Collectibles, apparel, and costumes are great ways to bring your favorite fictional characters to the real world—but now, fans can actually experience the fantastic worlds of their favorite superheroes, wizards, and cartoon characters in person.
Harry Potter fans can show their love for the wizarding world with hundreds of products, but what if you could actually warm up inside the Three Broomsticks and slurp down a sweet and creamy butter beer? You can—and it’s magical.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products creates immersive, real-world experiences for their fans to enjoy on a global scale. From massive theme parks full of thrilling rides, to unique exhibitions and lively concerts, Warner Bros. pulls out all the stops to give fans one-of-a-kind experiences that connect them closer to their favorite fandoms.
“Themed experiences are an impactful touch point for fans to interact with the brands they love on a deeper, more emotional level,” says Peter van Roden, senior vice president of global themed entertainment at Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “By remaining faithful to the core values of a franchise and staying in touch with our consumer, we’ve been successful in delivering authentic experiences that resonate with our fans on a visceral level.”
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida lets Potterheads explore Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley, and even Hogwarts itself. From Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans to Quidditch supplies, so many details fans know and love from the films and books are on display to enjoy, experience, and even bring home.
“Authenticity is paramount when creating a new experience,” van Roden explains. “We work tirelessly with filmmakers and our partners to deliver best-in-class products that accurately represent our characters and stories. There is no better example of this than The Wizarding World of Harry Potter—Hogsmeade at Universal Parks & Resorts, which set a new standard for theme park immersion and authenticity.“
And, just like the stairs at Hogwarts, the park is always changing. In 2019, fans will experience a brand new attraction that is, according to Warner Bros., “one of the most highly themed coaster experiences” they’ve ever created. The ride is said to feature new levels of storytelling, adventure, and surprises.
We’re going to the theater
So many iconic Warner Bros. films feature enchanting original music. From the eerie rise and fall of the violin in the Harry Potter theme song to the twinkling tunes of the flute throughout “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket” in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, these memorable sounds shape the films we love. Mega fans can enjoy a night at the theater watching their favorite films play out on a giant screen, while a full orchestra plays the songs that set each scene live in concert. These engaging live events bring the magic of the films to life, giving fans a new way to enjoy their favorite flicks in an immersive, sensory overload.
Last fall, fans of Willy Wonka enjoyed a sweet treat with Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory In Concert at the Hollywood Bowl. Not only were the songs from the original 1971 film performed live by a full orchestra, but guest stars also turned out to perform their favorite tracks, including John Stamos, Elle King, and Weird Al Yankovic. Concertgoers even received scratch-and-sniff golden tickets to cap off the candy-filled experience.
In partnership with CineConcerts, Warner Bros. also presents fans with a Harry Potter Film Concert Series, with more than 900 performances in 48 countries from 2016 through the end of this year.
While these immersive events cater to fans of these franchises, even those who have never seen Willy Wonka or a Harry Potter film can enjoy the CineConcerts.
“We are storytellers at Warner Bros.,” says President of Warner Bros. Consumer Products Pam Lifford. “Whether the content is new or familiar to a consumer, our experiences are so rich in storytelling and detail that we are able to simultaneously reach new audiences and entertain existing fans.”
Of course, Warner Bros.’ fan service doesn’t just take place in the U.S. Fans worldwide can experience the DC Comics universe, the fun of Looney Tunes, and so much more thanks to international exhibitions and theme parks.
DC Exhibition: Dawn of Super Heroes ran in Paris and London, giving European fans access to more than 200 original comic pages and 45 original costumes, models, and props used in the iconic superhero films.
Harry Potter: The Exhibition popped up in Madrid, Boston, Toronto, Seattle, New York, Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo, Paris, Shanghai, Brussels, and The Netherlands; showing off dramatic displays inspired by the films, along with costumes, props, and creatures.
And, there’s a new theme park in store highlighting lots of Warner Bros. favorites. Warner Bros. partnered with Miral, Abu Dhabi’s creator of destinations, on Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, a 1.65-million-square-foot indoor theme park that will feature six immersive lands, including DC’s Metropolis and Gotham City, Cartoon Junction, Bedrock, Dynamite Gulch, and Warner Bros. Plaza. The brand new, fully immersive park will open on July 25.
“Our aim is to provide fans around the world with an opportunity to engage with our brands on an experiential level, which is why our portfolio spans from theme parks and live shows to exhibitions and seasonal activations,” says van Roden.
From permanent fixtures to touring exhibitions to limited seasonal events, Warner Bros. gives fans more options than ever before to make fiction a reality.