Few if any books within most of our memories – much less any “young adult” fiction – have had the impact of the seven-book Harry Potter series and the movies it spawned, since the 1997 publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Child wizards, “Muggles“, quidditch, and Hogwarts have all become an indelible, ongoing part of world popular culture, garnering critical as well as popular acclaim and inspiring scores of spinoffs and even an Orlando theme park.
Now, more than 20 years on, add museums to that list. Or, in the case of Madrid, its IFEMA Madrid Fair convention centre, where the blockbuster Harry Potter: The Exhibition been delighting tens of thousands of Muggles (and unknown quantities of wizards) and thanks to its huge popularity has been extended through April 2 – part of a world tour including other major cities in Europe, North America, and Asia.
The 1,400-square-metre (over-15,000-sq.-foot) extravaganza includes props, wardrobe, and recreations of sets used in the films – for example the Forbidden Forest and the Gryffindor common room and dorm – as well as interactive experiences like launching a quidditch ball and exploring Hagrid‘s cottage from the giant’s gigantic armchair.
An extensive audio tour is available, and tickets (adults 16.90 euros, under 12 13.90, four-person family pack 50) can be bought at the exhibition itself – but to avoid disappointment, it’s best to purchase them online ahead of time. Harry Potter: The Exhibition is open weekdays 9 am to 10 pm, Saturdays 2 to 10 pm, and Sundays/holidays 4 to 9 pm.
As Hermoine Granger‘s spell would have it: Alohomora (Unlock) the magic!