July 20, 2011

Have you seen it yet?

It really was a treat to see Harry Potter in London on opening night. The theater was enormous and absolutely packed. We arranged a babysitter for Oscar, Betty and June at the hotel, and took the 3 older kids, plus our niece Zella, who is staying with us for a couple of weeks, to the 8:15 showing.

The crowd clapped and hooted throughout. And when Harry mentioned Kings Cross station, they cheered!

Our assessment of the movie: we loved it. It felt like a fitting end to the series and made us want to read the books again asap. It has also left us a bit Potter obsessed. As soon as we got back to the hotel, we were looking up behind the scenes footage and re-watching the earlier movies. And since we’ve arrived home, it has been non-stop magical dueling, using paint brushes as wands. Alohomora! Stupefy! Expelliarmus!

We had to make a rule yesterday that there were no spells allowed during dinner. : )

Are you into it? Are your kids old enough to be interested yet? What did you think of the movie?

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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jennifer July 20, 2011 at 5:37 am

It has been the same here at our house with my son and daughter. Earlier this year we saw The Sorcerer’s Stone and ever since our house has been enamored by Harry, Ron and Hermione. The kids are requesting Harry for their bedtime book and in the morning they are trying out new spells with their wands (chopsticks), playing a game of Quidditch or fighting over who should play Draco Malfoy. The movies and now the books have really set there imagination soaring. Last friday, after we dropped the kids off at camp, my husband and I went to a 10:30 showing of Deathly Hallows Part 2. (The kids are still a bit too young to see it in the theaters). We thought the movie was great as well – a fitting end for Harry and his friends. It is nice to know that even though the movies are now complete, we can always go back to Hogwarts in our Imaginations.


2 Kari July 20, 2011 at 6:11 am

I took three of my kids (10, 13, 15) to see the movie yesterday and we all loved it! My 15 year old daughter is now crushing on Draco Malfoy. I even have to admit that I cried a little bit in several parts of the movie. It was a fitting ending and since we never read the entire series of books, we are now all wanting to. It must have been a real treat to get to see the movie in London, how exciting!


3 Design Mom July 20, 2011 at 7:13 am

Totally, Kari! I couldn’t believe how much I cried. I started when the teachers began protecting the school.


4 Destri July 20, 2011 at 6:21 am

I am such a potter dork :). I have yet to get a chance to see the movie, we can’t find a babysitter! You’re on vacation in London and can find one; I’m at home and can’t…maddening! I have been tempted to drop the kids at a friends for a few hours during the day and just not tell the hubby I went without him, then see it twice :).
Have you heard of the new website pottermore? It launches the end of July sometime, and there is a video on the website with JK Rowling talking about it. Follow the owl!
I can’t wait to read the series with my kids!


5 Design Mom July 20, 2011 at 7:13 am

If it helps, I found my babysitter by tweeting it out. : )


6 Michelle July 20, 2011 at 6:26 am

I have been smitten with Harry for quite some time! And it has definitely started to rub off on my 3 year old. We only watch the first couple of movies, since I think he is still a little young for the other ones. I really hope that he loves the books too. We are planning a trip to the Magical World of Harry Potter in October and I know he will want a real wand. My husband and I went to the midnight showing here and loved it!! I am sure that it was beyond incredible in London though!
Mischief managed~


7 Anna July 20, 2011 at 6:30 am

I loved it! My friend, Kathleen, and I always see the movies together (she has to fly to get here!) and we made a weekend out of it! We went to see Harry Potter, The Exhibition in NYC, tried several different recipes for butterbeer and saw the movie twice! I’m ready to read all of the books again! How lucky you saw it in London!


8 Design Mom July 20, 2011 at 7:14 am

I’ve never thought to try making butterbeer. What a fun idea! Is it like rootbeer?


9 Lisa July 20, 2011 at 9:17 am

I think it’s a combination of root beer and cream soda.


10 Bri July 21, 2011 at 5:59 pm

At the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, the butterbeer is apparently more like a glass full of melted butterscotch candies (so says Ryan Marshall of Pacing the Panic Room in his review of the park). I’ve yet to get there myself, and am consistently tortured by it, since I live close enough that I have to drive past the Hogwarts castle en-route to my nearest Whole Foods. To make the torment worse, I considered going to the midnight showing of HP7p2 at Universal Studios, but decided against it since I had to work the next morning. Come to find out, they granted admission to the HP park to all the movie goers immediately following the movie!


11 robyn July 20, 2011 at 6:33 am

we’re planning to go this thursday with my brother-in-law and oldest niece. i’m so looking forward to it. we tend to go to the movies about twice a year—once for the new harry potter movie, and once for the new pixar movie—so this is a special treat. not sure what we’ll do now that we’re done with the series. i guess we just wait for those hobbit movies to come out!


12 Alissa July 20, 2011 at 6:37 am

My kids are not old enough yet for HP but I go and see every movie with two good friends at an old theatre in DC. So fun. But opening night in London? That is awesome.


13 Design Mom July 20, 2011 at 7:14 am

What a fun tradition, Alissa!


14 Bonnie July 20, 2011 at 6:57 am

I’ve enjoyed Harry Potter since the very first book. I saw the movie this weekend and it was great. How cool to see it in London!


15 Janssen July 20, 2011 at 7:35 am

We went to see the movie opening night and I really enjoyed most of it, but I thought the reworking of the final scenes was weak. The books were, as usual, far superior.


16 Lori July 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Totally agree…book’s ending was fantastic, movie’s was anti-climatic.


17 Barchbo July 20, 2011 at 7:52 am

I am so boring! I just read the books!

Seeing Harry Potter in England as a family will be such a great memory for your kids – I love that! Plus, I like to see movies in foreign countries – it’s fun to see the differences in something so ordinary!


18 Kim July 20, 2011 at 8:00 am

My house has also been nonstop HP since coming home from the movie. And, I too, got teary eyed when the teachers started protecting the school. Love McGonagall!! Have you guys been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando? We went this year and all I can say is WOW! It is such an authentic replica and the butterbeer is yummy. A truly magical experience for HP fans.
Btw, I love living vicariously through you on your adventure in France. What a dream!


19 Design Mom July 20, 2011 at 8:12 am

I’ve never been, but I bet my kids would love it!


20 annabelvita July 20, 2011 at 8:08 am

How did you get tickets for Leicester Square on opening weekend? We were going to see it at the Imax but it sold out within minutes so we ended up in Wimbledon. I still loved it though. McGonagall made me cry, as did Harry’s Mum. It was so good.

My favourite Harry Potter in London landmark is the platform 9 and three quarters barrier at King’s Cross. So much fun!


21 Design Mom July 20, 2011 at 8:13 am

We didn’t do anything special for tickets, just bought them online a couple of weeks ago. But it wasn’t an IMAX theater, so maybe that made it easier. Who knows?


22 MrsF July 21, 2011 at 7:27 am

The last Harry Potter movie I saw (seems like forever ago now!) was at the IMAX cinema in Birmingham, UK and it was a-ma-zing to watch it like that. I really did feel like I was in the movie – it was such a thrill!!! Sadly, my daughter is too young to watch the movies and I’m sooo not ready to leave her with a babysitter just yet. I guess I’ll just have to wait ’til it comes to Sky Movies :(

King’s Cross holds a special place in my heart because it was part of my daily commute to work.

What a wonderful treat for you all, Gabrielle! I’m so jealous – I haven’t been able to make it to London in over a year and I live in the UK!!


23 Wendy of Wendys Hat July 20, 2011 at 8:18 am

I too did a Harry Potter post. My daughter learned to read very young from the first book and we’ve been addicted ever since. When each movie comes out we rewatch all previous ones. We always attend the midnight opening premiere where everyone comes dressed up! Excellent movie! Harry Potter did so much good for children all over the world, sparked so much imagination in everyone and brought so many people together. Only sad part is that with it being over my daughter said that her childhood is now ended. That is all she knew. How fun for you. We actually had wished that we could have flown to London to be at that premiere.


24 Jennifer July 20, 2011 at 8:40 am

We love Harry Potter! But for some reason, the movies aren’t as appealing to me as the books (which I have read many times). I think I am too much of a purist and hate when things get changed. My 7 year old is so obsessed right now. We are in the middle of reading book 6 to her. She loves everything related to HP and wants to be Hedwig for Halloween. (I’m trying to slow down reading so we don’t read the first part of Book 7 before then.) And she is really upset that we have only let her watch the first 3 movies so far.


25 Lauren July 20, 2011 at 9:41 am

Oh, the idea of your daughter finding out about what happens to Hedwig just made my heart sink. :(


26 Andrea July 20, 2011 at 8:41 am

I have been a Harry Potter fan since the first book came out. I remember hearing a story on NPR about this new unknown author and her book that was becoming a hit. I went out right away and bought the book for my husband and we’ve been hooked ever since. I cannot wait to see this last movie (soon as we can get organized to get a babysitter!), and am beside myself with excitement to share the books with my children! Our son is 6, and just about ready i think, yay! :) By the way, i love that you have a niece named Zella! We named our 2 year old daughter Zella, its such a great name :)


27 Rebecca - A Daily Something July 20, 2011 at 8:45 am

I was going to ask how you found your babysitter, but saw you tweeted about it. Were you worried about that?? How were you convinced the babysitter was safe?


28 Design Mom July 20, 2011 at 8:52 am

Good question, Rebecca. Here’s how it worked for me. About a month ago, I tweeted out something like: Hey Londoners! I’m looking for a sitter on Friday night, July 15th. Know anyone patient, trustworthy and reliable?

I received several responses from people I knew personally, or had worked with online. They were people who lived in London and knew babysitters they used themselves.

From there, I figured out who was available and then started emailing directly with the babysitter.

To me, it was like having a friend recommend their favorite sitter to me, so I wasn’t too stressed about it. Although, it’s always a bit unnerving to use a new sitter for the first time.


29 Josephine July 20, 2011 at 8:55 am

My two daughters (ages 13 and 15) and I have all read the books many times and have also seen the movies. The books are the best, btw! Anyway we are planning to see the movie when we visit my sister next week in NYC. We can’t wait!! Also, a trip to the Harry Potter theme park is in the works for 2012. We don’t want the magic to end!!


30 Corrie Anne July 20, 2011 at 8:57 am

So cool. I’m not really into HP, but I think it would be great to see it in London. I LOVE being in enthusiastic audiences. And it sounds really fun to enjoy as a family.


31 Alicia W. July 20, 2011 at 9:00 am

I still have not been able to see it! I am hoping for this weekend…

I love the books, so it’s always interesting to see how the movie measures up to my expectations.


32 Jessica July 20, 2011 at 9:07 am

my husband and I saw it this past weekend. our kids, 5 and 3 are way too young for it…but the best part of that was leaving the movie (sad it was over) and then realizing we get to do it all again in a few years!! i thought this movie was the best of the lot. really, really great. we laughed and cheered and i cried 2 or 3 times. heh. oh harry! so cool you guys saw it IN London. wow


33 Catherine July 20, 2011 at 9:11 am

I have to admit that I loved it so much that we went again to see it the next day and that I read parts of the books in between…

Can’t wait to introduce the books to my son when he gets older!


34 Design Mom July 20, 2011 at 10:27 am

I love seeing a good movie two days in a row!


35 The New Diplomats Wife July 20, 2011 at 9:15 am

one day your kids are going to tell people that they lived in france…and that their parents drove them to london…to see a movie…pretty neat.


36 Lauren July 20, 2011 at 9:39 am

Oh, wow! Were the seats assigned? That’s sort of cool….it makes it seem more like a true, theatrical appearance. And how great that you were able to get child care for your little ones to go! I adored it, and I too started crying when the teachers began protecting the school — especially Professer Mcgonagall! — and when Harry’s parents came back to him, and about a hundred other times. I’m excited to see it again soon.

The fact that I read the first book when I was thirteen years old and the final movie came out on my twenty-eighth birthday just felt like a wonderful culmination of something that’s been a special part of my life and my growing up years (and a great birthday gift from the good people at Warner Brothers!).


37 Tanie July 20, 2011 at 10:03 am

I love Harry Potter, the books and to some extent, the movies. My daughter is nine and has only recently become interested in them, so we’ve been reading a chapter or two together at bedtime (reading one chapter out loud takes about half an hour O___o). It’s been great sharing them with her, and when we were reading the chapter in Prisoner of Azkaban where Gryffindor wins the Quidditch Cup she was clutching at the blankets and she told me she “felt like [she] was really there!” I can think of no higher praise!


38 Debi July 20, 2011 at 10:26 am

What fun memories… and isn’t that what it’s all about? I saw a posting on Instructables about how to make an AWESOME Harry Potter wand from paper and a glue gun… VERY cool! If you look it up, make sure to check out the author’s bio! http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-an-awesome-Harry-Potter-wand-from-a-sheet-of-/

Again, more memories! :-)


39 NolaLeBlanc July 20, 2011 at 10:28 am

I love Harry Potter! My kids are way too little to introduce them to the series yet. One of my big Hurricane Katrina losses was my entire collection of hard-bound Harry Potter books. It made me sad, and I still have not replaced them. I used to reread the entire series every time a new book was released. I can remember waiting obsessively for each new title. I’ve watched most of the movies. Reading these posts makes me want to go back and reread all of the books and watch all of the movies again before going to see HP7P2.


40 Design Mom July 21, 2011 at 3:04 am

Oh man! That is such a loss.


41 Amy P. July 20, 2011 at 10:41 am

My husband put together a magical week leading up to our date to see it, full of clues and surprises. It was so much fun! I was especially impressed since I’M the Harry Potter fan. He’s never read one of the books and has only seen one movie all the way through, so his efforts were even more impressive! http://allhale-amy.blogspot.com/2011/07/potter-heads.html



42 Design Mom July 21, 2011 at 3:04 am

What a great guy!


43 MorticiA July 20, 2011 at 10:42 am

We don’t have children, but we are smitten with Pottermania. Now that we’ve seen the final movie, we’re hoping to take some friend’s children to see it again. That way we do a favour for friends, and don’t feel too guilty about paying to see the movie again. We do love the movies, but were a little sad that Kreacher’s change of heart wasn’t shown in the movies. I would have liked to have had them show that people can change, if you treat them well and show them kindness.


44 Cris Marsh July 20, 2011 at 11:00 am

Loved the movie! I clapped several times during the movie (my husband thought I was silly) and got teary eyed as well. I was sad to see the series come to an end.


45 Jody July 20, 2011 at 11:29 am

My 6 year-old son has been Harry Potter obsessed for the past nine months or so. There was a period of about three months during the middle of Kindergarten were he signed all of his papers with the last name “Potter” instead of his own last name. He also told me he couldn’t wait until he is eleven and he gets his letter to Hogwarts. Hopefully by the time he is eleven he will be over the obsession and not be devasted that he doesn’t get one.

We only took our 8 year-old son to see the movie because our condition for seeing the movie was that he had to have all of the books read this summer (and he finished the last one just in time). The best part for me was watching him watch the movie. He was so excited during some parts (to be at the theater watching one of the movies–he’s only seen the rest at home on DVD) that he was literally jumping up and down in his seat.


46 Design Mom July 21, 2011 at 3:05 am

We were discussing that at our house too. There is a generation of kids who grow up hoping for a letter from Hogwarts at 11. So bittersweet!


47 Lee July 20, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Mine are a little young to see it in the theater. We’re listening to the first one together on audio. Since all the books and movies are already out, we’re trying to think of ways to make the anticipation of each book and movie special for the kids.


48 Michelle July 20, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I love me some Potter!

I was nine days overdue with my first pregnancy when book 7 was released. So on the evening of its release, July 21st, 2007, I of course couldn’t sleep so I was happy to finally have something as fun as Harry Potter to take my cares away.

I have this vivid memory of myself sitting in a rocking chair, the gigantic hardbound book resting on my huge tummy and feeling my first contraction and then thinking, “Is this it?” and looking at the clock (it was just after 1am). I wasn’t able to finish the book before heading to the hospital, but it was happily read within the week.

Thank you Jo Rowling for starting my labor!

I do love the series, but I finally re-read all seven books a few months ago, between Part 1 and Part 2 films. Oh wow. It was so different reading the books from a mother’s perspective! It was night and day. Final side note: my husband was in London this week and also saw Harry Potter Part 2 there. I was so envious! Glad you all could do it – something this epic will remain a memory to your entire family for years to come.


49 Elizabeth July 20, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Saw it last night. Loved it! It took me many years to get interested in Harry Potter but I am so glad I did. These last few movies were so epic. I am excited to share them with my future kids. And maybe one day I will pick up the books and give them a shot.


50 Design Mom July 21, 2011 at 3:06 am

I hope you do, Elizabeth! The books have so much detail that you can’t fit into a movie.


51 shannon July 20, 2011 at 4:13 pm

My sweet 7 yr old son read all 7 books this past spring and finished Deathly Hallows last week. Great film! We loved all of them, except 6…


52 shannon July 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm

ohhh…i forgot to mention that we are having a wizarding birthday party in october. im going to knit him an invisibility cloak with thin yarn and giant needles!


53 Lori July 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Loved it, loved it, loved it. Re-reading book 7 is on my to-do list…so many details I’ve forgotten!
We have a family rule that you have to read it before you can watch it, so only one of our kids has been able to see it with us so far. Her brother is frantically making his way through book 5 (a monster–so long!), hoping to finish the series before it leaves theaters.


54 Evie July 20, 2011 at 6:42 pm

How perfect to see the last HP in London! I have been a huge Potter fan for so long! My husband and I are planning to see it later this month when we have a babysitter. It will be our first official date night since having our son and we can’t wait!
I also can’t wait until our little one is old enough for HP so we can read them together.


55 Design Mom July 21, 2011 at 3:07 am

Sounds like a perfect date!


56 Nikki July 20, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Totally into it. We went to see it opening night at the Ziegfeld Theater in NYC and had a similar experience. I also really enjoyed it and thought they did a great job. It has left me with Potter withdrawals knowing there will be no more… no more books and no more movies. My husband and I often discuss why this happens, and we have come to the conclusion that we can never be satisfied at the end of the day because we will never be Harry Potter or Hermione and we will never go to Hogwarts. But we love it and I will probably let my kids read them all when they are older.


57 Design Mom July 21, 2011 at 3:07 am

I think you’re right, Nikki.


58 Gandhali July 21, 2011 at 12:08 am

I’m such a Potterhead. I’m the same age as most of the actors from the movies, so I can say that I’ve pretty much grown up with them : ) Harry was my best friend through thick and thin…


59 Jeudi July 21, 2011 at 12:38 am

We went to the London premiere and it was absolutely amazing. A once in a life time experience. I am glad that you are enjoying the special features/enhanced content… My husband is the producer.


60 Carole July 21, 2011 at 10:11 am

Haven’t seen it yet. We’ll wait for the fervor to die down a bit first.

Seeing it in London would indeed have been exciting!


61 Melissa Yoder July 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

London on opening night…..wow. Lucky gal!! The movie was amazing and emotional and intense and I loved it. I wish it were an hour longer!


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