Ever since J.K Rowling released the book “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in the summer of 1997, a worldwide phenomenon has rapidly developed from a total of 7 books and 8 motion pictures. The young boy wizard charmed his way into everyone’s hearts, with a little help from Warner Bros. Studios who brought the magic to the big screen. Throughout the book releases and movie premieres, Harry Potter has grown a tremendous amount with merchandise, theme parks and tourist attractions. Even though the books and movies have come to an end, the world of Harry Potter keeps on growing with a little help from advertisements and marketing.
Of course being a huge Harry Potter fan myself, I have been to many of the attractions and have purchased a lot of merchandise from the movies.
This summer when I was studying abroad in London, I was able to go on the Harry Potter Studio Tour in Levesden. I had heard about it through commercials and online advertisements, and thought it would be something I would really enjoy. I ended up going twice while I was abroad because I absolutely loved it. Being able to walk on the sets and see how how the special/visual effects were done was an amazing experience. That’s not to say there weren’t promotional items everywhere you looked, though.
An audio guide lead by Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) was available for extra purchase. You could also ride a broom in front of a green screen and pay for photos or videos of it. Lastly, an incredibly large merchandise store at the end of the tour was filled with items from the movies and people who simply wanted everything. The tour also has different promotional events that happen as the seasons change to draw in new visitors and entice new ones back.
In London there are also bus tours you can take to see multiple filming locations from the movies, including a cart sticking out of the wall at the famous Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. Of course these attractions come with professional photos you can purchase and a store at the end of the journey as well.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a theme park that has made its way to the United States to Universal Studios Florida. It has been so successful and has boosted the Universal park’s ratings/attendance so much that they are expanding the one in Florida and building a new one in California. You can buy Butterbeer, a wand, or anything else you can imagine from the movies, while enjoying Harry Potter themed rides.
The last movie, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”, came out in 2011 but there are still a large amount of promotional activities and advertisements for all the new attractions. While in London I saw posters for the tours everywhere I went and buses with huge Harry Potter signs plastered on the side. There are also advertisements online for the theme parks or for any merchandise anyone could ever want for a Halloween costume or simply to have for their collection.
Harry Potter may be over but it looks like people won’t be tired of it for a very long time.