Harry Potter fans can now take a virtual tour of Hogwarts in a new digital simulation presented by Pottermore. Pottermore announced its first-ever Hogwarts Digital Experience, which allows users to visit the famed school and its grounds. Launch of the Hogwarts Experience coincides with the start of the Hogwarts school year, which is September 1st and coincidentally happens at the same time most Americans go back to school as well. Too bad fans can't really enroll in the school to get a degree in wizarding, but that can't be too far off in the future.

A press release from Pottermore announced the news today and the experience is truly a one-of-a-kind Harry Potter experience. Pottermore released a statement detailing the event. It reads.

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"One of the most beloved and iconic settings from J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, can now be visited for free in an immersive digital experience beginning today on pottermore.com."

Visitors will access a first-person "fly-through" experience of three areas: the exterior of the castle, the Forbidden Forest and the Quidditch pitch, but users will not have access to the inside of the school because class is obviously in session now. Can't go around having thousands of people interrupting the school day.

The castle and its grounds are peppered with 'hotspots' or Easter Eggs, which are clickable points that expand to provide details about the magic and mystery of the famous wizarding school that Harry Potter and the gang attended. The statement continues.

"We've seen many interpretations of Hogwarts - from the artwork in the illustrated editions of the books to the eight feature films from Warner Bros.," says Henriette Stuart-Reckling, Global Digital Director, Pottermore. "This new feature on our website marks the first time fans will have the opportunity to explore the famous wizarding school any time, any place and at their own pace. It's a unique, mobile-first experience using bespoke visual assets allowing anyone to "visit" Hogwarts on-the-go."

Though it's a really neat experience, fans will more than likely bemoan the fact that yu can't actually go into Hogwarts. But the experience is free and it is actually really neat, even if you're not a huge Harry Potter fan.

Fans are able to access the site and take the virtual tour of Hogwarts through standard computers, but also smart phones and tablets as well and the experience is great on all three options. The only catch is that you have to be a registered user of the Pottermore site, which is completely free and an incredible resource for everything officially Potter. The tech team behind the experience did an excellent job of creating an experience that will take fans hours to get all of the way through.

Pottermore, the digital publishing, e-commerce, entertainment and news company from J.K. Rowling, is the global digital publisher of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World. As the digital heart of J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World, Pottermore is dedicated to unlocking the power of imagination. It offers news, features, and articles as well as new and previously unreleased writing by J.K. Rowling.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick