Last week, I went to the Harry Potter Exhibition in Cinemec in Utrecht. Though this is a book blog and the props on exhibit are technically part of the movies, I think we can all agree that Harry Potter is relevant enough. So, because I’ve been a little sparse with updating, I figured I’d write a post about my visit instead.
Anyway, upon entering the cinema, I immediately stumbled upon a very familiar sight:
Yes! The flying Ford Anglia from The Chamber of Secrets! I suppose it was only fitting for it to be parked outside of the exhibit. Before entering, there was also the opportunity to don a cloak and scarf and pick a wand to have your picture taken, but I felt this was a little expensive (and I didn’t like my face on this picture anyway).
Upon entering the exhibit, there was a little introduction film. Eventually, someone showed up with the sorting hat and some of the visitors had the opportunity to be sorted in one of Hogwart’s houses after answering a couple of questions (what is your favourite book? What is your favourite character? Why?). Naturally, I was sorted in Slytherin.
After the sorting ceremony, someone showed up with a lantern and the Hogwarts train became visible. For the rest of the exhibit, you were pretty much free to wander wherever, but I felt this was a nice introduction!
The exhibit itself was split into different sections not necessarily in chronological order of the books/movies: Gryffindor, teachers, Forbidden Forest, dark magic, Quidditch, Hogwarts dining hall, and so on. I really liked the way the different sections were presented, because each section had its own atmosphere. They also played with lightning and sound effects to further present a mood. The Forbidden Forest actually smelled like a forest (and had some smoke effects going on). I also liked the sheer variety in items: there were costumes, props, but even items part of the decor. When displaying items related to Umbridge, for example, it was on a backdrop reminiscent of her sickingly pink office. Some parts of the exhibit were interactive as well: you could sit in Hagrid’s chair, and you could pull out the Mandrakes from their pots.
I’ll share some pictures here to give you an impression of the exhibition. It by no means includes everything, but it should give you a bit of an impression of what to expect. Hit the “read more” below to see them!
The Marauder’s Map, along with some items related to Harry Potter himself such as his glasses and the infamous letters he receives in The Philosopher’s Stone.
Items related to Professor Trelawney, including the tea leaves showcasing a certain black dog.
Costumes of Severus Snape and Horace Slughorn. Their wands and potion-related props were displayed nearby.
Costumes of Remus Lupin and Mad Eye Moody.
Also, there was the Boggart closet from The Prisoner of Azkaban.
Some items related to Gilderoy Lockhart, which were hilarious to see up close.
Why we hate Umbridge.
Buckbeak! There were some awesome creatures on display further down the Forbidden Forest section (such as the Thestrals, centaurs, and Aragog), but it was too dark for any decent pictures. Hagrid’s Hut had its very own room as well.
Horcruxes! If you stood before this display, you could actually hear some whispering which was a pretty awesome effect!
Voldemort’s costume with Nagini!
There was also plenty of decoration, such as banners, newspaper headlines, or wanted posters such as these!
Costumes of Minerva McGonagall and Albus Dumbledore!
Dobby, a free elf!
And there’s Fawkes, too!
Last but not least, the Deathly Hallows. Never imagined the Resurrection Stone to be so tiny, but then again, it did stem from a pebble.
So yeah, here’s a bit of an impression of the exhibition! I loved to visit it and see all the items up close. I was happy that I didn’t go on opening weekend, however, because it wasn’t terribly busy which allowed plenty of time (and space!) to have a look at everything. I did hear the exhibition is a little disappointing if you’ve visited the Harry Potter studios, but considering I have yet to do that I really loved this. If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, I do recommend a visit if the exhibit is anywhere near you. I think it travels from place to place.
There was a little shop with souvenirs at the end. I bought a new Slytherin scarf and a chocolate frog. I was tempted to buy a wand, but I decided not to.
Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed my little report about the exhibit. I’ll be sure to post a book review or a discussion post again, soon.