As the world continues to open up, the magic of the Wizarding World continues to expand with brand new experiences for Harry Potter fans to enjoy around the globe. On June 3, Warner Bros.' official Harry Potter flagship store opened in New York City, and on June 26, a new Wizarding World experience was revealed as part of the official Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Hollywood, California.
Last week, SYFY WIRE attended the official press preview day for a sneak peek of the new studio tour, where Sarah Roots, the EVP of Warner Bros. Worldwide Tours and Retail, helped open the new Wizarding World section as part of several global initiatives celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter film franchise. Along with the NYC store and the WB Studio Tour, Roots teased an upcoming official photography exhibit in Central London this year, and in 2023, the opening of a Harry Potter theme park at Warner Bros. Tokyo in Japan.
Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny Weasley in the Potter films, also helped officially "open" the new attraction with a message recorded in London.
For those planning to visit, the Potter elements in the revamped WB Studio Tour are part of the tour's grand finale "Action and Magic Made Here" Hall, where the Wizarding World welcomes all tour participants to take part in several interactive experiences and photo opportunities integral to the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts film franchises.
It's an impressive collection of props, visuals, and experiences that augments what's already available to die-hard Potter fans at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. Inside the walls of the Wizarding World section, the Weasley's car is suspended overhead; you can follow one of four different paths with unique reproductions. In one area is the Dursley's living room, where a clever optical effect makes it look like you are being buried in Hogwarts acceptance letters. There's the official prop letter from the film, and the staircase that houses Harry's tiny cupboard bedroom, reproduced and full of props to explore.
There's an interactive Sorting Hat experience where you can sit under the sage chapeau to find out which Hogwarts house you belong to (Ravenclaw, shout-out!), and a reproduction of the hothouse used in Herbology class, where you can lift some unhappy Mandrakes out of their pots and hear them scream. Just make sure to mind your earmuffs.
The Potions classroom challenges visitors to mix the right amount of ingredients to create an antidote in a cauldron; failing is very possible, so take your mixing seriously. There's also magical tech to teach you proper wand movements alongside a mirror system.
Finally, you can step into Newt Scamander's Shed of Magical Creatures and, via a magic book, compel several creatures to interact with you... if you do the right magical movements.
As always, all things end in a gift shop, which is the only Warner Bros. Studio store in operation now. There's a huge section of Potter paraphernalia — some exclusive to the store — that can also be accessed from the welcome center's main entrance.
The public can make reservations for the Warner Bros. Studio Tour for weekends, from June 26 through July 11, with the Tour also open on July 5. From July 15 forward, the Studio Tour will operate five days a week with no appointments for Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
All of the Harry Potter films are available for streaming now on Peacock.
And check out SYFY's Fourth of July Harry Potter marathon this weekend! The full schedule can be found here.
(Photos: Paul Terry)
(SYFY WIRE, Univeral Studios, and Peacock are all properties of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.)