Tag: Harry Potter

76-Second Travel Show: Authenticity and ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’

Robert Reid ponders Andrew Potter's "The Authenticity Hoax" on a visit to Orlando's newest theme park

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London Mayor: ‘Harry Potter is Not American’

Universal Orlando’s latest theme park creation, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, opens next week—and London Mayor Boris Johnson will definitely not be attending any ribbon-cutting ceremonies. Strong words from the Mayor:

I deeply and bitterly resent that Orlando is about to become the official place of pilgrimage for every Harry Potter fan on earth… Because the fact is that Harry Potter is not American. He is British. Where is Diagon Alley, where they buy wands and stuff? It is in London, and if you want to get into the Ministry of Magic you disappear down a London telephone box. The train for Hogwarts goes from King’s Cross, not Grand Central Station.

Don’t worry, London. I’m sure there are still plenty of Potter fans that will want to visit the, er, not-quite-real thing. (Via The Book Bench)

How About a ‘Harry Potter’ Holiday?

How About a ‘Harry Potter’ Holiday? Photo of Alnwick Castle by Eva Holland
Photo of Alnwick Castle by Eva Holland

It’s that time of year again: The sixth installment in the world-dominating series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, hits theaters this week. The Telegraph has compiled a list of the best Harry Potter landmarks for fan pilgrimages, with mixed results. The specifics are fine—Alnwick Castle as Hogwarts, Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross and so on—but the list also includes whole countries merely mentioned, not visited, in the books. Are there really any Potter fans crazy enough to visit Norway just because it’s the natural habitat of the Norwegian Ridgeback dragon?

Are the Obamas Headed to Hogwarts?

In a wide-ranging interview with The Daily Beast, “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe had this to say to the new First Family: “I’d like to take this opportunity to issue a public invitation to the Obamas that if their daughters would like a private tour of the Harry Potter set, I would be honored to be their personal tour guide.” Over at MuggleNet, the debate over whether the Obama girls are worthy of such a magnanimous gesture is already getting heated. (Via The Book Bench)

Movie Tourism: ‘An Obsessively Ridiculous, Embarrassing, Empty, and Needy Exercise’?

Movie Tourism: ‘An Obsessively Ridiculous, Embarrassing, Empty, and Needy Exercise’? Photo by kennymatic via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by Eva Holland

I’ve been thinking lately about the motivations behind movie tourism—not the “Wow, New Zealand sure looked beautiful in that elf movie” variety, but the literal, “X was filmed here” brand of movie-related travel. What is it that prompts people to run up the steps, Rocky-style, in Philadelphia, or to slide into a booth at New York’s Katz’s Deli and gigglingly declare, “I’ll have what she’s having”?

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