Giant Wizarding World wands honor 20th anniversary of first ‘Harry Potter’ film

by Samantha Davis-Friedman

Lumos! As excitement builds for the 20th anniversary of the U.K. release of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in the U.S.), nine giant Wizarding World wands will illuminate London’s Leicester Square, where the film premiered in 2001.

Wizarding World wands
Photos courtesy of Discover Leicester Square

“Leicester Square has played its part in the Wizarding World legacy by hosting premieres for the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films over two decades,” said Warner Bros. Country Manager U.K. & Ireland Polly Cochrane. “We are […] thrilled to unveil the Wizarding World Wands […] to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ being released in U.K. cinemas and look forward to next year’s release of ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.’”

Standing fifteen feet tall and spanning a nearly 60-foot walkway, the wands are exact replicas of those belonging to nine of the most beloved characters in the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises, including Harry Potter, Newt Scamander, and Professor Dumbledore (AKA “The Elder Wand”) as well as “He Who Must Not Be Named,” Lord Voldemort. All nine wands will be illuminated Oct. 13-25, 2021 from 6 p.m. until 8.35 p.m. every evening, and will perform regular light shows to music from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films.

Harry Potter statue

The Wizarding World wands join the boy wizard and eight other bronze statues — including Mary Poppins, Batman, and Wonder Woman — in the award-winning “Scenes in the Square” installation and are also part of “Inside Out Festival,” a brand new free festival that will run to the end of October to bring art, entertainment, and culture outdoors to the streets of Westminster.

Platform 9 3/4 trolley
Photo courtesy of Wizarding World

The official 20th Anniversary of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is on Nov. 16, 2021, and will be celebrated with special screenings of the movie across the U.K. and Ireland beginning Oct. 29. Other celebrations include a tour of the Platform 9 ¾ Trolley, which will be installed at train stations in Edinburgh, Birmingham, Cardiff, and Belfast.

Following a nationwide vote on the wands’ next destinations, they will tour four U.K. cities leading up to the Apr. 8, 2022 release of “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” with Hull, Stoke, Reading, and Birmingham each displaying the wands for a week beginning in March.

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