No Time-Turner Required: Relive Back to Hogwarts 2020

It was an unusual Back to Hogwarts celebration this year, with Wizarding World Digital hosting all the action online in response to the coronavirus pandemic. If you didn’t catch all the festivities from the weekend and September 1, you can explore the magic below.



Friday, August 28

Stage Choreography with Cursed Child’s Steven Hoggett

The first day of the Back to Hogwarts celebration gave fans a glimpse into the choreography of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. In a video on Wizarding World Digital (available until September 4), movement director Steven Hoggett can be seen leading rehearsals for the suitcase sequence that occurs on platform nine and three-quarters and the infamous wand dance. The short video follows Hoggett taking the movement sequences from the rehearsal studio to the stage.


Saturday, August 29

Harry Potter Film Concert Series: Around the World at Home

Members of orchestras from around the world joined together for this Back to Hogwarts treat. With no live concerts currently taking place, musicians picked up their instruments and donned their Hogwarts robes to play some of the most well-known themes from the series. Seven orchestras from different locations each took on one of the seven Potter movies. 

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - London, United Kingdom
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - New Jersey
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Manila, Philippines
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Phoenix, Arizona
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Melbourne, Australia
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 - Perth, Australia
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 - Denver, Colorado




Bertie Bott's Challenge

Who can resist a challenge, even when that challenge may leave your tastebuds feeling worse for wear? The cast of Cursed Child San Francisco, that's who! 

John Skelley (Harry Potter) and Lucas Hall (Draco Malfoy) took it in turns to taste a Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Bean and guess its flavor. Many beans later (including vomit and rotten egg flavors), Skelley was pronounced the winner.




Illustrating Quidditch Through the Ages with Emily Gravett

The creative mind behind the illustrated edition of Quidditch Through the Ages, Emily Gravett, talked fans through the process of bringing Quidditch to life.




Virtual Viewing of "The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle"

Universal Studios Hollywood helped fans celebrate in the festivities over the weekend by sharing "The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle." This magical light show honors the magic of Hogwarts, paying tribute to all four Houses and alluding to Harry's adventures during the series.




John Skelley Gets Sorted

John Skelley returned to help wrap up a magical Saturday! After years of thinking that he was Gryffindor, Skelley used the Wizarding World app to find out his Hogwarts House, and all was not as it seemed...


Sunday, August 30

Journeys to Hogwarts: Immersive Audio Experience:

Using the latest acoustic techniques, Pottermore Publishing has created an immersive soundscape of some of Harry's journeys back to Hogwarts. With music composed by James Hannigan and the expertise of sound technicians at Molinare, snippets of Potter audiobooks will transport listeners to platform nine and three-quarters.

The soundscape is currently available to listen to until the end of September, so head to Wizarding World Digital or Spotify to listen!


Learn Wand Choreography with Paul Harris

Paul Harris, the choreographer of the battle scenes in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, taught viewers five core wand combat moves from the Gringotts set at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter.




An Art Lesson from Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells

Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells is a highly anticipated game for Potter fans and game fans alike. While the game isn't with us just yet, art directors Zak Pytlak and Tiffanny Tan from Zynga showed fans how to draw the Hogwarts Express pulling away from platform nine and three-quarters.




MinaLima Reveal Their Magical Secrets

Magical graphic design duo Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima revealed the secrets behind their specially commissioned Back to Hogwarts print. The MinaLima team has also just moved to new premises in London, so if you're nearby, be sure to check it out!


Tuesday, September 1

Back to Hogwarts Global Celebration 2020

Fans from across the world joined together to catch the train at 11 a.m. from platform nine and three-quarters. The 54-minute livestream, hosted by the Harry Potter Fan Club, featured cameos from a number of Wizarding World alumni. James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley) dropped in on the fun, as did Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Bonnie Wright, and members of different Cursed Child casts from across the world.

During the livestream, fans were able to submit their photos to be part of the Back to Hogwarts magical mosaic. If you didn't get to join the livestream, don't worry! Photos can still be submitted until Friday, September 4.


Although not a usual Back to Hogwarts celebration, the fact that this year’s festivities were online meant that fans all over the world could take part. Whether fans were in London, UK, or Sydney, Australia, they could get involved in celebrating the start of the school year in Hogwarts style.

What was your favorite moment from the Back to Hogwarts celebrations?


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Lucy O'Shea

I was given a copy of Philosopher's Stone in 2001, and instantly, I was hooked. Since then, my passion for Potter has been equaled only by my passion for fair access to education (and watching motorsport). A spell I wish could exist in the Muggle world is the summoning charm because this Hufflepuff is not a "particularly good finder"!