Theme parks break attendance numbers with the promise of “stepping inside” a film’s world. Pop-up “experiences” are a regular part of promotional cycles. All this is accepted in the contemporary media environment—but why? What is the appeal of film tourism, and what can its rise tell us about contemporary fandom? Fan Sites explores why and how we experience film and television-related places, and what the growth of this practice means for contemporary fandom. Through four case studies—Game of Thrones tourism in Dubrovnik, Croatia and Northern Ireland, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks in Orlando, Florida, fandom of The Prisoner in Portmeirion, Wales, and Friends events in the United Kingdom and United States—this book presents a multifaceted look at the ways place and fandom interact today.
Fan Sites explores the different relationships that fans build with these places of fandom, from the exploratory knowledge-building of Game of Thrones fans on vacation, the appreciative evaluations of Harry Potter fans at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, to the frequent “homecoming” visits of Prisoner fans, who see Portmeirion as a “safe vault” and the home of their fandom. Including engaging accounts of real fans at each location, Fan Sites addresses what the rise of fan tourism and places of fandom might mean for the future of fandom and its relationship with the media industry.
“An intriguing entry in the growing field of research on fan media tourism. Waysdorf provides an attentive analysis to the fan pilgrimages embarked on by a diverse set of fan communities. Her conception of each visit as a ‘fan homecoming’ is particularly exciting.”—Maura Grady, author, The Shawshank Experience: Tracking the History of the World's Favorite Movie
“A much-needed contribution to the fields of fan studies and pop culture tourism, Fan Sites provides fresh perspective and analysis to established scholars and postgraduates alike.”—Lincoln Geraghty, author, Cult Collectors: Nostalgia, Fandom, and Collecting Popular Culture