Diagon Alley now viewable through Google Street View

If you’ve ever wanted to take a tour of the iconic wizarding shopping center, now’s your chance.

Google has added the film set of Diagon Alley to its Street View mode, enabling internet users to take a stroll down its cobbled streets and a 360 degree glance around, taking in famous landmarks such as Ollivanders Wand Shop and the Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes joke shop.

The photos are actually taken from the Warners Brothers film set. The technology in Google Street View is very easy to use, and it’s a very cool interactive experience, which you can check out here.

Source: CTV News

Street View

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Pottermore updates on new features and surprises

There are two exciting developments hitting Pottermore. First, something strange brewing in the Divination classroom, and second, a magical winter wonderland in Diagon Alley.

Pottermore tea leaves

We want to hear your predictions and what you think they mean for your future.

Share your predictions with the Pottermore community and get the conversations going in the Great Hall and your common room or share them with us on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll retweet our favourite predictions throughout the week and share a selection here on the Insider too.

Those at the Pottermore team have so far seen and predicted the following:

‘I think it looks like a camel. I think that means I’m going to go on holiday somewhere sandy. And ride a camel.’
‘A dog’s head – Puppy for Christmas!’
‘It looks like an egg yolk in the bottom of a cup. No comment.’
‘It’s a four-legged chicken. Maybe I’m seeing my Sunday roast dinner…’

Tell us what you see in the tea leaves….

What do you see? From a distance I see Hagrid standing in the middle of a group of spiders on the left and a knight riding a unicorn on the right… Hm…

Winter in Diagon Alley

 

Here’s what will greet you every time you shop in Diagon Alley! Pretty, isn’t it?

Source: Pottermore Insider

Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion photos surface

While Universal Studios has been very keen not to release updates on the expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, certain details have come to light, including some new behind-the-scenes photos of a construction project.

Though still quiet about their plans, Universal Orlando continues work on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s expansion, which will feature Diagon Alley.

The larger Harry Potter world is rumored to include a thrill ride within Gringotts, a working Hogwarts Express, new shops, and a new restaurant. It is sitting on the area of land that used to be occupied by Jaws.

Photos from the Wizarding World construction site show a huge structure forming, which is likely to be the building housing the Gringotts ride. A second crane was recently added to the work.

The London waterfront is one of the first areas completed and is themed to look like the Victoria embankment. See side by side comparisons we created for the proof. While we’re eagerly awaiting Universal’s official announcement and concept art, check out one fan’s prediction for the park illustrated in amazing detail.

 

Source: Hypable

TwiggyMcbones’ awesome Harry Potter fan art

Now here’s some really amazing Harry Potter fan art for you!  These cartoon styled drawings are fun, lighthearted and are making some folks long for a Harry Potter animated series.  They are the work of the brilliant TwiggyMcBones on Deviant art who has even more great drawings you need to check out.  Not only has she created art using many of the characters we know and love, but she has also gone one step further and added some characters from the next generation.  Make sure you scroll down to the final image to see her piece titled Rose and Scorpius Commission where she has imagined the daughter of Ron and Hermione as Draco’s son’s classmate!

Please visit TwiggyMcBones page on DeviantArt HERE to see more or her amazing Harry Potter Fan Art!

Source: GeekTyrant via io9

My First Weekend In Pottermore

This past weekend was the first weekend that Pottermore was officially opened for everyone to enjoy.  Those who were in Beta certainly have an advantage there, considering house points, I believe, but it’s all good.  The purpose is to enjoy your time in there and get to know more about the Harry Potterverse.

I’m going to attempt to go over some of the highlights of the site.

When you go through the chapters, from an informational standpoint, you’ll want to read up on some of the insights and background of some of the characters and items and such.  There’s so many tidbits from author J.K. Rowling about how she created the Potterverse and why.  A couple of those tidbits included her “Ghost Plots” and “The Original Forty,” highly intriguing information, if I must say so myself.   Creating a whole universe for a story can be unique and painstaking at times, but very ingenius when done successfully (something very similar to the likes of J.R.R. Tolkein).

Given my inability to access Gringott’s my first time, it took a day to figure it out and then I was able to go shopping in Diagon Alley.  Of course I was excited to get my wand:

When you get your wand, you can look up the info on everything about your wand, including the differences in wood, core, and flexibility.  Pretty amazing information, and lengthy.  Having Laurel wood apparently cannot stand laziness in its possessor, so as long as I’m not lazy with my wand, then it can’t be won over.  A Phoenix Feather core is supposedly the rarest core type, but also the hardest to tame and personalise and can even act on their own.  Sounds like I’ll have a testy time with this one.  All in all, getting your own wand customized to your choices is pretty awesome and helps you feel pretty individualized.  Now if only they were to create such individual type wands at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Getting sorted is, of course, the ultimate highlight.  You pretty much already know which house you’d want to be in, but if you answer the test honestly, you might be surprised at what you find.  I did answer mine honestly, and I was a bit surprised.

When you get sorted, I believe you’re able to start gaining points for your house.  Here comes the fun stuff.  You’re also able to check your house standings  when you click on the Great Hall insignia at the top of the site, which is constantly changing.

Yep, my Gryffindor house is behind and needs to pick up speed!  You can either cast spells:

Or you can brew potions:

Personally, casting spells is probably the more enjoyable of the two, and you earn points by participating in wizard duels with other houses.  Practice is essential!  It’s also a lot easier to pick up than potions.  In potions, it can be very frustrating if you mess up somewhere along the line, because you’d have to start over, and that can mean more time wasted and also more money spent to buy the ingredients.  But when you do create the potions, it’s a nice sense of accomplishment.  So far, I’ve created 2 potions, but have messed up about 4 times.

I have completed the first book, and so far I’m blocked to continue on.  I’m not sure if I’m missing something in order to move on or I have to wait a certain allotted time, but so far, it’s definitely a unique experience and hopefully something that many can come back to time and time again.

Pottermore Is Up!

I hope I’m not too early in saying that Pottermore is now open to everyone.   I was finally able to get in and am now in the process of exploring the site.

Yes, that’s my username on the site, FlameProphecy1681.  I didn’t actually create the username myself.  They basically give you 4 (or was it 5?) usernames to choose from, and this one I thought was nice.

So far, it’s interesting, and there’s definitely some informative background information on many items, such as the put-outer, and characters (including the Petunia Dursley and her relationship with her sister, Lily), however, you have to wait patiently for all the chapters to be opened for you, at least for now.  I’m up to where Harry gets to Diagon Alley, but getting to Gringott’s Bank is locked for now.

I guess waiting means I won’t be able to get sorted yet?

Anyway, through each section you go through, there’s something to read and/or collect, so be on the lookout for those things.  Use the up and down arrows of your keyboard to zoom into and out of each scene, too.  I’m assuming they’ll want you to collect all the things that are available to collect on the way.

Well, that’s it for now, I guess.  I’m not sure how the site sorts you, but hopefully it’ll be fun.  I’ve been keen to the Slytherin House, but not very many people think I actually act Slytherin-ish, so when I find out, I’ll be tweeting that!

I could give you more pictures from the site, but it’s just best you go in and find out for yourself.  Enjoy!

To get started on your own journey, go to Pottermore now!

Leavesden Studio to Open Making of Harry Potter Tour

The month of March is going to be a good one this year. Not only is the first movie of The Hunger Games being released on March 23rd, but the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London- The Making of Harry Potter will be opening on March 31st! Leavesden Studios has been the home of the Harry Potter movie franchise since 2001 and is the home for many of the amazing scenes that are there.

If  you go on the tour, you will be able to see the incredible scale model of Hogwarts and some of its surrounding area that they used in the films when they needed to get full shots of the amazing castle. Not only will you be able to see Hogwarts, you will also be able to see multiple different sets including the Great Hall, Diagon Alley , Dumbledore’s Office, The Ministry of Magic, Harry’s cupboard under the stairs, #4 Privet Drive, The Gryffindor Common Room, the boys’ dormitory, the Potions Classroom, Professor Umbridge’s office, the Weasley kitchen and the Hogwarts Bridge!

This amazing walking tour will give any and all potter fans the incredibly amazing opportunity to journey behind the scenes and experience all the incredible magic that has gone into creating and filming the Harry Potter series. Not only will you be able to tour the different sets, but you will be able to see costumes and props that were used throughout all eight movies.
Potter fans all over are eagerly awaiting the opening of this incredible tour and cannot wait to experience the magical world that we have been apart of for the past 10 years.
To read the full article, go here.
-written in collaboration with Lexi