Everything you need to know for A Celebration of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando this weekend
Wands at the ready. A Celebration of Harry Potter is headed back to Universal Orlando for a fourth year this weekend.
The three-day event is something wizards, witches and muggles alike look forward to all year. Robed, wand-wielding fans descend on Universal Studios for a meetup with fellow Hogwarts alum and to check out the Harry Potter Expo, learn wand combat skills and to meet some of their favorite actors.
Three days of butterbeer, magical cosplaying and geeking out with Harry Potter fanatics? Count us in.
This year A Celebration of Harry Potter welcomes first-time celebrity guests Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) and Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick and Griphook). Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) is also returning to celebrate with fans.
All four will be attending film talent Q&A sessions on Saturday and Sunday. Warwick Davis, who also appeared in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and Rogue One, has seminars with makeup effects artist Nick Dudman Saturday and Sunday.
Can I dress up?
A weekend of celebrating Harry Potter wouldn't be complete without your house robes and an interactive wand. Unlike other theme parks, Universal allows guests to dress up as their favorite characters inside the parks. However, masks and weapons aren't allowed.
What else can I do?
You could probably spend a whole day exploring what the Harry Potter Expo has to offer. Packed into two soundstages are experiences and props from MinaLima, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Harry Potter: The Exhibition, Scholastic, Pottermore, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Google Daydream and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
This is the first celebration since the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, so time-turners and suitcases full of magical creatures are sure to be hot commodities.
Throughout the weekend there will also be Harry Potter trivia, dance lessons with the ladies of Beauxbatons, wand combat training, film screenings and seminars with book illustrator Mary GrandPre and others who made the world of Harry Potter come to life on the big screen.
A Celebration of Harry Potter events and experiences are mostly situated in Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios.
Access to events within the Celebration is included with regular admission to Universal Orlando ($110, $160 for a one-day park-to-park ticket for adults, $155 for children 9 and under). Panel events are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Based on past celebrations, you should be prepared to wait an hour or more for good seats to Q&As.
Some vacation packages are still available and include benefits like reserved seating, special sessions with talent and commemorative merchandise.
For more information about park tickets and vacation packages visit universalorlando.com.
Contact Chelsea Tatham at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @chelseatatham on Twitter and Instagram for coverage of this year's Celebration of Harry Potter.