Harry Potter fans have a new reason to rejoice: A brand new store in Manhattan is now open with exclusives only in New York City and two immersive virtual reality rides that let you fly over or enter Hogwarts.
Located between Fifth Avenue and Broadway in the shadow of the Flatiron Building, Harry Potter New York sells all manner of merchandise alongside actual prop displays from the movies.
Admission is free, but fans must scan a QR code outside the store to queue for the virtual queue system. They can register as early as 7 am with a maximum of six per group for a phone.
The VR rides, introduced last week, cost $ 34 each and a ticket offers immediate in-store entry.
Every VR experience means a headset, manual controls, and a magic wand. “Chaos at Hogwarts” with Dobby the House Elf as a guide also requires foot controls. “Chaos” makes you feel like you are in the halls of Hogwarts, on the escalators, even inside the fireplace, just like in the movies. Look at your fellow travelers – groups of four for now: they’ve also morphed into masked characters from the movies.
“Wizards Fly” has you sitting on a flying broomstick, so it’s not as “wild” as “Chaos”. You hover over and around Hogwarts and take a tour of London. There’s even a bit of rain to get through as you escape the Death Eaters on their brooms.
“We have between 2,000 and 3,000 visitors, depending on the day of the week,” store manager Doran Finneran revealed.
“There is a lot of screaming and screaming. Everyone finds something different to be exciting which is great.
“For a person, the Griffin is the best thing they can see. For some, it’s the chopsticks. What’s also great is when you show them the little Easter eggs that are hidden in the store, whether it’s the shaking boxes with the mice running through them in the Confectionery or the truffles hidden in the tree.
“We will evolve. Some collections are launched for the fall, and then for the new year as well.
“We have stocks from our Harry Potter tour in London and Universal Hollywood. And 20% of our range is exclusive to New York City, which you won’t get anywhere else. Things you can’t even get on the website.
“For example, bottled butter beer is only available in stores at the moment. In the United States, this is the only place you can get it.
“The super fans – they need to see something new. We take customer feedback into account to create new items.
For those passing by, there’s even a Butter Beer Bar – with an open window on the Broadway side of the store. Here anyone can order buttery draft beer in a to-go mug with foam on top, as well as Hedwig the Owl cupcakes, Sorting Hat cookies, and Frog chocolates.
Harry Potter New York (935 Broadway; harrypotterstore.com) is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Masks must be worn inside the store at all times.