So I was dying to go to the Harry Potter Store once I found out that it was being constructed. I not so patiently waited until an opportunity to go to New York City. That opportunity ended up being my birthday!
I decided I wanted to go to the city for my birthday, go to the Harry Potter store, explore some vegan bakeries and stop at the NicoNeco Zakkaya stationery store which I’ll discuss a little here too, even though I didn’t get any pictures.
Harry Potter Store Virtual Queue
The store opened on June 3rd, so I waited a total of three and half long months before getting to see it for myself. That was probably for the best though because my husband and I waited for barely an hour to get in to the store.
In order to control the store capacity, there is a virtual queue to scan into which will tell you when it is your time to enter the store. The store opened at 10am when we went. We got there at around 9:30 and scanned the code to get online. We got a text at 10:15 that we could go into the store.
We showed our virtual ticket to get in and bingo!
Upon entering, we walked in to see a beautiful Phoenix on the ceiling which I unfortunately didn’t get a picture of. Then we walked through a wand filled hall and then saw the middle of the store with the Griffin from Dumbledore’s office at it’s center. It even did a full rotation at one point! If you look closely, the part of the fence I’m holding on to is a replica of the Elder Wand.
The picture below is a great photo op as well, a picture with Hagrid! You get to step into his giant shoes. He sure is gigantic. Am I right?
Main Floor: Creature Corner and Photo Booth
We made a loop through the entire main floor first. Every room is themed around something different. There’s a room which is separated for clothing and accessories for each Hogwarts house, so you can get a Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Slytherin or Gryffindor specific sweater and scarf! Or a head boy/girl pin.
There is a candy room filled with all the sweets from Honeydukes including chocolate frogs, every flavor beans and butterbeer. A giant chocolate frog ribbets periodically. You can see some of this room in my reel below.
The creature corner (that’s what I’m calling it) is filled with plushies and such of all the creatures from Harry Potter: Aragog, Pickett (Fantastic Beasts), Dobby, and such. There’s also quidditch things, brooms and games in here. You can see Fred and George’s Extendable Ears and a Dirigible Plum tree in the photo above. I brought home a cute little bendable Pickett.
The photo booth is a great photo op. Make sure to get a pic there!
Harry Potter Store: Basement/Lower Level
This level had the customizable corner where you can get a custom Hogwarts letter or any clothing with your name on it. The room is conveniently titled: “Things That Must Be Named.” There’s the Slytherin house/Death Eater room with a giant snake coming out of the ceiling.
It also had my favorite areas: the MinaLima Room and the Book Corner!
I fell in love with the book corner. I got to walk through a gateway made of books and was greeted with all the Harry potter books “floating” by the ceiling. It was beautiful! I spent a serious amount of time in this area while my husband patiently waited for me, haha!
I got a gorgeous pop-up card filled with the entire Hogwarts Castle which is currently displayed in my living room. It was $15 (this store is not the cheapest so be prepared to spend money here).
The MinaLima room had this gorgeous fireplace filled with Harry’s Letters to Hogwarts. The room was also filled with their gorgeous artwork on stationery, posters, notebooks, journals, wallpaper, and pillowcases.
The center of the room had a replica of Harry’s Hogwarts Letter laid out for you to read. This room was definitely up there in my favorites!
Harry Potter Store Butterbeer
The store definitely has a flow to it, so after we paid for our stuff, we walked into the butterbeer bar on our way to the exit. We of course got a butterbeer, but at $10 a pop for a small cup, we got one and split it.
It was delicious! Definitely super sweet, but I love the foam on top. I definitely felt like Hermione chugging down butterbeer with some foam left on my lips afterwards.
There was also a variety of other treats to buy: cupcakes and cookies and ice cream, yum!
There you have it. That was my experience! I wasn’t able to do a virtual reality experience. All the slots were taken when I checked. If you want to do that, make sure you check at least a month in advance.
I loved this store. It would have been even better without the crowds, but I still enjoyed it immensely and would definitely go back again.
The Rest of My Day in NYC...
After the Harry Potter Store, my husband and I went to NicoNeco Zakkaya. This brick and mortar store is super tiny compared to the huge online fan base it has.
If you are at all into stationery, journaling, or pen paling and haven’t yet heard of this store, you need to look into it! All of the good stuff (or least the stationery I want the most!) frequently sells out on their website.
They are a purveyor of beautiful Japanese Stationery. I left with a lot more things than I intended. I could not get enough! There was all sorts of fountain pens and ink, journals, handmade paper, washi tapes, wooden stamps, wax seals and sealing wax, stickers, and paper ephemera. It was a stationery lovers dream.
My husband and I also ate plenty of food that day! We walked around a Farmer’s Market in Union Square while were waiting our turn to get in to the Harry Potter Store. We munched on vegan muffins and goat cheese.
We stopped by Plant-Baked bakery and picked out some goodies. The guy who worked there was super chill and told us about the selection of goodies they had. My husband went with a spicy cheesy pastry and I got a chocolate poppy swirled croissant (all vegan of course!).
We stopped at Bubbleology for some bubble tea and used our glass boba straws. I got passionfruit! Last but not least we ate a late lunch at the Organic Grill. We split this mushroom burger bowl and got deluxe nachos and it was absolutely divine. We will definitely be going there again!
All in all, I would say it was an absolutely lovely way to spend my birthday weekend. 🙂
Did you go to the Harry Potter Store yet? What was your favorite part of the store? What do you most look forward to seeing when you go there?