Ever since that magical day on June 26, 1997 when JK Rowling released the first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Sorcerer’s Stone according to the United States), the world of Harry Potter instantly took off. This world of magic that Rowling created on a train ride was immediately a hit. Never did Rowling expect to get the attention that she got in England, let alone the whole world. Today, there is not a single person who doesn’t know who and what Harry Potter is and the impact that it’s had on the world is unbelievable.
In 2001, the highly anticipated movie of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was released and that might have been the day that the Harry Potter world exploded. With young Daniel Radcliffe playing Harry Potter, Emma Watson playing Hermione Granger, and Rupert Grint playing everyone’s favorite redhead Ron Weasley, the perfect cast was casted and it was the beginning of the Harry Potter movie decade.
Once Sorcerer’s Stone hit theaters, all over the world people were lining up the catch our favorite book being made into a movie. It was everything we could’ve asked for and more. The feel of the magical world from Diagon Alley to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry couldn’t have been set anymore better than it did in that movie and it just got better from then on. The movie got so big that shows like Saturday Night Live and Ellen made and sketches and videos about Harry Potter. Yes, Saturday Night Live does many sketches about many different shows and movies and so does Ellen but the fact that Saturday Night Live has done Harry Potter sketches from 2001 to 2012, a year after the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
To this day, 10 years after the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows the book and 6 years after the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 the movie, the world of Harry Potter is still as big as the day it first began. On June 18, 2010 the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened it’s doors at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida. If you have not been to there, you need to because it’s like you are in the movie. At Islands of Adventure, there you can see the castle of Hogwarts and experience a virtual ride inside of it. There’s also Hogsmeade, one of the great towns JK Rowling created. There, they included Ollivander’s so you can choose a wand, buy a ton of candy at Honeydukes, or experience a show of the Tri-Wizard Tournament in the middle of it all
On July 14, 2014 at Universal Studios, they added another Wizarding World of Harry Potter, this time instead of Hogwarts Castle and Hogsmeade, they have Diagon Alley and Gringotts Bank. Inside Gringotts Bank, you can also experience a virtual ride of a lifetime. In Diagon Alley, they have all the shops that are at Islands of Adventure so you don’t miss out on anything but a very cool feature they added is the Hogwarts Express which transfers you from one park to the other. It’s a great opportunity to experience both parks and enjoy the fun. A week after this attraction opened, Universal Studios Japan joined in on the fun and created their own Wizarding World of Harry Potter. That just shows you the success and impact Harry Potter has had all over the world. Most recently though, Universal Studios Hollywood opened it’s doors to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter on April 7, 2016. That’s 5 years after the ending of the series and yet they’re still adding Harry Potter attractions all over the world.
Another cool experience fans of Harry Potter can enjoy is The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour in London, England. I’ve been here and let me tell you, it is absolutely the greatest place on earth. Here you can see all the actual props that they used on the set of Harry Potter. You can go on the actual Hogwarts Express and see the R+L that Lavender Brown wrote on the sliding door. It’s a great experience and very cheap.
Something more recently that shows the relevance of Harry Potter years later is the releasing of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, play and book in the form of a play. Although it doesn’t have all of the characters from Harry Potter, the success of the book and play have been astonishing.
As you can see, and as you probably already know, the world of Harry Potter has extremely impacted the world. In my opinion, what makes this movie and book series so special is it’s not just about magic and creatures, it’s about love, friendship, relationships, heartbreak, betrayal, and imagination. We see the power of friendship with Harry, Ron and Hermione. The fact that at the age of 11, they are willing to risk their lives for each other and that power only gets stronger throughout the years. We also learn about heart break at such young ages in life. With the amount of deaths in the series, it’s surprising that anybody reads or watches it because it breaks our hearts every time we do but that’s what makes it so different from other movies and books. We’ve learned things from Harry Potter that we usually learn in a lifetime. Situations like growing up without parents, losing loved ones at young ages, losing a child, etc. But that’s what makes this series so special, we learn so much from it. We continue to watch and read throughout all of this heartbreak because as much heartbreak there is, there’s that much more love. JK Rowling opened her mind to a world of imagination and shared it with everyone and years later, that imagination has impacted the whole world in a way that other series will never be able to do.