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Wizarding World’s Diagon Alley Expansion to Open in ‘Second Quarter’
Posted by Megs

The Orlando Business Journal reports this morning that during Comcast Corp.’s first quarter conference call they revealed that the Diagon Alley expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando will be opening by the end of the second quarter.  This means that the park will be open by the end of June, which many fans have already speculated.

The Orlando Sentinal is also reporting that The Today Show will be broadcasting from Universal Orlando this Friday, April 25th and the exact opening date could possibly be revealed then. The article states:

A Universal Orlando spokesman confirmed Monday that Today will broadcast from the resort at the end of the week, though he would not say whether the show will include an opening date announcement for Diagon Alley, which is being built in the Universal Studios Florida theme park.

Finally, all this week, EXTRA will be holding a contest to win a trip to the Grand Opening with host Mario Lopez.  Watch EXTRA every day to see the word of the day and enter here to win.

Filed Under: Harry Potter Theme Park
Wizarding World at Universal Studios Japan Opening July 15 2014
Posted by Megs

Universal Studios Japan have announced a grand opening date for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It will open to the public on July 15th, 2014. Evanna Lynch and Stuart Craig (production designer) were at an event in Osaka to make the announcement. A press release may be read below:

Universal Studios Japan hosted an event today, to celebrate the announcement of the Grand Opening of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” which meticulously recreates some of the iconic locations from the world of Harry Potter. Universal Studios Japan revealed that “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will open on July 15, 2014. The announcement culminated with the unveiling of the magnificent Hogwarts castle, the focal point of the land.

Universal Studios Japan welcomed special guests from Japan and around the globe: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan; Ms. Caroline Kennedy, Ambassador of the United States of America to Japan; Academy Award®-winning art director and production designer for the Harry Potter films, Stuart Craig; actress Evanna Lynch, who played “Luna Lovegood” in the Harry Potter film series; world-renowned architect Tadao Ando; and Universal Studios Japan ambassadors, and beloved musical act, SMAP, gathered for the celebration.

When Prime Minister Abe and Ambassador Kennedy announced the opening date, Hogwarts castle was illuminated with a spectacular show of lights and brilliant fireworks.

Event Overview

The evening’s celebration began with an “owl” delivering a letter from Hogwarts to President and CEO of Universal Studios Japan, Mr. Glenn Gumpel, who was revealed on stage with the letter in hand to introduce the honored guests.

Guests Evanna Lynch, Stuart Craig, Tadao Ando and SMAP were greeted on stage with loud cheers, and the appearance of United States Ambassador Kennedy was met with thunderous applause. Following her remarks, she introduced special guest Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, for the momentous occasion.

With distinguished guests from around the world gathered, Mr. Gumpel presented the letter from the wizarding world to Prime Minister Abe and Ambassador Kennedy, who together, reading from the letter, announced “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” opening date. At that moment, Hogwarts castle was illuminated with a radiant light show with fireworks, which unveiled its towering scale and lit up the night sky.

Following additional remarks by Prime Minister Abe, Ms. Evanna Lynch led the guests in casting the spell “Lumos!” followed by more dazzling fireworks to the further the excitement and joy of the crowd.

A special website, where you can begin to explore “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” online, has now launched. Please visit www.usj.co.jp/harrypotter in the official Universal Studios Japan website.

Universal Studios Japan received an annual 10 million visitors for the second time this past March 19 (day 353 of fiscal year), which is the first time USJ has achieved this milestone since the park’s opening in 2001, and, thanks to all, continues to perform strongly. With the much-anticipated opening of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” USJ looks to continue to attract more visitors from both Japan and worldwide.

Filed Under: Harry Potter Theme Park
Support Bonnie Wright in Live Below the Line
Posted by Megs

As we posted last week, Bonnie Wright is once again participating in the Live Below the Line challenge. This is her third year teaming up with the Global Poverty Project to fight extreme poverty.

Join Bonnie and thousands of people from Monday 28th April – Friday 2nd May to help us raise vital funds to combat extreme poverty. If you can’t take the challenge this week - don’t worry - you can Live Below the Line any 5 consecutive days between now and June 30th!  So sign up with Global Poverty Project and support Bonnie in her challenge. If you can’t take the challenge, why not support Bonnie in her efforts and donate to her page?!

If you only had £1 to spend today, on everything you need, what would you buy?

Sadly that is the challenge faced by 1.2 billion people around the globe living in extreme poverty. And that’s why Bonnie has taken the challenge – to help us motivate learning and action for extreme poverty. And we need you guys to join us.

Live Below the Line - Eat and drink for £1 a day, for 5 days, and raise awareness and funds to fight the world’s extreme poverty.

While this may seem daunting, the purpose of the campaign is to deepen people’s understanding of the kinds of choices and challenges faced by the 1.2 billion people who live on less than £1 a day, every day. Participants use their experience to get people talking, raise awareness and most importantly vital funds for anti-poverty initiatives around the globe

Donate to Bonnie:
https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/bonniewright

Sign up:
https://www.livebelowtheline.com/uk/partner/gpp

Filed Under: Bonnie Wright
Evanna Lynch Gets YouTube Account; Posts Video from WE Day
Posted by Megs

Evanna Lynch has announced today that she has opened up a YouTube account for herself. In the announcement she said:

So I finally started a Youtube account! I have no desire to start vlogging (I write much better than I speak) but I have been doing a lot of public speaking lately and many of you have been asking for links to watch them. I am finally at the stage where I feel confident about speaking in public and happy to share these videos so I will be using this youtube page to upload all future speeches/talks I do. Eventually I’ll have a website where I can upload the transcripts of speeches and write more blog posts but that is a while off. For now, here is the full version of the short speech I gave at WE Day London last month. Lots of Love, Evy xxx

She has posted her first video, from WE Day in London on March. She also spoke at WE Day in California but a video from that appearance has not been posted yet.

Filed Under: Evanna Lynch
Video: New Clip of Tom Felton in ‘From the Rough’; Release Date
Posted by Megs

The From the Rough website has uploaded a new trailer for the film, which stars Tom Felton as Edward, a young golf player. The film will be released in limited theatres in the US on April 25th, you can search Fandango to see if the film is playing in your area (schedules may not be available yet). A synopsis for the film is as follows:

From the Rough is the inspirational true story of Catana Starks from historically black university Tennessee State, who became the first African-American woman ever to coach an all-men’s team at the collegiate level. Through grit and determination, she overcame incredible odds and deep-seated prejudice from all corners to guide a rag-tag group of golfers to an all-time record championship season.

Thanks to Feltbeats for the tip!

Filed Under: Tom Felton
J.K. Rowling Guest Editing BBC Radio 4′s ‘Women’s Hour’
Posted by Megs

J.K. Rowling’s Facebook page has been updated to announce she will be one of five guest editors for BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour Takeover week from 28th April to 2nd May 2014. Radio Times has noted that this is the first time in 60 years the program has had guest editors, and Rowling is the lucky first.

According to the post: She will guest edit the Woman’s Hour programme on Monday 28th April, followed by Kelly Holmes, Naomi Alderman, Doreen Lawrence, and Lauren Laverne as guest editors on subsequent days. Her programme will look at such topics as the issue of orphanages, and why so many children continue to be cared for in institutions worldwide; the power and myth of the shoe in popular culture; and why Scotland has the highest number of multiple sclerosis sufferers in the world.

 

Filed Under: JK Rowling
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