Harry Potter New York, the new retail store around the Harry Potter world, is getting two virtual reality (VR) experiences at its flagship store. Both take people through adventures while donning VR headsets and devices, including hand and food trackers, similar to other VR experiences including the ones offered at Dreamscape Los Angeles.
The first experience at the Harry Potter New York store is "Chaos at Hogwarts," which sends people into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and has them cast spells with wands to halt Pixies inside. The second, "Harry Potter Wizards Take Flight," puts people on a broom and into Knockturn Alley, while flying above London and avoiding Death Eaters. Both were developed by Wevr, which had also worked with Jon Favreau for the VR fantasy experience "Gnomes & Goblins," and also "theBlu." a deep sea VR experience coming back to Dreamscape.
The Harry Potter New York store itself opened on June 3, 2021, just as New York began to open up following the past year. Located near the Flatiron Building, off 22nd Street between 5th Avenue and Broadway, the store using a virtual line — even in person — to manage capacity.
At the store, visitors have to scan a QR code which then to fill out details about their group. A notification is sent to their smartphone to let them know when they can come back, — they have an hour to return — and six people are allowed to return per group. The QR code is put up starting at 7 am every morning, and when the virtual line is actually full — they turn off the queue for the day. Visitors cannot sign up in advance, or online, and they also cannot walk-in.
Those who get the notification then go to the 5th Avenue Pre-Entry line and still stand there to wait. The VR experiences require a separate reservation, as well as paid tickets. (Getting into the store is actually free.) But those people can just walk to the front of the line, and are allowed entry into the store — and to their experience — that way.
Tickets, which are $34 each, are currently available between July 15 and August 15 — and to even buy tickets, the web site puts people into a virtual line before they can even enter the page to buy tickets.
Players must be 10 years old and older, and 48 inches tall at least — and times are open every 30 minutes.