7 Magical Ways To Visit Harry Potter’s Wizarding World Without Leaving Home
Jump on your Firebolt and zoom this way for a virtual tour of the Wizarding World!
Nikki Ridgway · 12 months ago
Wizarding World Digital
Fresh out of Floo powder? Can’t use your Nimbus 2000 in the house? Your flying car is in the shop after an—ahem—encounter with a Whomping Willow? You can still experience the wizarding world of Harry Potter via the magic of the interwebs. Read on for 7 very special ways to virtually explore Harry Potter’s world, from the fans who know and love it best.
1. Tour Harry Potter’s London with Wizarding World Experts
WANDerlust, a London-based walking tour company, runs one of the most popular Harry Potter tours in the United Kingdom: the Tour for Muggles. On the tour, experienced guides lead Potter fans on a two-hour exploration of some key Harry Potter locations in London.
But with tourism in London on temporary pause, the team also hosts a lively podcast called “The Harry Potter Locations Podcast.” During each 30-minute episode, the team delves into the fascinating backstory behind key locations in the books. Episode 1 reveals that the suburbia of the Dursley’s Privet Drive was based on author J.K. Rowling’s childhood home in South Gloucestershire, England. And by episode 10, the team has made it all the way to the door of Hogwarts Castle — all while posing burning questions like “What is the tallest Hogwarts tower?” and “Can Hermione ever be wrong?” Newly minted Potterheads will meet their kindred spirits in this podcast's hosts.
2. Listen to the Music of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”
The first official Harry Potter story to take to the stage, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opened at London’s Palace Theatre in 2016, and has won a flurry of awards since then. Composer Imogen Heap wrote the music that matches the momentum of the fast-paced play, and the whole soundtrack is available to listen to on Spotify or Apple Music.
The four suites take the audience from Platform 9 ¾ back to Hogwarts, into the Forbidden Forest, through encounters with Dumbledore, to the Final Battle — with lots in between. The contemporary instrumental style might be new to little listeners, but sets a dreamy tone and is perfect to have on in the background whenever you’re diving into the wizarding world.
3. Zoom Your Way Through the Potter Trail
Follow the wizarding experts of the Potter Trail on a Wizarding World walk through the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, where many of the Harry Potter books were written. Can’t make it to Scotland this year? When the Potter Trail team isn’t leading big groups IRL, their expert guides are bringing the tour highlights to the computer screen via bookable live Zoom presentations.
Available for up to 35 guests, the fun, interactive, and fact-packed sessions last between 60 - 90 minutes, with plenty of time for questions. Viewers will join in on the House Point Competition and the Sorting Ceremony, and even learn a few spells. All 10 guides are trained comic performers, so expect some belly laughs and wide-eyed wonder as the world of Harry Potter is brought into your living room.
4. Peek Behind the Scenes of the Harry Potter Movies
Can’t apparate over to London right now? Then join Harry Potter superfan Peter Kenneth on this tour of the Wizarding World at the Warner Brothers Studio in London. The video captures everything from the intricate costumes and CGI wizardry, to the “Up” broomstick challenge and the art of Foley — which is creating background sounds with whatever props and gadgets you have at home
5. Learn How to Make Some (Movie) Magic
Warner Brothers Studio
Imagine if homework assignments included making magic on film, learning all about costume design, and navigating the art of set design! The Studio At Home activities from the Education team at The Making of Harry Potter experience in London are the next best thing to Charms Class. More than just a Harry Potter deep dive, the materials include activity worksheets, guides to make-up design, direction on screenplay structure, and how to design a digital set. There are downloadable video backgrounds (perfect for adding a little magic to any video conference) and ideas for making homegrown potions.
6. Discover the History Behind Hogwarts
Google Arts and Culture
Dive deep into a treasure trove of Harry Potter insider facts and inspiration, courtesy of Google Arts & Culture and The British Library. The online showcase for the library’s special Potter-focused exhibition, Harry Potter: A History of Magic, offers a Q&A with the exhibition curator Julian Harrison, a complete Harry Potter chronology, and a hilarious video guide to muggle magic. Budding artists will love scrolling through illustrator Jim Kay’s drawings that adorn books one to seven — especially the hidden details that are easy to miss in so many of Kay’s creations.
7. Crack the Code of a Free Harry Potter Escape Room
Leave it to a librarian to bring a book to life in a new and unforgettable way. Pennsylvania-based youth services librarian,Sydney Krawiec created an online and totally free Harry Potter—themed Escape Room where anyone can put their wizarding knowledge to the test. Like a way-more-fun pop quiz, you’ll answer Potter-themed questions to crack the room code and “escape” from Hogwarts. The game’s character is a first-year student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, so the first book — Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone — will be a useful cheat sheet as you work through the 21 riddles and stories. Best of all, the Escape Room can be played with friends — just decide in advance whether to work together, or race them to the finish.
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