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HOLIDAY: The Outlaw’s Magical Visit to the Gingerbread World of Harry Potter & the Woodland Zoo’s Wildlights Display of Fantastic Beasts

The Christmas tree that talks back.


If you’ve never met anyone willing to drive 500 miles round trip just to see a movie, then apparently you haven’t had the pleasure (or misfortune) of meeting yours truly.

The Outlaw indeed made a pilgrimage through the Hoth-esque Pacific Northwest to the western hemisphere of Washington state to take in a viewing of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story at one of the premiere theaters on the west coast.


With Miss Vader attempting not to succumb to the Hoth like temperatures outside the prestigious Cinerama theater in downtown Seattle, WA.


Travelling to a zip code far far away to watch Rogue One wasn’t done for the sole purpose of witnessing the Death Star being built on a screen the size of Jupiter’s moon, but rather to see the hotly anticipated film with one of the biggest Darth Vader fans I know. I mean, does one not travel vast lengths to view a film with someone who goes by the nickname, “Miss Vader”. Also known as Stephanie, the love of all things Vader has been a volunteer editor for Geek Outlaw in addition to a being a contributing photographer for some special events I’ve covered.

I mention all of the seemingly uninteresting facts above because the always thoughtful Miss Vader arranged for her and the Outlaw to attend a few other geeky holiday themed events on my trip to the Seattle metropolitan area for the opening weekend of Rogue One.


May the Phoenix forever me in your favor (just not directly above you.)



The first stop on our magical holiday expedition was at the downtown Seattle Sheraton for the annual Gingerbread Village display. Every year, the upscale hotel puts on a display (with a new pop culture theme) of the most intricate holiday gingerbread houses in the world. Sadly, the Outlaw and Miss Vader missed out on last Christmas’ Star Wars themed village. Fortunately, the Geek Gods were smiling down on us as 2016’s display highlighted the wizarding world of Harry Potter.

Never have I been in the presence of such enchanted creations that I wanted to simultaneously put on display in my home and then devour until nothing but gingerbread crumbs remained. Rather than describe the magnificent details of each artistic masterpiece, I shall let me mediocre smartphone camera to the talking.


These gingerbread houses don’t just look pretty, they light up and move pretty too! Check out the short video to witness the magic.






Fittingly, the other notable event on geeky galivanting weekend was at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo for their annual Wildlights Holiday Festival light display. While unfortunately there is no literal link to the latest film in J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise, there were still a plethora of fantastic beasts roaming within the park; most of them constructed via thousands of tiny LED light bulbs. There were even a few biological beasts on hand to entertain the guests as well.

Rather than spoil the experience with more of my incoherent words, I’ve again provided the visual delights below courtesy of my low-light deficient phone camera.


“We are just a couple (thousand) wild and crazy lights!”

Miss Vader taking a trip to the Lighter Side.

The Outlaw doing his best to stay warm amongst the LED array.

Fantastic Beast Mode and Where to Find It

Scientific evidence of where the term “lump on a log” came from.

A couple of Fantastic Beasts getting their beauty rest before their long OT shift on the 25th.

Watch the Gila Monster light up the park in this very brief but beautiful clip.



If all the above geekry wasn’t enough, Miss Vader and I also managed to descend upon the brand new THINKGEEK brick-and-mortar retail store within the Northgate Mall in Seattle. Your initial reaction is probably, “and I give a flying rat’s gluteus maximus because?” Excellent question seeing as the last time the Outlaw stepped in a shopping mall was sometime during the Mesozoic Era. Regardless, we made the journey based on the fact ThinkGeek – whom made a name for themselves online with geeks worldwide – just recently opened dozens of stores across the nation. Across is a bit of a misnomer though seeing as most of the stores are located on the eastern half of the US.


Preparing my wallet for the insufferable pain it is about to incur.


Thus, the Seattle location is presently the only representation of ThinkGeek west of the Mississippi, and in turn why we felt obligated to make the journey to mecca and spend money on nerdy pop-culture trinkets we couldn’t afford.

Despite the fact I enjoy visiting the city of Seattle about as much as I enjoy a good colonoscopy without anesthesia, all in all, my holiday excursion to visit Vader’s better female half turned out to be a holiday weekend for the books. If you’re a geek of any magnitude, the Outlaw can attest the Force is undeniably strong with the Emerald City.


Obligatory selfie with geek-themed retail chain store.



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