"The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" theme park at Universal Orlando in Florida.


Mr. RonPrice
After the success of the films and books, Universal and Warner Brothers announced they would create "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" theme park at Universal Orlando in Florida. A soft opening was held at the end of March 2010, with the park opening again on 16 June 2010 for reserved guests. The park was officially opened to the public on 18 June 2010

Expressions of concern about the Harry Potter books seem to have spanned the time period from 1997 through 2007 as I was retiring from (a) the world of employment after 32 years as a teacher and another 18 as a student and (b) the world of very active engagement in Baha’i community life. There was a concentration of concerned expression in the years 2000 and 2001 just after I retired from my last full-time job as a teacher in Australia. The most likely explanation for this “panic peak” is that 2000 was the year that the first three books in the Harry Potter series became widely available through the American publishing company, Scholastic Books, followed by the release of the fourth book in the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. In 2001 the first feature film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was released. The general social and international political climate leading up to the events of 9/11 in 2001 may have also contributed to this slight peak in the Potter Panic since it is not unusual for moral panics to erupt during troubled times. -Ron Price with thanks to E. Goode and N. Ben-Yehuda, Moral Panics: The Social Construction of Deviance, Blackwell, Boston, 1994.

During that cultural mass phenomenon(1) and (2)
of the age, the age of the years of my retirement
from the world of jobs, nose to the community
grindstone---although it was not really as bad as
that----J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter book series
was not something I was into, as they say. It was
the subject of both praise and controversy. Potter
Panic was generated by groups and individuals in
the Christian Right, casting the literary wizard and
his creator as some kind of socio-moral folk devils.
It was not surprising that the moral panic took hold
most strongly in the United States where a Christian
Right tends to be the strongest, much more influence
than here in these secularized Antipodes where I have
lived and had my being these last forty years since 1971.

(1) and (2) The seven-book Harry Potter series claimed eight spots on the USA Today bestseller list according to J. Chan, “Harry Potter books claim eight spots on bestseller list.” Christian Today, August 2007.(1) While the feature films, based on the books, have also been widely successful, each drawing over $200 million in the United States and over $750 million worldwide.(2) –Ron Price 29/6/’10 with thanks to (1)
http://au.christiantoday.com/ and (2) www.boxoffice mojo.com.