London’s King’s Cross Station will be decked out once again in celebration of Back to Hogwarts this upcoming September weekend. The yearly tradition has Potterheads from all over the U.K and further afield coming together to countdown the departure of the Hogwarts Express at precisely 11am on September 1st.
This year, Wizarding World will be extending the celebration with official events from Thursday September 1st until Sunday September 4th.
Here’s what’s in store for fans this year:
Gryffindors, Slytherins, Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs alike are invited to don their robes, dust off their wands and head to Kings Cross from 09:00am for a morning of fun and must-see live entertainment!
Fans can participate in special Wand Combat workshops (led by Paul Harris, the Wand Choreographer responsible for the instantly recognisable wand combat seen in several of the Harry Potter films) as he teaches prospective Dumbledore’s Army members how to ward off Death Eaters and perfect their best Defence Against the Dark Arts stance.
Following the workshops, the West End cast of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will perform a special version of the popular ‘wand dance’ as seen in the multi-award-winning stage play.
But that’s not all – fans are encouraged to gather and join a live countdown (hosted by some special guests) as the departure board signalling the train to Hogsmeade is lit up and station announcements build in anticipation for the 11:00am departure of the iconic train as it makes its way to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry ready for another year of adventure.
Until the 4th September, visitors to the station will also be able to grab selfies with two one and a half metre tall, giant-scale book replicas of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (featuring Thomas Taylor’s cover art, first published by Bloomsbury in 1997, together with the classic Johnny Duddle special 25th Anniversary edition), as well as pose for photos with impressive LEGO® Harry Potter big builds of the Hogwarts Sorting Hat and Mr Weasley’s blue Ford Anglia.
Here’s a breakdown of the jam-packed #BackToHogwarts (don’t forget the hashtag) weekend:
On the launch day, 1st September, the timings are as follows:
09:00am – Fans encouraged to arrive to soak up the atmosphere, Hogwarts Express video booth and main consumer space opens
10:20am – Main consumer space to temporarily shut for performances and countdown
10:30am – Wand training and performances to begin
10:45am – Fans to gather for countdown
10:59am – Countdown begins
11:15am – Wand dance from Cursed Child
12:00pm – Main consumer space re-opens to the public
Every hour, on the hour and for a duration of 10 mins – Wand choreographer Paul Harris to host wand training classes
5:00pm – Back to Hogwarts event closes
On the 2nd, 3rd and 4th September, the timings are as follows:
09:00am – 5:00pm the main consumer space and Hogwarts Express video booth will be open
On Saturday 3rd September, Paul Harris hosts wand training classes every hour, on the hour and for a duration of 10 mins
Unfortunately we’re not expecting any Fantastic Beasts content or announcement during the Back to Hogwarts celebrations, but if you’re making your way to the event, don’t forget to drop in to the Platform 9 3/4 shop – I hear there’s some beautiful Secrets of Dumbledore merch inside!