Harry Potter and the Prisoners of the Live Feed (part one)

Wizardly-WorldImage Credit: Gustavo Caballero/Getty ImagesTonight, in order to avoid doing laundry, we watched a live streaming video of the grand opening of Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the new theme park in Florida that lets Muggles visit Hogwarts and other fictional places in the Potter universe. Actually, this evening’s 30-minute webcast was just part one of the opening, billed as a Celebrity Preview event, with appearances by cast members from the Potter movies (don’t plan on doing laundry on Friday, when the actual, open-to-the-public grand opening will be webcast). Among the highlights: The Frog Choir of Hogwarts (a bunch of singing amphibians led by a pint-sized conductor), John Williams and the Orlando Symphony Orchestra playing music from the movies, and appearances by Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe, who led the crowd in a mass wand spell that triggered a light show and fireworks over the darkened park. For our money, the “lumos” could have been a little more “maxima,” because we could barely see a thing on our computer screen. But, hey, it beat washing our underwear.

Did any of you PopWatchers happen to catch this live feed? And are you planning to tune in for Part Two on Friday?

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  • Madd

    Trust me, I get it. I was supposed to do laundry hours ago, but have been watching the first season of Dexter instead.

    • Ceballos

      I don’t get it…the only way I can tolerate doing laundry these days (and especially the tedious folding) is by simultaneously plowing through the second season of “True Blood” or the third season of “Dexter”…but I’m a big-time multi-tasker.

      • albertkitten

        Entourage (any season) for me!

  • dee

    So cool that John Williams was there! I wish I had seen it, but I didn’t know they were doing one tonight. :-( Can’t wait to go in December!

  • Courtney

    I hesitate to ask for the link because I will invariably become glued to my computer haha

  • Erika

    um “Lumos”

    • chris

      it’s sad that i was thinking this as well…

      • Celia

        Me too. Seriously get it right EW.

      • Emma

        I thought something looked wrong but couldn’t put my finger on it right away. Sad really…

      • albertkitten/Muggle Lover


    • Kat

      LOL glad it wasn’t just me that noticed that.

  • Jonathan F.

    This reminded me, I need to flip my laundry.

  • Amanda

    I’M SO JEALOUS!!! I wish life wouldn’t get in the way so I could go to Orlando this weekend and have the best time of my life.

  • Celia

    Saw the live feed and it makes it even HARDER that I can’t be there on Friday!!!
    John Williams and the whole presentation was AMAZING!! I got chills! I’m so green with envy right now. I’m seriously going to cry. Everything looks brilliant!
    JK Rowling looked like a GODDESS!!! It’s so surreal to see her in Hogsmeade! She invented this world. It must’ve been such an overwhelming experience for her. :D

    • Ashley G.

      I feel the exact same way! I had planned to go in May before they pushed back the opening and now I can’t go until November =( I am so jealous of everyone who gets to go this weekend!

  • MelindaB65

    I didn’t even know about it…and now I will probably spend Friday watching the webcast, in between doing laundry.

    • MelindaB65

      OK, I just read that the webcast will be from 9-9:30 AM Eastern time. I can do half an hour.

  • Noodley

    My friend was able to visit the park a few days ago and said it was just amazing. I came close to hyperventilating just looking at her pictures! I read Sorcerer’s Stone when it first came out. I was 11 and literally grew up on the series. Visiting the park will be a dream come true.

    • Liz Lemon

      Same here. I feel like someone is ripping my heart out. I can’t believe this era is ending.

      • Vivian

        the Harry Potter fandom will never end :) But I agree, I grew up on the series and seeing the world come to life is amazing.

  • aleksa

    We’re going in two weeks! Can’t wait.

    • chris

      green with envy! ;-(

  • BuffyJunkie

    As a die-hard Potter fan, I think the theme park will be awesome. But I need a Harry Potter trailer for Deathly Hallows Part 1. Sometime this month???? Please…

    • James

      There was a kinda-sorta trailer on the MTV Movie Awards. Did you catch that one?

  • janitza

    where is the link i dont have to do laundry and i have no life anyway

  • Laura W

    I want to go to Florida and go to the Harry Potter park! Yes somebody give me a full Deathly Hallows part 1 trailer! The 50 second was billirant! But more please!

  • RobboandtheWizardRockKids

    Wish I was there now!

  • JLC

    Still puzzled by EW’s description of this as a “park.” It’s only one portion of Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure. It consists of three rides, two of which are repurposed from rides that already existed, some shops and a pub/restaurant.
    It is incredibly well done and absolutely looks great, but I wonder if any visitors that were expecting a full-fledged park will be disappointed.

    • googliezoo

      There should be a park, though. If Disney could do it, so could Harry. The world Rowling created is certainly rich enough. I’m kinda disappointed that you can’t ride on the Hogwarts Express and that they only built Hogsmeade and not Diagon Alley. Ah, well, maybe someday they’ll expand or build a full size theme park somewhere else.

      • Rebekah

        If the park proves to be successful, I am thinking that expansion is definitely a possibility. I’m sure the creators of the park had that in mind when they first started the project. Only time will tell.

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