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May15

Christmas Is Coming To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter At Universal Orlando Resort

From Universal Orlando Resort --

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. 

Click here for a sneak peek at the exciting new Holiday experiences

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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Mar23

"The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" at Universal Studios Hollywood Elevates "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" to 4K-HD

From Universal Studios Hollywood --

 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 four times 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.

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" at Universal Studios Hollywood is a masterful recreation, faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including as its iconic focal point, Hogwarts castle.

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" transports guests of all ages to the very places they read about in the stories or watched on the silver screen.

 
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Mar09

First Look at the Forbidden Forest with Evanna Lynch, Jason Isaacs and James and Oliver Phelps at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

From Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter --

Evanna Lynch, Jason Isaacs and James and Oliver Phelps who played Luna Lovegood, Lucius Malfoy and Fred & George Weasley respectively in the Harry Potter film series hosted a sneak peek of the new Forbidden Forest expansion at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.

From the moss on the giant trees to the hairs on Aragog, finishing touches are currently taking place to ensure that the Forest is ready for the official opening on 31st March. Entering this impressive set through the Hogwarts Gates, visitors will venture deep into the forest, filled with 19 enormous trees, each with a diameter of over 12 feet and walk beneath the giant entwined roots. On their journey they will pass a bowing Buckbeak and come face-to-face with Aragog, the huge spider, along with his family of spiderlings.

Evanna Lynch commented: “It’s so exciting to step in to the Forbidden Forest again; Production Designer Stuart Craig has perfectly recreated the mysterious and sometimes menacing atmosphere we all felt during filming in the ‘off-limits’ location. Being inside the forest surrounded by magical creatures always felt like a safe place for my character, Luna, so it’s amazing to be back.”

Home to an abundance of creatures, the Forbidden Forest offers shelter and protection to Hippogriffs and Acromantula among many others. It is also well known to beloved half-giant Hagrid in his role as Care of Magical Creatures professor. One of Rubeus Hagrid’s original costumes will be on display, lantern in hand, to welcome visitors through the Hogwarts Gates deep into the forest. Visitors will even be able to control the weather using the same techniques created by filmmakers.

Amongst the imposing trees, visitors will encounter a full size model of Buckbeak, which is new to the tour, and have the opportunity to bow to the majestic creature.  They will see up close the incredible detail and craftsmanship that went into creating the magnificent Hippogriff. Each feather had to be individually inserted and glued by the Creature Effects team who were busy adding feathers right up until the final moment Buckbeak was needed on set for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

As visitors venture deeper into the depths of the forest, they will come face-to-face with Aragog, the Acromantula. Emerging from his dark lair, the enormous spider will appear before visitors along with spiderlings from his family.  Created by Nick Dudman, Creature and Make-Up Effects Designer, with help from Production Designer Stuart Craig, Aragog had a leg span of over 18 feet and was even able to crawl out of a hole and deliver dialogue in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Officially opening on Friday 31st March, the new, must-see expansion has been designed and built by many of the crew members who worked on the hugely successful magical film series including Oscar® and BAFTA winning Production Designer Stuart Craig, Construction Manager Paul Hayes, BAFTA winning Creature and Makeup Effects Designer Nick Dudman and BAFTA winning Special Effects Supervisor John Richardson.

Sarah Roots, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Tours commented: “We are so excited to launch the Forbidden Forest expansion of the Studio Tour, especially on the fifth anniversary of our grand opening. It’s great to be working with so many of the original filmmakers who know so much about the wizarding world. There will be an opportunity to take control of the weather and discover the techniques used to create a realistic forest within a film. We can’t wait to let visitors step into this mysterious set and discover all this amazing detail for themselves.”

Stuart Craig, Production Designer on all eight Harry Potter films, added: “Over the course of the eight films, the Forbidden Forest has played a key role and I think it’s an exciting addition to the Studio Tour. The Forbidden Forest is full of mysterious, fascinating and sometimes threatening forces. It represents the great unknown compared to the comfort and safety of Hogwarts and the Gryffindor Common Room which makes it so interesting and important to the development of the story.”

The Forbidden Forest will open on Friday 31st March and entrance will be included in the ticket price.

 
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Feb08

Harry Potter Roller Skating Night Arrives at Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale on April 8th

From The Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army --

The Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army, the second largest Harry Potter fan group in the world brings the 6th Annual Harry Potter Roller Skating to Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale, CA for Harry Potter fans of all ages.

The skating rink, located at 5110 San Fernando Road in Glendale, CA, has reserved the entire evening of Saturday, April 8th, 2017 from 8pm to 11pm for Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts fans, to come enjoy a Harry Potter themed night of fun. In addition to roller skating, vendors selling Harry Potter themed candy, hand crafted wands, jewelry, original artwork and much more. Adults and children who attend are encouraged to come dressed in their favorite Harry Potter themed costumes for a chance to compete for prizes. Additionally, all paid entrants to Harry Potter Roller Skating Night receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win Harry Potter themed prizes.

This is a family friendly, public event suitable for all ages. Butterbeer (non-alcoholic) will be available for purchase for Muggles and Wizards alike. Admittance is only $15 which includes a rental pair of skates.

Time after time, event after event, The Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army has proven its magical ability to throw a crowd pleasing, unforgettable night for all. Last year, the fifth annual Harry Potter Roller Skating Night drew over 1,000+ Harry Potter fans of all ages and the group is looking forward to breaking last year’s attendance records.

For more information on the 6th Annual Harry Potter Roller Skating Night, visit the event Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HProllerskatingnight.

 
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Jan13

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Surpasses $800 Million at the Worldwide Box Office

From Warner Bros. --

Continuing to generate box office magic, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” has crossed the $800 million mark at the worldwide box office. The announcement was made today by Sue Kroll, President of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

The acclaimed film—set in a new era in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, decades before Harry Potter and half a world away—is the Studio’s top-grossing film internationally for 2016. In addition, “Fantastic Beasts” just earned five BAFTA Award nominations: for Outstanding British Film, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Sound, and Best Special Visual Effects.

In her announcement, Kroll stated, “Returning to the wizarding world in ‘Fantastic Beasts’ was a labor of love for all of us, and it has been a privilege to watch audiences around the world embrace a new cast of characters in this world created by the incomparable J.K. Rowling. This is an extraordinary milestone for the first film in our new franchise and speaks to the remarkable talents of the cast and filmmakers who worked so hard to bring it to the screen. Congratulations to them, as well as to the Warner Bros. marketing and distribution teams on this great success.”

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” stars Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”) as wizarding world Magizoologist Newt Scamander, under the direction of David Yates, who helmed the last four “Harry Potter” blockbusters.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” also stars Katherine Waterston (“Steve Jobs,” “Inherent Vice”), Tony Award winner Dan Fogler (“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”), Alison Sudol (“Dig,” “Transparent”), Ezra Miller (“Trainwreck,” upcoming “Justice League”), two-time Oscar nominee Samantha Morton (“In America,” “Sweet and Lowdown”), Oscar winner Jon Voight (“Coming Home,” TV’s “Ray Donovan”), Carmen Ejogo (“Selma”), and Colin Farrell (“True Detective”).

The film marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, whose beloved Harry Potter books were adapted into the top-grossing film franchise of all time. Her script was inspired by the Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, written by her character Newt Scamander.

In addition to Yates, the film reunited a number of people from the “Harry Potter” features, including producers David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram. Tim Lewis, Neil Blair and Rick Senat served as executive producers.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Heyday Films Production, a David Yates Film, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” The film is being distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

 
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