Wizards, witches, and even muggles can explore, interact, and climb through the Wizarding World™, starting at the Dursley residence on Privet Drive, before heading to Platform 9 ¾™, marveling at the Hogwarts Express™, and finally venturing to Hogwarts™, the iconic school of witchcraft and wizardry. Here’s a preview of what you can expect at the highly-anticipated Harry Potter™: Magic at Play experience that has taken over Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.
1. Start your adventure at the Dursley residence
Before you even make it to Hogwarts™ at Harry Potter™: Magic at Play in Chicago you’ll find that the journey is half the fun! Potterheads and muggles will embark on a magical adventure to the famed school, starting at a jaw-dropping replica of Harry Potter’s aunt and uncle Vernon and Petunia Dursley’s brick house at 4 Privet Drive.
You’ll be able to step inside the home, starting your adventure just like Harry did…but, this time there’s a bit of fun! Kids and adults can climb through the fireplace, before going down two slides! Plus, don’t miss checking out the cupboard under the stairs!
2. Now boarding the Hogwarts Express™
Afterward, guests at this Harry Potter™ experience will head to the iconic Platform 9 ¾™ at the King’s Cross St. Pancras Station and then the Hogwarts Express™, which happens to make some incredible photo ops before making the journey crossing the Black Lake and finally arriving at the world’s most famous wizarding school…Hogwarts™.
3. Step into The Great Hall
When you arrive at the Great Hall at the Magic at Play experience, you’ll be impressed with how real the room looks. The walls have been made to appear aged, just like at Hogwarts™, and flickering candles float overhead, so you won’t want to miss out on a photo op in this enchanting space in front of the High Table.
4. Celebrate your house pride
Next, you’ll be sorted into your houses, Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff, and learn more about the characteristics of your house (if you aren’t already obsessed with that!), all while celebrating your house pride. And, of course, there’s going to be a Sorting Hat photo op, one of the most iconic parts from the films that have come to life.
5. Take classes like Potions, Charms, and Divination
Just like the wizards and witches in Harry Potter™, you’ll be able to take magical classes in this one-of-a-kind experience, including Potions, Charms, Divination, and fending off a swarming pack of Cornish Pixies in Defense Against the Dark Arts. At the potions class, you’ll learn how to make some powerful concoctions like the Felix Felicis, better known as ‘liquid luck’ or the transformative Polyjuice Potion, and actually get the chance to smell and take a closer look at the powerful ingredients.
Try out your levitation skills in the Charms class with these three tips: Grab your wand, have the proper swish and flick technique, and say the words ‘Wingardium Leviosa’…just make sure you pronounce it correctly like Hermoine!
After an invigorating time at your wizarding classes, we suggest participating in the many games at the experience…
6. Want to play Quidditch™? Discover all-new training games and find your perfect position!
Quidditch™, the famous wizarding sport, also happens to be popular in Chicago and beyond, with plenty of teams that have assembled in the city. It’s also one of the main highlights at this Harry Potter™ experience with an entire area of green space to enjoy the sport, discover your ideal position, take lots of spectacular photos, and play several other fun games too. If anything, it’s the best spot in the experience to blow off some steam after time spent taking classes.
7. Make your way to the Forbidden Forest and Hagrid’s Hut
A Harry Potter experience in Chicago wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Forbidden Forest. Grab a lantern to light the way, but make sure to shine it onto the walls so you can spot several patronuses along the way. Next, you’ll come upon Hagrid’s hut, where you can help lift giant pumpkin’s.
8. Lose yourself in Triwizard Maze
There’s even the Triwizard Maze you can get lost in…if you’re brave enough… While you’re there, be sure to be on the lookout for several Easter eggs sprinkled about from the Fantastic Beasts films and you can even peep through Luna Lovegood’s Spectra–Specs…but what will you see?!
9. Sip on Butterbeer
And of course, you’ll be able to sip Butterbeer™ (Harry’s favorite drink!) and other themed food and beverage items at this experience like a Chocolate Wand, Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans™, and the Chocolate Frog™.
10. Pick up exclusive Harry Potter™ themed merch
After you’ve taken your classes, played Quidditch™, and fully immersed into this magical journey, don’t miss out on shopping as there’s an entire area on the ground floor just off Michigan Avenue dedicated to themed Wizarding World™ merchandise that is also open to the general public. There’s an exclusive Magic at Play wand (featuring all four houses), capes, t-shirts, brooms, mugs, stuffed animals, the Lego Hogwarts™ Castle, and so much more!
Harry Potter:™ Magic at Play has already received some rave reviews from attendees who have experienced this exclusive event in Chicago.
Molly L. – “Such a great experience! All of the staff members were fun, inviting, and helpful. My family and I had a blast! 10/10 would recommend!!”
Angela K. – “Magic at Play had the best parts of the London studio tour brought to Chicago. It’s not just for children; it’s for the kid inside of everyone.”
Isa L. – “I really enjoyed the experience as a whole. It was truly magical. My favorite part was going through the classroom floor and potions.”