What I Love Most About the “Harry Potter” Fandom
The Harry Potter fans are the best fans in the world (maybe a little biased). But what makes us different than any other group of dedicated fans, whether it be Star Wars, Twilight, or Lord of the Rings, is that we’ve literally brought our story world to life. Here are the top five ways:
Thanks to Middlebury College, we now have the ability to play Quidditch in reality (though we aren’t able to play by flying on brooms, yet… the kinks still have to be worked out). From the very first game to the present day, the now Muggle sport (yes, sport) of Quidditch has evolved. We have an International Quidditch Association (the IQA), hundreds of teams spanning the world, and hardcore fans, as any recognized sport has. We’ve adapted the game to Muggle capabilities. A Snitch is now a person dressed in yellow with a tennis ball tied around their waist. We still use brooms but on a much smaller scale, same with the hoops. We even have the Quidditch World Cup annually along with many other Quidditch Cups around the globe. Having worked World Cup V in New York a few years back, I’ve seen the magic first hand. Everyone needs to go to at least one Quidditch game in their life.
2. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
I cannot even describe to you (if you have never been there) the feeling you get as you walk through the archway into Hogsmeade. You are literally walking into Harry’s universe. You can have lunch at the Three Broomsticks, which is absolutely delicious. You can shop at Honeydukes, where candies of every color you can imagine draw your eye. You can purchase a novelty toy to earn Fred and George’s envy from Zonko’s Joke Shop, including the famed Fanged Flyer. You can buy chocolate frogs, wands, pygmy puffs, Sneakoscopes, Remembralls, etc. You can ride the Dragon Challenge, the line you wait in being located in the Triwizard Champions’ tent. You want to go in a thousand different directions at once, and you end up cursing your Muggle body for being unable to do so.
3. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
Located in England are the actual sets and animatronics of the Harry Potter realm used in the films, and you can actually walk through them. You can walk through Diagon Alley and see Buckbeak turn his head. Although technically defined as an exhibit, those who have gone have described it as anything but. My friend has had the privilege of experiencing the tour, and when I asked her about it, the joy in her eyes was undeniable. Like at the Wizarding World, here Harry’s universe is brought to life in front of your own eyes.
Maybe slightly silly, but I think these are important. Butterbeer, treacle tarts, cauldron cakes, pumpkin juice… all aspects of the Harry Potter world that we, the fans, have taken upon ourselves to reproduce in the Muggle world.
5. We’re Not Done!
With the Wizarding World in Orlando getting ready to open up its expansion (with a Hogwarts Express ride to transport you between both of the parks), Universal Studios Japan set to open its own Wizarding World, and Universal Studios Hollywood in the planning stages, we continue to transpose the magic of Harry Potter into reality.
These are the things that make us, the Potterheads, unique. We have turned our fantasy into reality. Other fandoms can read and watch their alternate worlds. We get to live in ours.