Mischief managed! I just got a sneak peek at the magical Harry Potter store opening in New York City
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Still waiting on your acceptance letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?
Yeah, me too.
Fortunately, muggles can soon live out their enchanted dreams at the Harry Potter flagship store in New York City, which opens to the public on Thursday, June 3.
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During a press preview on Friday, I was able to step inside an immersive experience that brought to life incredible moments from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts books and films.
Entering from Fifth Avenue (at Broadway), guests are immediately greeted by an incredible model of Fawkes the Phoenix, which weighs over 200 pounds and soars above a section of the store with items you’ll only find at the New York City flagship (think: Harry Potter New York-branded shirts and accessories).
There are a total of 15 different themed areas spread across the sprawling 21,000-square-foot space, including a Honeydukes sweet shop where a ribbiting Chocolate Frog presides over walls of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans and Fudge Flies.
Kids can shop for Harry Potter-themed plush toys and games beneath a Dirigible plum tree before grabbing a Golden Snitch wand (available only at the New York flagship) from the sprawling Wand Shop that has the deliberately chaotic feel of Ollivander’s.
You can even take your wand — or robes, Hogwarts letter and more — to the Things That Must Be Named personalization shop.
The store is also home to the first House of MinaLima (from the graphic design duo behind the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts movies) in the country, perhaps my personal favorite area of the store. Shoppers can peruse prints of the Daily Prophet and Quibbler, themed journals and other paper goods. You can also finally get your hands on your very own Hogwarts acceptance letter.
In addition to all the shops, there are also a number of opportunities to dive deeper into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
All around the store are photo opportunities (see how you measure up against Hagrid) and original props that were featured in the movies, including Ron Weasley’s Spellotaped broken wand and Tom Riddle’s Basilisk fang-impaled diary — both from “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” Visitors can use the Harry Potter Fan Club app to collect “enchanted keys” connected to these authentic items and unlock letters to a secret code that could lead to a fun surprise at checkout.
Two new “multiplayer virtual reality experiences” will open later this summer where you can fly on a broomstick and battle Death Eaters at “Wizards Take Flight” or step inside your very own adventure at Hogwarts with “Chaos At Hogwarts.”
An interactive wand table will also let guests put their wizardry skills to the test.
And, of course, you can drop by the Butterbeer Bar for a cup of Butterbeer on draft or a Butterbeer ice cream cone — perfect for a hot day in Diagon Alley. I mean, New York City.
Best of all, you no longer have to buy theme park tickets or fly across the pond for an immersive Harry Potter experience. The flagship store is centrally located on 22nd Street between Fifth Avenue and Broadway, and it’s free to enter — though the store will have a virtual queuing system when it opens.
But even though you won’t have to pay for admission, serious Harry Potter fans should be prepared to splash out on sweets, collectibles and other magical souvenirs.
Feature image courtesy of Harry Potter New York.
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