We just arrived in Orlando, FL today for the big Potter event at the Wizarding World this weekend. Although the celebration doesn’t officially begin until tomorrow, some amazing things still happened today…
I spent most of the morning and afternoon traveling here via plane and shuttle, but I won’t bore you with those details, other than to say our bus was full of Potterheads! One girl was with the broadcast media, and told us that she would get five minutes with each individual cast/crew member for a private interview!
Upon checking into the Royal Pacific here on Universal property, we were able to print out our tickets for both the parks, autograph and Q&A sessions, and the special gala on Sunday night. The staff wasn’t very knowledgeable on the weekend’s itinerary, nor were there any sort of directions for package holders, but I’m holding out faith that they will have special guide maps and schedules available when things officially commence tomorrow.
Since things aren’t scheduled to kick off until the morning, I wasn’t expecting tonight to be anything special, though I knew the cast and crew were on property. It just so happened, however, that my father and I were leaving the Bubba Gump’s restaurant on CityWalk around 10, and I saw a group walking out behind us. It fleetingly crossed my mind that one of the guys looked freakishly like Stanislav Ivaneski — when I abruptly realized that was Stanislav Ivaneski (Viktor Krum), along with Alfie Enoch, Devon Murray, Jesse Cave, and a few others. The crowds were relatively nonexistent at that hour, and the few people who were around didn’t seem to recognize them, so I quietly freaked out and cursed myself for not bringing my camera. We followed them into the Billabong shop across the walkway, where I tried to work up the nerve to say hello while we struggled to record some video on my dad’s smartphone (which I’ll hopefully figure how to get up soon). Since they probably can’t go anywhere like normal people, I didn’t want to barge in and be rude, demanding pictures and geeking out, so we started to leave… then I realized that the chances of me ever having a shot at this again were slim to none, and I’d hate myself for not saying anything.
So I approached their body guard, who was standing at a distance, and asked if it would be all right for me just to say something to them. He was very nice and said they weren’t allowing pictures (in an effort to keep them from being mobbed), but it’d be perfectly all right for me to speak with them. Then he asked if there was anyone I’d like to have a chat with especially, to which I gleefully answered Devon Murray. To say it was surreal and a total dream come true would be the understatement of the century. He tapped Devon on the shoulder, introduced me, and then suddenly this whole crew of people I just totally love are all staring at me. I said that I didn’t want to bother them, but I wanted to let them know that I thought they were great in the films and they did such a brilliant job on the seventh one and did the book total justice. Being the embarrassed muddle of a person that I am, I started to back away, but Devon said thanks so much, and asked my name. After I told him, he thanked me again by name, shook my hand, and said it was nice meeting me. I managed to bid them adieu in a calm fashion before wobbling my way back over to my dad. It was just… absolutely unbelievable and so, so wonderful because it was entirely unexpected. I knew the cast and crew were going to be here, I knew they all have habits of coming out later in the evening to explore, and I knew someone would see them… but I never imagined it would be me. It was fantastic!
At any rate, tomorrow’s the official start of the Harry Potter Home Entertainment Celebration Weekend, and I couldn’t be more excited! We get extremely early access because of our package, so we’ll be over there around 6 AM to collect our swag, take some photos while it’s not very crowded, and figure out the setup for The Today Show broadcast. We’re going to try and get prime seats/spots so we can see the interviews and everything; be sure to watch, I heard Evanna and Rupert are supposed to be on! Our autograph session is scheduled for tomorrow at 5:30. They won’t tell us which cast/crew member or group it’s for yet (apparently it’s not a panel of all of them like we originally thought), so I’ll keep you posted! I’ve got my fingers crossed for Rupert, but, frankly, anyone at all would be awesome!
There will be another full report tomorrow, but my twitter will have a play by play of the day if anyone’s interested!