Hogsmeade Weekenders' Annual Yule Ball Event
What to expect at the Yule Ball
Since 2017 (minus 2020, of course) we have held our family-friendly Yule Ball at Universal Studios, Hollywood in Hogsmeade Village. We are not affiliated or endorsed by the park, simply a group of Potter fans that like to gather on the back patio of the Three Broomsticks. Held annually on the first weekend in December, the Yule Ball is your chance to don your very finest wizard robes and festive magic-themed outfits. The event usually begins between mid-morning and noon to give us plenty of time to get lunch, raffle some prizes, start the costume contest, and swap gifts during the White Hippogriff. Then we try to wrap up the afternoon festivities around 3:45pm in time to take photos during the golden hour. Those not wishing to take photos often wander away to enjoy the shops or go on rides. After photos the group generally disperses, though a few die-hards may meet back at the Broomsticks for a final drink or chat before the park closes.
What is a White Hippogriff?
A White Hippogriff gift exchange is a game very similar to the muggle game called White Elephant. Everyone brings a wrapped gift with a specified theme and/or budget. For our White Hippogriff game, the budget is $20-25. This means that the item you bring should value at least $20 (or several items in one package that add up to at least $20). You can absolutely contribute a gift worth more, but just know that you may not necessarily walk away with a gift of equal value to what you brought. Numbers are drawn and gifts are picked and opened (or stolen) with limits in place to keep play moving. Play is ended when the last gift is opened!
Tips for picking a White Hippogriff gift
Our theme is Harry Potter (of course!), which includes all of the wizarding world and adjacent interests. For example, general magic wands and other witchy items. However, we have a lot of overlapping tastes when it comes to fandoms. Star Wars, Disney, Marvel and Doctor Who are often favorites among our group. (Grogu was a big hit the year he was still known as "Baby Yoda!") Feel free to get creative!