Monday, February 20, 2012

Harry Potter: The Exhibition

Part of my amazing Sydney weekend was a visit to Harry Potter: The Exhibition at The Powerhouse Museum, and wander into the magic of the props of the movies that bought these books to the screen.

I had invited myself to this outing with Jess and little Evie, with Nan and Heather and her little one, but thanks to a cancelled flight up to Sydney the night before, I arrived at the Powerhouse as they had finished their visit. But nonetheless, I got to see Jess for a quick hi, and then wandered in under Mr Weasley's enchanted flying car in the foyer to the check out the exhibit.

Ushered in to the dark entryway, and held until there was a group, we were taken into the first room where a live announcer was pacing in costume to introduce what was ahead for us. Our witch also then asked for a volunteer, and one timid kiddie in the group got to sit under the Sorting Hat and be nominated into a Hogwarts House. Once this was demonstrated, and Gryffindor was the choice for the brave, a few more kids were happy to volunteer for such an activity!

The next room gave you a reminder through film-grabs of the journey of Harry and his mates at Hogwarts, plus all the amazing and the scary people he encounters through his schooling, before you reached the room with all the movie artifacts.

This is really well set up, as you walk through early school days at Hogwarts and Harry's school uniform, his and Ron's beds, and then a spattering of teachers and their signature items and outfits.

One of the most amazing parts of this experience for me was the comparison of the outfits Harry, Ron and Hermione wore in the first films, with the grown up sizes for the more recent chapters - we have certainly watched these 3 actors grow up from little school kids, to adults, through these movies!

You can pull up a screaming Mandrake in Herbology class, and throw a Quaffle in the Quiddich area. Plus, you get to walk into Hagrid's hut, complete with a quivering dragon egg on the table. But the little details from the books and movies are the special treats of this walk through the exhibit - takes you back to your vision from your first read!

There are boxes of Skivving Snackboxes, Ron's Howler from his Mum, the moving and animated picture frames along some of the walls, and Dobby is there, as well as pieces from Wizard Chess. The costumes of the Dementor and Voldemort's faces are pretty fear inducing, even still, so be warned! The Great Hall and the floating candles are there, but not as magical as that scene in the movie - my favourite part!

There is timed entry on each ticket, and runs for another month, with off-peak prices during the weekday making it more accessible. Plus, the last part of the exhibit was the merch shop where kids were getting wands and House scarves. Totally worth a visit if you are in Sydney, and a Harry Potter fan!

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