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Snowfall is coming to “Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter”
Posted by Megs

Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is returning to Universal Studios Hollywood once again! This year they are adding “glistening snowfall” to enhance the holiday spirit! “Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will take place daily from November 17, 2018 through January 6, 2019. This year includes the a cappella Frog Choir, special holiday collectibles, hot butterbeer, holiday-themed food and more!

The full press release:

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas at The Entertainment Capital of L.A. as Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal CityWalk deck the halls with a wintry calendar of festive holiday experiences and an array of delectable treats that families and friends far and wide can enjoy.

The addition of nightly glistening snowfall to “Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will enhance the yuletide spirit that resonates throughout the land as HogwartsTM castle transforms into a dazzling light projection spectacular and the quaint town of Hogsmeade village shines brightly with décor uniquely themed to each of the individual storefronts.

The annual holiday reunites the a cappella Frog Choir, comprised of Hogwarts students and their giant throaty frogs, who return to entertain guests with their harmonized holiday themed songs.

A wide selection of custom-made Christmas ornaments created especially for “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will also be available. Collectibles include a variety of decorative Hogwarts castle snow globes, Hogwarts crest and mascot ornaments representing each of the houses, as well as a collection of unique tree toppers and house pennant garland.

Newly introduced holiday-themed fare and hot Butterbeer will further complement the overall experience.

“Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will take place daily from November 17, 2018 through January 6, 2019.

As night falls on Hogsmeade village, “The Magic of Christmas at HogwartsTM Castle” will illuminate Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with colorful imagery and impressive dimensional animations that dance across Hogwarts castle in tandem to a musical arrangement from the Harry Potter movies.

Grinchmas” returns to Universal Studios Hollywood with a Who-lebration of fun fit for The Grinch, his faithful dog Max and a roster of Who-ville Whos.  The annual event comes to life with a towering 60- foot tall whimsical “Grinchmas” tree where Martha May Who-vier and the Who Dolls will take center stage performing energetic musical sets to usher in the Christmas season in style.  The Who-liday Singers—a hip boy-band ensemble—will perform a cappella concerts featuring a mix of Christmas favorites and pop rock.

“Grinchmas” will take place weekends on December 1-2 and 8-9, and daily from December 14 through December 30, 2018.

Spirited holiday décor and festive whimsy will permeate throughout the theme park including “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and the adjoining “Super Silly Fun Land” as a crew of very merry and mischievous Minions gleefully spread Christmas cheer to visitors of all ages.

On Universal CityWalk a spectacular 40-foot tall Christmas tree will glisten with 200,000 LED icicles choreographed to the lights and sounds of the season in the 5 Towers plaza. Santa Claus will make daily appearances and offer special photo opportunities at 5 Towers.

The iconic, dancing water fountain situated at the heart of CityWalk will also make a splash this holiday season. This visually dynamic fountain, displaying over 230 individual power jets, will project streams of choreographed water into the air complemented by red and green LED lights and an array of holiday-themed music.

Free concert performances at “5 Towers” and an eclectic ensemble of talented street performers will make CityWalk the ultimate L.A. holiday destination.

The spirit of the season continues with a wintertime transformation of Universal CityWalk, beginning the day after Thanksgiving on Friday, November 23 through Tuesday, December 25, 2018.

The holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood is included in the price of theme park admission.  More information is available at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com. Like Universal Studios Hollywood on Facebookand follow @UniStudios on Instagram and Twitter.

Admission to Universal CityWalk is free. More information available at www.CityWalkHollywood.com

Filed Under: Universal Studios Hollywood, Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Wand Installation To Light Up London In Celebration Of The Crimes Of Grindelwald
Posted by Megs

Warner Bros. have announced a wand installation to celebrate the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which hits theaters on November 16th. In an effort to raise awareness of J.K. Rowling’s charity Lumos, there will be nine fifteen foot tall wands illuminating the walkway between the Millennium Bridge (seen in Half-Blood Prince) and St. Pauls Cathedral. The wands will be lit from October 18th through November 12th beginning at 6:45pm.

This is the start of Wizarding Wednesday, a series of activities for fans as part of the City of London Arts Initiative for public art. These Wizarding Wednesdays will include wand training, live performances of music from Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts and more!

The full press release may be read below:

Next month, as excitement builds for the 16 November release of Warner Bros. Pictures’ highly anticipated new Wizarding World adventure Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, an installation of nine giant wands will illuminate the walkway between Millennium Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London to help raise awareness for J.K. Rowling’s charity Lumos, whose mission is to end the institutionalisation of children around the world.

Standing fifteen feet tall, the wands – bringing to life those belonging to some of the most beloved characters in the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films – are the centrepiece of the new installation, Fantastic Beasts: Wizarding World Wands supporting Lumos.  It is set to light up Peter’s Hill every night at 6:45pm from 18th October to 12th November.

Created in association with Lumos as part of the City of London Arts Initiative for public art, the installation also kicks off a series of exciting activities for fans every “Wizarding Wednesday,” including wand training and a live performance of music from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films by a military marching band.

Josh Berger, President and Managing Director of Warner Bros. Entertainment UK, Eire & Spain, and President, Harry Potter Global Franchise Development said: “We are thrilled to partner with Lumos on this landmark installation, which is sure to delight fans and the tens of thousands of commuters and tourists passing through Peter’s Hill each day.

“London has played a huge role in the on-screen legacy of the Wizarding World, from King’s Cross Station to Millennium Bridge, not to mention the nearby Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden – which has housed countless iconic sets across all ten films and nearly two decades – providing a major boost to the UK film industry.

“Fantastic Beasts: Wizarding World Wands supporting Lumos is emblematic of this unique relationship, celebrating the magic of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts here in London while raising awareness for the vital work being done by Lumos on behalf of some of the world’s most vulnerable children.”

Further information will be available at www.fantasticbeasts.co.uk/wandsready

Filed Under: Fantastic Beasts Films, The Crimes of Grindelwald
Robert Galbraith Discusses Lethal White in New Interview
Posted by Megs

In a new interview with The New York Times, mystery writer Robert Galbraith discusses the newest book in his series on detective Cormoran Strike – Lethal White. The fourth of the Coromoran Strike novels, Lethal White, is available starting today in eBook, audiobook and hardcover formats. A few snippets from the interview may be read below:

Some mystery writers are plotters; they outline, they plan, they know exactly where their stories are going. Others are known as “pantsers” (as in writing by the seats of their pants — sitting down every day and just going where the story takes them). Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m definitely a planner. “Lethal White” required a spreadsheet that was more complicated than any I’ve created before. It had nine columns, red text for red herrings, blue text for clues, and various colors for different suspects and themes. Before I start each Strike book, I know exactly who did it, why they did it and how they did it.

When I hear pantsers describing the way they work I feel a mixture of admiration and anxiety. I did an event with Stephen King and John Irving a few years back and Stephen described his process as following a thread to see where it leads. When it came to John’s turn, he said he always knew damn well where the thread led before he started following it. I’m somewhere between the two. The initial inspiration may be one simple idea with no start or finish, but I never start writing a book unless I know exactly where I’m heading.

What brought you to writing crime novels?

I always wanted to write classic whodunits in a contemporary setting. What I love about the genre is that the central puzzle can be clothed a million different ways. There’s also something mythic about a lone detective or a duo, righters of wrongs, imposers of order on chaos. I think I’ve incorporated an element of mystery in all my novels. The Potters were variously whodunits, whydunits and howdidits.

At the end of the interview he noted that he has  the plot of the next Cormoran Strike novel planned and teased that his “good friend” J.K. Rowling is writing a brand new children’s book as well as working on the script for the third Fantastic Beasts film.

Filed Under: JK Rowling, Robert Galbraith
Hogwarts In The Snow & Dinner in the Great Hall Returning to WB Studio Tour London
Posted by Megs

Hogwarts in the Snow

Hogwarts In The Snow is returning to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter this year! It will run from Saturday November 17th until Sunday January 27th. Visitors will see sets from the Harry Potter series transformed for festive season, including the Great Hall which will be dressed as it was for the Yule Ball, the Gryffindor common room, the Weasley burrow and the Hogwarts castle model covered in snow.

Dinner in the Great Hall

Also back by popular demand, Dinner in the Great Hall events will be held from 10th-12th December, with the opportunity to enjoy drinks and canapes before sitting down to a two-course Christmas feast on the festively-decorated Great Hall set. Dessert will be served on Platform 9 ¾, before guests are able to explore the Studio Tour exclusively after hours. Tickets are £240 and will go on sale at 10am on September 25th at wbstudiotour.co.uk/dinner.

Photos from last year’s Hogwarts in the Snow and Dinner in the Great Hall events may be seen in our gallery!

From the press release:

Harry Potter fans are invited to experience Christmas in the Wizarding World and discover how film-makers created fire, ice and snow that never melts as Warner Bros. Studio Tour London undergoes a magical makeover for Hogwarts in the Snow. From Saturday 17th November – Sunday 27th January 2019, visitors will have the opportunity to see the Harry Potter film series’ most iconic sets decorated for festive scenes. The Great Hall will be transformed, the Gryffindor common room will be dressed for the season and a blanket of filmmaking snow will be meticulously applied to the majestic Hogwarts castle model.

This festive season also sees the return of the highly anticipated ‘Dinner in the Great Hall’ events at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London. Each night from 10th-12th December, Harry Potter fans can enjoy drinks and canapes before sitting down to a two-course Christmas feast on the truly magical Great Hall set that will be completely transformed for the festive season. Dessert will be served on Platform 9 ¾ next to the original Hogwarts Express locomotive and guests will be free to explore the Studio Tour exclusively after hours. For more details, please visit: www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/dinner.

The festive transformation will begin in the Great Hall, where the stage will again be decorated as it was for the iconic Yule Ball. As seen in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the celebration of the Triwizard Tournament saw every detail of the Great Hall covered in shimmering silver, dripping icicles and sparkling snow. Visitors to the Studio Tour will get a taster of this incredible set dress as the top section of the Great Hall will be transformed with snow-covered Christmas trees, icicles and an orchestra of magical instruments that have been painted by the Prop-Making Department to match the silver of the Yule Ball.

In addition to the Yule Ball decoration, The Great Hall will be lined with Christmas trees and the long dining tables will be dressed as they were for seasonal feasts at Hogwarts with prop versions of roast turkeys, hams studded with cherries and even Christmas puddings surrounded by real flames.

As part of the Hogwarts in the Snow feature, many of the iconic sets housed at the Studio Tour will receive a festive makeover. The Gryffindor Common Room and Boys’ Dormitory will be decorated with the original props including handmade Christmas cards, some of which were created by the cast members during production. Fireplaces throughout the Studio Tour (including those in the Leaky Cauldron and Great Hall) will be ‘lit’ with special effects fire, created by John Richardson and the SFX team using a combination of water vapour and lighting effects.

The Hogwarts castle model will be transformed with a layer of filmmaking snow. During filming, a member of the crew climbed aboard an elevated work platform and sprinkled the ‘snow’ mixture of granulated paper and grains of salt onto the model by hand with a sieve – like dusting sugar onto a cake. The same process will be used at the Studio Tour this November. Visitors will even be able to touch samples of the different types of ‘snow’ used during production, each selected for its ability to float like falling snow, crunch under foot or glisten in the light like ice.

Hogwarts in the Snow will run from Saturday 17th November – Sunday 27th January 2019. Tickets must be pre-booked, and all extra features are included in the ticket price. Tickets to Dinner in the Great Hall will go on sale at 10am on 25th September 2018 and can be purchased from: www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/dinner.

Filed Under: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter
Bloomsbury Announces The Tales of Beedle the Bard Illustrated Edition Events
Posted by Megs

Bloomsbury Children’s Books has announced five theatre events and two festival appearances with artist Chris Riddell to celebrate publication of The Tales of Beedle the Bard Illustrated Edition.

At each of the theatre events former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell will be talking about his inspiration behind the art for the book and what it was like to illustrate J.K. Rowling’s words. There will be a dramatic reading of one of the stories from the book while Chris Riddell draws live. Only five events will be happening across the UK and are set to be an essential event for fans of Harry Potter, Chris Riddell and magical fairy tales. Chris Riddell will be signing copies of the book after each event.

Chris Riddell will also be appearing at Bath and Cheltenham festivals where he will be in conversation discussing his work on the illustrated edition.

 

Scheduled events are as follows:

Tuesday 2nd October
Shakespeare’s Globe, London
Live reading: The Tale of the Three Brothers
SOLD OUT

 

Wednesday 3rd October
City Campus, Nottingham
Live reading: Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump
Book tickets

 

Sunday 7th October
Bath Festival of Children’s Literature
In Conversation event
Book tickets

 

Monday 8th October
Prestfelde School, Shrewsbury
Live reading: The Warlock’s Hairy Heart
Book tickets

 

Tuesday 9th October
Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool
Live reading: The Fountain of Fair Fortune
Book tickets

 

Thursday 11th October
The Albany Theatre, Coventry
Live reading: The Wizard and the Hopping Pot
Book tickets

 

Sunday 14th October
Cheltenham Literature Festival
In Conversation event
Book tickets

Filed Under: Books, Harry Potter Illustrated Edition
Video: Daniel Radcliffe on Jimmy Fallon
Posted by Megs

Daniel Radcliffe was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to promote his play The Lifespan of a Fact. The Lifespan of a Fact begins previews on September 20th, has its official opening on October 18th and runs through January 13, 2019.

A couple clips from the interview may be watched below:

Filed Under: Daniel Radcliffe
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