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Yesterday I had the marvelous opportunity to visit the Harry Potter Exhibition at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, WA. Prior to entering the exhibit we wandered around the Science Center enjoying some of the sights, sounds, and tactile sensations. In fact all of the senses were stimulated which summons forth memories of visiting this place as a child and the great joy it brought me. One of the highlights of our pre-Exhibition wanderlust included a sphere representing our planet created by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). It was mesmerizing watching the illusion created by 4 strategically located projectors work their magic. I stood there utterly mesmerized for many minutes before prompted by our group to continue. I did stop long enough to film it for my brother who is a huge weather buff. Here’s a Youtube clip to see the construction of this beautiful creation. Prior to moving on to the Harry Potter Exhibition I will also make mention of the Tropical Butterfly House where many different kinds of butterflies can be observed in their natural tropical habitat. If you come to the Seattle Science Center I highly suggest visiting this section as it will transport you to their world and remind you what a magical place earth really is. (((WARNING! HARRY POTTER EXHIBIT SPOILERS BELOW))) Finally we found ourselves in the line for the Harry Potter Exhibition. You could feel the electric charge in the air from the crowd which was not only children but many teens and adults excited to get a glimpse at many of the props and costumes used in the actual Harry Potter movies. The staff working outside I noticed later throughout the day wandering the exhibit on their breaks and entering the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 even though they had probably seen both many times over! Harry Potter fans are not to be trifled with! (Move over Trekkies! Here comes Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore’s army!)-Ed We stood shivering in the cold winter air and warming our hands with our breath until finally the line began to shuffle forward. Entering a dark hallway decorated with the crests of the various houses of Hogwarts we were halted at a stool where a witch stood waiting with the Magical Sorting Hat. After a brief greeting, children were allowed to sit upon the stool and wear the sorting hat which would name off the house to which they would belong. Strangely, every child got the house they had named as their favorite! (All Gryffindor and 1 Ravenclaw) After the group moved on I stopped to speak with the young dark haired attractive witch and inquire as to if anyone ever asked for House Slytherin. She said “Yes, you would be surprised. We have LOTS of Slytherins!” With a smile and nod of her hat she said farewell and we moved into a small room full of multiple screens which flashed imagery from the Harry Potter movies. I presume this was to slowly prepare one to be transported to another world and introduce Harry Potter’s world to those parents escorting their children who are pure Muggles. The video ended with many shots of Lord Voldemort dominating the screen with snakes and flame. At the climax the entire wall lifted to reveal a life-size recreation of the Hogwarts Express belching smoke and steam with it’s lone light glowing in our eyes. We approached slowly and in awe with smiles and dropped jaws. Once we had closed our jaws we came to the sad conclusion that we would not be boarding the train and were ushered down a hallway into a room filled with the moving paintings from the Hogwarts School of Wizardry. Familiar faces greeted us from the painting filling every wall, some moving and some as still as death itself. The infamous obese operatic woman attempted to break her glass with her voice again and again. Just when she thought we weren’t looking she crashed it into the column eliciting broken laughter from the children in the group. The magic for me was just around the bend. As we were led deeper into Hogwarts we were greeted by headless mannequins wearing the different costumes and robes of the students, witches, and wizards of Hogwarts. We read documents which I was sworn to secrecy not to speak of here so you must go for yourself if you wish to know more. Let me just say that there are tests that only the most magically endowed Muggles will be able to pass within the exhibition. The wands were very intriguing to me, the intricate carving upon each wand and the way the artists tailored them to the individual characters was quite interesting. While wandering through the exhibit we also observed the potion crafting class complete with all manner of jars and containers filled to the brim with the weird and the nasty! I was quite tempted to reach over the chains keeping us out of those areas to rip open a container and do some experimentation with some of the reagents. The Quidditch area had the Nimbus 2000 and the Nimbus 2001 and just at this point a group from England happened to be standing directly behind us. Two of the boys were aruging over who won a Quidditch match in one of the movies. It made the moment feel quite real as we looked at fliers for upcoming matches, the Nimbus broomsticks, Quidditch balls, and of course -the Golden Snitch! After this kids were able to toss Quidditch balls up and try to get them through the rings. Turning to our right we saw some exciting and terrifying creatures which I won’t give away because I believe it would be quite evil to spoil all the magic for you lest you go to the exhibit yourself soon! We then entered Hagrid’s Cottage where we could sit in his gigantic chair, see just how big Hagrid is by gawking at his ENORMOUS COSTUME, and watch a golden dragon egg hatch upon the table. There was even a fire in the hearth with a boiling pot upon it! Finally we entered the grand dining hall of Hogwart’s School of Wizardry where all manner of delectables called out for us to eat them, sadly they called out in vain as they were kept locked tight behind solid glass. Candles floated in the air above us while Dumbledore’s Phoenix Fawkes bade us a silent farewell. Beyond the exit lay the giftshop where many a Muggle stopped to drop a pretty pence and walk away with all things Harry Potter. One from our group procured Harry Potter’s own wand and somehow escaped unnoticed by Harry who we presume must have no need of it now that he hath completed the filming of the final movie. I found out that you can also buy those cool magic wands online. At Amazon.com they have Dumbledore’s Wand, Hermione’s Wand, Lord Voldemort’s Wand, and Professor Snape’s Wand After our Nerd Trek through the Harry Potter Exhibit at the Seattle Science Center we were granted the fine opportunity to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 in it’s entirety at the IMAX theater, but that is another story for an evening not so far away. Good evening, and sweet dreams Muggles.
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