The Ollivander’s Wand Shop Experience

The wizard’s apprentice ushers about 10-15 people from the queue formed outside the shop, into a room lit just enough to make out a staircase built against wall shelves holding stacks and stacks of boxes (presumably) containing wands. A dark figure, back towards the crowd, begins to move on the landing of the staircase once the small crowd gathered has situated themselves.

Soon, you’ll realise that it’s an actor in wizard costume, the presumed shop proprietor. The wizard welcomes you to his shop before going on to pick one audience member for the reenactment of the scene in the movie, where Harry Potter meets Ollivander the wand maker and is told that “the wand chooses the wizard.”

I recorded the last bit of the act, so take a look:

When the reenactment ends, visitors are led through a doorway leading to Flourish and Blotts. In this sense, it’s slightly gimmicky – designed to get you really hyped about wands and perhaps want to bring some of the “magic” home. Thankfully, Flourish and Blotts is a delight to browse, and the reenactment thoroughly enjoyable to watch. The actor who played the wand maker was excellent enough that it was like watching a good, contemporary theatre act rather than a cheesy theme park performance. The same guy can’t be playing the part all the time, of course, so your experience may be different from mine.

I’d love to see more characters come to life; they are an asset to creating a real Harry Potter atmosphere! How about having the Weasley twins stand outside Honeydukes, or being able to say hello to Aberforth at the Boar’s Head? *Fingers crossed*

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