Casting calls for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child might be few and far between, but there’s still plenty of chances for actors to practice defeating Dark Wizards and fly around Hogwarts further down Broadway. Tucked into the Harry Potter New York store are two virtual reality experiences that take visitors deep into the Wizarding World, transforming Muggles into their very own character in a magical story.
There’s Chaos at Hogwarts and Wizards Take Flight, both offering the opportunity for fans to step into a world of magic. Each experience has immersive 4-D effects like wind, water splashes, and moving platforms. One journey is stationary and the other ambulatory; in both, the rider is in control of their own movement.
Chaos at Hogwarts begins at the waiting room for Platform 9 and 3/4 while students Wizards Take Flight lifts off from the Quidditch locker room. This is where performers can really get into character. To start off, “students” pick an avatar by picking one of four skin tones and pledging your Hogwarts House. Then it’s time to put on the VR gear, with motion sensors that go on your hands and feet and a headset.
Once suited up, enter the virtual reality room to prepare for their adventure using a classic from Standard Book of Spells, Chapter 7. To give away much of what happens in either experience would spoil half of the fun, but in Wizards Take Flight, students fly around the grounds of Hogwarts before Dobby pops up to throw a wrench in an idyllic day. In Chaos at Hogwarts, students must help reign in several creatures running amok inside the castle, set loose by...who else? Dobby.
While avoiding spoilers, here are some tips for performers that would maximize the immersive and theatrical venture:
1. Brush up on some spells from Dumbledore’s Army, as students will get physical wands to protect themselves from some dark magic. Elsewhere, don't forget the swish and flick!
2. You’ll see other guests as their avatars through your VR headset. It’s easy to avoid any run-ins while exploring Hogwarts on foot. Flying into each other, however, is another matter entirely. Prepare to get little jostled on a broom.
3. Students can cast spells together to make their impact more powerful.
Harry Potter New York is located at 935 Broadway. Check out some photos from the experience below.