Thursday, September 19, 2019

Wizarding World: The Official Harry Potter App Release

Witches and wizards in the wizarding may have only had word-of-mouth or the use of owls to share information, but in the muggle world, we have more than a few ways to stay connected.

Pottermore has created a spellbinding app where fans can experience new content and interactions. The Wizarding World app - the official Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts companion - is aimed for fans of all ages. The world of the films, theater, games, and theme parks now have a hub to call home.

Fans can log into the app using their Wizarding World Passport that they use on Pottermore or  From there, Hogwarts students can dive deeper into the stories, characters, and moments from J.K. Rowling's series with quizzes, features, and behind-the-scenes information.

Currently, fans can enjoy polls to interact with other fans and Hogwarts houses, unlock special codes to discover more mischief, video clips, trivia cards, and much more. The app's future features will include a weekly update of news from the wizarding world titled Wizarding Weekly.

As a relatively new app, the witches and wizards behind-the-scenes are looking to expand its use. Currently, it's only available to mobile users - not tablets. The app slowly started rolling out in New Zealand earlier this summer. It has since been released to Canada and Australia, and now the U.K., Ireland, and U.S.

The Wizarding World App is available on itunes and Google Play.

Monday, July 08, 2019

Experience Hogsmeade Station With The Trainline's Magical 3D Model

Hogsmeade Station 3D Model Trainline
Photo Credit: Trainline
To Britain natives, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a popular feature to travel through North England's rolling countryside. The real location used for filming in the Harry Potter series, among other movies and television shows, has become a beloved location in the wizarding world.

Serving as the backdrop for the Hogwarts Express to journey between Platform 9 3/4 Quarters at Kings Cross Station and Hogsmeade Station, one of the biggest dreams for every Harry Potter fan is to one day travel between the muggle and wizarding world to Hogwarts.

The Trainline, Europe's top rail and coach booking platform, has created a 3D model of Hogsmeade Station - or as its known to muggles - Goathland station in North Yorkshire, England. From the comfort of their laptop or mobile device, fans can explore the platform, tracks, and even board the historic steam locomotive LMS 542, which served as inspiration for the famous Hogwarts Express.

To create the experience, Trainline collaborated with Promote360 to survey the landscape and the train in order to give fans an authentic and in-depth digital experience.

Joanna Williams described how the team used 3D scanning capture all the right angles:
It was fantastic to work on this very exciting and unique photoshoot of the NYMR steam train. It was a beautiful sunny but very cold day in December. The NYMR team got up at the crack of dawn to get the train up and running and bring her into Goathland station. We had to work quickly throughout the day to capture all angles of the train, inside and out, and the station platform.

We even had to bring in our 4-metre high tripod to view the roof and inside the tender! We were racing to get it done before sunset and overall took over 150 3D scans of the train. Working in the cold was definitely worth it and we were rewarded at the end of the day with a ride up with the driver for a few miles down the track!
Living out the journey of a Hogwarts student is one of the many attractions for fans to visit Goathland Station. With five locations for travelers to explore the surrounding regions, NYMR Stations offers northbound and southbound stations that takes you around Europe's beautiful landscapes. To book a reservation for your own trip, check out the official website for Trainline and North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

The virtual tour offers an in-depth experience you won't find anywhere else - unless you visit the location in person of course! What part of the 3D Model did you enjoy? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

How To Sign Up For Your Wizarding Passport (A Breakdown of Pottermore's New Feature)

Pottermore Wizarding World Passport
For the past seven years, Pottermore has been the news and activities hub for everything Harry Potter. It's where we learn the latest news, browse character features, take quizzes, and so much more.

On an interactive level, fans have signed up to the site as a virtual Hogwarts student - to get sorted, discover our patronus, and let the wands choose us.

An epic change to Pottermore was made with the announcement of adding a Wizarding Passport at WizardingWorld.comAs part of their new joint venture with Warner Bros., will take the place of Pottermore's interactive features with our profiles.

Let's a take second to breakdown the new WizardingWorld addition  - the pros, cons, and how to get your passport!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Mobile Game Launches to Select Countries

Over the course of summer 2019, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite has been conducting beta tests with users around the world for their latest augmented reality game.

Similar to Pokemon Go, the new app invites aspiring witches and wizards to dive into the wizarding world in their own real-world communities by casting spells, meeting new characters, finding new creatures, and retrieving magical objects as a virtual recruit for the Ministry of Magic's latest division Statute of Secrecy Task Force.

After a long anticipating wait for Potterheads, an official launch date of the mobile game has finally been announced: Friday, June 21st, 2019. The game rolls out in the United States,  United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand with users in other countries gaining access soon.

Here is an incredible launch trailer:

David Haddad, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment described joining Niantic to create Harry Potter: Wizards Unite in the official press release:
We are very pleased to partner with Niantic, the AR gaming market leader, for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite to create a deeply magical and immersive Wizarding World experience for our Portkey Games label. If you are a wizard or witch who always felt the magic was really all around you, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’s combination of unique narrative and cutting-edge AR technology will let you live out that fan fantasy.
Senior Software Engineer at Niantic Mike, a Hufflepuff, revealed how the game came into fruition:
My favorite part about working on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is that I have the chance to create such a deep experience for players around the globe. I've seen what real world games have done for players of Ingress and Pokémon GO and I can't wait for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite players to have the opportunity to explore the magic in our world as well.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite celebrated the launch with comedian Tiffany Haddish and Wizard Unite youtubers at Universal Studios Hollywood.
The mobile game is the first of its kind for the Harry Potter franchise. Your smartphone acts as your wand. As a player-to-player experience, fans will work together to figure out wizarding challenges, create potions, and travel through portkeys to carry out a mission to find and return magical objects escaping into the muggle world.

Before its official release, fan can pre-register for access to the game on Google Play for android devices, The App store for iphones, and Samsung. Fans can also sign-up for all of Harry Potter: Wizard Unite's latest news at their official website.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Opening Day Reviews Are In

Photography by: Universal Orlando Resort
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has cause to celebrate even more so than usual today: Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is finally open and fans are beyond satisfied with how Universal Orlando Resort's latest attraction turned out.

Anticipation hit an all-time high after several members of the Harry Potter cast were spotted around the park and appeared to commemorate the ride's opening. Fans lined up at Islands of Adventure, where Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade is located, to get first dibs on the new rollercoaster.

Devoted thrill seekers and Potterheads started to queue as early as 5am. For the first few hundred lucky and well-prepared park guests, they were first to ride the coaster after the park opened to the public at 9am. For others, the wait extended up to ten hours as thousands lined up around the park. With most of the latest expansion set outside, inclement weather such as thunderstorms throughout the day forced the ride to temporarily close before reopening. Universal Orlando Resort tried to make sure their guests were taken care of as much as possible handing out free water and bringing out characters to entertain.

Despite the heat, rain, and long lines, fans reactions are absolutely magical. By interacting with familiar and new magical creatures as well as the Hogwarts groundskeeper, the attraction is everything fans have come to expect and more. Here are some of the best reactions so far from across social media: