When things became too grim in the Harry Potter series, the characters could always count on Fred and George Weasley to lighten the mood. Fans were excited to see the actors who played these mischievous twins, James and Oliver Phelps, in the reunion special entitled Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts. It was a nostalgic reminder of who these characters had been to audiences and how the actors brought those qualities to life.
Of course, the legacy of the Weasley twins was their massively successful joke shop, Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. Every fan knows that the shop was first established in Diagon Alley in Harry’s sixth year at Hogwarts. However, there may be several things that only the most devoted fans remember about the Weasley business. Between how the twins originally got their start, what types of items they sold, and the real-world version of the shop in the Wizarding World theme park, there may still be plenty about Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes that fans want to know.
Harry Paid For Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes’ Start-Up
Throughout Goblet of Fire, the Weasley twins worked hard to secure funds to get their business up and running. They had already started inventing and testing their products, but they would need money if they wanted to make their dream a reality.
While the Harry Potter movies left out this detail, the start-up investment for the business came from Harry himself, who didn’t want to keep the prize money from the Triwizard tournament. Harry later worried that he had made this decision too rashly, as he feared the business put them in even more danger from Death Eaters, but the twins proved that the world desperately needed that laugh.
The Product Labels In The Movies Took Six Months To Design
A lot more goes into movies than viewers often realize, and the few moments that Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes was shown in the film required a considerable amount of work. According to Insider, it took graphic designers six months just to create the various product labels seen throughout the shop.
Miraphora Mina is the co-founder of the graphic design firm, MinaLima, who was hired to work on Halfblood Prince. She told Insider that the team had to get into the mind of teenage business owners and design the loudest, most colorful labels that they could come up with. The result was the exciting variety of products that perfectly represented the Weasley twins.
Ron Took Over Fred’s Place As Co-Manager
One of the most devastating losses of the Harry Potter series was Fred Weasley. The twins were two people that never should have been separated, but the Battle of Hogwarts ensured that things went a different way. Fred’s death in Harry Potter hit audiences differently, however, when they remembered that this meant George would return to Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes is a solitary business owner, something he never expected to be.
However, the book Quidditch Through the Ages by JK Rowling revealed that after two short years working as an Auror with Harry, Ron decided to join George at the shop and become co-manager. While “Weasley’s” Wizard Wheezes was initially meant to mean the twins, Fred likely would have been happy to see his little brother take his place as another Weasley in the business.
Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes Sold Cosmetic Items
Fred and George knew that they needed to appeal to more than just the jokesters to achieve success. So they decided to produce a line of products called “WonderWitch,” which would include a wide variety of products aimed specifically toward witches.
Most fans will be familiar with the powerful (and problematic) love potions that customers can purchase from this line, but the twins also developed magical cosmetics. These included “Ten Second Pimple Vanisher” and “Everlasting Eyelashes,” and several serums and creams meant to glamor a witch into looking better.
Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes Produced Muggle Trick Items
In Half-Blood Prince, Harry noticed a shop section that seemed considerably less popular than the rest. The twins explained that this section included several Muggle trick items they had found and replicated. These included the kind of trick decks, wands, and hats that anyone could find in a real-wold magic shop and proved to be uninteresting to bosses that possessed real magic.
Fred and George revealed they had created this line for those who had a fascination for Muggles, like their dad. Realistically, the twins likely knew that very few other witches or wizards had the same interest as Mr. Weasley, but it’s very sweet that the heroic side characters of Harry Potter thought of their father while designing their products.
Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes Offered Discrete Owl Delivery
Fred and George were no strangers to breaking the rules at Hogwarts, and even after they left the school, they made sure to continue to cause us much mischief as possible at the castle. The twins knew that their products would be banned at the school, as they had already made waves the year previous. To solve this problem, they came up with ways to allow students to receive their products without getting caught.
With select products, Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes will disguise things like love potions as tonics or medicines allowed in the building. This way, when packages are searched, students don’t end up with their purchases confiscated. This made Fred and George unpopular with Harry Potter prefects like Hermione but solidified them as a great business for regular students.
The Ministry Commissioned The Shop For Defensive Items
Fred and George may not have been the most powerful wizards in fiction, but they were geniuses when it came to invention. While they typically put this skill into creating prank items and adorable pets, they also made several practical products. For example, knowing that many witches and wizards were no good at casting protective charms, they made hats, gloves, and other items that could generate a shield around the wearer.
With the dangers of the war becoming more apparent, the Ministry of Magic itself decided to commission the boys for hundreds of these items to protect their staff. This led the twins to further explore this avenue, developing items designed to fight the Dark Arts, which the Ministry would quickly buy out. This proved that their skills for mischief were far more useful than Mrs. Weasley ever thought they would be.
Fans Can Visit Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes In The Wizarding World Theme Park
Fans of Fred and George and Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes can do so much more than visit the shop in their imaginations. In Diagon Alley in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios theme park, a real-life version of Fred and George’s store is available to explore.
The emporium is hard to miss, as it is right near the entrance to Diagon Alley, and features the 20-foot Weasly brother at its front, just like in the movie. Fans can enter and purchase Pygmy Puffs, Cycling Dolores Umbridges, Boxing Telescopes, and more.
Many Weasley Items Were Made Into Real-World Magic
Just like the fictional version of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes had the genius inventors Fred and George to fill its shelves with magical items, the real-world version of the shop needed inventors to replicate the products for the Universal Studios theme park.
Maria Kazaros is the senior buyer for the Universal Orlando Resorts’ merchandise team (via On The Go in MCO). Before opening Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, her job was to dive into the Harry Potter series, find magical products, and find ways to make them work in the real world. This includes Marauder’s Maps that will reveal their secrets with the tap of a wand, Skiving Snackboxes, working Extendable Ears, and several other items from the series requested explicitly by fans.
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