REVIEW: New ‘Harry Potter’ Immersive Experience Gives a Taste of the Parks in the Big City

Harry potter the exhibition
Credit: Harry Potter: The Exhibition

Ever wish that you could have the Parks experience while at home? Luckily for me and my fellow New Yorkers, we now have that.

Living in New York City has many perks for any Disney and Universal fan. We have total access to an incredible assortment of Broadway shows like¬†The Lion King, Aladdin,¬†and¬†Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.¬†This newest attraction is truly the cherry on top of NYC’s already massive cake.

Harry Potter: The Exhibit in NYC opens to Guests today, May 19. Luckily for me, the Disney Dining team was invited to see the press experience a day early.

Harry potter the exhibition photos

‘Harry Potter: The Exhibition’ Hits the Ground Running in Manhattan

For me, this Wizarding World exhibition felt like a perfect blend of a museum and an attraction. Die-hard fans of the movie will melt over an incredible assortment of costume and prop pieces, while Parks fans will appreciate the interactive elements of the attraction.

Harry potter the exhibition

When you first arrive at the exhibition, you are met with a massive assortment of merchandise in the lower lobby. Nothing besides a few t-shirts is exclusive to the exhibition, but still, this is by far the largest Harry Potter merch store in the city. I did, however, feel like there was missed opportunity to have Butterbeer frozen or on tap (they only had the bottled kind.)

Harry potter the exhibition Merch

Once you are ready, you will head upstairs via the escalator to enter a room full of kiosks. Here, you will scan a wristband to create a customized profile. You will pick your preferred house, patrons, and wand. These choices will help guide you throughout your experience in the exhibition and allow you to earn points for your house.

Harry potter the exhibition1

Entering the Exhibition

Once you have entered the exhibition, you will head out on a self-guided tour through the many themed rooms. There are certainly some attraction-like elements, but none that truly compete with anything available in the Orlando or Hollywood Universal Parks.

What was incredible was the massive amount of costumes, props, and set pieces you could look at up close.

Harry potter the exhibition costumes

There were also plenty of mini-experiences with authentic props along the way that could earn your house points.

Harry potter the exhibition

These included choosing a wand, making a potion, getting a fortune, pulling a mandrake, playing ‘Quidditch,’ and recreating the Battle of Hogwarts.

Harry potter the exhibition madrake

These were definitely entertaining and certainly added a park-like element.

My favorite part of the Exhibition was the set recreations. Things like Hagrid’s Hut, Umbridge’s Office, Harry’s under-the-stairs room, the Hogwarts Classrooms, and the Great Hall all standouts.

Harry potter the exhibition great hall

Make Your Way to Herald Square

Harry potter the exhibition hagrids hut

While I wouldn’t say it competed with the Universal Theme Parks, this exhibition is definitely an incredible addition to NYC. The pop-up is in Herald Square at 50 w. 34 Street. Tickets will start at $29 for adults. This is a touring exhibition, so you never know if it will be in your city soon!

About Eva Miller

Eva was born and raised in the beautiful state of Oregon but has since relocated and lives in New York City. Since she was young, Eva has loved to perform in musicals, especially Disney ones! Through performing, Disney’s music became the soundtrack of her childhood. Today, Eva loves to write about all the exciting happenings for the Walt Disney Company. In her free time, Eva loves to travel, spend time in nature, and go to Broadway shows. Her favorite Disney movie is 'Lilo and Stitch,' and her favorite Park is Disney's Animal Kingdom.