The Real Hogsmeade Station Is Seeking a 'Wizarding Prefect' to Lead Harry Potter-Themed Tours

Christopher Furlong, Getty Images
Christopher Furlong, Getty Images

Even if you're well past wizarding school age, you still have a chance to see the Hogwarts Express in person. As Travel + Leisure reports, one of the real-life railways featured in the Harry Potter films is seeking a Harry Potter expert to tell guests about the train's magical background.

Multiple locations were used to film the Hogwarts Express scenes in the Harry Potter franchise, including Goathland Station on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) in England. The stop on the historical steam train's route can be spotted in the films when the gang arrives at Hogsmeade. Now the railway is seeking a "Wizarding Prefect" to educate visitors interested in the location's connection to Harry Potter.

The volunteer will be responsible for leading tour groups around Goathland Station and working with the education team to come up with a wizarding-themed itinerary and activities. According to the posting, they must have "strong knowledge regarding wizards and witches," excellent public speaking skills, and experience working with school-aged children. They must be available to work on weekdays so they can be present for field trips.

If you think you're qualified, send your resume to marketing@nymr.co.uk by June 30. And if that doesn't work out, look out for job opportunities at one of the many other Harry Potter locations in the muggle realm.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

When Mark Hamill Pitched George Lucas on Boba Fett Being Luke Skywalker's Mom

We've all had some over-the-top ideas when thinking about what we would do if we could helm a Star Wars movie. There are basically endless possibilities on where a franchise like that could go. And it seems even Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, has pitched a few ideas to George Lucas over the years.

For Return of the Jedi, Hamill apparently had a major idea for Boba Fett: He wanted the bounty hunter to be Luke's mom.

Hamill, who loves to engage with his fans via social media, confirmed that it was indeed true—and shared a lengthy explanation on how it all went down:

Hamill clearly envisioned Boba Fett being more central to the franchise, but ultimately (and understandably) couldn't sway Lucas with his admittedly not-so-great idea The fan-favorite character was recently believed to be getting his own standalone film, however Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy ​reportedly declared the project "100 percent dead" last month.

Although Luke Skywalker met his demise in The Last Jedi, Hamill has confirmed that he will be returning for Episode IX. We just hope he continues to pitch more ideas.

How Are Balloons Chosen for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

iStock/RoBeDeRo
iStock/RoBeDeRo

The balloons for this year's Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade range from the classics like Charlie Brown to more modern characters who have debuted in the past few years, including The Elf On The Shelf. New to the parade this year are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But how does the retail giant choose which characters will appear in the lineup?

Balloon characters are chosen in different ways. For example, in 2011, Macy’s requested B. Boy after parade organizers saw the Tim Burton retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. (The company had been adding a series of art balloons to the parade lineup since 2005, which it called the Blue Sky Gallery.) When it comes to commercial balloons, though, it appears to be all about the Benjamins.

First-time balloons cost at least $190,000—this covers admission into the parade and the cost of balloon construction. After the initial year, companies can expect to pay Macy’s about $90,000 to get a character into the parade lineup. If you consider that the balloons are out for only an hour or so, that’s about $1500 a minute.

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