(This post is going to make oh so much more sense if you are a fan of all things Harry Potter.)
Oh if it were only that easy! I didn’t get to see Harry (or Daniel Radcliffe as it were) but I did get to go to Harry Potter: The Exhibition yesterday. It was fantastic. Awesome. Wonderful. Wondrous. Amazing.
First, we enter the hall and have an opportunity to get sorted. (I like to think I’m a Gryffindor but I believe if I were really, truly to be sorted I might end up in Hufflepuff instead.) Once we are released we are free to walk about the exhibition at our own pace, we have paid extra for the audio tour which gives us this little device to carry. Many of the vignettes have numbers that we can punch into the device and it gives us additional information, typically a set or costume designer talking about the piece you are looking at.
Then we move on through a hall of moving paintings and get to see the fat lady break the glass just with her voice. Most of what we see are actual set pieces and costumes from the movies themselves. There are also video displays showing clips from the movies as well as a few displays that are interactive. I got to throw a Quaffle and pull up mandrakes from Madam Sprout’s planters.
We get to see Harry and Ron’s beds from the movies including some really cool curtains (the ones Dumbledore said he caught on fire – by accident of course) which were close enough to touch. It was so hard to obey the No Touching sign! School clothes and casual clothes for most of the main characters AND their wands! The Marauder’s Map, the acceptance letter that was sent to Harry in the cupboard under the stairs, text books, set pieces from the teacher’s classrooms and offices. They had almost the entire gaudy pink office of that horrible Delores Umbridge including the awful kitten plates and the pen that Harry used to write “I will not tell lies”.
I got to walk through Hagrid’s hut and sit in his chair. I felt like Lilly Tomlin as Edith Ann. Hagrid’s hut was one of my favorite parts. It was nearly complete and also had a costume for Hagrid which was ENORMOUS! I’d love to learn more about how they made shot him and the other giants in the movie.
There were many life-sized models of characters like Dobby, Kreacher and Buckbeak (every feather on Buckbeak was hand-dyed and placed by hand). They were especially fascinating.
We got to walk just a little in the Forbidden Forest and The Great Hall complete with “floating” candles. One of my other favorite parts was at the end in The Great Hall where they had a number of set pieces from The Yule Ball AND the main characters’ costumes. Hermione’s dress was simply beautiful and Ron’s dress robes were absolutely horrifying. It was practically torture, however, to be so close to so many of the hand knitted items in the movies without being able to touch them. I would LOVE to make Professor Trelawney’s knitted cardigan (the purple-ish one, it’s way cooler in real life). I wanted to pick it up, turn it around, examine it so I could see how to make one for myself.
I also had to keep pushing down that feeling of regret over not having a camera. Not that it would have done any good, pictures weren’t allowed, but oh how I wanted to! To wrap up our adventure we perused the gift shop and indulged in a small purchase or two (everything was WAY overpriced) and the neatest thing was seeing our receipt say “Thank you for shopping at Diagon Alley!” at the bottom. How cool is that?!
ETA: Crystal, and anyone else wondering, the exhibition is currently at the Seattle Center.