Harry Potter Festival 2017

The Harry Potter Festival here in Odense, Denmark, celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. Readers of my blog will already be familiar with the festival and my views on it, so this year I thought, I’d do something new. Instead of reviewing the festival, I’ll give you a complete list of its HP activities, which boasts seventy-two things to do and see this year. Maybe that will wet your appetite a bit. Here goes:

1.      Harry Potter film marathon

2.      International Quidditch tournament

3.      The Leaky Cauldron (play board games while Tom serves drinks in the old inn, but beware, the place is haunted!)

4.      Honeydukes (where you can buy magical candy like Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans)

5.      Madam Malkin’s robe workshop (make your own robe)

6.      Zoo-magical sail in the dark (age 8-15. A sailing trip on Odense river to the zoo)

7.      The Ministry of Magic (Odense Film Workshop showing HP fan films)

8.      Borgin and Burkes (only kids are allowed try the vanishing cabinet, though)

9.      The woodturner’s workshop where you can make your own wand

10.  Professor Snape’s potion workshop and magical creatures (live tarantulas, stick insects etc.)

11.  Find the seven horcruxes (this hunt is organised by the Danish Scouts)

12.  Magical Candy Ballet (The Royal Theatre’s Ballet School performs a ballet about Honeydukes’ candy)

13.  School of Ghosts (Children only. Cuthbert Binns lectures on ghost and you meet ghosts in the streets after dark)

14.  Hagrid tells stories about magic in the Monastery Church

15.  Visit the Gryffindor house (age 8-14, visit the common room, a class room and Dumbledore’s office and get O.W.L.s in reading and writing)

16.  Hogwarts Banquet (at Odense Townhall, Dumbledore and the other professors are hosts at this banquet, where you are to compete to win the house cup. All ages.)

17.  Hogwarts Autumn Ball (HP themed party with dinner and dance as well as a best costume competition. Age 18+ as alcohol is being served)

18.  Harry Pottcast (podcast about the HP books)

19.  Meet characters from the books such as Dumbledore, McGonagall, Hagrid, Voldemort etc. around town

20.  Harry Potter Concert performed by Odense Symphony Orchestra (including performances by “The Academy for Magic Dance” as well as Harry, Ron, Hermione, and others)

21.  The Big Battle (the final battle between good and evil on the town hall square)

22.  “Diagon Alley”, includes: a. Merlin’s Workshop (where you can make wands)

23.  b. Gringotts Wizarding Bank (goblins exchange DDK to Galleons: DDK 50 = Galleons 1.000)

24.  c. Care of Magical Creatures (where you can see live snakes, spiders, toads etc.)

25.  d. Pumpkin workshop

26.  e. Madam Malkin’s Robes and Books for All Occasions (where you can make notebooks and diaries and buy robes and other HP memorabilia)

27.  f. The Mirror of Erised (face paint for kids)

28.  g. Weasley’s Wizard Weezes (magician, games, and surprises)

29.  h. The Clockmaker (display of strange and magical clocks)

30.  “The Magical Market”, includes: a. Another Gringotts Wizarding Bank

31.  b. St Mungo’s Hospital

32.  c. Ollivanders

33.  d. Eeylps Owl Emporium

34.  e. The Daily Prophet

35.  f. Festival photographer

36.  g. Professor Flitwick teaches charms

37.  h. Professor Sprout teaches how to re-pot mandrakes

38.  i. Drawing workshop

39.  j. The enchanted forest for kids aged 2-5

40.  k. Floridor’s Ice Cream Shop

41.  l. Café Hogwarts

42.  “The Forbidden Library”, includes: a. Flying books

43.  b. Poisonous books

44.  c. Mythological animals

45.  d. Toilets haunted by Moaning Myrtle

46.  e. Flourish and Blotts (where Gilderoy Lockhart signs books)

47.  f. Dragon handlers (you can make dragon eggs and get dragon “tattoos”)

48.  g. In the court yard you can see the Whomping Willow and Arthur Weasley’s Ford Anglia.

49.  “Brandts 13”, includes: a. The Fat Lady (you have to guess the password to enter)

50.  b. Hagrid’s Hut

51.  c. The full-grown dragon Norbert/Norberta and her eggs

52.  d. Madam Puddifoot’s Tea Salon

53.  f. HP quiz (where you’ll be rewarded a diploma by Professor McGonagall)

54.  “Magical Brandts”, includes: a. Writing workshop with Rita Skeeter (age 10-14)

55.  b. Visit the Dursleys in Privet Drive

56.  c. Arthur Weasley’s chamber of wonders (exhibition of old cameras, record players etc.)

57.  d. Different photo options (greenhouse 3, fighting dementors, making a feather fly etc.)

58.  e. Make Harry Potter cup cakes

59.  f. Magical jewellery maker

60.  g. Meet a female dragon handler and her Norwegian ridgeback Ronja

61.  h. Learn Defence against the Dark Arts

62.  i. Buy hot potions at Fredo’s Coffee Right

63.  j. Buy butter beer at Café Biografen

64.  k. Yet another Gringotts Wizarding Bank

65.  “The Fairy Tale Garden”, includes: a. Try your hand at quidditch

66.  b. Broomstick workshop

67.  c. Meet real, live owls

68.  d. Cableway across the river

69.  e. Professor Sprout teaches Herbology

70.   “Fantanima Sculptura” includes: a. Divination (have your tealeaves read)

71.  b. Prophesies by Professor Trelawny

72.  c. Workshop where you can paint and make sculptures

As this year’s festival only lasted three days from October 19th to the 21st, I didn’t have time to visit all the places, but even if I’d had more time, age restrictions and my economy prohibited me from covering the whole festival. Had I wanted to try it all, it would have cost me about DKK 2.000 + 270 Galleons, which combined equals about €300 / £260 / $340, meals not included. That is way too EXPENSIVE!!!!

This year I limited myself to only a few things. I watched Slovenia beat Denmark in Quidditch 120 to 60 (other countries playing were Sweden, Iceland, Ireland, Holland, Poland, and the Czech Republic). I visited Brandts 13, Fantanima Sculptura, The Magical Market, Borgin and Burkes, Diagon Alley and Magical Brandts. And I saw the Whomping Willow and Weasley’s car as well as Professor Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, Hagrid, Professor Sprout, Professor Trelawney, Madam Pomfrey, the Fat Lady, Madam Puddifoot, innkeeper Tom, Bellatrix Lestrange and Lord Voldemort. But no Malfoys this year, no Professor Snape, and no George Weasley. I think that’s the first time! I saw Newt Scamander, though, but didn’t get to take his picture. 

Most of the festival was a bit “meh” as usual, but Borgin and Burkes as well as Privet Drive were new, so they were quite interesting. Not as fascinating as the new display of Norbert and Hagrid at Brandts 13, of course, but then again, Brandts 13 is always the best and most magical place to visit during the festival. And I’m not just saying that because I know Professor McGonagall at Brandts 13!

Anyway, see you next year, HP Festival. See you, McGonagall. And see you, reader? I hope so.

© Lise Lyng Falkenberg, 2017