(From The Campus Lantern – April 18, 2013)
On Sunday, April 7, I went on the CAB trip to the Harry Potter Exhibit in New York City. We caught the coach bus bright and early at 9:00 AM in the Student Center parking lot. On the three hour ride to the city, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first movie in the series, was played inside the bus. Personally, I hadn’t seen the movie in years, and even though it was a Sunday morning, I was getting pumped up to see the exhibit.
Once we arrived in Times Square, we were let inside the Discovery Times Square building, which was where the exhibit was held. We waited in line for about twenty minutes, and then we took a picture with Hogwarts Houses scarves. At the end of the exhibit, the picture was available to buy for $20.
Then we were let into a small, dark room in which stood a “wizard” on a stage with the Sorting Hat next to him on a stool. Once the whole crowd got into the room, he asked if anyone would like to be sorted – everyone in the room raised their hand enthusiastically. The wizard chose three volunteers, and they all turned out to be brave, chivalrous Gryffindors.
After the sorting, we were let into a bigger, still dark, room that had about six large flat-screen televisions hung on the wall. In this room, we watched highlights from all eight Harry Potter movies. The short movie started out showing innocent Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger when they were first-years, and ended with the terrifying, powerful Voldemort from the last film. Once the short film was over, doors opened to the left and the first sight we saw was the actual front of the Hogwarts Express. A witch welcomed us into the world of Harry Potter. Happiness and nostalgia sprung inside me; Harry Potter was such a big part of my childhood, and I couldn’t believe the magic was coming to life.
For the next hour, we passed through a number of beautifully-decorated rooms dedicated to the wizarding world. The walls were plastered with paintings, House banners, and common room bulletin boards from the movie sets. Each room had outfits worn by the actors in the movies – both their robes worn in classes and casual clothes worn outside of Hogwarts. There were also artifacts from the movies such as Ron and Harry’s four-poster beds from their dormitories, Malfoy’s Nimbus 2001, the real Marauder’s Map, and screaming Mandrakes. There was even a room called “Hagrid’s Hut” which featured his oversided cauldron, hatching dragon egg from the third film, and huge furniture.
The exhibit ended into the gift shop, which was set up just like another room in the exhibit. T-shirts with Death-Eater logos on them, Dumbledore’s and Sirius’ wands, and time turners were among the items that were for sale at high prices.
Just like on the bus ride to New York, a Harry Potter movie was played on the ride home. This time, the last movie was played, and everyone watched intently the whole ride back to Eastern. I know that I speak for everyone who went on the trip when I say that it was something I’ll never forget, and it reiterated in me something that will always have a special place in my heart: “All was well.”