This month is the birthday of an unassuming boy named Harry who wears glasses, has a lightning shaped scar on his head and once lived in a cupboard under the stairs.
Harry Potter is the star of a series of books that were initially targeted at tweens, but soon became popular with adults and kids of all ages. Over the years as the series became popular, bookstores began holding events to coincide with the released date of the newest one; often they were held at midnight and attended by kids and adults alike. It became a highly successful movie series as well culminating in June of 2010 when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter came alive at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Florida.
The stories were spun by a young single mom living on welfare. J.K. Rowling created a magical realm that exists at the same time and place as our own. It begins with baby Harry being dropped off at his Aunt’s home after his parents have been killed by the evil wizard, Lord Voldemort. When we next see him, Harry is an outsider in his Aunt and Uncle’s home; they don’t even plan on celebrating his July 31st birthday. When he is 11, he learns of his background and goes off to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It is not until he meets Hagrid, who gives him is first birthday cake, and his soon-to-be best friends Ron and Hermione that he finally feels at home.
Voldemort not only killed Harry’s parents but tried to kill Harry as well; the evil wizard is almost destroyed in the process but is able to cling to life using his dark magic. We are left to wonder why Harry survived and we find out eventually (spoiler alert) that it was his mother’s love that saved him, something that Voldemort cannot understand and eventually leads to his ultimate demise. Love and friendship are important in the world of Harry Potter, which is one of the reason the stories resonate with so many people. As the series progresses, Harry is able to defeat Voldemort in several battles – and eventually conquer him — through the love and help of his friends and family.
Hogwarts is an impressive castle described in detail by J.K. Rowling in the books and it is magnificently presented in the films. The designers at Universal worked closely with both the author and the movies’ production designers when creating the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The result is a magnificent structure – both inside and out – that makes visitors feel as if they have stepped into the pages of the book or into the movie. All you are missing are Hogwarts robes, which you can order right now from us!
To get to Hogwarts, Harry had to take the train at platform 9 ¾. Muggles (the wizard term for non-magical folk) couldn’t see the platform or get on the train in the movies or books, but they can at Universal. The Hogwarts Express runs from the new Diagon Alley in Universal Studios to the previously existing Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Diagon Alley is a street that is the center of the wizarding world in London, but it cannot be seen by Muggles. At Universal, however, visitors can walk through as if it really existed. One of the main attractions is Gringotts Bank, where Harry, Ron and Hermione rode a dragon to escape from the minions of Voldemort. Visitors to the park can take an exciting roller coaster ride through the bank and its lower vaults full of tricks and traps. It’s a great place to celebrate Harry’ birthday!
If you are not going to Universal, you can immerse yourself into the world of Hogwarts with help from our Harry Potter costumes, accessories and props. Our selections include Hogwarts robes, ties and scarfs, dementor costumes, Voldemort mask and robe, wands, brooms, a sorting hat, a Hogwarts banner, a white owl and more.
How will you celebrate the birthday of the world most famous wizard, Harry Potter?