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7 Things We’re Looking Forward to at Universal’s Celebration of Harry Potter
Posted by Megs

In a few days we will be headed down to Florida for Universal Orlando’s 3rd annual Celebration of Harry Potter. We’ve gone every year and are excited  to see what Universal has in store for fans this time around! Vacation packages are sold out, but admission to the event is included with any Park-to-Park admission ticket or Annual Pass. The schedule of events for A Celebration of Harry Potter can be found here. Here is what we are most looking forward to. We only listed 7 because that’s the most magical number, but be sure to share what you’re excited about!

1. Then amazing cast lineup! This year we get to spend some time, with Matt Lewis, Rupert Grint, Bonnie Write, Katie Leung and Evanna Lynch! They will be participating in two Q&A panels and also signing autographs and taking photos with fans who bought Premium Vacation Packages.  In the past the cast panels have brought some great conversations and amusing filming stories.

2. The Harry Potter Expo.  The expo is always full of fun. This year there will be booths for Harry Potter™ The Exhibition, Pottermore, Scholastic, MinaLima and Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter™.

3. Pottermore. I know this is included in the Harry Potter Expo, but Pottermore has teased they will have something very exciting during the weekend! On their website they say:

If you’re coming along to the Celebration in person, be sure to pop down to the Pottermore booth with the free augmented reality app Blippar downloaded to your smartphone or tablet. You never know what you might find…

4. The Scavenger Hunt. This year Universal have set up a fun Harry Potter scavenger hunt that fans can participate in throughout the weekend! There are eight clues for you to find and take photos of/with.

5. Graphic Design for the Harry Potter Films with MinaLima! Our owner Megan is a graphic & web designer by day so seeing how the design team came up with the designs and props for the film is always a highlight! Who knows, we may even get some Fantastic Beasts tidbits! Fingers crossed!

6. Kids Beauxbatons and Durmstrang lessons. We may not be kids, but we can’t wait to see kids learn to dance Like a Beauxbatons student & battle Like a Durmstrang with a Universal Orlando choreographer.

7. Paul Harris’ Duelling Demonstration & Wand Masterclass. It’s always a blast learning how to duel with Paul, especially during the first year when Mark Williams demonstrated a battle sequence!

Click to view full size image

Filed Under: Bonnie Wright, Celebration of Harry Potter, Evanna Lynch, Harry Potter Theme Park, Katie Leung, Matthew Lewis, Rupert Grint
David Heyman Talks Fantastic Beasts and Film Indusrty in New Interview
Posted by Megs

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Harry Potter (and now Fantastic Beasts) producer David Heyman talks about the films and working in the industry. He is set to receive the David O. Selznick Achievement Award at the 27th annual Producers Guild Awards this weekend.  The Fantastic Beasts related questions may be read below:

Why did you decide to return to the world of Harry Potter?

It was exciting to move on and to embrace new challenges with Gravity and Paddington, but when it finished, there was a not-insignificant sadness because [the Potter films] had been such a big part of my life. Jo Rowling created such an incredibly rich and deeply conceived world. What you read in the books is in some ways just the surface of this world. I’d ask her about the [character Sirius Black’s] family tree because we had to paint it on the wall [for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix], and the book only had two names, and half an hour later I’d receive a family tree going back six generations with 100 people. I’m sure Newt Scamander and his story have been in her mind for many years. We were sitting around wondering what else we could do in this world, and [producer] Lionel Wigram, who is the person I first brought the first [Potter] book to, thought about maybe doing a documentary about Newt. That idea was floated to Jo, and she responded to doing a film about [that character].

Is Beasts designed as a franchise?

We’ve talked about making a couple, but with all these things — and this may be a failing of mine — I don’t look at them as franchises; I look at them as films. We want to make each film as good as we can because if you don’t, you won’t have a second film or a third.

What’s the biggest difference between Fantastic Beasts and the Harry Potter films?

Not having to work children’s hours. (Laughs.) And it’s set in 1920s New York as opposed to the U.K. in the ’90s.

He also answers a question about what he wishes he knew when he first started producing.

It’s something I know but I struggle to do: not take it all personally. On the one hand I think it’s important to take it all personally because you have to fight to the bitter end to make it as good as it can be, but at the same time, as one faces rejection on a daily basis, it can be hard at times.

Filed Under: David Heyman, Fantastic Beasts Films
Bloomsbury Wants You To Vote for Your Favourite Harry Potter Spell
Posted by Megs

As part of the celebrations for Harry Potter Book Night: A Night of Spells, Bloomsbury Children’s Books is launching the first official global search to find the world’s favourite spell from the Harry Potter books. You can visit http://bit.ly/HarryPotterSpellVote to vote for your favorite spells! The poll is open until Tuesday 2nd February with the results being announced on Harry Potter Book Night, Thursday 4th February.

A Night of Spells is the theme for Harry Potter Book Night 2016. Harry Potter Book Night gives fans of all ages the chance to celebrate J.K. Rowling’s wonderful novels by creating events all across the world using a specially created event kit. You can find out more about Harry Potter Book Night at http://www.harrypotter.bloomsbury.com/uk/harry-potter-book-night/

The hundreds of amazing spells created by J.K. Rowling within the pages of the Harry Potter books are legendary. Full of inventiveness and cunning, these famous magical incantations protect and challenge Harry and his friends in all sorts of ways.

Will the favourite be a sly spell, a mysterious charm or a unforgiveable curse like Avada Kedavra? It’s over to the Harry Potter fans across the world to cast their vote. Vote for your favourite spell at http://bit.ly/HarryPotterSpellVote

Harry Potter Book Night - Favorite Spell

Filed Under: Books, Harry Potter Book Night
Celebration of Harry Potter Schedule Released By Universal Orlando
Posted by Megs

Universal Orlando has released the schedule for their third annual Celebration of Harry Potter. Events for the Celebration will be taking place at both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. You can download the schedule and read more about the event here.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 29, 2016

  • The Harry Potter™ Expo: 9AM – 6PM | Soundstage 33
  • Movie in the Park: 1:30PM – 4:30PM | Music Plaza Stage
  • Opening Night Event: 7:30PM – 8PM | Music Plaza Stage

SATURDAY, JANUARY 30, 2016

  • The Harry Potter™ Expo: 9AM – 4:30PM | Soundstage 33
  • Kids’ Duelling Demonstration & Wand Masterclass with Paul Harris: 10AM – 10:30AM | Music Plaza Stage
  • Kids’ Harry Potter™ Film Trivia: 10:45AM – 11AM | Music Plaza Stage
  • Bringing the Harry Potter™ Films to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™: 11AM – 11:30AM | Toon Lagoon® Amphitheater
  • Kids’ Dance Like a Beauxbatons, Battle Like a Durmstrang: 11:30AM – 12PM | Music Plaza Stage
  • The Global Impact of Harry Potter™: The Exhibition: 1PM – 1:30PM | Toon Lagoon® Amphitheater
  • Kids’ Harry Potter™ Film Trivia: 2PM – 2:15PM | Music Plaza Stage
  • Graphic Design for the Harry Potter™ Films with MinaLima: 2PM – 2:30PM | Toon Lagoon® Amphitheater
  • Kids’ Dance Like a Beauxbatons, Battle Like a Durmstrang: 2:45PM – 3:15PM | Music Plaza Stage
  • Harry Potter™ Props Showcase with Acclaimed Prop Maker Pierre Bohanna: 3PM – 3:45PM | Toon Lagoon® Amphitheater
  • Behind the Scenes: Harry Potter™ Film Talent Q&A Session: 4:15PM – 5PM | Music Plaza Stage
  • House Rally: 5:30PM – 6PM | Music Plaza Stage
  • Harry Potter™ Film Tribute: 6:45PM – 7:45PM | Music Plaza Stage

SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2016

  • The Harry Potter™ Expo: 9AM – 6PM | Soundstage 33
  • Kids’ Duelling Demonstration & Wand Masterclass with Paul Harris: 10AM – 10:30AM | Music Plaza Stage
  • Kids’ Harry Potter™ Film Trivia: 10:45AM – 11AM | Music Plaza Stage
  • Harry Potter™ Props Showcase with Acclaimed Prop Maker Pierre Bohanna: 11AM – 11:45PM | Toon Lagoon® Amphitheater
  • Kids’ Dance Like a Beauxbatons, Battle Like a Durmstrang: 11:30AM – 12PM | Music Plaza Stage
  • Bringing the Harry Potter™ Films to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™: 1PM – 1:30PM | Toon Lagoon® Amphitheater
  • Kids’ Harry Potter™ Film Trivia: 2PM – 2:15PM | Music Plaza Stage
  • Graphic Design for the Harry Potter™ Films with MinaLima: 2PM – 2:30PM | Toon Lagoon® Amphitheater
  • Kids’ Dance Like a Beauxbatons, Battle Like a Durmstrang: 2:45PM – 3:15PM | Music Plaza Stage
  • The Global Impact of Harry Potter™: The Exhibition: 3PM – 3:30PM | Toon Lagoon® Amphitheater
  • Behind the Scenes: Harry Potter™ Film Talent Q&A Session: 4PM – 4:45PM | Music Plaza Stage
Filed Under: Bonnie Wright, Celebration of Harry Potter, Evanna Lynch, Harry Potter Theme Park, Katie Leung, Matthew Lewis, Rupert Grint
Universal Studios Hollywood to Send Lucky Winner on Harry Potter Trip Around the World
Posted by Megs

Today Universal Studios Hollywood has announced a contest where a lucky fan will win a Harry Potter “Trip Around the World” to celebrate the April 7 opening of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.”

Universal is partnering with TripAdvisor to launch the Ultimate Harry Potter Trip Around the World sweepstakes sending one winner and three guests on a magical journey to experience the wonders of Harry Potter experiences across the globe. The prize includes visits to the Grand Opening at Universal Studios Hollywood, visits to Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Japan, as well as a trip to “The Making of Harry Potter” at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London.

Fans can enter to win at http://www.tripadvisor.com/wizardingworldhollywood.

 

The press release may be read in full below:

Universal Studios Hollywood and TripAdvisor to Send One Lucky Winner and Guests on the Ultimate Harry Potter Trip Around the World to Experience

“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Theme Parks in Hollywood, Orlando and Japan and “The Making of Harry Potter” at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Sweepstakes Winners Begin Once-in-a-Lifetime Adventure at the Highly-Anticipated Grand Opening of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood on April 7, 2016

In celebration of the opening of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™” at Universal Studios Hollywood on April 7, the global entertainment destination and TripAdvisor, the world’s largest online travel site, are launching the Ultimate Harry Potter Trip Around the World sweepstakes sending one winner and three guests on a once-in-a-lifetime magical journey to experience the wonders of Harry Potter experiences across the globe.

This exciting contest, which kicked off on January 14, will whisk the sweepstakes winner and three guests on a spellbinding voyage to visit “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” locations around the world beginning with the Grand Opening at Universal Studios Hollywood and including lands at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Japan.  The winners will also visit “The Making of Harry Potter” at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, where they can discover behind-the-scenes filmmaking secrets at the home of all eight Harry Potter blockbuster films. Fans can enter to win at www.tripadvisor.com/wizardingworldhollywood.

More than five years in the making, and inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters that were brought to life in the Warner Bros. films, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” is being masterfully recreated at Universal Studios Hollywood and will be faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including Hogwarts castle which will serve as its iconic focal point.

From its snow-capped roofs and cobblestone streets to the historic British sensibilities that characterize the whimsical look and feel of the land, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will transport guests of all ages to the very places they read about in the stories or watched on the silver screen.

Upon entering the land through the archway, Hogsmeade will bustle to life with the same vitality of a quaint local village: merchants hard at work, a train conductor welcoming new arrivals and a pub packed to the gills with hungry patrons, but with the added element of enthusiastic guests intent on experiencing them all, including the land’s signature ride, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey,” and the family outdoor coaster, Flight of the Hippogriff™.”

An achievement in pioneering theme park ride technology, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” will make its U.S. debut at Universal Studios Hollywood in hyper-realistic 3D-HD designed to further immerse guests in an already engaging storyline.  The multidimensional thrill ride features a groundbreaking robotics ride system, fused with elaborate filmed action sequences and immersive visceral effects.  In this updated adaptation of the ride, guests will sport Quidditch-inspired 3D goggles as they venture through journeys experienced by Harry and his friends, spiraling and pivoting 360-degrees along an elevated ride track on a whirlwind adventure of a lifetime.

Also within “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” the enchanting family coaster, Flight of the Hippogriff™ will open as Universal Studios Hollywood’s first outdoor roller coaster.

“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will resonate with immense detail, inviting guests to revel in Harry Potter’s world with the opportunity to enjoy authentic food and beverage at multiple locations, including Three Broomsticks™, and Hog’s Head pub, as well as the Magic Neep and Butterbeer™ carts.

A foray through the shops will add to the authenticity of the land with eight retail venues and locations, including Honeydukes™, Ollivanders™, Owl Post™, Zonko’s™ Joke Shop, Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, Dervish and Banges, Gladrags Wizardwear and Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods™.

The Ultimate Harry Potter Trip Around the World sweepstakes began on January 14. Fans have until February 24 to register and can enter to win at www.tripadvisor.com/wizardingworldhollywood. The winner will receive a trip for four people, including airfare, four night accommodations at each location, ground transportation, 2-day theme park tickets for each theme park and tickets for Warner Bros. Studio Tour London. U.S. citizens, 18 years of age and older are eligible to enter. Additional eligibility information is available at http://www.tripadvisor.com/wizardingworldhollywood. No purchase is necessary.

Filed Under: Harry Potter Theme Park, Universal Studios Hollywood
Video: Emma Watson Introduces the New HeForShe
Posted by Megs

Emma Watson introduces the new HeForShe.org, a crowdsourcing platform for gender equality solutions. Your voice matters. Your actions make it real. Make the commitment and take action for gender equality now at www.HeForShe.org. HeForShe wants every voice to be heard in classrooms and corner offices around the world. Everyone has a say. Everyone has a role. Every unique contribution is essential to achieving gender equality.

The world is at a turning point. People everywhere understand and support the idea of gender equality. They know it’s not just a women’s issue, it’s a human rights issue. And when these powerful voices are heard, they will change the world. The time for that change is now.

HeForShe is inviting people around the world to stand together to create a bold, visible force for gender equality. And it starts by taking action right now to create a gender equal world

The new site asks you to get involved in the gender equality issues that matter to you. They have categories for Work, Education, Politics, Health, Identity and Violence.

Filed Under: Emma Watson
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