About Harry Potter™: The Exhibition
No matter how amazing you think the collection of memorabilia will be at “Harry Potter: The Exhibition,” chances are good the reality will far exceed your expectations. Not only is the array of costumes, props and scenery hugely representative of the eight Harry Potter films based on the novels by J.K. Rowling, the exhibit itself feels like the experience of walking onto one of the films’ sets.
Upon arrival, visitors are asked to choose whether they would like to be part of Gryffindor™ or Ravenclaw™; after choosing, they receive a scarf and a wand – and a chance to pose for a wizard-y portrait (available for purchase at the end of the tour). A self-guided audio tour offers an introduction and various trivia tidbits along the way.
Volunteers head up to a small dais where the Sorting Hat™ hovers above their heads and selects their Hogwarts™ house, just as it happens in the movies. Then, like magic, a train whistle blows and a wall rises to reveal a replica of Hogwarts Express, complete with mood-setting falling snow. Suddenly visitors are in the Gryffindor Common Room, home to Harry Potter™, Ron Weasley™ and Hermione Granger™, where original artifacts that belonged to the trio in the film series are on display, including Harry’s wand and glasses, Ron’s monogrammed sweater and wool hat, the Marauder’s Map, Hermione’s Time-Turner and sections of the dormitory (beds and all).
In the Potions area, the exhibit includes Professor Snape’s original costume; in the Divination area, guests get the chance to see Professor Trelawney’s exotic wardrobe and gaze into her crystal ball. Artifacts from the Defense Against the Dark Arts include costumes and props from the classrooms of Professors Lupin, Lockhart and Umbridge. And the Herbology classroom scene is modeled after the Hogwarts greenhouse, where guests can pull a Mandrake from its pot to experience the screeching noise the plants make when disturbed.
As an integral part of the Harry Potter narrative, Quidditch™ plays big here. Artifacts include dozens of costumes, the Golden Snitch, the Quidditch World Cup and Harry’s Nimbus 2000 broom. Guests can try their hand at the game by tossing a Quaffle to earn a point for their houses.
Also on display is a replica of Hagrid’s Hut, complete with Buckbeak™ the Hippogriff, a bubbling cauldron and a hatching dragon’s egg. All of the furniture and many of the other items are oversized, so visitors can see just how big they are by sitting in Hagrid’s chair before they move on to the Forbidden Forest, the dense woods on the Hogwarts grounds that are off-limits to students. Fans will recognize the creatures on display: a life-sized centaur, a Hungarian Horntail dragon and an Acromantula.
And don’t worry, Dark Magic elements used by Lord Voldemort™ and his followers are represented, too, including a close-up look at Death Eaters’ robes and masks, a Dementor™, Lord Voldemort’s costume and six of the Horcruxes.
Just before the entrance to the Great Hall, visitors can see an all-new vignette highlighting the epic “Battle for Hogwarts,” which showcases battle-torn costumes for Harry, Hermione, Ron and Neville in a rubble-strewn Hogwarts setting. And finally, the Great Hall area itself features props and artifacts from the Yule Ball – like Hermione’s silk dress and Ron’s dress robes – as well as costumes from Professor McGonagall and Professor Dumbledore. And, of course, there’s the collection of Deathly Hallows (the Elder Wand, Invisibility Cloak, and Resurrection Stone)
The exhibition tour ends up in the gift shop, where guests can peruse a variety of Harry Potter-themed products, ranging from chocolate frogs to wands. The photos taken at the beginning of the exhibit are also available for sale with or without a commemorative frame.
Did you know?
When Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban™ was released in Great Britain, stores were asked not to sell it until schools were closed for the day (to prevent truancy).
Harry Potter, characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s12)
Anyone who even mildly enjoyed the Harry Potter movies will delight in seeing the props, clothing, and scenery from the series’ various films, but the exhibit is prime viewing for those who know every little bit of Potter trivia.
Good for kids?
Kids who are old enough for Harry Potter are old enough for this exhibit – and they will love immersing themselves in the memorabilia and minutiae.
Harry Potter™: The Exhibition at Discovery Times Square Location Information:
226 W 44th Street
New York, NY 10036
A, C, E to 42nd St./Port Authority; 1, 2, 3, 7, S, N, Q, R, S, to Times Sq./42nd St.
About Discovery Times Square
Located on 44th Street in the space that once housed the printing presses of The New York Times, Discovery Center Times Square hosts one-of-a-kind exhibits. In addition to “Harry Potter: The Exhibition,” the center is currently showing “Spy: The Secret World of Espionage,” which includes a behind-the-scenes look at spy technology and hundreds of historical espionage artifacts. Past exhibits include “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition,” “Leonardo DaVinci's Workshop,” “King Tut,” “Pompeii: The Exhibit,” “Dead Sea Scrolls: The Exhibition,” and “Terracotta Warriors: Defenders of China’s First Emperor.”
Strollers, backpacks, shopping bags, and large bags are not allowed in the exhibits, but stroller, coat and bag check are complimentary with ticket purchase. Outside food and beverages are not allowed, but there is a café in the subcellar, where food and drinks are available for purchase. Photography is strictly prohibited.