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Posted on Nov 27, 2017

17 Things To Know About Holidays At The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter

If you don't get warm Butterbeer, you've failed your O.W.L.s.

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We've been freaking out ever since Universal announced that the holidays would be coming to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and we've got some great news: they've finally arrived! Here's everything you need to know.

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1. Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade are LIT (literally).

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Both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are decked out in holiday decorations for the season, which become the perfect backdrop for your festive Instagrams. Fun fact: in true Potter form, the incredibly detailed decor is inspired by the books — some of the garland even have ribbons inspired by Hermione's Yule Ball dress!

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2. Unfortunately there aren't any special ~holiday-themed~ desserts, but you can Accio yourself some Ron Weasley-approved treats like this Cauldron Cake at Honeyduke's in Hogsmeade...

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And in case you're wondering, it's a chocolate cake with *a lot * of frosting, and you can also reuse the cauldron to bake your own cakes!

3. ...or these adorable mini Peppermint Toads...

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4. ...enchanting ice cream from Florean Fortescue's...

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The Butterbeer soft serve is OUT OF THIS WORLD. We also recommend trying the Earl Grey & Lavender and Sticky Toffee Pudding scoops.

5. ...and book favorites, like Pumpkin Pasties or Pumpkin Juice.

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These treats actually exist year-round, but when in pumpkin season, eat pumpkin. Amirite?!

6. You can stop by the Hog's Head to stay warm with a Firewhiskey...

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The cinnamon in the Firewhiskey just makes it feel all seasonal and ~comfy~.

7. ...or treat yourself to some hot Butterbeer.

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It will definitely get you into the holiday spirit.

8. The Three Broomsticks features some seasonal food, like this holiday-themed feast and Christmas pudding.

9. And you can stop by Madam Malkin's shop to purchase your house's winter scarf and robe (so you can pretend like it's maybe going to snow even though it definitely is not).

(JK they have fake snow, so it's fine.)

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And as New Yorkers who experience the real thing all too often, we must admit that the fake snow felt whimsical (especially without all the cold slush).

10. The Frog Choir performs a special Yule Ball song and other holiday tracks outside of Hogwarts.

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It's legit a magical version of Glee. The choir performs new holiday songs like “The Most Magical Yule Ball of All," “I Cast a Spell On Father Christmas," and a spin on the classic "We Wish You A Merry Christmas”. And after you watch their performance we suggest you stake your spot right outside of Hogwarts Castle to get ready for the light show.

11. And over in Diagon Alley you can hear Celestina Warbeck and her Banshees sing their new Christmas album, Nothin’ Like A Holiday Spell.

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We know Mariah Carey rules muggle Christmas tunes, but Celestina has got the Wizarding musical crown. You can listen to new tracks like “Accio Christmas," “My Baby Gave Me a Hippogriff for Christmas," “A Witch and Wizard’s Wintry Wondrous Land," and “Nothing Like a Holiday Spell." And be sure to stick around, because toward the end tons of "snow" magically begins falling over the crowd.

12. It pains us to say this, but there is NO 😩 YULE 😩 BALL 😩.

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HOWEVER, there are lots of Yule Ball elements integrated throughout the parks, so it still feels like you're in the books.

13. And most importantly, once dusk falls, you can experience a magical eight-minute light show with fireworks projected onto Hogwarts.

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Warning: about an hour before the shows began a massive crowd formed around the castle — like, we're talking all the way to the entrance of Hogsmeade. But the experience is available all night long (right now they'll be running approximately every 20 minutes until park closing) so it might be best to wait and experience it later in the night.

14. Throughout the show, you'll see Fred and George take over to promote their joke shop, Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes...

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15. ...Hogwarts students enchanting snowmen...

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16. ...Krum and Hermione dancing at the Yule Ball...

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(If only there was a way to Accio ourselves up inside the castle for our own dance.)

17. ...and a fireworks finale!

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Overall though, the whole experience is pretty damn magical. ⚡️ (And we'll be crossing our fingers for a real-life Yule Ball next year.)

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Holidays at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be open from November 17, 2018 – January 6, 2019.

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