Fans will no longer need to head over to Diagon Alley or to King's Cross to catch a train to Hogsmeade to purchase their Wizarding needs. Some of them can just head over to the Flatiron Building down in Manhattan in New York City.
After nearly a year of delay due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the world's first "Harry Potter" flagship store will finally be open to Wizards and Muggles alike on Thursday.
The world of "Harry Potter" has amassed a large following over the years since the first book's release in 1997. Fans new and old of different ages are still very much in love with the Wizarding World and with this being the first flagship store, the expectations are high.
"Whether the Harry Potter fan who has 'everything' is looking for something new, or someone just wants to come in and browse and soak up the ambiance - there is something for everyone," said Doran Finneran, the sales and experience manager for the store, MarketWatch reported.
Most "Harry Potter" fans who have gone to the Universal Studio theme parks to experience the magic of choosing the right wand at Olivander's or drinking Butterbeer poured fresh from the tap will know that the experience cannot easily be replicated elsewhere. So how well does the flagship store compare to the Wizarding World in theme parks?
Reporters from Cnet and MarketWatch were able to get a sneak peek inside the 935 Broadway shop and showed us what we can expect when it finally opens its doors for the rest of us.
Harry Potter New York Flagship Store: Online Tour
The store itself looks like an amalgamation of movie and book references. Fawkes greets you at the Fifth Avenue entrance. It's the 220-pound model is Headmaster Dumbledore's pet phoenix.
The central spiral staircase features a giant Griffin. It rotates every once in a while just like the one that guarded Dumbledore's office in the films. You can also check just how tiny you are compared to the lovable half-giant Hagrid with the "Hagrid Measure-Up."
Nagini, Voldemort's pet snake, is making its way through the ceiling of the basement level. MarketWatch said she occasionally hisses in Parseltongue, the snakes' language. You also have the red phone booth, posters of the wanted wizards like Bellatrix Lestrange and Fenrir Greyback are plastered on the walls.
Unlike the phone booth in Universal Studios, dialing "MAGIC" on the phone doesn't do anything. Hopefully, they can change something about that. The Books section not only contains copies of the 'Harry Potter" series, but it also includes books other books from the Wizarding World. The ceiling is also covered with open books that look like birds suspended in the air.
The wand table, the first of its kind, features all the magic wands owned by fan-favorite characters and they can even have wand duels. Imagine using Hermione's wand while dueling Newt's. When you find yourself in the toy section, keep an eye out up in the branches of the Digirible plums, you might just catch a glimpse of Scabbers! The detail for every inch of this building is just astounding. Even the elevator in the cellar of the shop is themed in the same green tiles you see in the Ministry of Magic in the movies, Cnet shared.
If you catch a ride, entering the elevator will have you bathed in green flames, as if you just used the Floo Network!
🗝: Use the Harry Potter Fan Club app to scan Enchanted Keys around the store bringing the magic to life pic.twitter.com/4ddtfRlGJC— Harry Potter Store New York (@HarryPotterNY) April 22, 2021
Later this summer, you can also expect two multiplayer virtual reality experiences called "Chaos at Hogwarts" and "Wizards Take Flight," immersing yourself in Hogwarts life and adventure.
If you can't wait for the VR experience, shoppers are also encouraged to download the "Harry Potter" Fan Club app. In the store, you can join a scavenger hunt. Find what's on the list, and once you find all of those, you get a secret password that you whisper to one of the store's cashiers. You get a gift once you do.
If you get a little thirsty from all the wandering around and interactive fun, head over to the Butterbeer Bar. They have Butterbeer on tap. If you're one of the vegan Wizards, they also have that in a bottle for you.
Other lovely decadence is available for you to snack on, even Butterbeer flavored ice cream! They also have a local chocolatier that makes unique chocolate wands.
It's official, #HarryPotterNY will be home to New York's only Butterbeer Bar! Take your pick from a frothy cup of draft Butterbeer, a refreshing Butterbeer ice cream, or freshly poured bottled Butterbeer, opening June 3rd! pic.twitter.com/qkXc1U8zrk— Harry Potter Store New York (@HarryPotterNY) May 12, 2021
'Harry Potter' New York Exclusive Merchandise
To leave the store without buying anything might seem unlikely and unbelievable. There are roughly 1,300 items offered, MarketWatch said. For anyone who is still waiting for the Hogwarts acceptance letter, for $25, you can have one personalized.
Cnet noted it comes with an envelope and a wax seal, just in case you didn't buy it for yourself and are planning on delivering it to a younger witch or wizard. You can find nearly every wand a character has used in the movies. Some new wands are even exclusive to the NYC store and online shop. If budget is of concern, different items for sale range from $2, like stationery pieces and replica flying broomsticks that could cost up to $100.
Exclusive to the NYC store as well are bottled (non-alcoholic) butterbeer with a custom label that features the Big Apple's iconic Woolworth building--which are $6 each. A "Golden Snitch" magic wand is around $40.
Plus get your hands on the brand-new MACUSA label, exclusive to New York ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/Lc8088QG5L— Harry Potter Store New York (@HarryPotterNY) May 12, 2021
Harry Potter-themed clothes are also available. From Hogwarts uniforms to more muggle-appropriate "Harry Potter" New York T-shirts and hoodies, they have that here too.
Customization is also very much possible and you can order a monogrammed replica storage trunk like the ones students are seen lugging across King's Cross Station and even your Hogwarts robes can be embroidered!
The House of MinaLima, America's only House of MinaLima, is also found in the store. MinaLima is the graphic design team that handled all the "Harry Potter" movies, and they create all the artwork for the Wizarding World franchise.
In the House, you can buy unique signed prints and wallpaper and other wonderful art that's "Harry Potter" themed one way or another.
Only 4 weeks until #HarryPotterNY doors open...what part of the store are you exploring first? How about the House of MinaLima where you can discover the graphic art of the Wizarding World including Quibblers, Daily Prophets and Harry's Hogwarts acceptance letter! ✉ pic.twitter.com/hoighDZtCw— Harry Potter Store New York (@HarryPotterNY) May 6, 2021
COVID-19 Safety Protocols
The "Harry Pottery" NYC flagship store at 935 Broadway will be open to the public starting June 3, Thursday. Cnet added that crowds will be managed by a virtual queue to avoid everyone crowding the new space at the same time.
The store can accommodate 500 people, but it will be open at 50 percent capacity (250 people) as part of their protocol. Masks will be required for both employees and shoppers.
People who show up once the store opens will be asked to scan a barcode. This barcode will assign them a timeslot to arrive and explore the store to avoid crowding in enclosed spaces.