If you are you planning a visit to Harry Potter: The Exhibition near you, then be sure to read on for my honest Harry Potter: The Exhibition review based on our experience.
Our family of four (and grandmother too!) just visited Harry Potter: The Exhibition and LOVED it.
When I started planning our trip, it was really hard to find a lot details about the Exhibition before we visited to see if it was worth it or the best choice for us, so I wanted to help other attendees, and especially parents, by sharing our experience and offering more information (without spoilers) than what you’ll find on their web site.
This Harry Potter: The Exhibition review is NOT a sponsored post, meaning I did not receive free tickets to attend Harry Potter: The Exhibition in exchange for my review.
I purchased our own tickets and am voluntarily offering up my honest review where all opinions are my own so let’s get to it 😊.
Is the Harry Potter: The Exhibition Worth It?
I’ll kick off this Harry Potter: The Exhibition review by first answering, it is worth it?
Getting straight to the point, my answer is YES!
This mom, dad, grandmother, tween girl and tween boy all agree that it was totally worth visiting Harry Potter: The Exhibition and we highly recommend it.
We are a group ranging from mega fans (tween girl and grandmother who read all the Harry Potter books) to those who are only up to book 5 in the Harry Potter book series to those of use who only know Harry Potter from a few movies.
Only grandmother had watched the Fantastic Beasts movies so the rest of us were newbies to those movies and the Harry Potter: The Cursed Child play (which are also included in the Harry Potter: The Exhibition!).
No matter your enthusiasm level or knowledge of Harry Potter, we all had a great time and definitely recommend it.
If that’s all you needed to know, great! Book your visit and have a blast.
But if you are looking for more information to help you plan your visit and want to find answers to some frequently asked questions, then continue on with our full Harry Potter: The Exhibition review to learn more!
What is the Harry Potter: The Exhibition?
Harry Potter: The Exhibition celebrates all things Harry Potter, bringing to life iconic moments, characters, locations and beasts from the movies and the expanded Wizarding World.
Harry Potter: The Exhibition is a walking museum and interactive experience in one that travels to different cities across the United States and around the world for all Harry Potter fans to enjoy!
What is There to See and Do at the Harry Potter: The Exhibition?
There are so many things to explore at the Harry Potter: The Exhibition including costumes and props from the movies, interactive activities, photo and video opportunities, audio tour, café and gift shop.
Costumes and Props
The Harry Potter: The Exhibition is organized into various rooms showcasing costumes, props and elements from the Wizarding World.
Each room focuses on a specific theme related to Harry Potter, Hogwarts, Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and includes original costumes, props and related elements to that theme while also giving you behind-the-scenes filmmaking details.
For example, you will see costumes from each house of Hogwarts, major characters wands in the spells room, props from Hagrid’s cabin and more.
Each visitor is given a wristband that activates different interactive elements throughout the Harry Potter: The Exhibition. Use it to pick your house in Hogwarts, your Patronus, your wand and conduct a spell, mix a potion, receive a divination and more!
Completing the interactive activities earn points for your selected house all while unlocking exclusive experiences.
Photo and Video Opportunities
Photos and videos are highly encouraged throughout the Harry Potter: The Exhibition so be sure to capture anything and everything you wish!
At the beginning, before you enter the Exhibition, they do take a group photo of your party which you can see at the end of your visit and purchase with various Harry Potter themed backgrounds.
You have the option to purchase an audio guide (at an additional fee to your ticket purchase) that you can listen to as you walk through the Harry Potter: The Exhibition to learn more behind-the-scene details about the Wizarding World.
Audio guides must be played on the user’s own device and headphones are encouraged. A link to the audio guide is provided in a pre-event email sent 24 hours before your visit after purchase.
The audio guide is $10.
The Harry Potter: The Exhibition in Atlanta had a café (not available at all locations) which is accessible without a ticket. Check it out for a snack or beverage before or after your visit!
Exhibition Gift Shop
The Harry Potter: The Exhibition ended into the Exhibition gift shop though the gift shop is accessible without a ticket.
Here you can grab exclusive Exhibition attire and gifts (also available online) and other amazing Wizarding World items.
What is the Cost for Visiting the Harry Potter: The Exhibition?
There are three tiers to the pricing for the Harry Potter: The Exhibition. The pricing options differ by flexibility in entry time and “extras” offered with your admission ticket.
Timed Entry General Admission
Timed Entry General Admission tickets must be purchased for a specific day and time during the Exhibition. Entry times are offered on the hour and half hour.
- $39 for Adults Ages 16 and older
- $35 for Children ages 3 to 15
- $33 tickets for Groups of 8+
Flextime Admission tickets can be purchased and redeemed for any date and time during the Exhibition. These tickets are $59 per person.
The third option for tickets for the Harry Potter: The Exhibition are the VIP tickets. VIP tickets offer you admission at any time on any date during the Exhibition.
In addition to flexible admission, the VIP tickets also give you a dedicated entry queue, a collectible laminate, and 10% off the retail store (however the website also noted that the VIP tickets give you $10 off your retail store purchase so be sure to double check the actual savings for the retail store with the VIP tickets!).
VIP ticket holders also have access to the audio guide as well. VIP tickets cost $99 per person.
What to Expect When Visiting Harry Potter: The Exhibition
When you first arrive at Harry Potter: The Exhibition, you’ll present your tickets, and then enter into the queue.
When it’s your turn to enter the Exhibition, you’ll be given a wristband which is easily adjustable. This wristband is how you activate the interactive elements throughout the Exhibition.
After receiving your wristband, your first station will be to set up your profile for the interactive elements.
There you will choose your favorite Hogwarts™ house, wand, and Patronus to start your personalized journey through the immersive experience. You can only do this ONCE and it cannot be changed.
After setting up your wristband, you’ll be entered into a waiting area where you’ll watch a small clip to start off the Exhibition. From there we were able to go from room to room at our own pace, but if there’s more of a crowd, there might be employees ushering you through the Exhibition in a timely manner.
All of the interactive elements are easy to find and are marked with a golden Quidditch symbol. To get it started you need to tap the rectangular piece of your wristband to the golden Quidditch, which will activate the interactive element, bringing it up onto the screen.
Please note that you can only do each interactive element ONCE so be prepared with your camera if you want to take a picture or if you need to assist young children.
We only experienced one interactive element that didn’t completely work (you could still complete the element only the final picture did not appear for the one station I picked when it worked for the other stations in the room).
Despite that one hiccup, these interactive elements were a fun addition to the Exhibition and really added to the experience. They only take a minute or two to complete so you shouldn’t have a problem completing them all even if there is a crowd.
A scoreboard of the points earned for each Hogwarts house based on the interactive elements is available to view at the end.
After walking through each of the rooms in the Exhibition, you end up at the gift shop, which you can peruse at your leisure before stopping into the Café.
Our Experience at the Harry Potter: The Exhibition in Atlanta
We attended the Harry Potter: The exhibition in Atlanta on a Friday morning in February 2023. The Exhibition is located at 200 Peachtree Building with the entrance located around the corner at 155 Carnegie Way NW.
The parking garage was located right across the street at the entrance at 150 Carnegie Way NW which was super convenient!
You too can visit the Harry Potter: The Exhibition in Atlanta as dates have been extended through April 16, 2023.
We arrived on time for our 10:00 timed entry and were pleasantly surprised to see that we practically had the place to ourselves!
After setting up our wristbands we took our time throughout each room. Every staff member was extremely nice and helpful, even offering to take group photos for us.
Our Favorite Harry Potter: The Exhibition Rooms
I think we enjoyed everything we saw but these were our favorites:
Son: “I loved playing Quidditch the best”
Daughter: “Making my own potion was the best!”
Grandmother: “I loved it all, especially the divination room.”
Me: “I found the Herbology room to be so beautiful, but not the screaming Mandrakes!”
Husband: “I liked sitting in Hagrid’s chair.”
What Are the Dates for the Harry Potter: The Exhibition in New York City?
Attention Harry Potter fans in and around New York City as the Harry Potter Exhibition is coming to you soon!
The Harry Potter: The Exhibition was first in Philadelphia and then Atlanta and will next travel to New York City in its US city tour.
Dates and location for the New York City Harry Potter: The Exhibition have not been determined but I encourage you to sign up for their e-newsletter so that you can be alerted to when those details are announced and tickets go on sale.
You can also visit the Harry Potter: The Exhibition at its international locations which include Vienna, Austria and Paris, France.
When Should I Visit the Harry Potter: The Exhibition?
If possible, I would visit the Harry Potter: The Exhibition when you can anticipate the smallest crowds.
Weekdays and possibly dates later in the exhibition might prove to have smaller crowds.
I’d also recommend an early time slot in the day so that you don’t feel rushed.
I can understand the excitement to want to visit the Harry Potter: The Exhibition right away but unless tickets are selling out like crazy, consider waiting to visit the exhibit after the initial weeks of its opening.
Is the Cost of the Harry Potter: The Exhibition Worth It?
We purchased timed entry, general admission tickets and I felt like we got our money’s worth.
I would definitely consider the flextime admission if tickets are selling out and you’re not sure when you’ll be able to visit. Otherwise, I don’t think the extra costs would be necessary or worth it.
I did end up spending over $100 at the gift shop and felt like the cost of some items were a bit high but ultimately felt they were great mementoes and treats to have.
We didn’t purchase the audio tour so I can’t speak to whether it’s worth the additional cost but after completing the exhibition I didn’t regret not getting it and felt like the exhibition information was just enough for us.
How Long Does it Take to Go Through the Harry Potter: The Exhibition?
The web site says you should plan about 60-90 minutes to go through the Harry Potter: The Exhibition and I felt like that was spot on for us.
We were able to attend without a crowd and leisurely took our time throughout the exhibition. We completed it in 90 minutes. For more crowded days, I would anticipate your visit actually taking at least 90 minutes if not longer.
We also spent at least 15 minutes in the gift shop because there were so many fun things to look at but then I had to usher everyone out so I wouldn’t spend more money!
Is the Harry Potter: The Exhibition Good for Kids?
Yes! I thought the Harry Potter: Exhibition was great for kids and attendees of all ages.
I think kids who are somewhat familiar with Harry Potter and the Wizarding World would get more out of it than kids who have never heard of Harry Potter.
The interactive elements are easy to follow but a child who cannot read would need an adult to help them complete some of the elements.
For those with sensory concerns, lighting for the entire exhibition is somewhat dark to showcase all the items but it wasn’t dark in a scary way. There is also light, ambient music throughout but nothing with loud sounds (except maybe the Mandrakes!).
There were however one or two interactive elements that had a creepy/dark image come up which might be frightening for some kids, but overall there wasn’t anything too scary or dark for young children.
Is the Harry Potter: The Exhibition Accessible?
Yes, the Harry Potter: The Exhibition is handicap accessible. The Atlanta location was stroller accessible but this is dependent by location.
Can You Dress Up When Visiting the Harry Potter: The Exhibition?
Yes! You are allowed and encouraged to dress up in your finest Harry Potter and Hogwarts attire. Wands are allowed as well in the Exhibition.
Is There Butterbeer at the Harry Potter: The Exhibition?
Yes! At the Atlanta location, you could purchase bottles of butterbeer for $10.
Are There Rides at the Harry Potter: The Exhibition?
No. There are no rides at the Harry Potter: The Exhibition.
Do You Get to Play Quidditch at the Harry Potter: The Exhibition?
Yes! You can practice your Quidditch skills by throwing a Quaffle into standing rings.
Are There Spoilers at the Harry Potter: The Exhibition?
Yes and no. This is hard to answer because I guess there will be some spoilers if you haven’t read all the Harry Potter books or watched all the movies but I think it would be a shame to skip this if it came to your area and you hadn’t yet read all the books.
My family hasn’t read any of the Fantastic Beasts books or watched any of the movies. If anything, seeing the pictures and items from those movies only made me want to go home and watch them immediately. I don’t think anything I saw provided any real spoilers however.
Pros and Cons of the Harry Potter: The Exhibition
Here are some pros and cons to the Harry Potter: The Exhibition that stood out to me:
- Beautiful displays and lots of unique rooms
- Original costumes and props you can’t see anywhere else
- Covered many aspects of the books/films
- Included Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
- Fun facts you can’t learn anywhere else
- Fun, interactive elements
- Lots of areas of Harry Potter and the Wizarding World were addressed
- Amazing selection of items at the gift shop
- Bathroom access throughout the exhibition
- Ample photo opportunities
- Gift shop and Cafe
- No sorting hat quiz – you just pick your own house
- The interactive elements can be finicky and you can only do them once
- Lack of interactive elements toward the end
- My son would say too much walking – ha!
- Potential crowds/waiting
- You’ll be tempted to spend way too much in the gift shop 😊
Final Thoughts on the Harry Potter The Exhibition: Do I Recommend It?
So there you have it! We really enjoyed visiting the Harry Potter: The Exhibition and highly recommend it for individuals and families.
I was extremely impressed with how much was covered from the Harry Potter books and movies and feel like novices and mega fans would enjoy it.
We have also visited the Wizarding World at Universal Studios Orlando which is another immersive experience but in a completely different way.
I felt like the Harry Potter: The Exhibition really showcased aspects of the books and movies in a unique way with great facts throughout which you just don’t get at Universal Studios Orlando.
So even if you have visited the Wizarding World at Universal Studios, the Exhibition is not to be missed.
I felt like the overall cost matched the experience though be prepared to spend a lot of money in the gift shop!
I don’t foresee us visiting the Exhibition again in another city because I felt like we had ample time to do and see it all, and we took A LOT of great pictures.
Let me know if you visited the Harry Potter: The Exhibition and what you thought of it below in the comments. I’d love to hear.
And if you’re new to Harry Potter, be sure to check out our Harry Potter Books in Order Guide and guide to all the Harry Potter Illustrated Books to get you started!