#UniversalOrlando Resort and Warner Bros. Reveal Remaining Lineup of Experiences Coming to “A Celebration Of Harry Potter” this Weekend


The Event Takes Place Jan. 26-28 and Will Feature Even More Magical Experiences, Including Q&A Sessions with Harry Potter Film Stars, New Immersive Displays at the Harry Potter Expo and more

“A Celebration of Harry Potter” kicks off this weekend at Universal Orlando Resort and will feature a variety of interactive and exciting experiences that will allow guests to celebrate their love for the stories from J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.

Yesterday, Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. announced the remaining lineup of experiences coming to the three-day fan event.

The final experiences added to the lineup include a special performance of highlights from the Harry Potter Film Concert Series at the Welcome Event, an in-park scavenger hunt, a costume showcase and even more exciting panels and activities in the Harry Potter Expo. See below for more details.

For a complete lineup and more information about events happening throughout the weekend, including the Q&A sessions with select Harry Potter film stars and more interactive panels and demonstrations, click here.

A CELEBRATION OF HARRY POTTER PANELS (Islands of Adventure theme park)

Guests will enjoy even more brand-new panels with Harry Potter film and creative talent. Admission into panels will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

NEW: Explore Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery

Get ready to experience Hogwarts like never before in the upcoming mobile game, Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery! Learn how you can explore your Hogwarts Story and join the creators of the game for a sneak peek at the visuals, story, and gameplay of this groundbreaking Harry Potter RPG mobile game.

NEW: Sound & Image: The Magic Behind the Music

In film, music represents the words that cannot be spoken. Join CineConcerts founder/conductor Justin Freer and co-founder/producer Brady Beaubien to discuss the magic behind the music throughout the Harry Potter film series. What makes the music so iconic? How can a single motif define the characters we love? Join in the dissection of music within a scene, and what it takes to create these complete scores performed live to picture by a full symphony orchestra. Learn about the complexity of specific melodies we all know and love, and how each film score has uniquely defined the Harry Potter series.

A CELEBRATION OF HARRY POTTER ACTIVITIES (Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure theme parks)

NEW: The Celebration of Harry Potter 2018 – Scavenger Hunt

Throughout the weekend, guests will be tasked to search for the answers to a series of clues hidden in both magical and Muggle locations throughout The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.  A fun experience for all Harry Potter fans, families and kids alike!

NEW: Highlights from the Harry Potter Film Concert Series

At the Opening Night Event on Friday, Jan. 26, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will perform iconic music from the first four Harry Potter films live-to-picture alongside memorable scenes from the films.

Hogwarts Houses Rally and Costume Showcase

Fans will be able to shine onstage by dressing up as their favorite characters from the Harry Potter series. Each contestant who is selected will be judged on the quality and craftsmanship of their costume and will have the chance to win magical prizes.

HARRY POTTER EXPO (Universal Studios Florida theme park)

At the Harry Potter Expo, guests will be able to dive deeper into The Wizarding World with additional all-new and returning fan favorite booths and displays.

NEW: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Jam City is excited to present Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, a new mobile game launching under Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s Portkey Games, a label dedicated to creating gaming experiences inspired by J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. Fans are invited to be one of the first ever to experience the magic with a gallery wall, enchanting giveaways and hands-on gameplay accompanied by the developers themselves!

NEW: The Harry Potter Film Concert Series – CineConcerts

Fans can learn more about the global sensation that allows fans to experience the magic of the Harry Potter films with a LIVE orchestra.  Guests will be able to take an exclusive selfie at the Harry Potter Film Concert Series photo booth and take part in fun giveaways.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Get ready to see the wizarding world as never experienced before with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Virtual Reality Experience.  Fans can step into Newt Scamander’s case and explore the spectacular world of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in a breathtaking cinematic virtual reality experience. Meet and interact with 6 beasts, complete spells, and immerse yourself in the magic like never before. This unique virtual reality experience is coming soon to major virtual reality platforms.

Access to A Celebration of Harry Potter is included with regular theme park admission or with an annual or seasonal pass. Certain activities are first-come, first-served. Exclusive event vacation packages are also available for purchase and include special benefits and reserved sections for the panels and demonstrations.

For more information about the event, tickets and available exclusive event vacation packages, click here.




Written by Keisha Hatchett

Director: David Yates

Writer: J.K. Rowling

Rating: PG-13

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a wonderful leap back into J.K. Rowlings magical world, but it’s not what you might think. While it does tie into the Harry Potter timelime, this one is set in 1926 it New York City. It also centers on a Hufflepuff named Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) rather than a boy with a lightning bolt on his forehead.

Expelled from Hogwarts in England, Schamander travels overseas to America with a tiny brown suitcase full of magical creatures. When he accidentally swaps cases with a no-maj (American muggle) named Jacob (Dan Fogler), some of those precious beings escape and he embarks on an adventure to return them. Along for the ride are Tina (Katherine Waterston), who works for the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA), and her sister Queenie (Alison Sudol), a sultry mindreader.

There are familiar elements, like the constant struggle for witches and wizards to hide magic from no-majs. And then there’s the theme of abused children, which appears in much of Rowling’s works, as Credence (Ezra Miller) often finds himself on the receiving end of corporal punishment by his foster mother, Mary Lou Barebone (Samantha Morton).

According to director David Yates, he’ll play a major part in the next movies to come. Here, might call him the secondary star. His haunting portrayal of an abused, repressed teen manifests physically in his crouched stance and the submissive way he interacts with Auror Percival Graves (Colin Farrell), whom he’s covertly working with.

“Credence…maybe want isn’t a sufficient word for him because he’s really seeking all this stuff that he desperately needs and Graves is sort of dispensing those things to keep Credence in his trap,” Ezra told me of their relationship. It’s one that feels inappropriate to watch, but at the same time, you can’t turn away.

And that’s the biggest difference between this story and the one about the Boy Who Lived. While Potter’s world was filled some moments of darkness, it never presented such an unsettling relationship as the one between Graves and Credence. Fantastic Beasts also delivers a completely different dynamic, in that we’re focused on four complex adults who’ve already had their coming of age tales. That’s not to say Potterheads won’t enjoy this film. It still has all the main ingredients: magic, wonder, heart, and a group of super talented British (and Irish and American) actors.

In other words, what are you contemplating? You know this movie will be great! Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them heads to theaters on November 18.

Final Grade: A