The opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was nothing short of spectacular. Record crowds descended upon Orlando, Florida at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and plenty of avid Feltbeats members were among them to take the Forbidden Journey, as well as sample plenty of Butterbeer, Pumpkin Juice and Treacle Fudge, among other treats at HoneyDukes and the Three Broomsticks.
Over thirty Feltbeats members and their guests signed up to meet as a group at the park. Crowds forced the group to change meeting times, but overall, we were able to get everyone into at least one of the group photographs.
Feltbeats.com covered all the adventures of the Feltbeats fans at the park. A very, very special thanks goes out to Lilyginny27, Misha, and Tick-Tock, who posted all our pictures and video and did a phenomenal job of covering the event online.
There were numerous press events, but the best coverage came from Monica and Jessica, who were at the park gates at 5 am on the morning and found themselves on the Today Show. In fact, Feltbeats.com got a bit of free national advertising when Monica turned her shoulder bag, and its prominent Feltbeats logo toward the camera.
Members found each other throughout the park on the first day, most recognizable by their blue Feltbeats t-shirts, or the lovely army caps that were given as incredibly generous gifts by Shelly.
As far as the park, well, there is plenty of video about it in general. Everyone loved the Butterbeer, but I think we all agreed that it was too sweet to really have more than one. Someone reported that a single glass had 400 calories!
It seemed that the only consistent complaint from the team was that there weren’t enough Draco-related items in the shops and around the park. I did find that there is a portrait in one of the rooms in the queue for Forbidden Journey that looks very much like a young Draco, but really not much else. So, if anyone is looking for a personal mission, feel free to let the park know that you want more Draco and lets see if we can get them to remedy that!
Throughout the weekend, what was most wonderful was how many folks managed to share their love of Tom, Tom’s music or Feltbeats with random people while standing in line, or in shops, or at the hotel. Ashley had Tom’s music on her iPod and was playing it for others in line, and was interviewed by a local TV station (Channel 9 in Orlando) because the reporter asked her about her hat.
In general, it was amazing how many people recognized the word Feltbeats, and every time any of us brought it up to a new person, the response was always welcoming and positive. Overall, we repeatedly got comments about how positive the site is, and we’d like to thank you, our members, for helping to make it that way. The mission of Feltbeats is, in part, to remain lighthearted and fun, and it was very apparent from the feedback that fans really respond to that.
Feltbeats fans are truly the best. Special thanks to all the Feltbeats Forum and Army members who joined us in Florida, both physically and from afar. We received numerous tweets and emails from folks who couldn’t attend, but we felt like you were with us because of your cheerful support (javastix, avantlaube, melissamoo, roomofradcliffe, erikadianel)
The opening of the park was a truly special event, not only because of the park itself, but because of the adventure we all shared together. And, once again, a very, very special thanks to all the Feltbeats members who were there: miss_mani, susan_walker, gnzlsgrl, jesskat3, southernbets, lsalim, Vicki, Liz, Madam_Barbara, Madam_Rache, Sir_Aiden, clb1018, tsukikomalfoy, flagmaster, who_knows_you, Shelly, Heather, Mike, flagmaster, Chris, Crystal, Ryan, Jaiben, Christoper and bserlori (crosses fingers and prays that I didn’t forget anyone)