Welcome to Hogwarts first years orientation!
I love autumn, so very, very much. I get excited about the change in the season, the sun rays get a lazy slant, things get a little bit cooler, the leaves start to change and Hallowe’en stuff hits the stores. It also gets me in the mood for all things Harry Potter!
In the Spring, Mr Meanie & I went to Orlando, Florida to visit Disney World and Universal Studios for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Which was amazing to say the least! (you can see photos here). But most importantly, it inspired us to host our very own day at Hogwarts. We did a lot of research on pinterest and had to watch all the movies for good reference (oh, poor Meanies) .
Our mission was to knock the socks off of our hardcore HP friends. I had set a cryptic event on facebook just asking them to save the date, promising it was worth it. I even kept the guest list secret so my friends were completely baffled as to what I was up to. I also asked for them to pm me their mailing address so I could mail them proper invites. I whipped up custom acceptance letters on photoshop which were accompanied by the list of supplies they will be needing as well as train tickets and I got to use my wax seal! I had originally wanted to have them hand delivered with owl balloons, but it just wasn’t practical.
This was a very DIY party, full of projects that kept us solidly busy for 3 weeks straight. I hand panted house banners, we drew and cut out a million owl silhouettes (at least this was mindless and we could watch Doctor Who while we did this task). We had printed “WANTED” posters and a ton of proclamations. We also covered all of our art work with portraits from the hall. We set up a potions class, made floating candles AND had floating broomsticks!! This was just a portion because we kind of went nuts on the food!
Not only did we sculpt mandrakes out of fondant for the mandrake cupcakes, but we also scored little pots from a local florist (for free!!) to put them in! I made butterbeer cookies & knocked it out of the park with my homemade pumpkin juice. I also made golden snitch truffles, chocolate wands, pumpkin pasties & bought some Cornish pasties from the bakery (we had to have something without sugar). I even went so far as coming up with actual potions and printed them in a booklet with bizarre instructions like “hold potion above head & spin in clockwise direction/ tap potion with wand/whisper a spell”!
Our guests were sorted into different houses & we devised a points system for the houses to compete for the House Cup (aka Chocolate Frogs). Points were awarded for different tasks to be completed during the party. If you came in costume or if you brought any “magical” items (like books, stuffed owl/cat/rat/toad, wands, etc) your house was immediately awarded points. We downloaded a Harry Potter trivia app on our ipad and hosted 4 rounds of OWLS to gain your house points (with each house taking a turn to read questions, so it was fair all around). We also had hidden details around the “school”, that if spotted, awarded the house with points or if a potion was completed correctly, as well. We used poker chips as our counters and at the end of the day counted them up. Ravenclaw won the house cup this year! (W00t, that was my house!! But…I declined my chocolate frog and gave it to the person who put the most effort into their costume)
As a parting gift, all the guests were given a withdrawal from Gringotts bank (cauldrons filled with chocolate coins.) We may have gone a little overboard, but it was worth it and now we want to figure out how to out do ourselves for Hogwarts: Year Two. Hope you enjoy!