Pottermore reveals new Moments from Deathly Hallows

Moment depicting Dobby's funeral at Shell Cottage

Moment depicting Dobby’s funeral at Shell Cottage

Today, Pottermore unveiled Moments from the last Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

The new set of artwork depicts 15 scenes from the nearly 800-page manuscript. Fly off into the summer night with the Seven Potters, escape Gringotts on dragonback, witness the killing of Severus Snape and much more on pottermore.com.

Insights on the book by J.K. Rowling are scattered throughout the Moments. In this release, the Harry Potter author revealed her thoughts on Alchemy, and shared new information about the Sword of Gryffindor and Extension Charms. Rowling also added to the existing entry on Vernon & Petunia Dursley, as well as Hatstalls.

From Rowling’s entry on the Sword of Gryffindor:

I am interested in what happens when cultural beliefs collide. In the Harry Potter books, the most militant of the goblin race consider all goblin-made objects to be theirs by right, although a specific object might be made over to a wizard for his life-span upon a payment of gold.  Witches and wizards, like Muggles, believe that once payment has been made, the object belongs to them and their descendants or legatees in perpetuity.  This is a clash of values without a solution, because each side has a different concept of what is right.  It therefore presents Harry with a difficult moral dilemma when Griphook demands the sword as payment for his services in Deathly Hallows.

To read the whole essay and explore all the new Moments from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, visit pottermore.com.

Though Pottermore confirmed they will not be adding new Moments to Deathly Hallows, the release of the final book is not the end for J.K. Rowling’s project. Fans still expect a Patronus test sometime soon.  As Pottermore promised in March, “…it’s certainly not the end – in fact, far from it.”

Stick with Pottermore News with all the latest on J.K. Rowling’s pottermore.com.

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Roundup of Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley red carpet preview

King's Cross at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley

King’s Cross at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Harry Potter cast and fans alike came together on Wednesday for the red carpet event to preview the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley park.

For the rest of us, though, we were tracking the event on social media and the live stream that Universal set up for the event, which was hosted by David Karger, the chief correspondent of Fandango.

The stream started with the host presenting a video focusing on the development of the park, from conception to today, with interviews from Universal executives. According to them, the park has been in the planning since the Hogsmeade park opened.

The host then interviewed the Harry Potter cast. Here are some bits from their interviews:

  • Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny Weasley in the films, said that “the memories are flooding back.” She also stated that she thinks Harry and Ginny are a great couple and thought they’d have a happy life with their kids.
  • Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood in the films, said that being back at the park with fellow cast members is like a “family reunion.” She stated that having the park makes the experience more real for fans. She said that Luna’s favorite shop in the park would be the Magical Menagerie because they sell the Crumple-Horned Snorkak, which everyone denied to be real but Luna persisted on their existence. “It’s a huge win for Luna,” Lynch told The Leaky Cauldron fansite.
  • Domhall Gleeson, who played Bill Weasley in the two Deathly Hallows movies, spoke about his prominent role in the Escape from Gringotts ride, and said the park was “very lovely.”
  • Matthew Lewis, who famously portrayed Neville Longbottom in the films, said that he “can’t wait” to ride the Gringotts ride. When asked (via a submitted Twitter question) to name the dragon, he answered with Neville, unsurprisingly. The actor also said that it’s been great to catch up with his fellow cast mates, who he hasn’t seen in a while.
  • The Phelps twins, a.k.a. Fred and George Weasley, said that they’d never expect that the park would be as big as it is, and that it’s “amazing.” They also said that the most useful spell for their Muggle lives would be Lumos, and overall they’d like to have a Portkey, which would make for easy and quicker travel.
  • Warwick Davis, who played both Professor Flitwick and the Gringotts goblin Griphook in the films, had some very nice things to say about the fans, saying that they were the reason why Harry Potter is so successful. The theme park is for them, he said, as it allows the fans to experience what the characters did.
  • Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the films, said that the park looks very real, and even better than the set because it allows you to actually experience it, it’s not artificial.
  • Robbie Coltrane, who played Hagrid in the films, interestingly shared the inspiration of Hagrid, and said that J.K. Rowling told him the character was based off of a large, motorcycle-riding man she knew, who intimidated the people he encountered but had a kind heart. Looking back, she said that the man reminded her of Robbie Coltrane, and that’s why she imagined Coltrane for the role of Hagrid in the films.
  • Helena Bonham Carter, who portrayed Bellatrix Lestrange in the films, said that she misses the teeth she got to wear while playing Bellatrix, and actually planned on wearing them tonight but couldn’t find them (too bad!). She said that she had a fun time playing such a fearless character as Bellatrix.

In addition to the cast interviews, there were montages in between of the actors’ scenes in the movies, as well as previews of the Hogwarts Express and the interactive wands.

The host also interviewed Universal executive who worked on the live shows and aspects of the park. He said that they’ve been working on the live shows for two years, and spoke about four specific live action pieces of the parks. In the London area, visitors will encounter the Knight Bus and its infamous driver, Shan Shupike, along with live “street buskers”, who will be playing a variety of music year round, just like actual street performers. When the visitors enter Diagon Alley, they’ll be able to experience two other live shows including a puppet performance of two stories from J.K. Rowling’s Tales of Beedle the Bard, which was featured in Deathly Hallows – Part One, and a live performance of Celestina Warbeck songs, a personal favorite of Molly Weasley’s. Find out more about these entertainment and interactive experiences here.

After all the interviews were done, Shan Shupike appeared to introduce other Universal and Warner Bros. executives. They then turned it over to Robbie Coltrane, who finally opened the park, touching the Diagon Alley bricks with a pink umbrella,  just as Hagrid did in the first Harry Potter film. Oh, nostalgia!

Cameras then followed the stars and fans into the park, when the live stream was brought to a close. However, the party is just starting, and lots of visitors are sharing their experience on Twitter and Instagram. Keep up with the event under the hashtag #DiagonAlleyPreview, where you’ll find pictures and tweets from people at the park.

The red carpet event was the first live stream broadcast of three during the Diagon Alley preview week. Check back tomorrow for a full roundup of the Phelps Twins ride on the Hogwarts express, and then on Friday for a report on Matthew Lewis and Tom Felton’s preview of the park with Alan Gilmore, the park and films’ art director.

Related: Diagon Alley to open July 8

In the meantime, torture yourself with the tweets and Instagram’s of those who are at the event now. Have fun!

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride at WWoHP – Diagon Alley revealed

On Tuesday new details were revealed about the upcoming Gringotts ride that will be featured at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley theme park, opening this summer.

Readers will recall the memorable scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and its film adaptation in which Harry, Ron, and Hermione break into Gringotts Wizarding Bank, escaping from the bank’s vaults with one of Voldemort’s Horcuxes on dragon-back.

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts will recreate this sequence in a “multi-dimensional, multi-sensory” thrill ride. Universal uses the latest technology to create the experience, including “360-degree themed sets, 4K digital high-definition animation, state-of-the-art 3-D Infitec projection systems and live special effects” with characters from the Harry Potter stories.

The run-up to the ride will be an experience in and of itself. The center of the new Diagon Alley area, Gringotts is “topped by a 60-foot tall, fire-breathing dragon figure.” Guests will queue inside the bank’s marble lobby, where they will see goblins at work. Finally, they will journey down to the bank’s vaults, which are stored “many miles below London,” and board the ride.

The ride’s carts are specifically designed to carry up to 12 people, so that the whole family can experience the ride together. The height requirement for the ride is also 42 inches, 6 inches shorter than the Forbidden Journey ride, which allows younger/smaller children to enjoy the ride as well.

On the ride itself, riders will encounter Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange, Gringotts’ “security trolls”, the infamous blinded dragon, and even come face to face with Lord Voldemort. The Universal Creative Team worked with the Harry Potter film crew to make the attraction as detailed as possible. Harry, Ron and Hermione actors, Dan Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson have all been confirmed to make an appearance on the ride, as well as Bellatrix Lestrange actress Helena Bonham Carter.

Along with this announcement, Universal also released pictures and a behind the scene video of the ride and attraction, all of which you can view below.

Are you excited about the Escape from Gringotts ride? Are you planning on making a trip to Universal for the new expansion? Tell us in the comments below!

Sources: Orlando Sentinel, SnitchSeeker

 

 

Wizarding World News Roundup

Harry Potter and the Escape from GringottsOver the past few weeks, there have been a lot of updates surrounding the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks in Orlando, Japan and Hollywood. The following is a roundup of some of the small news stories that didn’t get reported, whether because of its relevance or its importance in comparison to other stories.

The main theme park news this week comes from Universal Orlando, who has updated its list of attractions for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley expansion. Newly announced is the menu for The Leaky Cauldron restaurant, and the Gregorvitch Wand Shop, both of which will be featured in Diagon Alley.

Below is a selective list of the coming attractions, with descriptions from Universal’s website. Visit their site to read the full list.

The Leaky Cauldron: Pull up a chair and enjoy hearty British fare in this famous inn, as well as delicious, frothy Butterbeer™. The children’s menu offers items that kids will love, such as chicken fingers and macaroni and cheese.

Cuisine: Cottage pie, fish and chips, bangers and mash, Scotch eggs, stew, and much more.
Children’s Menu: Fish and chips, chicken fingers, macaroni and cheese, and more
Service Type: Buffeteria
Dining Hours: Lunch and Dinner daily

The Leaky Cauldron will be the only restaurant in the new Diagon Alley expansion area.

Wands by Gregorvitch: In this legendary wandmaker’s shop you can purchase your own wand or choose from a wide assortment of Harry Potter™ film character wand replicas, and more. 

Wands by Gregorvitch will be separate from Ollivanders Wand Shop, which will also be featured in Diagon Alley.

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts: Enter Gringotts™ bank at the far end of Diagon Alley™ and walk through the grand marble lobby where you’ll see goblins hard at work. Then, get ready to take a journey through the cavernous passageways that lead deep underground as you climb aboard Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™. This groundbreaking new multi-dimensional ride puts you right in the middle of the action as you navigate your way through the perils of the Gringotts™ vaults – encountering Harry, Ron and Hermione along the way!

Though the description says that riders will encounter Harry, Ron, and Hermione, neither Dan Radcliffe or Emma Watson have been confirmed to film. Both Rupert Grint and Helena Bonham Carter confirmed that they had done some filming for the theme parks way back in December 2012, and we suspect that the footage will be used for this ride.

In addition to that news, construction pics have been released on the internet from the various theme parks. Click on the links below to view them.

Finally, J.K. Rowling has also been confirmed to appear at the grand opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Japan on July 15, 2014. We will have a full report of her appearance once details are released.

We hope you enjoyed that roundup, and we will continue to keep you updated with the latest over the coming weeks and months.

Recap of WWoHP – Diagon Alley Expansion webcast: Concept art, stores, and ride announced

King's Cross StationToday, Universal Orlando hosted a webcast to announce new details about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley Expansion.

Opening this summer , the new expansion will feature the areas of London, Diagon Alley, and Knockturn Alley. These new areas will host a variety of shops, two eateries, and even a new thrill ride based off of the Gringotts break-in, seen in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. In addition, guests will be able to travel between the two areas (London and the Wizarding World) on a replica of the Hogwarts Express.

Along with this, Universal released beautiful concept art of the expansion. Everything looks absolutely stunning, and we can’t wait to see it all come to life!

(Note: Interestingly, they did not release concept art for the Leaky Cauldron)

View concept of the expansion here:

Diagon Alley | Hogsmeade Station | Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride | Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlor | King’s Cross Station | London Embankment | Ollivanders |Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes | Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment

Here’s a recap of the webcast via the press release:

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley will give visitors the exciting opportunity to: 

  • Board the Hogwarts Express and journey between London’s King’s Cross Station (located in Universal Studios Florida) and Hogsmeade Station (located in Universal’s Islands of Adventure). The journey will be filled with views of London and the British countryside – as well as a few surprises. Park-to-park admission is required.
  • Experience a groundbreaking new, multi-dimensional thrill ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts,which will place riders in the middle of an incredible adventure as they navigate their way through the perils of the Gringotts vaults
  • Witness the magical experience of a wand choosing a wizard at Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC, one of the wizarding world’s premier wand shops
  • Discover the darker side of magic in Knockturn Alley, the darkest of dark places that features Borgin and Burkes – a shop specializing in the Dark Arts that will offer a wide variety of Dark objects, such as Death Eater masks, skulls, and other sinister items
  • Explore some of Diagon Alley’s famous shops, including:Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, a vibrant shop featuring novelty items, magical jokes, and toys inspired by the books and films that will amaze the mischievous child in everyone
  • Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, where guests will find a variety of wizardwear from Hogwarts school uniform ties, scarves and jumpers, to authentic wizard’s robes and character costumes
  • Magical Menagerie, which features a collection of plush animals, such as owls and Hippogriffs
  • Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, where guests can grab wizarding essentials such as telescopes, binoculars, armillary spheres, compasses, magnifying glasses and hourglasses
  • Quality Quidditch Supplies, offering a wide assortment of apparel and equipment including Quidditch sweaters, brooms, Golden Snitches, Bludgers, Bludger bats, Quaffles and more
  • Scribbulus, featuring authentic writing implements and products such as feather quills, ink and inkwells, bookmarks, journals, parchment paper, seals, stationery sets and postcards
  • Enjoy traditional British fare that includes favorite dishes such as fish and chips, bangers and mash and more at the Leaky Cauldron 
  • Visit Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour for frozen treats in a variety of tantalizing and unique flavors such as strawberry-and-peanut-butter ice-cream and many others

Are you excited for the expansion? Will you be visiting Universal Orlando? Tell us in the comments below!

What’s new on Pottermore.com: Things to discover, re-visit, and explore

As you probably know by now, Pottermore made some major changes to the site. We first reported on this in June, and it was nice it all come to life yesterday. In this post we tell you what’s new, and some aspects you may want to re-visit.

FYI –The Pottermore Insider has summarized all the new features in a new post, so you can refer to that if you want to learn more.

The New Homepage

The New Homepage

The Homepage

Before signing-in, you will notice that Pottermore has re-done their homepage. On the new page, you can see what is new on Pottermore.com, what you can discover, and community news. At the bottom, you will see white boxes advertising the site’s features and so on.

Here you will a new exclusive content entry from J.K. Rowling. To find out more about the Quill of Acceptance and the Book of Admittance, click the box that says “Explore Harry’s Story”. Then, click “Try a Moment”, below the introduction. Then the box disappears and you are able to explore the Small Locked Tower of Hogwarts. (Anyone remember this from the Magical Quill Challenge??? Perhaps the part where  we get had our names placed in this book??) Zoom in once and unlock the entry by clicking the book in the center. Enjoy!

For new or potential users, you can try some of the site’s signature features without even signing up. This includes brewing a potion, casting a spell, or reading a sample J.K. Rowling entry from the site.

Contrary to what was initially reported, users cannot be sorted into a Hogwarts House or receive their Ollivanders wand without signing up. Therefore, to be sorted and get a wand, you need to sign up for the site.

Also contrary to the first reports, the “Who is Harry Potter” entry is less severe then what people thought. Many people feared it would interfere with their Pottermore experience to have new fans come in to the site who didn’t know who Harry Potter even was. Luckily for them, it does not detract from the experience but it is still a good introduction for those who do not know the series cover to cover. (For those who are wondering, the “Who is Harry Potter” page can be accessed by clicking on “The Harry Potter Stories” box on the bottom of the homepage.)

The Sign-In Homepage

In addition to launching the final chapters of Prisoner of AzkabanPottermore added to/changed some previous Moments. Here are the ones you may want to re-visit:

  • Harry and Hagrid Visit Gringotts – B1:C5:M2 – Enjoy the beautiful illustration of Gringotts, listen to an audiobook snippet, and collect a few things… Did you find the moldy dog biscuit?
  • Ollivanders – B1:C5:M3 – Explore the centuries-old wand shop on Pottermore, complete with a new artwork and more things to collect.
  • The Sorting Ceremony – B1:C7:M2 – Complete with Hogwarts House ghosts and some chocolate frogs to collect, the Great Hall is in its prime in this Moment.
  • Harry’s First Potion Lesson – B1:C8:M2 – There’s lots more to collect from Snape’s lair this time around…

That’s all the novelties that we found, but if you discovered something else, be sure to tell us in the comments below!

Are you enjoying the changes to the site? What do you like/dislike about them? Share with us in the comments below

Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood approved, construction to begin this summer

hpthemepark

James and Oliver Phelps, Fred and George Weasley in the Harry Potter films, at the initial announcement of the Hollywood theme park, December 2011.

NBC Universal has announced that plans for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood have been approved and construction will start this summer.

The Harry Potter theme park is a $500 million part of NBC Universal’s “Evolution Plan”, a $1.6 Billion investment in production and tourism in the Los Angeles area. In a press release, Ron Meyer, president and COO of Universal Studios, said that “Evolution” “sets the stage for our next 100 years in Los Angeles.”

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood is set to open 2015 or 2016, according to initial reports back in December 2011. The park will be similar, but not entirely identical to the one in Florida. The Hogwarts castle will still serve as the centerpiece of the theme park.

Don’t forget that along with the new Wizarding World in Hollywood, the original Orlando park will also be expanded. The expansion will reportedly include a replica of the Hogwarts Express and London/Diagon Alley, including Gringotts and Leaky Cauldron pub. Construction photos are constantly being shared by our friends at Hypable.com. Check out the latest here and here.

Official Harry Potter mini-movie being filmed

Just when you thought it was all over, this news comes: The Sun is reporting that a Harry Potter “mini-movie” is secretly being filmed at Leavesden Studios.

According to the article, the movie will not be released in theaters but rather at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Florida, as well as the two theme parks under construction in California and Japan.

A source told The Sun,The cast have really enjoyed getting back together — they are so tight-knit.”

Among the stars returning for the film is Helena Bonham Carter, who played Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter film series. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more stars reprising their roles in the film.

The insider continued, “The shooting schedule is nowhere near as long as the films, so though filming has been intense, the stars have enjoyed being able to pop in and out.”

With this news out, it could mean we will be getting an official announcement about the theme parks soon. Rumors have been swirling over the past few months about the expansion of the original WWoHP, including a Gringotts ride, Diagon Alley area and a Hogwarts Express that would transport you from one point in the park to another.

New updates on Pottermore

Diagon Alley ChristmasPottermore made a few updates to the site today including increased Galleons and a new Winter theme.

First off, Pottermore has increased everyone’s Galleon count by 100. The Insider post read: “Whether you’re restocking your potions ingredients or splashing out on a new cauldron, these extra Galleons will help you stock up ahead of the next Pottermore House Cup.” Be sure to visit your Gringotts vault to see just how many Galleons you have.

The second update is that Pottermore revamped some of their sites today with a Winter theme. They’ve added some festive decorations to the Insider and their official Facebook and Twitter pages including a new themed logo – much like they did for Halloween. They’ve also changed Diagon Alley from it’s normalcy to a Winter scene with snow falling.

Finally, a white link bar has been added to the top of Pottermore pages that can be used to direct users from site to site. The sites being linked include the Insider, Shop, and main site.

Go visit Pottermore to check out the new updates! We personally love the new Diagon Alley! Do you?