Today, on Harry Potter’s birthday, the Wizarding World announces the return of the inaugural Back to Hogwarts celebrations, alongside a search for the UK’s most enthusiastic Harry Potter fan to lead the Hogwarts Express’ departure countdown.
Having begun as an organic fan celebration, each year on 1st September, Back to Hogwarts is recognised as one of the biggest days in any Harry Potter fan’s calendar – marking the moment when wizards and witches board the Hogwarts Express on Platform 9 ¾ at 11.00am for a year of magical adventure at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Dressed in their finest cosplay, thousands of fans from all over the world make the trip to London’s King’s Cross station each year with even more coming together online to raise their wands for the countdown and share their love of the stories.
Bringing Gryffindors, Slytherins, Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs together, this year the spellbinding celebrations are bigger than ever with the launch of a UK competition for one lucky fan aged between five and seventeen years old to get the chance to travel to King’s Cross station and help host the iconic countdown on the station concourse on 1st September. The competition is now live and young wizards and witches wishing to enter can submit a video (via their parent or guardian) of their best countdown online by 11.59pm on 7th August.
The magic doesn’t stop there! This lucky winner, plus a parent or guardian will get the chance to pack their trunks once again to come back to the capital with a complete package of Harry Potter experiences. The ultimate Harry Potter London Breaks Experience gives this fan the opportunity to discover the filmmaking magic of Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter and see the critically acclaimed stage production, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. To top it off, the winner will receive an incredible merchandise bundle from the Harry Potter Shop. Full details on prize entry can be found here.
In addition to the countdown, from 1st September until 3rd September an exciting array of magical experiences awaits at King’s Cross station as fans will get the chance to sip on Butterbeer, play Hogwarts Legacy on PlayStation®5 courtesy of Warner Bros. Games, and enjoy LEGO® Harry Potter giveaways and photo opportunities. Additionally, in celebration of the publication of The Harry Potter Wizarding Almanac, fans will also be able to spin Bloomsbury’s giant wand spinner and find out whose wand they are best suited to, with free gifts up for grabs for those taking part. The celebration extends beyond the station, with special Harry Potter screenings in theaters worldwide, including the UK, US, and Australia. More locations, including Barcelona and Madrid, will be announced soon.
Pam Lifford, President, Global Brands, Franchises and Experiences, at Warner Bros. Discovery, said:
“Back to Hogwarts is a day cherished by Harry Potter fans of all ages, from all over the world. Just like their passion for the magic of the stories, their celebrations grow every year! 2023 is set to be a year like no other – we will see fan world record attempts in Germany, high octane quiz competitions in France and of course, the UK’s search to find the perfect person to join that amazing countdown. We are so proud to offer new and exciting ways to bring fans together and give them new ways to celebrate the Harry Potter magic – there’s nothing quite like Back To Hogwarts!”
About The Competition
Parents and guardians can enter their child by 7th August to help lead the Hogwarts Express’ departure countdown at 11.00am on 1st September 2023 at King’s Cross station and win a bundle of Harry Potter prizes.
The Wizarding World is searching for an enthusiastic, confident young fan to lead all the young wizards, witches and Muggles in the countdown moment. For the opportunity to lead the countdown, the parent or guardian of the applicant must send a video lasting no longer than 20 seconds, counting down from ten, showing how they would lead the Hogwarts Express’ departure countdown.
Entrants must be based in the UK and Northern Ireland, aged between 5 and 17 years old, and details for entering the competition are detailed at https://www.wizardingworld.com/terms/back-to-hogwarts-2023-uk-countdown-competition-terms
Entries must be sent via email to BackToHogwarts@premiercomms.com and must be sent via a file sharing platform such as WeTransfer or DropBox.
The opportunity to enter opened at 12.00am on 31st July and will close at 11.59pm on 7th August. The successful applicant will be informed by 18th August.