier gave this very same advice. She said, “A good one is better, but a $4 stick will work too! It [The Celebration of Harry Potter] can have long days.”
- You don’t have to buy a package. You can buy a day pass or use your annual pass to do everything. You name it, panels, discussions, etc. A Slug Club member said, “If you live locally, don’t have to get the package. You get to do the same thing without it.” However, this year I’ll be a package holder.
- Get in line 30 minutes early. Now if you were to ask Universal Orlando (UO) Team Members, they’d tell you not to get in line early. I’ll say that I’ve gotten to the line 30 minutes before and seen a small line. I find getting in line 30 minutes before beneficial, and I’ve gotten to see all the panels. *Warning* If a UO team member tells you not to start a line, don’t start a line. Remember to be respectful.
- Plan what you want to do to before the celebration starts. Know what you’re dying to see after they release the schedule. It saves time, and you can plan how you’re going to get there. Last year, Universal used two stages, the Music Plaza Stage and the Toon Lagoon Amphitheater.
- Remember to have fun. Be silly, dress in your school robes, show your house pride or cosplay. I asked Meg Stump what her favorite part of the aCoHP is. She replied, “The fans. Easily. No one judges you because you’re all doing the same ridiculous things.” Stump also added she “had the most fun with friends she’d met through the Slug Club or through Potter Watch.” So just remember to be yourself and have fun during this year’s A Celebration of Harry Potter!
Bonus Tip: Turn on Tweet and Facebook notifications for Universal Orlando. You never know what magically things can happen during the celebration.
For more information regarding A Celebration of Harry Potter, feel free to visit Universal Orlando Resort’s official website.
A Celebration of Harry Potter over the years: