Gringotts Wizarding Bank to Open at London's Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Jaap Buitendijk - © 2011 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. HARRY POTTER PUBLISHING RIGHTS (C) J.K.R.
Jaap Buitendijk - © 2011 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. HARRY POTTER PUBLISHING RIGHTS (C) J.K.R.

Ever been curious what it would feel like to enter the world's most famous wizarding bank and see all fabulous riches hidden in its vaults for yourself? Now you can! Tickets for Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter are about to get even harder to purchase now that they've announced the opening of Gringotts Wizarding Bank.

The studio tour already features many of the original costumes worn by Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint; props from all the movies; and the full sets of the Great Hall and the Forbidden Forest. Now, the tour will expand to include the 16,500-square-foot set of Gringotts Wizarding Bank, complete with glass chandeliers and the vaults of some of the series' most famous wizards.

Tourists will be able to see the rows of goblin desks and about 210,000 coins made for both of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movies. Fans will also be able to enter Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault, which contains a variety of treasures, including Helga Hufflepuff’s cup. Even the goblin prosthetics will be showcased, including those that Warwick Davis wore as Griphook.

Along with exploring the Gryffindor common room, taking a stroll down Diagon Alley, and riding on the Hogwarts Express, you can now enter the most famous bank in the Potterverse. Though the bank won't officially open until April 6, 2019, you can book your tickets now.

Chernobyl Creator Craig Mazin Urges Visitors to Treat the Exclusion Zone With Respect

Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Following the success of the HBO miniseries Chernobyl, one tour company reported that bookings to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone located in Ukraine rose 35 percent. Now, series creator Craig Mazin is imploring the new wave of tourists to be respectful when snapping selfies at Chernobyl, Gizmodo reports.

A 2500-square-kilometer exclusion zone was established around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant shortly after its reactor exploded in 1986 and flooded the area with harmful radiation. The abandoned towns are still too radioactive for people to live there safely, but they have been deemed safe to visit temporarily with the supervision of a guide.

Chernobyl has supported a dark tourism industry for years, but thanks to the miniseries, photographs taken there are gaining new levels of attention online. News of influencers posing for irreverent selfies at the site of the nuclear disaster quickly went viral. Mazin tweeted:

Regardless of why people are visiting the site, being respectful in the presence of tragedy is always a good idea. It's also smart to resist leaving a tour group to snap the perfect selfie in some abandoned building: Tour companies warn that breaking rules and wandering off approved paths can lead to dangerous radiation exposure.

[h/t Gizmodo]

A Traveling Harry Potter Beer Festival Is Coming to Several U.S. Cities

If you’ve ever wondered what the alcoholic version of a butterbeer would taste like, you’ll soon have the chance to find out. A series of ongoing Harry Potter-inspired beer festivals are coming to cities across the U.S. in the next couple of months.

According to Rock Star Beer Festivals, which is organizing the event, Muggles and wizards alike will get unlimited samples of 20-plus beers. There will be plenty of adult butterbeer to go around, and for more daring souls, there’s Snape’s Lair of Secret Cider Potions. Is it actually cider, or could it be a polyjuice potion? Attendees will soon find out.

In June, the festival will be coming to Fresno, California on June 21 and New Orleans on June 29. In July, it will head to Philadelphia (July 13) and Boston (July 20). Tickets to the festivals can be purchased through Eventbrite or booked on Rock Star Beer Festivals’ Facebook page under the Events tab. Act fast, though, because tickets—which generally sell for $40 to $45 apiece—regularly sell out.

What else can you expect to see at such a magical event? Rock Star Beer Festivals says the venues hosting the festival will be “transformed into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” with guests being transported to the Great Hall, Diagon Alley, and, of course, the Leaky Cauldron. You’ll also get to snap photos with Hagrid and dance to music by the Sorceress Sisters and DJ Dumbledore. Just be careful not to drink and do magic, or you could end up having an accident à la Neville Longbottom.

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