Description And Comments

Ollivanders, located in Diagon Alley in the books and films, somehow sprouted a branch location in Hogsmeade at IOA. Potter purists pointed out this misplacement, but the wand shop stayed put with J.K. Rowling's blessing and became one of the more popular features of The Wizarding World. It also became a horrendous bottleneck, with long lines where guests roasted in an unshaded queue. In the Diagon Alley version, Ollivanders assumes its rightful place, and with much larger digs. At IOA, only 24 guests at a time can experience the little drama where wands choose a wizard (rather than the other way around). At the Studios, the shop has three separate choosing chambers, turning it from a popular curiosity into an actual attraction. As for the IOA location, it continues to operate.

The actual show inside is identical to the original outpost in script and special effects, but the Celtic zodiac-inspired wands ($45) presented in the ceremony are now the new, more detailed interactive models that interact with shop windows throughout the Wizarding World. After the presentation, guests exit into a greatly enlarged gift shop, where interactive wands modeled after those wielded by Harry, Hermione, and Dumbledore are also available, along with non-interactive replica wands ($35) for a vast variety of characters, and toy "learner" wands ($25) for li'l wizards.

Medallions embedded in the ground designate a couple dozen locations spilt between the two Wizarding Worlds, where hidden cameras in storefront windows can detect the waving of these special wands, and respond to the correct motions with special effects both projected and practical. You might use the swish-and-flick of "Wingardium Leviosa" to levitate one object, or the figure-four "Locomotor" spell to animate another. It's a much more thematically satisfying form of interactivity than the gimmicky games found at Magic Kingdom, but it can take some practice to get the hang of spell-casting. Wizards will be stationed at windows to coach novices and demonstrate the effects (but will not supply loaner wands); it's easy to imagine how demand for the experience may prove unmagically unmanageable at peak times. A map provided with each wand purchase details the location and movement for most effects, but there are some secret ones to discover on your own.

Touring Tips

If your young ’un is selected to test-drive a wand, be forewarned that you’ll have to buy it if you want to take it home.

Note that the price of the interactive wands includes unlimited activations of the hidden effects; you don't have to pay to "recharge" your wand on subsequent visits, or even replace a battery.

Attraction Photos

Special Comments

Audience stands.

Special Needs

Other Attractions in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley

Touring Plans with Ollivanders

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