Our Summer in Videos

We have had the busiest summer in quite a while. No complaints here, busy is good! We haven’t had a whole lot of time to sit down and write quality blog posts, but we have had a camera on hand. Sometimes it’s much more convenient to just film the moments we want to share with you, and that’s exactly what we did. We devoted our time to Warped Tour and LeakyCon this summer — meaning not only did we attend these events, but we designed all new products to go along with them, and sold them ourselves at booths. All the labor is done by yours truly, hard work isn’t always glamorous, friends. Being able to interact directly with our customers is one of our most favorite things to do. You guys are always so awesome. Now onto the videos! We hope you enjoy them.

This video was filmed pre Warped and LeakyCon. It was the night before the public opening of the Diagon Alley expansion at Universal Studios Orlando, and we decided it would be a good idea to eat Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. Spoiler alert: it’s not. This video features two of the five Harry Potter inspired T-shirts we created just for LeakyCon. You can buy them here!

We only did the 3 Florida dates of Vans Warped Tour this year instead of the 8 we tackled last year. I can guarantee you, though, that the experience proved to be just as sweaty and busy. Tour was undeniably different this year, but we did everything we could to make our brief time memorable. Sidenote: we did quickly find out that the reason the tent next to us had an immense line of excited girls in front of it was because of YouTuber VeeOneEye. He was very sweet to his fans, and gave his full attention to every single person he met.

This was, easily, our favorite of the three to film. All of the footage was recorded via our iPhones, so we apologize for the grainy quality. On the second day at LeakyCon we decided to put up a simple green sign promising free candy to anyone willing to share their favorite Danisnotonfire and/or AmazingPhil quote with us. We were shocked by the amount of people not only eager to share, but who let us film them for a YouTube compilation. People LOVE Dan and Phil.

We just want to say, thank you to everyone we met this summer for being so awesome. Going into new or chaotic situations is sometimes overwhelming and a bit stressful, but everyone we met (besides the inevitable party poopers of the world) was wonderful. Thank you for making our summer a great one!

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Diagon Alley Opening Day

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WE DID OUR WAITING! OVER THREE YEARS OF IT! Think way back to 2011. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade had been open and running smoothly for four years when the first rumors of an expansion began circulating the Wizarding Wireless Network (aka the internet). True Potter fans knew way down in the pits of their magical souls that a Diagon Alley addition was on its way. What this meant exactly was anyone’s guess. It was fun to speculate at how Universal would incorporate more magic into an already phenomenal attraction, and it wasn’t until May of 2013 that we finally, officially knew that a train, the Hogwarts Express, would transport people back and forth between two lands: Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.

It wasn’t until The Today Show visited Universal in late June 2014 that an official opening date was finally announced. Diagon Alley would open to the public on July 8. Forget any sneak peaks or soft openings, we wanted the full experience. As soon as we heard the news, the strategizing to get into Diagon Alley on opening day began. We already knew massive crowds would flood through the gates of Universal Studios as early as possible on Monday morning, so we decided to enter through Islands of Adventure instead. (I should preface: the night before we booked a room at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort. All guests who stay at a Universal hotel have early access into the parks.) We wanted to be on the first official train from Hogsmeade into “London.” We were the first guests into IoA, the first in line at Hogsmeade station, and the first group to get off the train at King’s Cross Station. Our group of six got separated after we exited the train, but a kind and professional Universal administrator gladly rejoined us. I cannot reiterate enough how brilliant the Universal staff was on opening day. Every single staff member we encountered was enthusiastic, informative and patient.

After waiting maybe over two hours total, we entered into London dressed in our finest wizarding wear, and our heads exploded.

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We have yet to ride Escape from Gringott’s, mainly because we refuse to wait in the seven hour line. I think we’ve decided to wait until the hype dies down a little bit before we attempt the wait. We don’t want to spoil all the surprises, but some personal highlights included Knockturn Alley – it’s cold, dark, spooky and everything you want it to be; the Quidditch shop and all the new gear, including Chudley Cannons, Ireland and Bulgaria souvenirs; Florean Fortescue’s, shout out to the sticky toffee pudding ice cream.

I promise that these few pictures don’t do Diagon Alley justice. From the moment you enter through the brick archway, you are entirely immersed inside the wizarding world. Everything you see, every building to every minute detail, is straight out of Jo Rowling’s mind. All in all, we really didn’t have to wait as long as we prepared ourselves for. We went in expecting long lines and irritated people (which we definitely ran into), but overall, opening day was sensational. Diagon Alley, without a doubt, goes above and beyond everything we imagined. There’s so much to do, and so much to see, that an entire day exploring might not even be enough. If you have any questions or comments about the new expansion, please ASK! We can visit as often as we like, and we’ve been doing our research thoroughly.

ICYMI: We have released our exclusive Harry Potter collection on our website! It’s being sold specifically at our booth at LeakyCon, but we decided to share it with everyone else as well. Get your shirt now before they’re gone forever! It’s always free shipping for anyone who lives inside the United States!

A Celebration of Harry Potter

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If there is one thing you guys should know about us, it’s that we are gigantic, unashamed, Potterheads. I say should know because we believe in letting our geek flag fly. In the words of Simon Pegg: “Being a geek means never having to play it cool about how much you like something.” Well, we don’t merely like Harry Potter, we see it more as a way of life. For example, in our world, JK Rowling is queen and anything HP-related is cause for celebration. This past weekend, Universal Studios Orlando held A Celebration of Harry Potter expo, and you can bet we donned our wizard robes, packed our wands and joined in the celebrating.

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hpcc19 (800x571)A significant part of the expo focused on the Diagon Alley expansion to The Wizarding World, said to be finished this coming summer! The Hogwarts Express will transport people back and forth from “London” to Hogsmeade. Based on what we heard this weekend and the live webcast Thursday morning, we are beyond excited to learn just how immense and detailed Diagon Alley will be. It will include The Knight Bus, Knockturn Alley (Borgin & Burkes), three stories of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, Madam Malkin’s, Quality Quidditch Supplies, The Daily Prophet… just to name a few. It’s going to have everything true Harry Potter fans love about the books and movies. Apparently, there will be a life-size dragon atop Gringott’s Wizarding Bank which will house the “Escape from Gringott’s” ride. We’re envisioning a roller coaster of sorts racing through the underground vaults. For more specific information regarding the expansion, visit LeakyNews

Overall, the most brilliant aspect of the expo was that Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), James Phelps (Fred Weasley), Oliver Phelps (George Weasley), Devon Murray (Seamus Finnigan), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) and Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley, not pictured) were there to not only grace our presence, but to answer fan questions about everything Harry Potter. To have seen these people, this cast of characters that we grew up with, in the flesh was almost unbelievable. This is an experience we will never forget, and we feel so grateful to have been able to attend.

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hpcc6 (800x571)We feel this is as good a time as any to start revealing information about this summer, when we have plans to take our love for Harry Potter to the next level. We are still figuring out details, and we don’t want to give too much away, but we can confidently say that if you are as passionate about the series as we are then you are going to love what we have in store! For now, we’ll just say that we are planning to be apart of something huge that is taking place in Orlando in July. This also means that new, and magical, products are headed your way! Keep your eyes and ears open and we will continue to reveal information. Until then, peace and love, muggles.

A Very Disney Christmas

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We had the absolute pleasure of visiting Epcot and the Magic Kingdom during the holidays. Just as you would expect with Disney, it was magical, and now that we live minutes from the parks we are able to visit whenever we have free time. There is, however, something innately and almost inexplicably special about Disney World during Christmastime.

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We went to Epcot on Christmas Eve and while some might consider it the lesser of the Disney Parks, thrill-wise anyway, but we would happily disagree. If Disney does anything well (and they do), they are brilliant at creating an experience. For a few hours, you can confidently pretend you’re walking through the streets of Germany, or enjoying French pastries in a boulangerie. A favorite spot for us is The Rose and Crown Pub located in the U.K. area of the World Showcase. *That’s a huge plus about Epcot — unlike the other three Disney Parks, they serve alcohol!* At night we enjoyed Christmas Eve dinner at Cafe Marrakesh in Morocco, complete with falafel, hummus, lamb kebabs and belly dancers.

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We, of course, saved the Magic Kingdom for Christmas day. When you visit any Disney park, especially during the holidays, you have to accept the fact that your day will include lots of waiting. The parks will be jam-packed, the attraction lines will be long (as well as the bathrooms) and the chances of people getting testy are high. You have to look at the bigger picture: you are in the happiest place on earth, so don’t forget to take in the experience. There is so much to do! The New Fantasyland expansion and the Starbucks addition on Main Street are just a couple of the newer treasures we experienced. We always love Splash Mountain, even in 60 degrees, and we always love The Haunted Mansion. Waiting in line for that is half the fun! Plus, the entire park is decorated beautifully. They even shoot out fake snow over Main Street.

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We can’t wait to have more Disney adventures — we’re even planning some photo shoots around the area. It’s such an inspiring place to be, it makes you feel like you can accomplish anything if you just work hard. We hope everyone had a fantastic holiday break, and that the new year brings you everything you want and need. Also, we hope those trapped in below freezing temperatures and entirely too much snow are staying safe and warm! Don’t forget to bring your animals inside! If you’re already over winter and forever dreaming about warmer weather, by all means check out our denim shorts on the website. Every pair is designed, customized and fitted just for you! We’re already planning for our spring/summer adventures, so be sure to stay tuned for more.

To 2014 and Beyond

Happy 2014, friends! It’s a brand new year, and that means brand new everything. For so many, a new year means a fresh start, but it’s also the perfect time to reflect. We are very big believers in living in the moment and tackling opportunities head on, however, we also believe in learning and growing from past experiences. So many defining moments happened in 2013. In fact, it has been our most adventurous year yet. We were lucky enough to travel with Vans Warped Tour, we moved the company from Indianapolis to Orlando, we are slowly, but surely, gaining attention overseas. It’s a lot, and at times overwhelming, but only in the best way. It’s nice to be busy doing something you love. Having said that, we gladly resolve to work smarter, not harder, in 2014. Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t afraid of hard work — this business would be nothing without it (and our Warped experience will always be nostalgic blend of blood, sweat and tears) — we just plan to take what we learned this past year and refine it. In the spirit of reflection, here are some of our most favorite, special moments from 2013.

So, we want to know: What are your resolutions for 2014? What do you want to do better? Mainly, we want to continue working passionately, maintaining a close relationship with our customers. To our most loyal clientele, to anyone who has just browsed the site, or liked an Instagram post, we can’t thank you enough. Your support is everything, and if we have inspired you in any way, then we consider our job well done. Now, here’s to making 2014 even better!