A Day with Harry Potter

Quidditch costumes worn in the movies.

Yesterday I ventured into NYC to catch Harry Potter: The Exhibition on its last weekend in the US.  While I wasn’t as bowled over as I had expected, I’m glad I went.  If nothing else, it reinforced my hatred of crowds and waiting in general and my belief that people from certain parts of Europe do not really understand the concept of a line.  And lines there were!  Outside the building was a half-block long line.  Then, once inside and upstairs you waited again.  After they herd you back downstairs you wait on a squiggly line.  Then, before you enter the Exhibit, you wait on yet another squiggly line.

The beds, trunks, and some clothing for Harry Potter and Ron Weasley.

The very first thing you experience (aside from the frustration of waiting forever) is an exhibition cock block in which you see three children get sorted.  The staff member doing the demo speaks with a rather unconvincing British accent that almost distracted me from being creeped out by the sorting hat.  If working with kids has taught me anything it’s this: don’t share hats with them or they’ll give you lice.  I spend the first half of the sorting imaging thousands of those little buggers feasting on the scalp of the first sortee.  But, luckily for that kid, the fake Brit held the sorting hat above everyone’s head.

Azkabahn jail suits for Sirius Black and Bellatrix Lestange from 'Prisoner of Azkabahn.' Check out creepy Kreacher in the middle.

Once the sorting finished door to the left opened and I practically skipped into the next room, excited to see some HP movie props.  But, yet again, I placed into another cock block area, this time with movie clips.  There were at least 7 screens showing a different train en route to Hogwarts at the same time and other multi-movie clips.  It was nice, but I would have appreciated seeing this on line, not when I’m trying to see the damn exhibit.

Artifacts from the movies: love-potioned chocolates, the Marauders' Map, Harry's glasses, Harry's acceptance letter, someone's wand, and a red thing.

When the doors to the left opened this time, smoke poured out intimating that the exhibit was about to begin!  I could not get my hopes up, however, because I believed that we were going to be shuffled from one lame room to the next at least two more times.  Thank God I was wrong!

The Sorting Hat

The Exhibit began!  We waited on line (again) to go through almost the entire thing.  (Note to self: Never visit a popular exhibit on its last weekend ever again.  There are waaaay too many people for you to truly enjoy yourself.)  I forget the exact order of everything we saw, but I will say that the setting got more impressive as we went through.  The Great Hall and stone walls like in the movies, for example, and the potions room has hundreds of little potion bottles, including the Felix Felicis (Liquid Luck).

Wanted posters for Amycus Carrow, Fenrir Greyback, and Bellatrix Lestrange.

Lining the walls between rooms were fun props, like these Wanted posters.  They also had one for Sirius Black in the very beginning.  Another hall had quite a few of the Educational Decrees from Order of the Phoenix.

Professor Slughorn's costume

Almost every character in the series was represented somehow, though I did note that Harry’s muggle family was not included.  There were wizard robes and casual clothing for most of the cast.  If both types of costume could not be had, a character would have one or the other.

The formal-wear for the Triwizards Ball: Viktor Krum, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley. Table items from the movie are in the background.

In addition to the costumes were the overwhelmingly large display of props.  The amount of detail put into the smallest objects was amazing.  The wands for all of the main characters were shown and every single wand was different.  Hermione’s may have been the prettiest, with beautiful floral etching all over the handle.  The Triward Cup, it’s coffin, and even the scraps of parchment used to enter names were displayed.  Every single bit of handwriting by the characters was different and each character had consistent handwriting throughout the movies.  Harry Potter: The Exhibit was definitely an experience.

Quidditch stuff: the chest from 'Sorcerer's Stone' with the quaffle and beaters, the snitch, binoculars, a scarf, a copy of The Quibbler, and Quidditch World Cup items.

Sadly, we were not allowed to take pictures of anything in the exhibit, so none of these pictures are mine. But, I tried to gather a bunch to show how cool some of the props were.

Wands in a case, plus Dumbledore's Triwizard Ball Gown, another gown he wore, and McGonnagal's Triwizard Ball Gown. To the right of the wand case are the clothing for other teachers.
The Monster Book of Monsters
We were able to see how well we could handle a quaffle and try to score by throwing it into 3 different hoops.
Prof. Sprout's greenhouse was set up and, in addition to her costume and a lot of vines and plants, there was an area that allowed you to pull up an Mandrake. It even included their high-pitched scream.
A demontor was included in the Azkabahn set up.
Professor Lockhart had enough movie memorabilia to have his own area. These two outfits, plus the Cornish Pixie were only one part of the display.

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