(This is some of my old writing I wanted to share. Written April 6, 2013)
TIMES SQUARE,NEW YORK, NY- Wizards, witches, and fans show their reserved tickets at the Discovery Museum in Times Square, to learn what they can about what went in to filming the Harry Potter series. Harry Potter: The Exhibition was in its final weekend, and packed to full capacity.
The journey inside the replicated Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry began with the sorting hat ceremony. The hat chooses which Hogwarts House you belong in; Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slythrin. Three children volunteered to try on the sorting hat and see what house they would fit in to. Two were chosen for Gryffindor, and the other was sorted into Ravenclaw.
After the sorting hat ceremony, two huge doors lead into a hall with framed posters from all eight Harry Potter movies. The posters transform into screens, each showing different scenes from the Potter films. A secret wall then opens up, and after passing the Hogwarts Express train, you enter the school common rooms and dormitories.
Props, furniture, and costumes from the film are displayed as you walk by. The picture frames and [paintings actually move. Items from Harry’s glasses to Fred and George Weasley’s map are easily recognized by the fans. The dormitories held the beds, trunks, candy, school supplies, and robes of the beloved characters, Don’t bother trying to enter the Gryffindor main common room. The Fat Lady portrait cares more about her singing then letting anyone enter.
Once the dormitories are explored, class is in session. Props from charms, transfiguration, defense against the dark arts, potions, and fortune telling surround this part of the exhibit. As the classrooms move into the school grounds, join Professor Sprout’s herbology class. Be careful pulling a mandrake from her garden. They have a piercing scream!
Hagrid’s Hut is the perfect place to learn about magical creatures, like the hippogriff Buckbeak. Go through the backdoor, and a quidditch match is about to begin. Think you got what it takes to play the game? Throw a quaffel through the hoops and score a few points.
Have your wand prepared while entering the dark forest. Giant spiders, dragons, dementors, and other dangerous creatures lurk about. He- who- must- must- not- be- named and the dark wizards from Azkaban might be hiding in the shadows, prtecting the holcruxes.
The journey through Hogwarts ends at the Great Hall. Floating candles light up the ceiling. Dresses and suits from the ball in The Goblet of Fire are displayed beautifully. Dumbledore and McGonagall’s wands are at the front of the hall. Dobby the house elf is around making sure everything is in order. While leaving the hall, check out Dumbledore’s phoenix rise from the ashes.
The gift shop is awesome for a souvenir. House merchandise, owl stationary. Get a wand or some sweets like chocolate frogs and every flavor beans. Robes, ties, shirts, costumes, books, hedwig plushies, and books are sold here too. Its like a compact version of Diagon Alley.
Dupont, part of team Ravenclaw, loved the costumes, and was really surprised by how small the dormitory beds really were. “They look so much bigger in the films,” Dupont recalls. “It really surprised me.”
Riesebeck is a Hufflepuff fan all the way. When asked which character from Harry Potter he would like to interview if given the opportunity, he answered; “Professor McGonagall. I would have said Dumbledore, but I feel like he might confuse me with a riddle or mixed message.”
Undecided between Gryffindor and Slythrin, Bischoff was surprised most by the amount of wands displayed in the exhibition. “You really don’t notice how many wizards there are in the movie until you pass all the wands in each display.” She said. “I lost count.”
All three agreed with the books sort of being similar to the movies. Whether it was the books, movies, or the curiosity of magic, Harry Potter: The Exhibition is really an experience for the magical wizard in all of us.
Photos: Rosa Elena Oliveras