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“Harry Potter” NYC exhibit opens today

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Harry Potter fans, your ticket to Hogwarts has just arrived.

OK, so it isn’t the real wizarding school, but “Harry Potter: The Exhibition” at Discovery Times Square might be the closest you’ll get to seeing J.K. Rowling’s magical world without deducing how to dive into the pages of a novel using some form of Dark Arts.

The exhibit, located off New York City’s Times Square, holds its Grand Opening today, April 5, and will run through Sept. 5. Organizers have said this is the exhibition’s final North American destination before traveling internationally.

“This very special sneak peak provides Harry Potter fans with the opportunity to experience the magic of the [series],” said Eddie Newquist, chief creative officer for GES, which has staged this recreation of the Potter universe.

Friends and colleagues who have attended sneak previews say the exhibit holds virtually every prop from the “Harry Potter” film series. You can tour recreations of famous sets, interact with characters, and be a part of Harry’s world, if only for a moment.

More from the release:

In partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES) created the 14,000- square-foot experiential exhibition, where visitors will be able to visit dramatic displays inspired by the HogwartsTM film sets and see the amazing craftsmanship behind authentic costumes and props from the films. Original artifacts from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and the highly anticipated finale, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2, will be on display along with hundreds of original props and costumes from all of the previous Harry Potter films.

Harry Potter: The Exhibition offers fans a firsthand view of hundreds of authentic artifacts displayed in settings inspired by the film sets—including the Great Hall, Hagrid’s hut, the GryffindorTM common room—and more.

Harry Potter: The Exhibition opens Friday, April 1 – Sunday, April 3 for the Sneak Peek Preview Weekend and reopens Tuesday, April 5 and runs through Monday, September 5, 2011.

The exhibition requires a time-entry ticket and guests are encouraged to purchase their tickets early to ensure the best date and time. Tickets for the exhibition can be purchased at the Discovery Times Square box office (226 West 44th Street), through the website www.DiscoveryTS.com or by phone at (866) 987-9692.

Discovery Times Square is open Monday – Sunday 10am – 8 pm, last admission 1 hour prior to closing. General public admission to Harry Potter: The Exhibition is $25 for adults; $22.50 for seniors (65 and over) and $19.50 for children (4-12); children under 4 years of age are free.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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