Harry Potter Fans Can Spend This Halloween at Hogwarts

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London—The Making of Harry Potter
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London—The Making of Harry Potter

Harry Potter and Halloween both have some pretty hardcore fans. So when these worlds converge, it’s sure to be a spooky, spellbinding occasion.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London—The Making of Harry Potter is hosting a series of Halloween-themed “Hogwarts After Dark” events this October, according to Travel + Leisure. Guests will be treated to a two-course meal with drinks—plus dessert and butterbeer—inside the actual Great Hall that appeared in the movies. The room will be decorated with over 100 enchanted floating pumpkins, cauldrons, and other original film props.

After that, guests will be led to the Forbidden Forest for dessert, where they’ll rub shoulders (figuratively speaking) with Buckbeak the Hippogriff and Aragog the Acromantula. Don’t be surprised if you see some Death Eaters roaming around, too—they'll be dressed in original costumes and masks from the movie.

Actors in death eater costumes
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London—The Making of Harry Potter

After dinner, guests will be led through the studio to see the Gryffindor common room, the Weasley family’s kitchen, and the dimly lit Diagon Alley. They’ll also have the chance to learn some wizarding combat tactics from Paul Harris, who boasts the impressive title of Wand Choreographer.

The Hogwarts After Dark events will be held October 26-28, from 7:30 p.m. to midnight, and are only open to individuals age 18 years or older. Tickets cost about $300 per person and go on sale August 28; they must be pre-booked on the studio's website.

Separate costume events will also be held on October 6 and October 7. And if you can’t make it to any of those events, you’ll still have the chance to see Death Eaters and floating pumpkins during one of the studio’s Dark Arts tours, which will be held from September 28 to November 10.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

Chernobyl Creator Craig Mazin Urges Visitors to Treat the Exclusion Zone With Respect

Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Following the success of the HBO miniseries Chernobyl, one tour company reported that bookings to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone located in Ukraine rose 35 percent. Now, series creator Craig Mazin is imploring the new wave of tourists to be respectful when snapping selfies at Chernobyl, Gizmodo reports.

A 2500-square-kilometer exclusion zone was established around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant shortly after its reactor exploded in 1986 and flooded the area with harmful radiation. The abandoned towns are still too radioactive for people to live there safely, but they have been deemed safe to visit temporarily with the supervision of a guide.

Chernobyl has supported a dark tourism industry for years, but thanks to the miniseries, photographs taken there are gaining new levels of attention online. News of influencers posing for irreverent selfies at the site of the nuclear disaster quickly went viral. Mazin tweeted:

Regardless of why people are visiting the site, being respectful in the presence of tragedy is always a good idea. It's also smart to resist leaving a tour group to snap the perfect selfie in some abandoned building: Tour companies warn that breaking rules and wandering off approved paths can lead to dangerous radiation exposure.

[h/t Gizmodo]

A Traveling Harry Potter Beer Festival Is Coming to Several U.S. Cities

If you’ve ever wondered what the alcoholic version of a butterbeer would taste like, you’ll soon have the chance to find out. A series of ongoing Harry Potter-inspired beer festivals are coming to cities across the U.S. in the next couple of months.

According to Rock Star Beer Festivals, which is organizing the event, Muggles and wizards alike will get unlimited samples of 20-plus beers. There will be plenty of adult butterbeer to go around, and for more daring souls, there’s Snape’s Lair of Secret Cider Potions. Is it actually cider, or could it be a polyjuice potion? Attendees will soon find out.

In June, the festival will be coming to Fresno, California on June 21 and New Orleans on June 29. In July, it will head to Philadelphia (July 13) and Boston (July 20). Tickets to the festivals can be purchased through Eventbrite or booked on Rock Star Beer Festivals’ Facebook page under the Events tab. Act fast, though, because tickets—which generally sell for $40 to $45 apiece—regularly sell out.

What else can you expect to see at such a magical event? Rock Star Beer Festivals says the venues hosting the festival will be “transformed into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” with guests being transported to the Great Hall, Diagon Alley, and, of course, the Leaky Cauldron. You’ll also get to snap photos with Hagrid and dance to music by the Sorceress Sisters and DJ Dumbledore. Just be careful not to drink and do magic, or you could end up having an accident à la Neville Longbottom.

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