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article imagePromo train for new Harry Potter film rolls into Lyon, France Special

By Michael Cosgrove     Jun 12, 2009 in Entertainment
The Harry Potter promo train is called the Hogwarts Express. It contains costumes used in the latest Harry Potter film as well as artifacts. The train is doing a tour of France right now to promote the film. Here’s what it looks like. All aboard!
The celebrated Harry Potter saga continues its triumphant run. Potter’s adventures, created by Scottish writer J.K. Rowling, have been read all over the world and the 7 books written up to now have sold more than 400 million copies and have been translated into many languages.
The latest film will be on your local cinema screen from July 15th. Called ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,’ it shows every promise of being a blockbuster, just like the others.
Potter wasn’t here in Lyon himself today of course, but that didn’t stop thousands of people visiting his train to get a glimpse of what's to be seen in the next film. From 6 to 60, all age groups turned up to walk through the three carriages of a specially fitted out train in order to see first hand the weird and wonderful objects on display.
Here’s the queue to get on the train. I had to wait half an hour. Still, entrance was free.
But the wait was worth it, if only for the smiles of the hostesses you see at the top of the page. I asked them in French if they were French. “Sure we are” they said in unison in their thick Baltic, probably Polish, accents. They will surely be Spanish next week, but that’s showbiz!
The first thing you see once inside the train is a Harry Potter costume, of course.
Harry Potter train  Lyon France
Harry Potter train, Lyon France
Michael Cosgrove
Harry Potter film costume
Harry Potter film costume
Michael Cosgrove
As you continue down the corridor, with costumes and objects on both sides, it’s difficult to make progress because so many people, me included, are taking photos of most of what they see. That means a lot of things.
These books are from the school library.
Harry Potter library books
Harry Potter library books
Michael Cosgrove
But school isn’t just about work of course, it’s also about candy. Here’s the candy Potter and his friends eat. My favourite? Glow in the Dark chewing gum. I’ll pass on the Fanged Flyer Cake though, green not being my favourite cake colour.
Harry Potter candy
Harry Potter candy
Michael Cosgrove
Still, some like it hot. Here’s Weasley’s Puking Pastilles. Although I do like the colour here, a chocolate bar would probably be more to my taste.
Harry Potter Puke Pastilles
Harry Potter Puke Pastilles
Michael Cosgrove
Coinciding with the film’s release will be that of a new video game, named after the film. I wasn’t allowed to take a picture of the screen, but as you can see here, it looks like a lot of fun. All I can tell you about it is that it involves zapping lots of weird creatures. So, if zapping weird creatures is your bag, this video is going to be a must for you.
Harry Potter video game
Harry Potter video game
Michael Cosgrove
More costumes from the film, and this fancy dancing number belongs to Luna Lovegood. This outfit attracted a lot of attention and photos from visitors. You get the impression that she'll be getting a lot of attention in the film too.
Harry Potter  Luna Lovegood  costume
Harry Potter 'Luna Lovegood' costume
Michael Cosgrove
Here is Lavande Brown, in a slightly more conventional sort of funky librarian kind of number. I do like the deep colours of the skirt, but it’s not quite my style. I prefer my skirts knee-length. And aren't pleats last year?
Harry Potter  Lavande Brown  costume
Harry Potter 'Lavande Brown' costume
Michael Cosgrove
And so, after three carriages of creepy music, excellent lighting and super-happy squealing kids, it’s back out onto the platform. I wanted to ask some children what they thought of it all, and who should I meet but little Grace, slightly bigger Rosie, and their father, Bob. As the t-shirt says, they’re from Texas, more specifically Austin, Texas.
Bob  Rosie  Grace  from Austin Texas
Bob, Rosie, Grace, from Austin Texas
Michael Cosgrove
Grace thought the train was “interesting” and Rosie found it “cool.” Bob? He found it nice too. He, like Grace, likes the first Potter film best, but he admits that « I didn’t get to see them all. » Rosie like the second. She says there was “Less of a long introduction.” I must say I agree with her. Anyway guys, have a nice time in France and enjoy the upcoming film!
I was getting hungry after all that activity of course. And so what do (big) kids do when they like Harry Potter trains and they get hungry and they’re downtown with some pocket money? Well, they get a McDonald's. And that’s precisely what I did. Big Mac with fries and ketchup, and looking forward to the film..
And I'll bet Harry Potter likes McDonald's too..
Big Mac and fries  Lyon France
Big Mac and fries, Lyon France
Michael Cosgrove
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