For $74.99 a year (£59.99), Harry Potter fans can get a new video series, discounted merchandise, special events, and all seven books in the main series. The offering, from Warner Bros. and Pottermore, is a premium addition to the Wizarding World app that launched in August. It’s called Wizarding World Gold.
From a quick glance at Wizarding World Gold’s offerings, it’s likely that Warner Bros. and Pottermore, author J.K. Rowling’s company, want to mirror the success companies like Disney have found with their own membership programs. Disney’s D23 membership, which gives people access to exclusive things, is a big part of Disney’s relationship with its fans. The annual subscription even spawned an entire three-day biennial convention that attracts the same Hollywood star power San Diego Comic-Con boasts, and tickets are often sold first exclusively to D23 Gold members.
Disney and Harry Potter seemingly have one major overlap when it comes to their fans: dedication. Much like how Disney can use its membership to bolster additional attention and excitement for many of its divisions (theme parks, studio movie releases, its new Disney+ streaming service), Rowling and Pottermore can use the subscription package to drive traffic toward theme park attendance and stage plays.
Just take a look at some of the key discounts for Harry Potter fans. Being a Gold member provides people with discounts at “Wizarding World.com shop, Platform 9¾ store in London’s King’s Cross Station, and Warner Bros. Studio Tour stores in both London and Hollywood,” plus a Harry Potter vacation package at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida.
Still, $75 is on the expensive side of annual subscriptions — especially for people who might not be interested in the IRL aspects of Harry Potter fandom. The subscription also comes with a couple of new video series based around interviews with craftspeople and curated behind-the-scenes content.
Warner Bros. and Pottermore are including a personalized interactive journal with each subscription, too, leaning hard into the swag factor. Swag, of course, being an important facet of fan culture. The journal, seen below, comes embroidered with members’ names, signage of the Hogwarts house they were sorted into, and additional passages that are personalized for each person. There are “enchanted keys” spread throughout the pages that people “can scan with [their] Wizarding World app to unlock hidden secrets,” according to a press release. The journal’s keys will be updated every month to offer new artwork, and activity prompts for people to scribble down.
Wizarding World Gold memberships are available to preorder now. Each order comes with an exclusive collectible pin. Gift subscriptions will also be made available in the months to come.