London and Orlando aren’t the only places fans of the Boy Who Lived can become immersed in the magical wizarding world of Harry Potter and friends (and enemies) anymore. Earlier this year, Harry Potter, The Exhibition, was launched in Atlanta, one of ALG Vacations’® serviced destinations, and we can attest from firsthand experience that it’s the best of its kind we’ve attended.
Traveling pop culture exhibitions have grown in grander and grander scale and have become increasingly popular in major cities worldwide. While some are fan-fueled, such as the (disappointing) Star Wars The Fans Strike Back®, others like Downton Abbey: The Exhibition are officially licensed and funded by the production studio. Harry Potter, The Exhibition is the latter, which “spells” out a more immersive, professional, and close-to-the-screen access to behind-the-scenes magic.
For now, it’s exclusively in Atlanta and Vienna, and most recently was introduced in Paris for an engagement that will last through April.
While we don’t want to spoil anything, here are some tips on making the most of your experience while in Atlanta, Paris, or Vienna with a Harry Potter fan:
Keep Your Camera Ready!
There are a lot of cool interactive Instagrammable setups and backdrops throughout the entire 38,000-square-foot exhibit, where you can insert yourself directly into a famous scene. Clues: expect to feel really small at one multi-sensory photo opp, be dressed in colors that complement pink for best pix, experience life at Privet Drive, or even see what the future holds
Find Some Fantastic Beasts.
Great news! Because it’s totally official, this exhibition also includes snapshots of the entire Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Which means our favorite animal lover, Newt Scamander and several of his many, many friends, are all present and accounted for. For instance, keep an eye out for bowtruckles and traces of dreamy Queenie throughout. For fans of the stage play, there are areas and displays dedicated to this epilogue, too.
Bring Your Competitive Spirit
No surprise you’ll get to self-Sort (even though the Sorting Hat is technically on duty), but same as real witches and wizards are able to compete for House points at Hogwarts, you’ll be able to contribute to your chosen House’s end-of-exhibit tally, too. There are activities in every room of the exhibition, and participation gets you points.
Buy the Souvenirs
Most are surprisingly (and refreshingly!) reasonably priced, and those who buy into the VIP experience are given a $10 credit toward their purchase. All of the merch is officially licensed, so you can get gear and gadgets that are fully on brand, including hats, scarves, wands, notebooks, cards, Chocolate Frogs, Butterbeer, and more. Don’t miss the Honeydukes mini-store in the retail area, and keep an eye out for clearance good for the best deal.