As New York City Public School students are preparing to hear the ringing of school bells once again next week, the distinct whistle of the Hogwarts Express chugging along platform 9 ¾ hit Midtown Friday with a special event welcoming all to the wizarding world of Harry Potter.
The Harry Potter Exhibition in Herald Square hosted a magical back to school celebration on Sept. 1 as it extends its run to 2024.
The pop-up exhibit that brings the fantasy world of Hogwarts to life through a series of interactive rooms filled with movie props and electronic games on 50 West 34th St. prepared kids for their journey back to school in the most enchanting way possible, by giving out Harry Potter themed school supplies to visitors.
Dubbed “Back to Hogwarts,” witches and wizards of all ages received free Italian ice, served in Hogwarts House colors on Sept. 1 before they explored Hagrid’s Hut and the Great Hall complete with floating candles. The excited visitors also checked out the displays showcasing the Fantastic Beasts film props, such Newt Scamander’s infamous suitcase and the costumes worn by the cast in each of the films.
Witches, wizards and muggles showed their dedication to their Hogwarts House (Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, or Ravenclaw) with exclusive exhibition merchandise, such as themed notebooks, pens and pencils, backpacks, attire and accessories. Guests were given pick up candy treats to pack in their lunch boxes for a tasty snack like Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Jellybeans, a chocolate frog and Butter Beer flavored toffee for when they return to school.
The day also saw a price cut for those who were on line before 11 a.m. paying homage to the series’ iconic train station, “Platform Nine and Three-Quarters.” Special rush tickets cost $9.75 compared to the original price of $29 for adult tickets.
According to Imagine Exhibitions CEO Tom Zaller, the Harry Potter Exhibition has enchanted fans to such a degree that the exhibition will be extending its stay in the Big Apple. Initially opening back in May, the 30,000 square foot attraction was planned to conclude before the end of the year but has now been extended to Jan. 7 due to its popularity.
“We have had such a positive response from Harry Potter fans in New York that we had to keep the magic going. Being in the heart of Manhattan at 34th and Broadway throughout the fall and holiday season provides easy access for witches, wizards and muggles from near and far through the new year,” Zaller said.