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Make it a Harry Potter Christmas at Universal Orlando!
Posted by Megs

Universal Orlando Resort has revealed today that they will be decking out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the holidays! These celebrations will include holiday decorations in both parks, a nighttime light show on Hogwarts castle, holiday themed food and more! Now we are even more excited to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter this Winter! The announcement comes in the form of a video featuring Michael Aiello, the Senior Director of Entertainment:

The full press release can be read below:

The most wonderful time of the year is coming to one of the most immersive theme park experiences ever created. Universal Orlando Resort announced today that a new Christmas experience is coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter as part of its destination-wide Holiday celebration.

Plus, a brand-new parade featuring Macy’s will also join Universal’s epic lineup of Holidays experiences – making Universal Orlando the place to be for Holidays.

These new experiences will join beloved Holiday traditions at Universal Orlando for the destination’s 2017 Holidays celebration, which will run for more dates than ever before from November 18, 2017 to January 6, 2018.

Celebrate Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Christmas is a special time in the Harry Potter series, and fans from around the world have long wanted to enjoy that part of J.K. Rowling’s compelling story for themselves. This November, the new Christmas experience in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will give guests a special opportunity to see, feel and even taste what it’s like to celebrate the magic of Christmas in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.

As night falls, a magical holiday transformation of Hogwarts castle will take place right before guests’ eyes. Incredible state-of- the-art projection mapping and special effects will wrap the iconic castle – bringing holiday spirit and memorable Christmas moments from the Harry Potter series to life like never before.

Festive décor like ornate garlands will line the streets of both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Each storefront will be decked out with uniquely-themed decorations, and guests will enjoy special holiday themed food, drink and entertainment.

Stay tuned – more details about Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and even more exciting news about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be released soon.

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Universal’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s

A brand-new holiday parade experience will also join Universal Orlando’s resort-wide Holiday celebration beginning this November. Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s will take place in Universal Studios Florida and feature magnificent new, incredibly-detailed floats and balloons, and beloved characters like the mischievous Minions from Despicable Me, popular DreamWorks characters from Madagascar and Shrek – and even Santa Claus himself. Universal is partnering with Macy’s, the global leader in balloon entertainment, to bring this new parade experience to life. More details will be released soon.

Universal Orlando’s resort-wide Holidays celebration – including Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal’s Holiday Parade featuring Macy’s – will run daily from November 18, 2017 to January 6, 2018. Access to the festivities is included in regular admission to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Guests can now book a special vacation package to experience all of Universal’s epic Holidays entertainment. Packages start at $165 per adult, per night (tax inclusive) and include four-night hotel accommodations at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, a 4-day/3- park ticket that includes admission to ALL THREE Universal theme parks – including Universal’s new water theme park, Volcano Bay, which grand opens on May 25, and early park admission to The= Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Volcano Bay. For more information, visit www.universalorlando.com.

Filed Under: Universal Holidays, Universal Studios Orlando, Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Cursed Child: Definitive Edition Script Release Date; More Tickets Released April 25
Posted by Megs

As we posted when the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script book was first announced, there will be a “Definitive Edition” released later this year. This second edition, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two: The Official Playscript of the Original West End Production, will be published July 25, 2017.  According to Amazon:

This revised paperback edition updates the “special rehearsal edition” with the conclusive and final dialogue from the play, which has subtly changed since its rehearsals, as well as a conversation piece between director John Tiffany and writer Jack Thorne, who share stories and insights about reading playscripts. This edition also includes useful background information including the Potter family tree and a timeline of events from the wizarding world prior to the beginning of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Additionally, the Cursed Child site announced that another wave of tickets will be released on April 25th. Three months of advance tickets will be released for sale on Tuesday 25 April 2017, at 11am BST, for performances from 2 May 2018 –  22 July 2018. Tickets are priced from £15 per part and for every performance there will be over 300 tickets at £20 or less per part.

Filed Under: Books, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child
Jude Law Cast as Young Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts Sequel
Posted by Megs

Pottermore has announced this afternoon that Jude Law will be taking on the role of Young Dumbledore in the next Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film. The sequel to Fantastic Beasts is slated for release 16 November 2018, and filming begins this summer.  Three more films will follow after this sequel. According to the article:

The second film in the Fantastic Beasts series will show Dumbledore decades before he became Headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

At this point in the story he is the wizarding school’s Transfiguration professor and a contemporary of Gellert Grindelwald – the Dark wizard we met in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, played by Johnny Depp.

On the announcement Potter and Fantastic Beasts director David Yates said: “Jude Law is a phenomenally talented actor whose work I’ve long admired and I’m looking forward to finally having the opportunity to work with him. I know he will brilliantly capture all the unexpected facets of Albus Dumbledore as J.K. Rowling reveals this very different time in his life.”

The article also gives a tiny bit of information regarding the plot of this second film, which “takes the story deeper into an increasingly dark time for the wizarding world, where Newt and our other heroes must decide on their allegiances.”

Filed Under: Fantastic Beasts Films, Jude Law
Cursed Child Wins Big at Olivier Awards
Posted by Megs

Continuing on with their record-breaking, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and it’s actors have added some more awards to their growing collection. The play was nominated for 11 Olivier Awards and took home 9 of them! The play was honored with the following awards:

  • Best New Play
  • Best Director – John Tiffany
  • Best Actor –  Jamie Parker
  • Best Actress in Supporting Role – Noma Dumezweni
  • Best Actor in Supporting Role – Anthony Boyle
  • Best Set Design – Christine Jones
  • Best Costume Design – Katrina Lindsay
  • Best Sound Design – Gareth Fry
  • Best Lighting Design – Neil Austin
Filed Under: Anthony Boyle, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, Jamie Parker, Noma Dumezweni
New Cast Announced for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in London
Posted by Megs

Pottermore revealed in a blog post this morning that fans who go see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in London after May 21st 2017 will get to see it with an entirely new main cast. They also announced that the next wave of Cursed Child tickets will be available on April 25th 2017. Visit the play’s official website for more details.

Jamie Glover, Rakie Ayola and Thomas Aldridge join the award-winning production as the central trio of Harry, Hermione and Ron respectively. Original cast member James Howard* will play Draco Malfoy, and Emma Lowndes takes on the role of Ginny Weasley.

As for the younger characters, original cast member Helen Aluko will play Ron and Hermione’s daughter Rose Granger-Weasley, while newcomers Theo Ancient and Samuel Blenkin make their professional stage debuts as Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy.

Also joining the production are new cast members David Annen, Ruthxjiah Bellenea, Danny Dalton, Leah Haile, Rupert Henderson, Elizabeth Hill, April Hughes, James McGregor, Sarah Miele, Jordan Paris, James Phoon, Henry Rundle, Ged Simmons, Mark Theodore, Gideon Turner and Ed White.

Original cast members Nicola Alexis, Rosemary Annabella, Phoebe Austen, Annabel Baldwin, Jabez Cheeseman, Morag Cross, Esme Grace, Lowri James, Martin Johnston, Alfred Jones, Barry McCarthy, Sandy McDade, Tom Mackley, Harrison Noble, Ben Roberts, Nuno Silva, Hope Sizer and Joshua Wyatt will complete the 42-strong company playing a variety of characters, including seven children who will alternate two roles.

* As a side note, we saw the play when James Howard was an understudy for Draco and he did an amazing job! You’ll love him.

Director John Tiffany discussed the revamp by saying:

‘Think of Doctor Who: new regenerations happen all the time,’ he said. ‘People like seeing new actors and their different approaches to characters. We like to see different actors and actresses playing Hamlet, for example — or Lady Macbeth or James Bond.’

‘Productions that expect to run a long time will always have to plan for cast changes. A company is usually contracted for a year on long running productions, though they also may stay on longer. Some of the company from the first cast will be staying on but the majority of the cast in year two will be new and they will start performing in a couple of months.’

A video of the new cast is now in rehearsals, a video showing some of that may be watched below:

Filed Under: Harry Potter And The Cursed Child
Universal Studios Hollywood Upgrades Forbidden Journey Ride to 4K-HD
Posted by Megs

Universal Studios Hollywood has revealed today that they have upgraded Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey to 4K-HD technology. The ride, which also exists in the Orlando theme park, takes riders on an adventure around Hogwarts and it’s grounds with Harry, Ron and Hermione. It is unknown if the Orlando version will also receive an upgrade. A press release about the update may be read below:

“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood Elevates “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” to 4K-HD with State-of-the-Art Imagery Projecting at Twice the Frame Rate for an Even More Immersive Experience

Universal City, CA, March 23, 2017 – The spectacularly captivating and highly acclaimed “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” thrill ride at Universal Studios Hollywood’s “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™” takes a technological bow with the introduction of enhanced 4K-HD ride film projecting at an astounding rate of 120 frames-per-second and designed to offer guests an even more immersive glimpse into J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.

This progressive enhancement replaces the earlier 3D film component of the ride to create a seamless integration between the ride’s elaborate sets and its spellbinding media. The attraction’s storyline remains the same.

Originally projected at 60 frames-per-second, the new ride media now displays at twice the frame rate offering superior clarity and remarkably sharper images than previously shown, with imagery that is stunningly ultra-realistic.

Hailed by press across the globe as a tour-de-force, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” has enjoyed a vast array of critical acclaim, such as:

“The combination of the stunningly detailed queue and the state-of-the-art ride make Forbidden Journey the best dark ride in the world.”
“All roads lead to Hogwarts castle, home to possibly the most immersive, amazing and utterly convincing dark-ride and queue ever invented. The detail at every turn is exquisite.”
An achievement in pioneering theme park ride technology, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” is a multidimensional thrill ride located within Hogwarts castle. It features a groundbreaking robotics ride system, fused with elaborate filmed action sequences and immersive visceral effects designed to take guests on a once-in-a lifetime whirlwind adventure.

Spiraling and pivoting 360-degrees upon an elevated ride track, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” ushers guests on a journey alongside Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley as they venture through some of the most memorable scenes from the movie, including a Quidditch match where they narrowly escape a dragon attack, as well as close encounters with Dementors and the Whomping Willow.

A spectacular attraction unto itself, the iconic and picturesque Hogwarts castle sits at the heart of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” providing access to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  Hogwarts castle is a breathtaking reproduction from the movie, housing narrow stone passageways and chambers that invites guests to walk in the famous footsteps of the film’s heroic character where they will encounter many familiar places along the way, including the Mirror of Erised, Professor Sprout’s Herbology class and a selection of baby Mandrakes, Dumbledore’s office, the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, the Hall of Talking Portraits, the Fat Lady portrait at the entrance to the Gryffindor Common Room and the Sorting Hat.

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Filed Under: Universal Studios Hollywood, Wizarding World of Harry Potter
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