I had the coolest opportunity to attend the unveiling of the new Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts Exhibit! On occasion I will be invited to various media events and this is one that I knew I had make it to! Being a life-long Harry Potter fan I was thrilled to hear that there would be actual props, costumes, and actors from each of these two amazing stories.
My sister is a huge fan like me and was willing to hop on a plane and enjoy this crazy day of fun. Because I have a nursing baby at home and this happens to be the busiest time of year for my husband we worked out the idea to fly into California early in the morning and be on the last flight out that evening. It was something I had never done before and it was so cool and strange to board the plane with nothing but my camera and purse. I am convinced that the next I do this it must be to attend the Ellen show…but that is another adventure for another day.
We arrived in just enough time to come to the party a bit early. Food was still being set out and nothing had been tampered or messed with yet. This gave me so many awesome ideas for throwing another Harry Potter party. Which I have done in the past and I will certainly do again in the future. You can read more of those party ideas here. The tea cups, desserts, and gold coins were placed to perfection and I was dying over this antique money machine.
I don’t even know what to call these marshmallow bites, but they were simply perfection. If someone knows how these are made please share your recipe now, because they were amazing!
Old fashioned suitcases, books, teacups, and one of a kind items like this scale were spread through out the lounge area to create an early 1900’s feel. The waiters were dressed in 20’s clothing as well and I wished at that moment that I had worn my 20’s frock. (Although that wouldn’t have been very comfortable one the plane so I let that idea go.)
There was a green screen where you could be added in with the cast of Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them. I think Janae and I fit in quite well.
We then had the chance to hear a few words from both Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley) and Dan Fogler (the “no mag”) from fantastic beasts. Dan said that is wasn’t until preparing to play his role in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them that he learned his own Great Great Grandfather was in fact a baker! It was a fun link to his past that he says he never would have learned otherwise as his father hadn’t shared that information with him until he was in this movie.
Bonnie shared that in the films of Harry Potter she was actually able to pick out her own wand out of a line up of 10. She said this was the closest thing she got to having a true experience like Ollivanders. She was completely lovely and so fun to meet. I wish I could have spoken to her more, but as you can see there were a lot of us and only a quick minute with her.
When you go into the exhibit you are actually able to be sorted into your own house with a magical sorting hat. I was able to join the ranks of Griffendor and of course I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am pretty sure the hat has magical buttons that will make your wildest dreams come true as they ask you which house you are hoping for.
I could have died seeing these actual costumes form the professors of the Harry Potter movies and I may or may not have touched a few…or all of them! Ha! I recently watched the first Harry Potter movie over again and was geeking out that I had actually touched the costumes and seen them up close.
The amazing team. There was something really gross splattered all over Harry Potter’s costume. It came from the fourth movie so it could have been anything from the tri-wizard tournament.)
Sirius Black’s costume from the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Harry Potter glasses worn in the first film and his letter welcoming him to Hogwarts.
Dumbledore’s Army as signed by all of the cast members.
Horcruxes. So cool. And the maurderers map.
Harry Potter books signed by JK Rowling. The genius who started this all.
This is the mantel from the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
This Dobby was used by Daniel Radcliffe for practicing his scenes with Dobby. It is ridiculously realistic and was absolutely amazing to see!
In the Fantastic Beasts and where to find them you can actually see prop pieces used in the film.
Could you just die over these shoes!
This trip was unreal and one I will never forget. Before the day was over we still had a little more than an hour and a half to tour Hollywood Warner Brothers Studios and to my huge surprise and realization that meant that I was able to visit Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls. Unfortunately they were hosting a party in the “town square”, but I was able to go to Lorelei and Rory’s house and take a peek at the streets of Stars Hollow. I was in heaven.
A few things that I learned while there is that this house is painted a different color because it is also used in the filming of “Pretty Little Liars” and this is Spencer’s house too! If you go into this home you can see that there is nothing inside as the inside was filmed in a sound studio. One thing that was also a huge surprise is that Lane’s house is actually the back of Lorelai’s house and things seem so much bigger on screen than they are in real life.
This is a peek of Stars Hollow, but as you can see they were busy setting up for a party and I wasn’t able to walk the streets freely. I really want to go back again because Luke’s was blocked out of sight and I want to be able to see it all before it is taken down. Actually, they won’t take everything down, they just re-purpose it for another show/movie.
This is a good example of re-purposing. They had been using the garage of this house to film Pretty Little Liars and unearthed an old stencil made for a Gilmore Girls episode when Lorelai breaks up with Luke and they move his boat out of the garage. It was left and uncovered years later. They have left it open so that adoring Gilmore fans can see it today.
The cast of friends took their iconic picture here on this set where films like Annie, Spider-man and Minority Report were also filmed.
More than anything I want to thank Warner Brothers Studios and their media staff for being such amazing hosts. It was such a neat experience to see everything first hand and you can go to see it too! Make sure you visit Burbank, California,Hollywood Studios and when you do make sure to take a tour of the filming sites. It was so neat to see areas that were filmed for multiple shows/movies and learn about their history. I am definitely going to go again!