One year ago, Harry Potter New York opened its doors to the public and has been making magic in the Flatiron District ever since.
Located at 935 Broadway, Harry Potter New York opened for business on June 3, offering a spellbinding opportunity for visitors to dive head-first into the Harry Potter experience. The store initially opened with 15 different themed areas to explore, each filled with different kinds of “Harry Potter” official merchandise, the Butterbeer Bar, which has an array of themed treats to try, and virtual reality experiences opening about a month later.
Though the pandemic proved to be a trying time for businesses across the city, Harry Potter New York saw a great amount of success in its first year.
“I think for us, it was such an overwhelming response from fans. We couldn’t anticipate the fans’ reaction,” said Doran Finneran, Director of Flagship Retail Operations at Harry Potter New York. “In such an uncertain time, to see the success we have had is a testament to the story and canon of ‘Harry Potter.’”
Since Harry Potter New York opened, the store has welcomed over 2 million visitors. According to the store’s tally, enough guests have taken part in our VR experiences to form nearly 9,000 Quidditch teams, and 140,000 have picked out their own wand. In the past year, 130,000 visitors solved the Enchanted Key puzzle in-store to win a free collectable pin, and the Butterbeer Bar has poured enough Butterbeer to entirely fill New York’s Washington Square Park fountain.
Finneran said that the store’s photo opportunities — which the store has several that guests can take advantage of — have been very popular with the public.
“You can measure yourself against Hagrid,” said Finneran. “One of my other favorites is the British-themed phone box, which is the entrance for the Ministry of Magic. It always draws a huge amount of attention.”
Another attraction that was particularly popular is the Things That Must Be Named personalization station, which attracted 45,000 customers this year.
“As a person with a unique name, I could never buy that souvenir magnet,” said Finneran. “At the Things That Must Be Named station, you can personalize anything we sell with each individual’s name. I really love the engagement with that.”
As for what’s next for the store, the team is working to make sure that the experience is consistently magical, with a Diagon Alley-themed area coming soon and new additions to the Butterbeer Bar on the horizon. But for now, the Harry Potter New York team is thrilled to see that New Yorkers are excited to take part in this pocket of the “Harry Potter” universe.
“I think what’s so exciting for us is how many young guests are a part of the next generation of fans,” said Finneran. “I loved ‘Harry Potter’ as a teen, and to see the next generation really embracing it is incredible. It really is a special place, and we’re well into double digits of people who have been engaged in the store, it means something to people.”
In honor of the first anniversary of the store, on June 3 the first 100 visitors will receive a “Happee Birthdae Harry” cake, similar to what you see in “Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone,” and the next 100 visitors will receive a bottle of Butterbeer.
For more information about Harry Potter New York or to shop online, visit harrypotterstore.com.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.