Take a Virtual Wizarding World Trip to Universal-Orlando with ResortTV1

With high gas prices and all the other challenges of travel these days, you may not be up for a trip to Central Florida and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, so you may want to check out the YouTube channel of ResortTV1. This lovely channel has been around for over 13 years, with brother and sister team Josh and Jenna vlogging and regularly streaming from the Universal and Disney Parks.

If you can’t go out on a Friday night, go with Josh and Jenna (and sometimes their parents or Josh’s wife and son) on a stress-free visit to beautiful Orlando! I’ve enjoyed reliving my own days in that area, as Jenna and Josh wander around my old stomping grounds (the Disney World streams at Christmastime were my stress escape!). They are wonderful hosts, very family friendly and relaxed, taking viewers to the front of the line and to great views of the parades and fireworks with no crowds, high costs, or sweltering heat.

If you’ve never been to Universal Studio’s Wizarding World, check out this video from last fall, in which you can see some of the Wizarding World seasonal entertainment. You can also see some of the sites on other visits to the park. If you are hoping to visit the Wizarding World (or any other resort area park) in the future, this channel will whet your appetite. Enjoy!

All J. K. Rowling’s Twitter Headers

During the weekend I was talking with our friends, the hosts of the Strike Ellacott Podcast, and Beatrice Groves about the valuable hints that J. K. Rowling’s twitter headers can give us about what she is working on. It was clear that we did not have a single repository of her twitter headers, nor a reliable indication of when they were current.

The Wayback Machine is an internet archive that stores webpages, and allows researchers to see the page as it was when the archive was captured. Using this tool I have captured what I believe is a complete set of all the Rowling twitter headers.

I consider this a work in progress- there are lots of missing dates in the archive, so the dates are the date of the first captured page. If you spot any errors or omissions, please let me know in the comments down below, and I will correct.

I would also like to build links to articles discussing and analysing the more interesting headers, again please let me know in the comments.

[Read more…]

News of Possible Potter Television Show: Secret Plans or Just Rita Skeeter Rumors?

Yesterday, we were absolutely pummeled with notes about The Hollywood Reporter’s “Exclusive” news release regarding meetings with HBO Max for a planned Wizarding World live action project. While the report was extremely vague, only using facts and figures for verifiable points like the amount of money the previous Potter films have made, it set off a flurry of ripples. [Read more…]

In a World Full of Umbridge, Who Would You Be?

Like a lot of Potterphiles, I have Harry Potter merchandise popping up on my social media feeds on a near-daily basis. One of the more recent appearances was a T-shirt reading “In a world full of Umbridge, be a Fred and George.”  While the mischievous redheads were undoubtedly major nemeses of the Toad Lady, I found it hard to envision myself wearing one of these shirts. I guess I’m at the age where I identify more with the middle-aged ladies of the Wizarding World than the kids.

Which led me to think, who would I put on mine?  Two answers immediately sprung to mind.   First, the teacher who was the antithesis of Dolores: Minerva McGonagall. In our humor episode of Reading, Writing, Rowling, several McGonagall v. Umbridge moments made it into our “funniest scenes” lists. Certainly McGonagall is one of the finest teachers in the series, one with high standards of excellence and who daily earns the respect of her students. In other words, everything dear Dolores wanted to be. Harry’s regard for her is clear: when even his own godfather’s murder could not push him into performing a Cruciatus curse on the perp, Amycus Carrow’s spitting in McGonagall’s face did.

The second, of course, is the best (or, at least the best living) mom of the series, Molly Weasley. In addition to being a surrogate mom and regular source of comfort (as opposed to pain) for Harry, Molly is also a loving mother to the twins. Yes, she gets exasperated with them frequently, sometimes seeming as short-tempered as Umbridge, but her love never wavers and she is never cruel. In the end, she accepts that the twins are successful in their own right, even with their poor OWL results, aborted education and non-conventional career choice.

More on Minerva, Molly and T-shirts after the jump! [Read more…]

The Personal Heresy Afoot at Hogwarts

As the school break affords some time for getting up some long-overdue posts, I had been planning a few, but I’ve shunted those to the backburner, with hopes of pulling them forward before I must return toImage result for the personal heresy grading, preaching the virtues of the Oxford comma, and catching incompetent plagiarizers. Instead, I find myself having to do something rather odd, defend J.K. Rowling, but not against the usual antagonists: misguided Puritans, well-meaning but overprotective parents, and the sad horde of people whose imaginations were apparently damaged or removed in some sort of unfortunate childhood accident. Now, I’m defending her against the “fans” who are presently foaming at the mouth over a tweet she refuses to recant despite their most petulant whines and threats. The controversy and the subsequent venom of some members of the once-loyal fandom likely come as no surprise to the savvy Rowling, whose own work predicts just this sort of thing, but it is also reflective of a phenomenon rampant in a number of fandoms these days, a phenomenon C.S. Lewis foresaw with his brilliant examination of what he called “the Personal Heresy.” Join me after the jump for some thoughts on this phenomenon as it is playing out in Potterdom.(If you’ve been under a rock, catch up here and here.) [Read more…]