Experiences
The griffin inside Harry Potter New York, the flagship store in NYC.

5 Hidden Gems You Can Only Find At Harry Potter’s NYC Flagship Store

Apparate me back!

To quote the late Albus Dumbledore, “Let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.” After more than a year of social distancing and only traveling when necessary, I — like many others — am so ready for a summer filled with exciting experiences. The good people at Warner Bros. clearly anticipated my particular needs, because on Thursday, June 3 (which just so happens to be my birthday!), Harry Potter New York will finally open its doors to the public, and unveil at least a handful of hidden gems along with it.

Plans for the NYC flagship were originally announced in January 2020, but were inevitably delayed amid the coronavirus pandemic. Now, as COVID-19 cases reach a record low in New York City, the latest addition to the Wizarding World — located in NYC’s Flatiron District at 935 Broadway, right next to the iconic Flatiron building — is prepared to unleash its magical greatness to the masses. Keep in mind that Harry Potter New York is following all guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), so you may be required to wear a mask in the store, and you will be encouraged to keep a physical distance from other guests while shopping and participating in the Harry Potter-themed virtual reality experiences.

If you consider yourself a Potterhead and are planning to vaxication in NYC this summer, this shop is a must-see for all the Harry Potter Easter eggs alone. Here are five such secret tidbits I found while touring Harry Potter New York ahead of the grand opening:

01
Scabbers on the Dirigible Plum tree branch.
Kaitlin Cubria/Elite Daily

Evanna Lynch, aka Luna Lovegood, previously told Elite Daily the Dirigible Plum tree is her favorite part of the flagship — because "there's never been a Luna Lovegood specific part in any park or store or exhibition" before — and I totally see why. Not only is it surrounded by enough merch to make you want to hit up Gringotts, but there are so many details aligning the walls and ceiling. Look up and around, and you’ll find multiple mandrakes; Hagrid’s Acromantula, Aragog; Newt Scamander’s Bowtruckle from Fantastic Beasts, Pickett; plus everyone’s not-so-favorite “rat,” Scabbers. (There are actually two creeping around, so keep your eyes open.)

02
Pictures of Ministry officials above the “fireplace” elevator.

There are two ways to get to the ground floor of Harry Potter New York. One is to take the staircase with the rotating Griffin, à la the one that leads to Dumbledore’s office; the other is to take the elevator, which has an image of a fireplace with a roaring red fire emblazoned across it. As the doors open, the fire turns green, reminiscent of what happens after you use Floo Powder. If you happen to look above the doors before you step inside, you’ll notice pictures of Cornelius Fudge, Barty Crouch Senior, Rufus Scrimgeour, and other influential members of the British Ministry of Magic, leading you to believe that you’re about to use the Floo Network to enter the Ministry.

03
Horoscopes and various other newspaper clippings from the Daily Prophet.

The best part of the entire shop, in my opinion, is the Butterbeer Bar. It’s exactly what it sounds like — an entire bar that serves the creamy beverage from Harry Potter. It offers your favorites from the Universal theme parks, such as Butterbeer on tap and Butterbeer ice cream, as well as vegan Butterbeer for the first time in the U.S.

If you get a chance to go inside, you’ll notice that the tables are adorned with different issues of the Daily Prophet. As someone who edits horoscopes for Elite Daily, I can tell you that I spent a fair amount of time reading what the Wizarding World has to say about my astrological forecast. This, however, was one of the funniest headlines: “Muggle Mistakes Wand For Chopsticks And Causes Mayhem At Chinese Restaurant.” It’s become a crowd fave among HPNY employees.

Other gems inside the Butterbeer Bar include a spinning cupcake at the checkout counter, and Butterbeer bubbling in the pipes along the walls.

04
The intentionally cold bricks throughout the store.

You may notice that the bricks throughout Harry Potter New York are cold. Nothing in the store is done by accident; the blocks were purposefully made to feel cool to the touch to mimic areas like the train platform. It’ll be like you’re actually on Platform 9 ¾, getting ready to go to Hogwarts.

05
A Harry Potter New York print inside the House of MinaLima.
Kaitlin Cubria/Elite Daily

Arguably the most visually compelling section of HPNY is the House of MinaLima. MinaLima — the design studio behind the graphic props of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films — also worked on the store, so naturally, its department is stunning. As you walk through its Marauder’s Map-covered floor, you can see all of Harry’s Hogwarts acceptance letters coming from the fireplace, a delicate sculpture of Hedwig, and an exclusive print of Harry Potter New York you can only find in the flagship. If the movies didn’t already have you thanking Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima before, you’ll want to shower them with all sorts of gratitude after you see what they put together for the shop.

Apart from all of the hidden gems, you’ll also see a large Fawkes as you enter the establishment; a very noticeable Hagrid photo opp, where you can take a picture literally in his shoes; a phone booth; vegan makeup inspired by Luna; an interactive wand showdown; virtual reality experiences on brooms and throughout Hogwarts; and many, many more HP-related experiences and activities. So, get some Floo Powder or find the Portkey, and get yourself to NYC, stat.

Harry Potter New York opens to the public on Thursday, June 3.

The CDC recommends traveling only after you’re fully vaccinated and your vaccine has become fully effective. If you’re not fully vaccinated and must travel, check the CDC guidelines before you book. Check your destination’s vaccination and testing requirements before you depart.