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Harry Potter Fans Take To The Seas

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Imagine over 600 Harry Potter fanatics, dressed in their finest wizard robes and brandishing magic wands, descending upon a modern luxury liner. That will be the scene later this year as Whimsic Alley, in association with Princess Cruises, hosts its first annual Wizard Cruise.

The four-night California Coastal cruise aboard the Golden Princess will depart Los Angeles on November 27. It marks a first for both Princess and Whimsic Alley. Never before has such a lavish adventure been offered to members of the Harry Potter fan base.  

Whimsic Alley's Los Angeles facility has been a premier destination for Harry Potter fans worldwide since it first opened eight years ago. Locals and tourists have likened its avenue of intricately designed shops—featuring wands, quills, witches' hats, curios, wizard jewelry and apparel—to Harry Potter's Diagon Alley. The Great Hall at Whimsic Alley has been the site of hundreds of parties, teas, balls, banquets and luncheons.

The idea of a Wizard Cruise has been a long-time dream of Whimsic Alley's creator, Stan Goldin. Each year the "Alley" has conducted summer day camps for kids and a 4-day intensive camp for "so-called" grown-ups. "There are a lot of fan-cons and symposiums around the world each year for Harry Potter enthusiasts," said Goldin, referring to the types of events that feature discussion panels, art exhibits, and meetings. Such events are extremely popular among the Potter fandom. "Those fan-cons are terrific, but our camps are very different. We fully immerse our campers in the wizard-world experience. For the entire time they're with us, they become students at a wizarding academy, subject to the challenges and ordeals inherent in that experience."

Whimsic Alley plans that same type of full-immersion experience for participants of the Wizard Cruise. "Guests will be entertained practically around the clock," said Event Coordinator Belinda Ervin. "They'll be overwhelmed. They literally won't know which way to turn." Asked about specific activities they are planning, Ervin was deliberately secretive. "We've found that part of what makes the experience fun is the element of surprise, so we don't like to give away too much information ahead of time."

Goldin stated, "We've been soliciting ideas from our fans since last year and have tried incorporating as many of their suggestions as possible. We're proud to be able to offer this trip on the Golden Princess. We consider Princess one of the world's finest cruise lines." Hundreds of people, from all over the world, have expressed a strong interest in being part of the Wizard Cruise. The price of the cruise starts at $650 per person and includes food, lodging, entertainment and activities.

For details about what promises to be a truly "magical" expedition, call Whimsic Alley at 310-453-2370, extension 407, follow Whimsic Alley on Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/whimsicalley), Twitter ( https://twitter.com/whimsicalley) or visit www.WhimsicAlley.com. Answers to frequently asked questions can be found at http://www.whimsicalley.com/CruiseQuestions.htm.

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