Harry Potter New York Is Debuting New Virtual Reality Experiences — and We Took a First Look

Wands at the ready! Now's your chance to fly around London on a broom and wander the halls of Hogwarts.

Step into the Wizarding World and see the Harry Potter universe like never before in Harry Potter New York's new virtual reality experiences opening July 15. Two unique adventures give visitors the chance to live out their witch and wizard dreams thanks to these interactive experiences located inside the newly opened Harry Potter flagship store in New York City.

Exterior of the Harry Potter NYC Flagship store
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Two virtual reality experiences — "Chaos at Hogwarts" and "Wizards Take Flight" — take guests on immersive adventures through iconic settings from the movies and books. After donning a VR headset, backpack, and hand and foot trackers, guests will wander through the castle halls during "Chaos at Hogwarts," departing from King's Cross to follow Dobby through incredible scenes, casting spells and spotting a ghost or two along the way. Fly on your own broomstick — wand in hand — during "Wizards Take Flight." During this experience, guests will soar around Hogwarts Castle and fight Death Eaters as they fly through London, thanks to a physical broom, VR headset, and hand trackers.

Chaos at Hogwarts VR at the Harry Potter NYC Flagship store
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Travel + Leisure took a first look at this new attraction before it opens to the public this week. Harry Potter superfans will love the multi-sensory immersion into the Wizarding World — each experience is unique (so true fans will want to make a reservation for each), and they allow aspiring witches and wizards to fulfill their fantasies of soaring along the Quidditch pitch on a broomstick, casting spells to defeat Death Eaters, and riding on Hogwarts' magical moving staircases. Before you strap into the VR equipment, you'll even choose your house and an avatar so you can (virtually) see others in your group while you experience the magic. We won't spoil everything, but we can say there are plenty of enchanting surprises in store.

Wizards Take Flight VR at the Harry Potter NYC Flagship store
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Advance timed tickets are available now on the Harry Potter New York website for $34 each, and tickets to the virtual reality experience include access to the store, which is currently using a virtual queue. Guests must be at least 48 inches tall and 10 years or older, and guests under 13 years old will have to be accompanied by an adult guest with a ticket, too. Arrive 30 minutes before your slot to check in ahead of time (the experience itself takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, including time to check in and gear up). We'd recommend wearing comfortable shoes (preferably not heels or flip flops), too.

Once you've finished your virtual experience, head to the Butterbeer Bar for a glass of draft or bottled Butterbeer (or some Butterbeer ice cream), or explore the detailed shopping areas spanning over 21,000 square feet to find themed merchandise, including dozens of wands.

Elizabeth Rhodes is an associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her adventures on Instagram @elizabetheverywhere.

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