Harry Potter: The Exhibition – Brussels, Belgium
by MuggleNet · Published · Updated
The Exhibition‘s 15th stop was hosted at the Heysel Exhibition Park in Brussels, Belgium, from June 30, 2016, until September 11, 2016. Over 75,000 tickets were sold before the exhibition opened, breaking records over previous stops.
HARRY POTTER™: THE EXHIBITION
COMING TO BRUSSELS FOR A LIMITED SEASON!
Palais 2, Brussels Expo from June 30, 2016
Tickets available from Friday February 5
This summer, Harry Potter™ fans in Belgium will finally have the opportunity to step inside the famous wizard’s world with Harry Potter: The Exhibition, hosted at Palais 2 of Brussels Expo. Since its world premiere in Chicago, the exhibition has already received more than 3.5 million visitors and has included stops in Boston, Toronto, Seattle, New York, Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo, Paris and Shanghai. Tickets for the exhibition at Brussels Expo are on sale from February 5.
Matthew Lewis, who played Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films, announced Brussels as the exhibition’s fifteenth stop to thousands of excited fans attending the 3rd annual Celebration of Harry Potter at the Wizarding World at Universal Studios Orlando on Friday, January 29.
In partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Global Experience Specialists (GES) created the 1,400-square-meter experiential exhibition, where visitors are able to enjoy dramatic displays inspired by the Harry Potter film sets and see the amazing craftsmanship behind authentic costumes, props and creatures from the films. Fire-Starter, Brussels Expo and Encore B are partnering with GES to present the exhibition in Brussels.
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 Brussels for a strictly limited engagement, will be open daily. Timed-entry tickets are required, and the last entry will be one hour and a half before the closing of the exhibition. Tickets to the exhibition are on sale from February 5 at www.expoharrypotter.be.
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.
This second time around, the Exhibition got a minor upgrade: With the Ford Anglia, the knight chess piece, and a display of the brand new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie, the collection was slightly expanded. The interior was also decorated for Christmas with Christmas trees, wreaths, and (fake) snow.
James Phelps returned to Brussels for this special occasion, to open the Exhibition a second time, and on behalf of MuggleNet, I had the amazing opportunity to get a sneak peek the day before the official re-opening.
Upon entering, we were greeted by the Ford Anglia, ready to bring us to our next destination: the Sorting Hat. Luckily for me, the Sorting Hat had not yet changed its mind after Sorting me into Gryffindor on Pottermore and re-Sorted me in the same House.
The first prop that we saw was the Hogwarts Express, after which a room full of magic opens up. Paintings, some of them even moving, welcomed us in. In a dark corner, I spotted a painting of Newt Scamander, which was obviously welcomed with a lot of excitement. The props are sorted per location: the Gryffindor common room, the boys’ dormitory, Umbridge’s office, the greenhouses, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, you name it.
About halfway through the Exhibition, you find a room full of Quidditch props, including three hoops and some Quaffle balls, and so we could all experience the feeling of being a true Chaser. James Phelps met us here and challenged us to a one-on-one Chasing match. Truth be told, he could use some Chasing practice, but of course, we all know he is a Beater, so he was forgiven.
We moved on toward Hagrid’s hut, where we could try out his chair for ourselves. Further on, we encountered some creatures from the Forbidden Forest, got immersed by the Dark Arts, and walked through the Great Hall.
It was a truly magical experience, being surrounded by the world we all love so much. However, our time was limited, because James Phelps was waiting on a Q&A session with Newsmonkey that we all got to attend.
Some fun facts: If he could have played any other role in the movies, he would have liked to play Dobby. He is also quite the prankster. If he could, he would like to sneak some Polyjuice Potion with an animal’s hair in it to his brother, which seems a bit cruel, considering we all know what trying to change into an animal using Polyjuice does to you. But probably the most shocking thing he told us was that Rowling gave him one bit of information about the Weasley family that she never told anybody else. And the secret is safe with him since he refused to tell us precisely what she told him. All he said was that it is about where the Weasleys come from. Mysterious, isn’t it?
One more thing: According to James, all the important props are present at the Exhibition. When asked which prop he would have liked to have added, he couldn’t think of any. So for anyone considering a visit, if this doesn’t convince you to come experience the magic, I don’t know what will.