Back in late 2011 (oh my god, how was it so long ago????), I was in the middle of my junior year at the University of Miami. Earlier that summer, it was announced that there would be a Harry Potter celebration weekend at the Wizarding World in Universal Studios in Orlando. What's involved in a Harry Potter celebration weekend, you ask? Cast appearances. All sorts of cast appearances. A red carpet, panels, various talk show filmings... So a handful of us took advantage of Miami's relative proximity to Orlando and jumped the hell on that opportunity.
Our group ended up being a really cool mix of one of my oldest friends, one of my college friends, someone I met while camping out for the Deathly Hallows premiere, and two of their friends that I'd never met before. But we all clicked pretty instantly as a group, and it was fabulous. We also decided on freakishly accurate Marauder-era alter egos for each of us. And since I'm Moony, and Kayla is Tonks... well, I'm a married man.
So anyway, like I mentioned before, there were a whole heck of a lot of cast (and crew!) members there.
We spent a lot of time waiting for panels, but wow, I'd say it was worth it. And then we ended up spending an entire day (literally) waiting in line for the red carpet. Getting prime barrier real estate is WORK, my friends. But again, WORTH IT!
I'm extremely bad at getting pictures with people when barriers are involved. I'm just too small and quiet and not nearly forceful enough, and I've come to accept it. (Thankfully I'm significantly better in one-on-one situations: exhibits A, B and C.) I got a whole lot of autographs, though, so I'm down with that!
Have you noticed our slightly strange outfit choices? Yes, well, we made two sets of matching t-shirts. The pink was for red carpet day, and the other ones were in each of our house colors (which is also where the headbands came from. We each wrote a little house pride saying on our headband, and I cannot tell you how many people complimented me on "every day I'm Hufflin'"). Our shirts were decorated with our Marauder alter-egos, and at one point we had an in-character photo shoot by the castle. You WISH you were on our level.
Just mooning over my wife (pun totally intended).
Sirius does reckless things, James cheers him on, and Remus tries to keep his friends from getting killed. Y'know, the usual. :)
While we weren't busy being 100% awesome, we spent the rest of the time drinking butterbeer, eating in the Three Broomsticks and walking around Hogsmeade.
And can we talk about how flawless Hogwarts is for a second? I'm completely obsessed with it. It's beautiful. Can I live there?
What. a. weekend. It meant an uber-late drive back to Miami on Sunday night, and I got about three minutes of sleep before I had to wake up for class the next day... but not for one second was I sorry. Being a nerd is the most fun thing ever. You should try it! ;)