New Harry Potter exhibit enchants at Museum of Science

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By Watertown Splash staff 

Have you ever wanted to experience Harry Potter’s life at Hogwarts? Wish no more!

Beginning Oct. 25, the Museum of Science has brought Hogwarts to Boston. People can come and hang out in the Gryffindor common room like Harry, Hermione, and Ron, or play Quidditch, or try on the Sorting Hat to see which house you belong in.

From 12-foot tall creatures to Harry Potters’ actual costumes, it is an amazing exhibit.

There are a lot of items from the movies. Clothes, props, animals, and much more. There is Buckbeak the Hippogriff and you can see all of the detail that went into making it. Each of the feathers is hand-painted and individually sewn on.

Each room is different. One is the Forbidden Forest, another has costumes from the movies. Not only can you look at these amazing props, but you can touch some, too. You can pull a mandrake and shoot a Quaffle into a hoop to see how many points you can get.

There are more than 200 props and costumes from all six movies. At the end of the exhibit, there is a gift shop

Ever since the first Harry Potter movie, “The Sorcerer’s Stone,” in 2001, people have gotten more and more intrigued with the series. Since the Harry Potter fans loved them so much, Robin Stapley decided to create an exhibition for all of the movies.

Three days before the exhibit opened, Stapley led a special guided tour. He was joined by Matthew Lewis, the actor who plays Neville Longbottom. Lewis was the first member of the cast to see the exhibit.

Stapley said he took all six Harry Potter movies and tried to make the exhibit just like Hogwarts, displaying many props used in the movies.

“From the idea to finish, building the exhibit took three years,” he said.

He explained how he went over to England to get all of the props that were available. He said the hardest part was picking which ones to put in the exhibit.

He said he made the exhibit to simply promote the movies and entertain the viewers. And with so many different features, such as the interactive Quidditch rings and a replica of the Hogwarts Express, it really is entertaining!

At first, before you even enter, hosts take volunteers out of the audience to try on the Sorting Hat.

The exhibit starts in a dark room with no sound but the sound of some of the clips from the movies.

When you walk in, you see a hallway that looks like it came right out of Hogwarts with moving pictures on the walls and the door with the fat lady leading into the Gryffindor common room.

The exhibit has main sections dedicated to Hermione, Ron, and Harry, displaying their clothes, books, wands, and beds. Harry’s room also contains his glasses, the secret map of the school, and his acceptance letter.

Stapley used real costumes and props and re-created sets. Professor Umbridge has her very own pink office with that nasty quill pen that makes the words engrave into your hand. Harry has his Quidditch robes worn during Gryffindor team tryouts in “Half-Blood Prince.” Draco Malfoy, one of Harry’s enemies, also has his Quidditch robes worn by the Slytherin team.

Many props from the films, such as Tom Riddle’s diary, Colin Creevey’s camera, Draco Malfoy’s costume, dresses from the ball, and Fawkes are also featured.

As for some of the sets, they have both the girls’ and boys’ dormitories on display.

Next up is Hagrid’s Hut. Everything is so big you can fit four people in his chair.

The exhibit also shows the Sorcerer’s Stone from the first movie and the dementors that fly around Harry, who has to kill them all off in the “Order of the Phoenix.”

In the Dark Forces area, you can see how a Dementor looks underneath. The truth is it really is all bones and has no legs. Its backside is basically a tail or an extended part of the spine.

Also on display is Voldemort’s costume and his Death Eaters. His costume was like a rag.

There is candy and food that was used in the films, as well as the Goblet of Fire casket and the Tri-Wizards Cup, all of the professors’ wands and costumes, and Professor Snape’s potions.

Like always at Hogwarts, there are rules on the walls and moving pictures. Lord Voldemort’s wand, which is made out of a Phoenix tail feather, is also displayed.

At the last stop, candles hang from the ceiling, just like the Great Hall dining room in Hogwarts. This is a great experience, especially for all of the Harry Potter fans out there.

Everything in the exhibit makes visitors feel like they are in part of the movie. The exhibit is recommended to all Harry Potter fans. People who love the Harry Potter movies will definitely love this exhibit.

The exhibit began in Chicago before coming to Boston. The exhibit opened Oct. 25 and runs until Feb. 21.

“It is going to be on tour for the next five years,’’ Stapley said, “and when it is done, it is going back to England.”

So come visit the world of illusion before it disappears!

(For schedules, tickets, and other information about the Harry Potter exhibit at the Museum of Science, go to the museum’s website at http://www.mos.org/.)

(Story reported and written by Watertown Splash staff reporters Brigitte A., Anna A., Francesca B., Shannon C., Kaylee C., Sarah G., Vanessa H., Lauren K., Danielle K., Sophia K., Jessica L., Danielle M., Christina M., Hayley S., Emily C., Gemma C., Sam C., Rebecca C., Isaac F., Victoria H., Matthew L., Anna M., Katie M., Bridget N., Maddie R., and Terry Z.)

–Nov. 2, 2009–

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