Friday, 25 July 2014
Friday, 18 July 2014
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley is now open at Universal Orlando Resort, Florida!
Whether reading the books, watching the films, visiting the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, or exploring Pottermore.com, fans of the Harry Potter stories have been able to experience Diagon Alley™ in many different ways, and now there’s going to be a whole new way to enjoy this famous cobbled street at Universal Studios Florida®! Today, we are excited to bring you more details of what to expect from The Wizarding World of
Harry Potter™ – Diagon Alley, which is now open!
What to expect
In breathtaking detail, Universal Orlando® Resort has recreated quintessential London landmarks; guests are now able to stroll along the London waterfront, and eagle-eyed visitors may spot some sights that would usually be hidden from Muggle view, such as the Knight Bus and number twelve, Grimmauld Place.
Once through the iconic brick archway, you’ll see all the famous shops of Diagon Alley, leading right up the street to the towering Gringotts™ bank at the far end, where you can take a journey deep underground through the perils of the Gringotts vaults in Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™, the thrilling new signature ride of this area. Universal hasn’t omitted the dark and dangerous Knockturn Alley, which you can also venture down (if you dare)!
And, perhaps most exciting of all, for the first time ever Muggles can journey between Platform 9 ¾™ at King’s Cross Station in London and Hogsmeade™ Station on the Hogwarts™ Express, taking in scenic British countryside from the carriage windows and encountering characters and creatures from the Harry Potter™ stories along the way.
A few members of the Pottermore team were lucky enough to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade for A Celebration of Harry Potter in January this year, and were delighted to see the magical world brought to life on such an astounding scale and with so much faithful detail! Riding Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™, Dragon Challenge™ roller coasters and Flight of the Hippogriff™; stepping into Ollivanders™ wand shop; and visiting the Three Broomsticks™ for a Butterbeer™ were real highlights from the weekend and we’re sure Diagon Alley will only add to the magic of the experience for fans. If only Orlando weren’t so far from London, we'd be visiting it every day!
Find out more and buy your tickets!
To find out more about Universal Orlando Resort ticket and vacation package options, click here. Remember that to travel on the Hogwarts Express from either Hogsmeade Station or King’s Cross Station in London, you will need Park-to-Park Admission.
'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter Fifteen, Aragog'
It’s the hottest day of the year so far in London today, but you might have already gotten that feeling if you have visited your pottermore.com homepage, as summer has arrived on the map! Flowers are in full bloom, and the deckchairs are waiting by the sea!
See if you can spot the Hebridean Black dragon basking in the sunshine, and the winged horses gallivanting in the mountains - head to your homepage on pottermore.com now to enjoy the summer atmosphere.
Friday, 11 July 2014
You can enjoy reading an extract from the pre-match commentary here on the Insider, or go to the Daily Prophet offices on pottermore.com to enjoy the full transcript of the thrilling match (registration required).
Visit pottermore.com to discover even more exciting pieces of exclusive writing by J.K. Rowling, explore Harry Potter’s story online and begin a journey of your own – learn to brew the perfect potion, master the art of duelling and get sorted into your Hogwarts house!
Transcript of the Live Coverage from the Daily Prophet’s Quidditch Correspondent, Ginny Potter and Gossip Correspondent Rita Skeeter.
The stadium is full and the noise is deafening. We await the arrival of both team’s mascots, who will put on a pre-match show. The Bulgarians, of course, bring their celebrated dancing troupe of Veelas, which constitutes a major reason for the team’s popularity, at least with men. Brazil’s Curupiras have already caused a great deal of mischief so far this tournament but are similarly popular, mostly with children. Security wizards stand by all around the perimeter in case of trouble.
While we wait for the opening performance, let’s remind ourselves what these teams look like and compare some key statistics.
After a slow start in the tournament, Brazilian Almeida was a star of the lengthy semi-final against the USA and is a major reason for his team’s presence in the final. However, many felt his opposite number on the Haitian side out-performed him in Brazil’s first match and he sustained a nasty head injury in the contentious quarter-final against Wales.
Zdravko let in 17 goals against New Zealand in the first round and no fewer than 46 against Japan in the semi-final. Bulgarian fans are rightly nervous about Zdravko’s abilities facing a Brazilian Chaser trio of proven ability.
The Brazilian trio have been one of the joys of the tournament, exciting to watch and responsible for 68 goals so far. Gonçalo Flores has emerged as one of his team’s stars, celebrated for making the hoops from way out of the scoring box.
Though less flashy in style, the statistics do not lie: the Bulgarian Chasers have scored 74 goals so far this tournament and have – to the surprise of many fans and commentators – out-performed their Brazilian counterparts.
Although they turned in lacklustre performances during the first two matches of the tournament, the Brazilian Beaters redeemed themselves in spectacular style during the semi-final when by their efforts they prevented the American Seeker Smackhammer catching the Snitch.
A competent though not outstanding duo, Draganov and Vulchanov have nevertheless displayed great physical courage throughout the tournament. Vulchanov was knocked out cold protecting his Seeker during one of the most memorable moments of the Bulgaria versus Japan semi-final.
Silva has only made two captures during the tournament due to Haiti’s disqualification in the first round. Once he spots the Snitch, he is fast and accurate, but questions must be asked about his ability to locate the elusive golden ball, as his average capture time this tournament has been 10 hours 44 minutes.
Viktor Krum needs no introduction. The oldest player in this tournament, he has been a world-class Quidditch player since his late teens. Though before this World Cup many critics had written him off, he is largely responsible for Bulgaria’s place in the final. Average capture time this tournament: 5 hours 56 minutes.
The VIP boxes are now full. Chairman of the ICWQC, Mentor Metaxas, chats to the President of the Argentinian Council of Magic, Valentina Vázquez, but all eyes are on Box Two, where Dumbledore’s Army sit under close guard, to prevent mobbing by an overexcited crowd. The Potter family – minus Mother, Ginny Potter, who of course is here in the journalists’ enclosure with me – have been given prime places in the front row. All are wearing the red of Bulgaria except middle child Albus, who is sporting Brazilian green. This will undoubtedly send the gossips into overdrive – what message is young Albus sending us all by choosing to support a team other than his father’s? A team, lest we forget, that is competing against his father’s ex-rival, now friend, Viktor Krum. Are we witnessing a very public, very ugly display of father-son rivalry? My colleague, Ginny Potter, who is sitting close enough to read everything my Quick-Quotes Quill is scribbling, informs me that Albus is a great fan of Brazilian Chaser Gonçalo Flores. That, of course, would be one possible explanation for this oddly public parade of familial dissent.
The crowd roar as the gates open and the mascot troupes assemble! First, the Bulgarian Veela, dressed in diaphanous gowns and dancing to the haunting strains of harp music. Several men’s jaws have dropped here in the journalists’ enclosure and, judging by the number of dropped notebooks, many also appear to have lost sensation in their fingers.
Up in VIP Box Two, Ronald Weasley appears to have become catatonic. Did I just see wife Hermione Granger administer a sharp elbow to the ribs?
And here come the Curupiras with their bright red hair and back-to-front feet. Tumbling, performing acrobatics, stealing hats from fans and generally creating mayhem, the stadium is greatly enjoying their antics.
It is always enchanting to observe young people enjoying the culture of other wizarding nations. Unfortunately, Master Teddy Lupin and Ms Victoire Weasley appear to be far more interested in what they are saying to each other than – I take that back. In what some may see as a somewhat belated show of parental authority, Mr Bill Weasley has swapped places with his now very sulky-looking daughter and is directing her attention to the pitch. It is indeed a terrible waste not to drink in the magnificent spectacle now unfolding before us, with the colours and dancing and whatnot.
Harry Potter is scratching his ear.
The opening ceremony concludes with an interesting Veela/Curupira pyramid formation. If several back to front feet found themselves in the Veela’s eyes, the latter have resisted the temptation to transform into the terrifying Harpy-like form that gave many children – myself included – nightmares after their 1994 display.
And here come the two teams – Brazil in green, Bulgaria in red!
Almost all of the Weasley family are supporting Brazil. Certainly nobody can have expected Ronald to cheer on his wife’s ex-boyfriend. Both his children – Rose, who appears to have inherited her father’s unfortunate hair, and Hugo, who has his mother’s bushy locks – are decked out in green, but Hermione Granger is not wearing anything to indicate which team she is supporting. Does she secretly hope to see Krum take the trophy at last? Or is this the kind of diplomatic neutrality one might expect of a ruthless careerist whose long-term ambition is undoubtedly to be Minister for Magic?
And they’re off! Fourteen players rise into the air for the 427th Quidditch World Cup final!
Neville Longbottom is already on his feet cheering, even though nothing has really happened yet. Is he drunk?
Thursday, 10 July 2014
Don’t miss out on Ginny Potter and Rita Skeeter’s live updates throughout the final game between Bulgaria and Brazil on the Pottermore Insider or Daily Prophet offices in Diagon Alley on pottermore.com tomorrow, Friday, July 11, from 6.00pm BST (10.00am PST and 1.00pm EST)! #QuidditchWorldCup
Well done to the 18% of you who guessed correctly in our poll on Monday that it is notorious Daily Prophet correspondent, Rita Skeeter, who will be joining Ginny Potter in the journalists’ enclosure for the World Cup final – we’re looking forward to some ‘enchantingly nasty’ observations on the goings on during the match!
Their live match commentary for the Daily Prophet will be shown on the Pottermore Insider and in the Daily Prophet offices – make sure you keep an eye out for #QuidditchWorldCup on Pottermore’s Twitter account to find out when a new update has arrived.
The opening ceremony of the final is due to begin at 2.00pm local time (6.00pm BST, 1.00pm EDT, 10.00am PDT).
Wednesday, 9 July 2014
The fourteen Quidditch players in the play-off for third place between Japan and the USA can hold their heads high after an exceptional show of talent to end their World Cup.
A bloody and brutal match, spectators at the play-off were witnesses to one of the most spectacular dives of the tournament by one Seeker, resulting in a win for their team.
Read Ginny Potter’s full match report in the Daily Prophet on pottermore.com now, and get ready for the last match of the tournament, the hotly anticipated 2014 Quidditch World Cup final, which is being played this Friday, July 11! You’ll be able to follow Ginny Potter’s live commentary on the Pottermore Insider!