Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Magical Afternoon at the Harry Potter Exhibition

Dimanche, 31 juillet.

As July comes to a close, I'm celebrating my first three weeks working in Belgium and -- as of yesterday -- being fully moved in to my new home away from home! Two of my friends drove up from Luxembourg yesterday to bring the last of my belongings and to visit for the day.

Lucie and Dikra have both been to Brussels a couple of times, so instead of hitting up the usual tourist spots, we decided to check out something a little bit different...


That's right, folks. Harry Potter: The Exhibition.

Never heard of it? This travelling exhibit features props, costumes, and set pieces from the Harry Potter film series -- sort of like a moving version of the Warner Brothers Studio Tour. Since 2009, it has been to over a dozen cities, including Chicago, New York, Tokyo, Paris, and now Brussels. Guests to the exhibition walk through reconstructed sets and rooms featuring everything from moving portraits to screaming mandrakes. And uh, yeah. It. Is. Awesome.

We got tired and decided to grab a seat in Hagrid's hut!

Below, some of Hermione's possessions, including her wand, time turner, and the enchanted list with the names of the members of Dumbledore's Army. (Side note: Do you think that the actors got to choose how their characters would sign their names? Did they have to learn a specific signature? Were there stunt doubles for important prop documents? So many questions!)

Recognize the the Sorcerer's Stone? What about the flying key that Harry has to catch in order to get to it? (If I close my eyes, I can still hear a pint-sized Daniel Radcliffe shouting: "There! I see it! The one with the broken wing!")

Below, an exhibit features props associated with Dark Magic throughout the books. Among them: Tom Riddle's ruined diary and R.A.B.'s locket!


In addition to an incredible number of props and set pieces, I was surprised by the number of costumes the exhibition featured! It was fun to see some of the classic outfits from the earlier films (like Harry's red sweater and khaki pants combo from the first film, or Hermione's pink sweatshirt from Prisoner of Azkaban). Recognize these outfits?


Practical Information

Harry Potter: The Exhibition opened in June 2016 and will be at the Brussels Expo Center until September. The exhibit is open daily from 10 am to 7:00 pm during the week and to 8:00 pm on the weekends. (Keep in mind that the last entry is 90 minutes before closing!)

Tickets cost approximately 20€ for adults, with 18€ tickets for students/seniors and 15€ tickets for children. For an additional cost, guests can opt to purchase an hour-long audioguide. Tickets can -- and should -- be bought online ahead of time because, let me tell you, this expo is POPULAR. When we arrived, sans tickets, at 10:30 am on a Saturday, we were told that the next available places were not until 4:30 that afternoon!)

That's all for now, folks. Mischief managed!

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