Opening Ceremony Reveals North American Wizarding School Details and More!

Jan 29, 2016

Posted by: Katie Eller

Contests, Conventions, News, Pottermore

This evening, A Celebration of Harry Potter 2016 officially began with a crowd of fans and a spectacle of film stars and studio representatives at the Opening Ceremony, which can be seen below.

The ceremony started with a tribute to the late Alan Rickman, featuring scenes from his performance as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films and a photograph of fans raising their wands in his honor at the Universal Orlando Resort earlier this month.

After a short montage film highlighting key events in the history of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks, the host began introducing the speakers and exhibits at A Celebration of Harry Potter 2016, beginning with the annual Expo.  This year, fans in attendance will have a chance to win book prizes from Scholastic: the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, a boxed set of the Harry Potter books, or a Harry Potter coloring book.

Harry Potter: The Exhibition representative Eddie Newquist then invited Matthew Lewis onstage to reveal the next city on the Harry Potter: The Exhibition tour.  Brussels, Belgium will host the exhibit beginning June 30.  Lewis said, “It means a lot to us to be able to travel to other countries. It’s a great experience…I’m sure that Brussels will be outstanding as well.”

Newquist and Lewis also announced that a contest will be held to find a special Pottermore Correspondent to travel to Brussels with a friend!  This winner will have control of a film crew and broadcast news of the Exhibition opening.  “Their interviews and experiences will be featured on Pottermore for the rest of the world,” said Matthew Lewis.  (Details of the contest will be on Pottermore soon.)

Then, Evanna Lynch was invited onstage by Pottermore representative Henriette Stewart-Reckling to read the latest writing from J.K. Rowling, just now published on Pottermore! There are ten wizarding schools around the world besides Hogwarts, and Lynch read a part of Rowling’s descriptions of the Brazilian school (Castelobruxo), Japanese school (Mahoutokoro), and African school (Uagadou).  Lynch also named the North American school, Ilvermorny!

Finally, all of the other Harry Potter film actors present were introduced: Katie Leung, Matthew Lewis, Bonnie Wright, and Rupert Grint.  They led the fans in casting lumos maxima to close the ceremony with a fireworks display set to music from the Harry Potter films.

The Opening Ceremony set the stage for more big announcements sure to come!


The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.