If you find yourself in the middle of Times Square with a fellow GeekMom, what should you do? Why, you should apparate yourself right over to Discovery Times Square to see Harry Potter: The Exhibition of course. Last week that’s exactly what GeekMom Corrina and I did.
We dug deep into our respective vaults at Gringotts to pony up the $26 admission fee, but didn’t dig deeper to tack on an additional $7 for the audio tour. We figured that between the two of us, there was enough Harry Potter knowledge to keep us entertained in the exhibit, and we were right.
As you enter the exhibit, a Hogwarts student holds the Sorting Hat above a few lucky children in the room. As each kid sat in a stool, the Hogwarts student (with the phony accent) held the sorting hat high enough not to make contact with any little head. Then a voice over the loudspeaker spoke as the Sorting Hat. I was hoping one of the kids would get sorted into Slytherin, but no such luck.
From there, you’re launched into the exhibit where you can take your time looking at all of the different props and costumes. Some are in environments, like Hagrid’s Hut and Gryffindor Tower. Other are spread out in display cases. The costumes are amazing, and it was fun to see the relative size of the actors and how they grew throughout the films.
Some of the props are really interesting to see, like the detailed TriWizard Cup and the wardrobe and giant jack-in-the-box from Lupin’s Boggart lesson when he was teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts. There’s also Dobby and Kreacher poking out from behind the costumes. Nothing, though, was better than seeing each character’s wand. They were all so different from each other, celebrating the personality of that wizard. You can truly appreciate the prop-masters on the films when you see the wands.
The exhibit is far from cheap, and the Discovery museum has found many different ways to separate you from your money. ($45 for a picture set of you in front of Hogwarts. Really?! They almost got me, though, with the reproduction wands and a replica of Hermione’s time turner.) With that in mind, I’d say that there are two groups of people that would find the admission price totally worthwhile: Harry Potter fans, and fans of movie-making. HP Geeks will find plenty to drool over, and anyone with even a passing interest in costumes and production design will be wowed. For everyone else, there are better ways to spend your money in NYC.