Setonian goes to Hogwarts

Students looking to put a little magic into their lives need not look far: “Harry Potter: the Exhibition” is now open at Discovery Times Square.

The exhibition features a collection of various props from the seven “Harry Potter” films and lets fans immerse themselves first-hand into the magical world of the Harry Potter Universe.

Guests start their adventure with a pre-show of a sorting ceremony where volunteers are sorted into the Hogwarts houses of either Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin. The ceremony is complete with a replica of the iconic Sorting Hat and voice-overs from the films. However, this Hat is not quite as expressive as the one in the films, since it lacks, well, a face.

After sorting, guests are led into another room where they watch a montage of footage from the existing Potter films. Here, the wall rises, revealing the Hogwarts Express and leading fans into the rest of the exhibit.

The remainder of the exhibition leads viewers through places that, until this point, had only been seen in movies. Starting in the Gryffindor Common Room, guests explore Hogwarts’ classrooms, a Quidditch Pitch and the hut of Hagrid, the Keeper of the Keys and Gamekeeper. Fans also get to experience the darker side of the films through a trip to the Forbidden Forest as well as a scene that is dedicated to the dark forces Harry constantly opposes. The walk-through ends with the Great Hall before eventually leading patrons into the gift shop.

The exhibition allows guests to get up-close-and personal with hundreds of artifacts from the movies. In the Gryffindor Common Room, fans can see the Time-Turner, which any Harry Potter fan would know played an integral role in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” as well as the costumes actually worn by the actors during filming.

Patrons also get to see items like Potter’s broom, wand and glasses as well as life-sized models of mythical creatures like Dumbledore’s phoenix Fawkes, Dobby the House Elf and Buckbeak the Hippogriff. There are hundreds of other props at the exhibitions, all of which were used in the films.

Each scene immerses fans in a different aspect of Harry Potter’s world. In Hagrid’s cabin, for example, everything is built to suit his half-giant stature, and spectators are invited to sit in his more-than-oversized armchair. On the Quidditch pitch, you can take your turn as a Quidditch player and toss a Quaffle into rings to earn points for your house, while in the Herbology classroom you are invited to pull a shrieking Mandrake from its pot.

For an added fee, fans can opt to take an audio tour and learn more about what went on behind the scenes during the production of the film. The audio tour features commentary by David Heyman, the producer of all the Harry Potter films, and wardrobe designer Jany Temime, among others.

Discovery Times Square is the last stop for the exhibition in the United States before it goes international. Tickets cost $25 per person and are on sale now. They can be purchased online at DiscoveryTS.com, at the Discovery Times Square box office (226 West 44th Street) or by calling (866) 987-9692. The exhibition will run until Monday September 5.

Alyana Alfaro can be reached at alyana.alfaro@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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