Universal Studios' A Celebration of Harry Potter Will Potter You Out

Categories: Culture, Travel

Photo by Carolina del Busto
An empty, breathtaking view of Diagon Alley.
Orlando was overtaken by witches and wizards during "A Celebration of Harry Potter" at Universal Studios. For the second consecutive year, the theme park put together an expo space dedicated to all things Potter and invited talent from the movies to share the excitement with fans.

For the layperson who isn't a fanatic, Fred and George Weasley (actors James and Oliver Phelps), Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch), and Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) were there for the weekend.

It was three days full of magical mania that was enough to leave guests both Pottered out and fully satisfied.

See also: Ten Best Cosplayers at Universal Orlando's A Celebration of Harry Potter 2015

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Ten Best Cosplayers at Universal Orlando's A Celebration of Harry Potter 2015

Categories: Lists, Travel

Photo by Carolina del Busto
Fans from all over gathered last weekend at Universal Studios Orlando's A Celebration of Harry Potter. The annual event provided the opportunity for Harry Potter devotees to mingle with fellow aficionados and actors from the movies, and was nothing short of magical.

It was like a scene straight out of the movies with hundreds of people dressed in either a yellow, green, blue, or burgundy-lined black cloak. If you didn't know any better, you would have thought it was a Hogwarts field trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Some simply had a robe over their usual Muggle attire, while others fashioned the entire school uniform, but it was fans who got a creative with their outfits who really stood out. Buying a robe is easy, but these cosplayers really conjured up some awesome fabric-weaving magic.

Here are the best cosplayers at Universal Orlando's A Celebration of Harry Potter.

See also: Jack Feldman on Writing Lyrics for Newsies and "Fansies"

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Knight Arts Challenge People's Choice: Key West Art & Historical Society Preserves Memories of the Island

Categories: Art, Travel

Courtesy of KWAHS
Lighthouse & Keeper's Quarters
People's Choice Awards nominees are live. The community can vote now through November 17 via text message for one of six selected Knight Arts Challenge finalists to receive $20,000 to fund their projects. It's a text-to-vote campaign: Choose your favorite group and text its code to 22333. Of the 75 finalists, the six People's Choice nominees are small, emerging groups from different parts of South Florida, all working to make the region a better place to live.

For a two-by-four strip of land, poised halfway between here and Cuba, Key West has always been larger than life. The stomping grounds of a diverse cadre of famous figures like Ernest Hemingway, Jimmy Buffett and President Truman, it's a cultural cornucopia married to a tropical paradise.

Since 1949, the Key West Art & Historical Society has served as steward to this magical little key. Keepers of three museums, educators, art-appreciators and locals, the folks at KWAHS work tirelessly to preserve the remarkable legacy of the original Margaritaville.

See also: Knight Arts Challenge People's Choice: IFÉ-ILÉ Hopes to Bring Afro-Cuban Dance to the Masses

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Photography Trip Inspires Two Miami Friends To Give Back: "We Witnessed History"

Categories: Art, Travel

Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
Traveling to exotic lands has always grasped the imaginations of those with an adventurous spirit. Looking to break from the routine of their daily grind in South Florida, friends and photographers Jacob Bacallao and Nicolas Stipcianos decided to cast their luck into the wind and travel to Southeast Asia this past spring, seeking to create new, artistic work that would be different from their jobs in advertising and professional photography, respectively.

The two friends found themselves wondering to how they'd be able to maximize the opportunity afforded by the trip and what level of quality work they'd be able to produce. As is becoming more and more common these days, they bolstered their budget by starting a Kickstarter campaign in order to raise some cash for logistical purposes (translators, emergency transportation, and acts of God, essentially) that they had not factored in.

What ended up happening was as eye-opening a spiritual cleanse as one could hope for and in an act of artistic contrition, they embarked on their trip with a different purpose in mind.

See also: Fashion and Film Join Forces for the First Ever Miami Fashion Film Festival

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Halloween Horror Nights 24: The Scares Are There, but Go For the Novelty (Video)

Categories: Travel

The sun had set and the sky was indigo. As you walked passed the revolving globe and up to the arches, the eerie music coming from the loudspeakers and musky, earthy smell of the lingering rainfall set the scene perfectly.

Though Universal Studios Orlando can't control the weather (and they likely wouldn't want it raining on their parade as often as it does), the trickling mist after the afternoon downpour made the opening night of Halloween Horror Nights 24 (HHN) feel as if you were transported into a classic horror movie.

And after walking through the gates and encountering any scare-actors roaming the streets with chainsaws, yeah, you totally felt like Laura Strode.

See also: Dracula Untold Comes to Universal's Halloween Horror Nights Next Month

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Dracula Untold Comes to Universal's Halloween Horror Nights Next Month

Universal Pictures
Inspired by Universal Pictures' forthcoming vampire origin tale, Dracula Untold, Universal Orlando adds a little bite to its roster for this year's Halloween Horror Nights (HHN). Starting in September, prepare to get lost in the history of Dracula -- actually physically lost -- with the Dracula Untold: Reign of Blood maze.

The film explores the history of the 15th century Romanian prince Vlad Tepes, whose legacy is attributed to inspiring Bram Stoker's famous Dracula character. The maze it inspired plans to transport you to Tepes' dark castle grounds and "spiral guests through Dracula's eternal damnation, where the thirst for blood is never-ending."

See also: The Purge Gets Its Own Scare Zone at Halloween Horror Nights This Fall

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The Purge Gets Its Own Scare Zone at Halloween Horror Nights This Fall

Courtesy of Universal Pictures
If you weren't able to try first-hand The Purge Breakout Experience when it rolled into Wynwood last month, the horror gods (no, not Joss Whedon) have taken pity on you.

Universal Studios Orlando will be implementing its very own version of a Purge experience during this year's Halloween Horror Nights (HHN).

See also: I (Couldn't) Survive The Purge: Breakout Experience Harder, Creepier Than it Looks

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Inside Universal Orlando's Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Video)

There's so much to see and explore at Diagon Alley, Universal Studios' latest Harry Potter-themed expansion, that words and pictures can't possibly do it any justice. But moving pictures? Now we're talking.

See also: 21 Things to Look Out for in Diagon Alley, Universal Orlando's New Harry Potter Experience

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Inside Diagon Alley: The Five Best Things to Expect at Universal Orlando

Categories: Travel

Carolina del Busto
Somewhere deep within Universal Studios in Orlando Florida, magic is brewing.

As the latest expansion to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter gears up for its grand opening on July 8, members of the media (and film talent) were invited for a spectacular peek of Diagon Alley.

The entrance sits hidden to non-magic folk behind a façade of London, which is complete with a King's Cross Station, Wyndham's Theatre, and even that familiar Grimmauld Place. Guests are immediately transported and fully immersed into Harry's world once they step through the red brick walls.

See also: 21 Things to Look Out for in Diagon Alley, Universal Orlando's New Harry Potter Experience

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21 Things to Look Out for in Diagon Alley, Universal Orlando's New Harry Potter Experience

Carolina del Busto
With the newest addition to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, fans will get to experience what it's really like to be a witch or wizard wandering the streets of Diagon Alley. For all your wizardry needs, there's a place to buy your schoolbooks, robes, approved pets, and even telescopes. Exchange muggle money for wizard currency, and if you're feeling a little naughty, you can turn the corner and step into the dark side.

From eating at the Leaky Cauldron to shopping at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, there's so much that catches the eye that it's easy to miss the finer details.

Therefore, we've put together a colorful list of 21 things to look out for on your (multiple) visits to Diagon Alley.

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