If you’ve dreamed of sipping Butterbeer, wandering the halls of Hogwarts or casting spells with the flick of a wand, Harry Potter New York is a must-visit next time you’re in New York City.
Located at 935 Broadway near the Flatiron Building, the three-story megastore, opening June 3, announces its wonders to passersby with a statue of the Hungarian Horntail Dragon perched atop the Magical Clock on the building’s exterior. Though the store carries the largest collection of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts merchandise in the world, visiting Harry Potter New York is about more than shopping—fans get to truly immerse themselves in the Wizarding World in over 15 themed areas set across 21,000 square feet.
Here are the top seven most magical experiences—chosen for the significance of seven to the Wizarding World—right within the store.
1. Grab a Butterbeer at the Butterbeer Bar
Upon entry, visitors will be struck by the glow of the Butterbeer Bar, where the amber liquid flows as if by magic through copper pipes on the ceiling. Butterbeer bottles with labels designed by the House of MinaLima, the studio behind all graphic props for Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts, will also be on display, plus hundreds of glass bottles in a “Bottle Wave” formation. Sit and enjoy a frothy glass of draft Butterbeer, a freshly poured bottled of Butterbeer or Butterbeer ice cream. (Parents: Feel free to order some for your kids too—Butterbeer is nonalcoholic.) They also have Sorting Hat cookies, chocolate wands and assorted cupcakes.
2. Find hidden Easter eggs and other secrets
When you arrive at the store, you’ll be given a map of Enchanted Keys that can found on each level of the store, plus instructions for downloading the Harry Potter Fan Club app to scan them, unlocking exclusive behind-the-scenes facts, figures and videos that bring the experience to life.
Look closely within the stairwell near the rotating griffin to find Harry Potter quotes engraved in stone. Be on the alert for magical details hidden throughout the store.
3. Buy a Chocolate Frog—and don’t let it hop away!
In the candy-colored Honeydukes-inspired sweetshop, fans can get a taste of all the magical Harry Potter treats, like Fizzing Whizzbees and Peppermint Toads. Luckily some of the frogs are just plain chocolate, and they should stay in their boxes until you eat them—at least, we think.
4. Let your wand choose you, then cast spells into the Forbidden Forest
If you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to be a wizard, now’s your chance. Step into the Wand Shop, located in the Atrium of Awe, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into Ollivander’s Wand Shop in Diagon Alley. Aspiring witches and wizards can choose from over 50 wands, some of which can be engraved at the personalization area aptly called, “Things That Must Be Named.”
Within the Wand Shop are several windows looking out into the Forbidden Forest, which reflects the seasons of New York and the time of day, changing drastically when spells are cast.
5. Battle Death Eaters across London—and other VR experiences
Opening later this summer, guests can take part in two VR experiences: “Chaos at Hogwarts,” an adventure through Hogwarts Castle, and “Wizards Take Flight,” a battle against Death Eaters in which you’ll fly on a broom across the skies of London (your wand will come in handy). Stay tuned for more details.
6. See real props used in the Harry Potter feature films
Harry Potter New York is the home of 12 authentic props from the Wizarding World. Use your Enchanted Keys map received upon entry to locate them throughout the store, then scan the Enchanted Keys to learn even more. Props at the store include wands belonging to Harry, Hermione and Ron; the diary of Tom Riddle; the Basilisk fang; a Golden Snitch; and Death Eater masks.
7. Pose for magical photo ops
Keep your wands and Instagram at the ready: there are many magical moments to capture as you make your way through Harry Potter New York. In the Atrium of Awe, in the middle of the spiral staircase is a nearly 10-foot-tall rotating griffin—exactly what you’d see if you were to visit Dumbledore’s office at Hogwarts.
Fans can also pose for a photo while trying on Hagrid’s boots, inside a London-style phone box or take a photo from below Fawkes the Phoenix, a 220-pound model, located just inside the Fifth Avenue entrance, made specially for Harry Potter New York