After months of waiting, Harry Potter’s flagship store in New York City is finally set to open its doors on Thursday, June 3rd. We got a sneak peek last week ahead of opening day and let’s just say your wizards will want to apparate on over to this two-story megastore on Broadway just a short walk from Madison Square Park. Even muggles will approve.
The two-story building has the largest collection of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts merch under one roof anywhere in the world. It’s packed with photo ops (including a life-sized Hagrid and his shoes to try on for size), authentic props from the movies sprinkled throughout the store, a magical wall of wands, a massive collection of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts prints and books, butterbeer to go or on tap from the Butterbeer Bar, stuffed versions of Hedwig, Crookshanks and other pets, endless merch sorted by house and chocolate frogs, fudge flies and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans all located in an area below a ribbiting Chocolate Frog.
And that’s just for starters. Between the merch–much of which you can personalize—and the interactive experiences, you’ll feel like you’re getting a taste of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando without a trip to Florida.
Bring your hard-earned Galleons for some not-to-miss magical merch and experiences. There are 15 themed areas spread across the sprawling 21,000-square-foot space. Here are some of our favorite to-dos during your visit:
Choose from a Riddikulus Number of Wands
If you’ve never been to Ollivander’s Wand Shop at Universal Studios in Orlando, checking out the wand collection at the new Harry Potter store is definitely the next best thing. After some serious thought, my daughter chose The Diadem of Ravenclaw wand, an ornate wand featuring the pristine bluestones from the lost Diadem. An interactive wand table lets you pick up a wand and put it to the test as it unveils characters from Potter and Fantastic Beasts.
Find Gear from Your Favorite Hogwarts House
Personalizable sweatshirts, sweaters, Quidditch jerseys, jackets, house robes, pillows and water bottles are among the many goodies you’ll find in each of the four houses. There are also coveted Hogwarts house gift trunks that come with a personalized Hogwarts acceptance letter, a chocolate frog and wizard card, Bertie Bott’s Beans, a personalized house embossed notebook, an authentic house tie, a Hedwig plush, a knitted hat, a badged scarf, a house badge, pin, keyring and mascot wand, all for $250.
Have a Drink at the Butterbeer Bar!
Have a frothy glass of Butterbeer on tap as you marvel at a cascade of glowing Butterbeer bottles with collectible MinaLima labels. Best served chilled and poured straight from the bottle, the non-alcoholic soft drink features a new take on butterscotch. The foamy sweet treat is best served straight from the tap in a collectible mug you can take home. And indulge in some treats, like little cupcakes Hedwig or Neville’s toad on top, or cookies in the shape of a Weasley sweater. You can also have Butterbeer ice cream, bottled Butterbeer and other sweet treats such as chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott’s Beans from the nearby Honeydukes sweet shop area.
Go On a Scavenger Hunt in Search of Authentic Props From the Movies
There are 12 authentic props from the movies (including The Golden Egg, a Death Eater Mask and the Golden Snitch) throughout the store. Once you enter the store, you’ll get a map showing where each of these original props is located. Download the Harry Potter Fan Club app to check off each prop as you find it and you’ll get a series of letters that you’ll need to unscramble to get a free collectible prize from a cashier.
Take Advantage of Some Magical Photo Ops
You’ll find books hanging from the ceiling along with an archway made of Potter and Fantastic Beasts books. You can also pose inside a London phone box as if you’re transporting yourself into the Ministry of Magic. Or try on Hagrid’s boots for size. There’s also an elevator that looks like it is part of the floo network. Once the doors open, you’ll be surrounded by green flames as you travel up or down.
A huge model of Fawkes the Phoenix hangs down from the ceiling as you enter, and a large statue (like the one that guards Dumbledore’s office) sits atop a winding staircase that connects the cellar floor to the street floor. The giant griffin weighs over 220 pounds and is a great backdrop for your pics. If you’re a fan of the dark arts, stick around that area (complete with the death eater masks from the movie) to eventually hear a Nagini speak parseltongue above your head (literally).
Get Yourself Some Art from the House of MinaLima
The flagship store is home to America’s only House of MinaLima, the graphic design duo behind the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts movies.
This area is also a great photo opp as it is filled with Potter-inspired art and a fireplace with letters flying into the Dursley’s home on Privet Drive.
You’ll find prints of Daily Prophet covers, Harry’s Hogwarts acceptance letter and the Quibbler, all hand-designed by MinaLima in a space that looks just like the iconic London shop.
Pick Up Some Jewelry and Collectibles
A gorgeous and gigantic gold time-turner sits above the jewelry and collectibles section of the store.
You’ll find everything from charm bracelets and necklaces you can personalize to Swarovski earrings to replicas of house cups. My daughter picked up a golden Ravenclaw cup. There’s also a life-sized Nimbus 2001 you can hang to add to your collection of Potter décor.
Stay Tuned for VR Experiences
Two immersive multiplayer virtual reality experiences are set to open later this summer. The VR includes “Chaos at Hogwarts” which lets hopeful witches and wizards step into a magical journey to Hogwarts Castle. Fans will need their wands at the ready as “Wizards Take Flight” prepares visitors to fly on brooms and take part in a magical wand battle against Death Eaters. Stay tuned for exact opening dates.
Planning Your Visit
To avoid crowds, Harry Potter New York will open with a virtual queuing system in place. When customers visit the store at 935 Broadway, in NYC, they will scan a QR code to join the virtual queue and return when notified.
The store will follow all CDC guidelines, opening at a reduced capacity to ensure physical distancing is maintained. All customers will be required to wear a face mask while inside the store. If you can’t make it to the physical store, you can also shop the merch at harrypotterstore.com.