We went to the Harry Potter Exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry for my daughter's 9th birthday (http://www.msichicago.org/whats-here/exhibits/harry-potter/ ). I thought I would blog about the pros and cons of our experience for those of you thinking about going.
A note before we start, I'm into Harry Potter. I've read all the books and will see all the movies as they come out. However I don't love Harry Potter enough to go to a midnight showing of any sort and I can't tell you the names of the kids in Hufflepuff. Just so we are both clear.
The Exhibition is set up in a way that flows nicely, starting off with a dramatic entry. I won't give it away so you can enjoy it yourself.
There is a lot of detail through out the exhibit. I'd love to get my hands on the Cedric Diggory button, from the triwizzard tournament, with his face beaming like the sun. Robert Pattinson was destined to be a teenage (and their mother's) heart throb.
It is interesting to see how much character was put into each of the wizard's wands when viewed up close.
I got to sit in Hagrid's chair inside his hut. I felt like a little kid because the chair was so gigantic.
The people that work the exhibit are obviously Potter fans and excited to be there. Tevya was the only kid on our tour and one of workers followed her around asking her questions and helping her to play a game.
Get ready to spend some money. Ticket prices are high, parking is $16 and the gift shop (which you are conveniently let out into at the end of the exhibit) is out of control. The knick knacks are for die hard fans only, and way over priced. We made it out with the cheapest thing in the gift shop, a book mark for $3.95.
I got to sit in Hagrid's chair, but I couldn't take a picture because they banned all cameras.
EVERYONE who works the Potter Exhibition is British! No wait, they're all American cheerleaders with horribly fake english accents. The staff are so overly enthusiastic that you instinctively take a few steps back when they come at you. I've never meet a Brit that over the moon happy in my life.
Because Tevya was the only kid on the tour the employees paid heavy attention to her. "Did she want to toss around the bludger?" "How about pull up a mandrake?" "What house did she belong to?" To the last question she responded "I'm not in a house. I like Gryffindor, but I don't belong to a house." Translated this means, "Doesn't this lady know I'm not in the book?" Tevya kept giving me the eye, wishing these happy helpers would let her look at the exhibit in peace. I'm sure this is a pro for other children who are less literal and sarcastic as my little sweet pea.
To sum things up, go when the museum is open so you can enjoy all that it has to offer. The Harry Potter Exhibition is worth seeing if you have money to burn and/or you are an extreme Potter fan.