While star Daniel Radcliffe has moved on to an intriguing array of indie films, J.K. Rowling’s fantastical world of Harry Potter still holds a firm grasp on the public’s imagination. Yes, the 8-film, $7.72 billion grossing series came to a fiery end in 2011, but there’s been a surge in Potter popularity of late.
The latest example is the Harry Potter Hotel Package offered at The Georgian House. A boutique London hotel that’s been in operation since 1851—and is located just a stone’s throw from the Thames—is taking advantage of the renewed Potter interest by transforming two of its rooms into gothic-styled “Wizard’s Chambers” designed to transport guests to the magical world of Potter. The rooms come equipped with 4-poster wooden beds, potion bottles, cauldrons, and Hogwartsian accents—perfect for us mere muggles. “And don’t worry, we include full English breakfast in your stay, and not bogey flavoured Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans!” reads the hotel’s site.
In addition to the rooms, The Georgian House is offering tickets to the popular Muggle Walking Tour that takes you to locations around London where the film was shot, including train platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station, as well as a trip on the custom-designed Harry Potter Tour bus to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter, where you can check out the film’s myriad sets and props.
For two people, including one night in the Wizard Chambers, breakfast, Muggle and Studio Tour tickets, it will run you $584 (as well as $180 for an extra child, or $207 for an extra adult). To simply stay in the Wizard Chambers for a night with breakfast will run you $336 for two.
The Potter revival began on July 8, when Universal Orlando’s Harry Potter theme park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, opened and generated record summer attendance numbers. In fact, the park proved so popular that it boosted Comcast’s third-quarter theme park revenue 18.7 percent over the previous year to $786 million from $661 million, the company said in an earnings report Thursday. “The new attraction is off to an amazing start,” said Comcast CEO Brian Robert.
They opened another Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios Japan on July 15, and are scheduled to open yet another Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood sometime in 2016.
That same day—July 8—Rowling released a new Harry Potter story on her website Pottermore. It took the form of an article in the book’s fictional newspaper The Daily Prophet and was titled, “Dumbledore’s Army Reunites at Quidditch World Cup Final” by Rita Skeeter. The story followed a 33-year-old Potter sporting “a couple of threads of silver” in his hair and “a nasty cut over his right cheekbone” as he takes in the Quidditch World Cup Final from a VIP section.
In October, Warner Bros., the studio that released the original Harry Potter films, announced that they’d be adapting Rowling’s 2001 book about the mystical creatures in the Potterverse, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, into “at least” a film trilogy. The first installment is scheduled to be released on Nov. 18, 2016, followed by the second on Nov. 16, 2018, and the third on Nov. 20, 2020. David Yates, who helmed the last four Potter films, is set to direct the first Fantastic Beasts film, and Rowling will be penning all the screenplays.
If that weren’t enough, Rowling also announced that on Oct. 31 she’ll be releasing a new 1,700-word Potter story on Pottermore that will reveal the backstory to Dolores Umbridge, the conniving Hogwarts witch/professor (played in the films by Imelda Staunton) who tormented “the boy who lived” by ordering a Dementor attack on him and forcing him to write the phrase “I must not tell lies” over and over again with a Blood Quill as punishment. She was eventually sent to Azkaban for life for crimes against humanity.
According to Pottermore, the new tale will be a “rich, 1,700-word backstory about Umbridge’s life, filled with many new details, as well as Rowling’s revealing first-person thoughts and reflections about the character.”
In the meantime, all you die hard Potter fans can always head to their local Starbucks and order a “Hot Butterbeer Latte”—a secret menu item perfect for fall.