Harry Potter: The Exhibition – Utrecht, the Netherlands

Harry Potter: The Exhibition made its 16th stop in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Hosted inside the CineMec building, it was open in between February 11, 2017, and September 2, 2017, after which the exhibition continued its extended tour into 2020.

Press Report - Monica Dieleman & Mikaela Renshaw

Those who arrive by public transportation can immediately see that they have arrived at the right spot. On a short, five-minute walk from the train station, people can see the large posters of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, telling them they have arrived at the exhibition.

Coming to the Netherlands for the first time, the exhibition has chosen a place that may not be in the direct center of the city of Utrecht but gives all the space the creators of the exhibition could possibly want.

Here it was a custom-made venue for us, for the first time, so it was absolutely perfect,” exhibition creator Frank told us. “The ceiling heights and walls are just right, and the sound is great. That made us very excited about the facility.

Everyone who enters the CineMec building is welcomed by the flying Ford Anglia, Mr. Weasley’s infamous car, which was used by Fred, George, and Ron to rescue Harry from the Dursleys. Further in the CineMec, you enter a hall where you can have a Harry Potter-themed picture taken with the choice of different backgrounds, and then you go through the doors to the exhibition itself. There, a lucky few get Sorted into their Hogwarts House by the Sorting Hat.

 

 

After the Sorting Ceremony, a member of the school staff takes you through doors, which are reminiscent of the doors of the Great Hall, and suddenly, you are on platform nine and three-quarters, with the Hogwarts Express next to you. With the Hogwarts Express on your left, you enter the Gryffindor common room, filled with props everyone knows, like Ron’s, Harry’s, and Hermione’s wands, the painting of the Fat Lady, and the beds the boys slept in in the Gryffindor dorm. Past the dorm, you enter a section dedicated to the classes and teachers of Hogwarts, from Umbridge to Trelawney. Make sure you stop by the Herbology section to try your hand at repotting mandrakes. Just take care to cover your ears first.

 

 

The next room focuses on a different aspect of wizarding life: Quidditch. The room has props and costumes from the Hogwarts House teams and from the Quidditch World Cup, such as the official uniform of the Irish Quidditch team. You can also get a chance to try out part of the sport yourself, by tossing Quaffles through goalposts.

 

 

Once you’ve wandered off the Quidditch pitch, you find yourself coming to Hagrid’s hut. The detail on this room is incredible and really makes you feel like you’ve stumbled onto the grounds of Hogwarts, or at the very least a film set. If you look on the table, you can even see Norbert’s egg, just on the verge of hatching. You also have the opportunity to sit in Hagrid’s armchair. I should warn you, though; it’s large enough to swallow you.

 

 

From there, keep a wary eye out as you make your way into the Forbidden Forest, where you can see creatures like centaurs, an Acromantula, and even a dragon. The baby Thestral can be a bit hard to see in the dark, but if you look closely, you’ll find it. Of course, the Forbidden Forest does hold all the Dark forces of the exhibition. The next room is dedicated to just that. Full of the wanted posters and the clothes of prominent Death Eaters like Bellatrix Lestrange and Fenrir Greyback, this room shows the darker side of J.K. Rowling’s world. And to top it all off, in the center is a case full of Harry Potter’s Darkest magic: the Horcruxes.

 

 

Once you’ve made it past that room, you find the props reminiscent of happier events, such as the Skiving Snackboxes, and robes worn at the Yule Ball. You can also find Fawkes the phoenix here, settled majestically upon his perch. From there, sadly, you reach the end of the exhibition. But to ensure your ability to keep precious memories and mementos of the event, there is, of course, a small gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs.

Overall, Harry Potter: The Exhibition is a stunning tribute to the wild and fantastical world J.K. Rowling gifted to us. It will remind you why you fell in love with the series in the first place. Thus, it’s a highly recommended must-see for all Harry Potter fans who can make it to Utrecht before the end of June when the exhibition closes.

Read Monica and Mikaela’s full report, including interviews with the Phelps twins and the creators of the Exhibition here!

Press Release

HARRY POTTER™: THE EXHIBITION
IS COMING TO THE NETHERLANDS!
Exhibition Opening Next to CineMec Utrecht on February 11, 2017
Tickets available beginning Friday, September 16 at www.harrypotterexpo.nl

Utrecht, 12 September 2016 – Beginning February 11, 2017, Harry Potter fans in The Netherlands will finally have the opportunity to step inside the famous wizard’s world with Harry Potter™: The Exhibition, another magical experience from J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. Since its world premiere in Chicago, the exhibition has already received more than 4 million visitors and has included stops in Boston, Toronto, Seattle, New York, Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo, Paris, Shanghai and Brussels. Tickets for the exhibition in Utrecht go on sale this Friday, September 16 at 10am on www.harrypotterexpo.nl.

In partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, GES created the 1,400-square-meter experiential exhibition, where visitors can enjoy dramatic displays inspired by the Harry Potter film sets and see the amazing craftsmanship behind authentic costumes, props and creatures from the films. MOJO is partnering with GES to present the exhibition in Utrecht.

“We are thrilled to bring this extraordinary exhibition to Utrecht.” said Frederik van Alkemade, promoter special events of MOJO, “Fans will be able to get closer than ever to the wizarding world right here in The Netherlands. Harry Potter: The Exhibition is a must-see for all ages.”

“We are delighted to partner with Mojo to bring the magic of Harry Potter to The Netherlands,” said Eddie Newquist, chief creative officer for GES. “Harry Potter: The Exhibition has welcomed millions of guests from cities all over the world during its tour, and continues to amaze fans with its thousands of props and costumes.”

From the moment guests enter Harry Potter: The Exhibition they are immediately immersed in the world of Harry Potter. Guests are greeted by an exhibit host who sorts several lucky fans into their favorite Hogwarts™ houses, then leads them inside the exhibition where their journey to favorite scenes from the Harry Potter films begins. The exhibition features settings from the films’ most popular locations—including the Gryffindor™ common room and dormitory; classrooms like Potions and Herbology; and the Forbidden Forest—which are filled with thousands of authentic props, costumes, and creatures used in the filming of the iconic series.

In addition to the beautiful environments and displays, there are several interactive elements. Guests can enter the Quidditch™ area and toss a Quaffle ball, pull their own Mandrake in the Herbology classroom vignette, and even tour a re-creation of Hagrid’s hut and sit in his giant-sized armchair.

The exhibition in Utrecht will be open daily until June 30. Timed-entry tickets are required, and the last entry will be one-half hour before the closing of the exhibition. Tickets to the exhibition are on sale from September 16 at www.harrypotterexpo.nl

An exclusive audio tour is also available, providing behind-the-scenes insight into the making of the Harry Potter films, with commentary from the producers, prop designers, costume designers and creature designers.

 

You can see the entire press release here!

Exhibition Main Page