Take a tour through an immersive Harry Potter exhibit

Fans can expect a mixture of nostalgia, a little bit of mystery and some fascinating technology as the exhibition makes a stop in Atlanta.
Posted at 1:49 PM, Feb 01, 2023

Get your Quidditch brooms and magical wands ready. "Harry Potter: The Exhibition"may be coming to a city near you.

No, it's not alchemy. Whether you're a fan of the books or the movies, you can now get up close to original props used by your favorite characters in the film, and you don't have to travel all the way to Hogwarts. 

"We have a license with Warner Bros. and we worked very closely with the Warner Bros. team in developing all of the exhibition. And we went through the archive and selected different pieces, so something from each house."

It may look like a movie set, or maybe a museum, and you can probably tell by the absence of VR headsets that it's not the metaverse

"And that's what I think separates us from a lot of the other experiences out there," said Tom Zaller, CEO of Imagine Exhibitions, which has brought "Harry Potter: The Exhibition" to Atlanta. "You see the original props and then we have these awesome environments and really cool places to take your selfies and all that. But we also have these original props and costumes, like this is the Sword of Gryffindor."

Harry Potter: The boy who lived and the franchise that just won't die

Harry Potter: The boy who lived and the franchise that just won't die

"Cursed Child" reportedly broke the presale record at Barnes & Noble previously set by "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" in 2007.


Imagine Exhibitions took a ballroom space in downtown Atlanta and transformed it into a Wizarding World. 

"My company creates experiences, and this is sort of the Holy Grail in a way," Zaller said. "The brand is so powerful and so loved by so many people. And it's also something that I felt like we could translate into a three-dimensional experience."

Zaller and his team have tapped into one of the largest fan bases in the world.  

It was 25 years ago when readers would learn about an unruly-haired orphan boy who wears circular framed glasses and has a strange lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead. 

The Harry Potter series of novels written by British author J.K Rowling has sold about 500 million copies to date. 

Harry Potter went on to the big screen, becoming Warner Bros.' most successful film with a worldwide gross of $1.3 billion. 

"We are emulating the film, right? Because that's [where] our license is from," Zaller said. "This is the sort of visual world of Harry Potter, which I think the filmmakers did an incredible job of bringing that world to life." 

Walking through the exhibit in Atlanta, soaking in your favorite scenes from the movies and books, sipping a themed cocktail —

Zaller says the real magic is in the immersive technology hidden within the exhibition. 

Pop-ups are the new pop culture phenomenon

Pop-ups are the new pop culture phenomenon

Pop-ups like The "Bridgerton" Experience are showing up across the country, raking in millions of dollars and ramping up hype for studios and their shows.


"So we know that people want more than just a passive experience — they want to interact, they want to be a part of something," he continued. "And so, we know technology is awesome, but we didn't want it to be on the front. We want it to feel like it's magic."

The cross-generational relatability of the characters makes experiences like this worthwhile for many fans. It's a bucket-list trip for Chris Cash, traveling from Tampa, Florida, to bring her family.  

"It was something that we've never done together, you know? We're all into it. I've been into it 20 years or more," Cash said. "They've just finally gotten [to where] they can read the books and enjoy the movie."

"It's exciting because we can talk about something ... it's hard to find things that we all enjoy and that we all know so much about. And this is one of those things," exhibit visitor Zola Vanderels said. "Just makes it fun."

"My favorite part is always the people walking out smiling. And I love it when they love it," Zaller said. 

This exhibit has made its rounds from Vienna to Paris to Philadelphia and now, Atlanta. 

Where the exhibit will land next? Zaller tells Scripps News it's still a mystery.