“Harry Potter” Attractions: Reopenings and Mask Relaxations

After over a year of living with COVID-19, the world is slowly beginning to reopen, and luckily for Harry Potter fans, there are some exciting changes underway. 

In England, after several delays, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter has reopened for the first time since December. It is welcoming back visitors with the popular Celebration of Slytherin, which first ran last year. Visitors will be greeted by a sea of green Slytherin banners in the Great Hall and will be able to see several original costumes that belonged to the likes of Draco Malfoy and Lord Voldemort. 

It’s not all back to normal, though. Safety measures at the Studio Tour include reduced capacity, the requirement of all visitors to wear face coverings, and mandatory check-ins on the NHS COVID-19 app or preregistration via email.

 

 

The General Manager at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Geoff Spooner, has discussed his delight at welcoming visitors back.

We are extremely excited to be welcoming visitors back to the Studio Tour. The measures we have in place ensure visitors will have both a safe and [a] magical experience as they walk in the footsteps of the filmmakers who brought the Harry Potter films to life.

 

Props in Gringotts Wizarding Bank being prepared by an Interactor

Props in Gringotts Wizarding Bank being prepared by an interactor at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

 

Fans in England will also be pleased to hear that Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature at London’s Natural History Museum has reopened after opening very briefly last December before England went into a national lockdown.

The easing of restrictions means it has been allowed to reopen with safety measures put into place, including the mandatory wearing of face coverings when inside the museum, social distancing, extra cleaning, and hand sanitizing stations.

The exhibition, which has 120 exhibits, including the Dracorex hogwartsia dinosaur, Nifflers, and Bowtruckles, celebrates Muggle scientists who have discovered creatures within the Muggle world.

Clare Matterson CBE, Executive Director of Engagement at the Natural History Museum, discussed how the animals from our world have influenced the creatures within the wizarding world.

At the heart of this exhibition is a celebration of all the fantastic beasts we have the privilege of sharing our planet with, and the very real threats they face. Visitors will leave with a renewed love of the wonders of nature, and a revived urgency to help protect it.

 

Staff at the Natural History Museum, London, preparing the exhibits

Staff at the Natural History Museum, London, preparing the exhibits

 

In other news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidance for people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

People two or more weeks past their final vaccination don’t need to wear masks or physically distance when private, local, state, and federal rules permit.

On top of this, following the decision made by Orange County, Florida, to get rid of temperature checks and reduce to 3 ft physical distancing, Universal Orlando Resort has announced it has relaxed some of its protocols, which since reopening last summer, have required both staff and guests to wear face coverings at all times.

The changes include allowing guests to remove their masks when they are not indoors or in line for an attraction. This has led to visitors flocking to Universal Orlando Resort for a day of fun, and the Harry Potter section of Universal’s Islands of Adventure has contained a very crowded mixture of people, both with and without masks on.

 

Crowds flocking to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort

Crowds flocking to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort

 

The reopening and relaxation of the rules at these attractions is an exciting prospect! Do you feel ready to start going out again for Harry Potter-filled adventures, or will you be staying in the comfort of your own home, for now, rewatching the Harry Potter series for the 19th time since the pandemic hit?

 

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Grace Hurley

I'm an animal-loving Ravenclaw with a Masters Degree in Writing and a passion for the Harry Potter universe since the age of five.

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