The Wizarding World of Harry Potter expanded this year to include a massive new attraction, shops, and dining. Three new films are due out that take place in the Wizarding World, and JK Rowling is writing a bunch of stuff on Pottermore that takes place in the Harry Potter Universe. If you thought that Pottermania would die down just because the book and movie series had ended, you thought completely wrong. On top of all that, Universal Orlando is looking to bring a new tradition to their park every January to celebrate The Boy Who Lived. This year, Universal is bringing in the only wizard Voldemort was ever scared of.
Universal Orlando has already announced that they will bring back the very popular “Celebration of Harry Potter” on January 30th-Feb 1st 2015. We already had an idea that there would be some really big stars from the film series, and some huge presentations, but we didn’t know just how big.
Today Universal Orlando announced that James Phelps, Oliver Phelps and Evanna Lynch (The Weasley Twins and Luna Lovegood in the films, respectively) are all scheduled to appear. They appeared at the event in 2014, and were featured heavily in Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. Robbie Coltrane, who played Hagrid will also be scheduled to appear. And last, but certainly not least is Michael Gambon. You may know him better as Albus Percival Wolfric Brian Dumbledore. The cast will take part in several Q&A sessions and will be there to meet fans.
In addition, there will be a massive Harry Potter Expo, which will house huge demonstrations from Warner Brothers, The Harry Potter Tour and much more. Plus you can meet several of the artists behind the film series, as well as the artist who redesigned the books covers.
Here’s the full line up:
- Behind the Scenes: Harry Potter Film Talent Discussion: Enjoy a fascinating and interactive Q&A session featuring some of your favorite actors from the Harry Potter films. Discover what it was like to work on the most successful film franchise in history.
- Duelling Demonstration & Wand Combat Masterclass with Paul Harris: Pick up your wand and take part in a live duelling masterclass, hosted by Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, featuring the world’s only Wand Combat choreographer, Paul Harris. Paul choreographed the epic battle scenes in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and will be on hand to teach you the technique behind wielding a wand.
- Creating The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Alan Gilmore, Art Director for the Harry Potter films, will explain how he and his team brought the world of Harry Potter to life from the fiction to the films, and eventually in the two lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. In addition, hear firsthand from Universal Orlando’s Entertainment team how live shows in both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley were created, as well as some of the hidden “secrets” and innovative interactive elements contained within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
- Graphic Design for the Harry Potter Films with MinaLima: Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima, from the graphic design studio MinaLima, will share insights into their role as Graphic Prop Designers for more than a decade on the Harry Potter movies. They will discuss and show some of the iconic props they created for the Harry Potter films, including the Marauder’s Map, the Daily Prophet and The Quibbler, amongst others. Still immersed in all things Harry Potter, they will also talk about their recent involvement in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.
- Illustration of Harry Potter with Kazu Kibuishi: Award-winning illustrator Kazu Kibuishi, who reimagined the Harry Potter book covers for Scholastic, will be drawing some of your favorite Harry Potter characters live on-stage in this interactive panel for all ages.
- This year’s “A Celebration of Harry Potter” will also include kids’ discussions and interactive experiences such as a special duelling demonstration and wand combat masterclass with Paul Harris, an interactive ‘Dance Like a Beauxbatons and Battle Like a Durmstrang’ experience, as well as Harry Potter film trivia.
“A CELEBRATION OF HARRY POTTER” EXPO
The Expo will be held inside a Universal Orlando soundstage and will be open to guests throughout the weekend. The expo will include the following booths and exhibits that will give guests deeper insight into the global phenomenon that is Harry Potter:
- Harry Potter: The Exhibition
Sorting Hat Experience:Do you think you are a Gryffindor, or a Slytherin? A Hufflepuff? Perhaps a Ravenclaw? At the beginning of each school year the Sorting Hat sorts new Hogwarts students into the appropriate house, and you’ll have the opportunity to get sorted in a Hogwarts-inspired setting…sponsored by Harry Potter™: The Exhibition.
- Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The production home of the Harry Potter film series, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London gives visitors the chance to step on to the actual sets used during filming. ‘A Celebration of Harry Potter’ visitors will get a chance to pose for a photo in a recreation of the iconic Great Hall.
- MinaLima: Graphic designers Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima created countless pieces of unforgettable artwork, some of which will be on display including iconic pieces such as the Marauder’s Map, Daily Prophet and Hogwarts school books. Exclusive to the Celebration, they will be launching their brand new range of Harry Potter stationery, featuring original film graphic artwork. Limited edition prints based on the original prop designs will also be displayed.
- Pottermore from J.K. Rowling: Show your Hogwarts house colors and celebrate your pride with Pottermore from J.K. Rowling. For the millions of fans who have participated in the exclusive Sorting Hat quiz devised by J.K. Rowling herself, here’s an amazing chance to take part in Pottermore’s Proudest House Contest. Also, relive the excitement of a year in Pottermore.com and get an exclusive chance to have your say on what is to come.
- Scholastic: Celebrate Harry Potter and share your message about what Harry Potter means to you. Meet award-winning illustrator Kazu Kibuishi, who re-imagined the Harry Potter book covers and will be signing posters on Saturday, January 30, and enter for a chance to win a box set of all seven Harry Potter books.
- Warner Bros. Entertainment: Do you have what it takes to defend yourself against a Dementor or soar above Hogwarts castle on Buckbeak? Step into some of your favorite scenes with this magical photo experience while surrounded by authentic movie props from the Harry Potter films.
Want to see all the fun? Check out our full Harry Potter Celebration Playlist from 2014!
The event is full of tons of surprises, and you really never know just what will be coming to the Celebration. Last year audiences got a glimpse of Diagon Alley, as well as some great new details. While there is no new land this year, there could be some huge announcements about upcoming movies, or books…or anything! It’s a very exciting time to be a Potter fan! While we can’t confirm it, we have reason to believe that WARM BUTTERBEER will be served once again for Harry Potter Celebration guests. It’s an amazing take on the traditional Butterbeer, only with the consistency of hot chocolate.
The best part is that guests will be able to travel from Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure to Kings Cross Station in London at Universal Studios Florida to experience two amazing lands that tell one huge story.
Harry Potter Celebration is included with theme park admission, and kicks off on January 30th.
Stay tuned for more from Universal, and be sure to get social with us on Facebook, and follow along with us on Twitter @BehindThrills for the latest updates!