Celebrity visit to the new Harry Potter exhibition in Cologne

World premiere of “Visions of Magic”

Until June 2nd, 2024, visitors to the Odysseum will be transported into the world of magic. Familiar faces from the films came to the preview.

James and Oliver Phelps, better known as Fred and George Weasley, are difficult to tell apart. When filming the Harry Potter films, the British actors took advantage of this to prank the crew and cast: “We swapped roles a lot,” reveals James Phelps with a laugh. Today that no longer works: James wears his hair long, Oliver wears it short.

Actors of Fred and George Weasley visit Cologne

On Wednesday afternoon, the twins welcome members of the press to the exclusive preview of “Harry Potter – Visions of Magic” at the Odysseum in Cologne . The official opening is on Friday. They themselves were allowed to stroll through the interactive art experience a day earlier: “360 degrees around you is Potter, the world of magic,” says Oliver in an interview with the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”. James added: “It completely blew us away. It took us a day to process this. But now it’s great to see how other people experience it. “Everyone uses their wand differently,” says James.

That’s right: every visitor gets their own magic wand with which they can experience the exhibition. When you press your finger in the right place, the tip lights up in different colors. This then takes you to the Knight Bus, the British, American and French Ministry of Magic or the Hall of Prophecy. The tour lasts approximately 60 to 90 minutes. The different rooms are designed with a mix of projections on the walls and props, with a focus on atmospheric light and sound effects.

New exhibition relies on light and sound effects

In some places the projections on the walls are interactive; in the British Ministry, for example, optical effects can be triggered with a magic wand. “Every detail is intentional, even if visitors don’t notice it,” says Sherrie Dai, creative director at Neon, which designed “Harry Potter – Visions of Magic.”

This also applies to the transition from Borgin and Burke’s shop in Knockturn Alley via the Vanishing Cabinet to the Room of Requirement at Hogwarts. A true Harry Potter fan understands.

There are already many ways to immerse yourself in the world of magic. In London, visitors to the studio tour can admire the original sets, and there is a real Hogwarts castle at Universal Studios in Orlando. So why this exhibition? Peter van Roden, Vice President of Warner Bros. Discovery Global Themed Entertainment explains: “We always think about our fans. Do all of our fans travel to London or Orlando?” Hardly.

There was also a traveling exhibition with props that stopped at the Odysseum almost ten years ago . The new exhibition should focus less on the films and characters and more on the world as such. Harry Potter himself only appears as a projection in the last room, modeled on the Pensieve, and engages in an epic battle with Lord Voldemort.

Sold out in December, few tickets left for January

The lavishly designed exhibition can be seen in the Odysseum until June 2, 2024 – and the rush is already big right from the start, says Andreas Waschk, managing director of the Explorado Group, which operates the Odysseum: “With 130,000 tickets in advance sales, we have at least one National record set.” December is sold out, in January and February there are only tickets available during the week. Waschk is “hopeful” that they will be able to unlock more tickets after a test phase.

James and Oliver Phelps will not be able to attend the opening on Friday. This time they don’t have time for 1. FC Cologne either: on their last visit to the Odysseum for the German premiere of the traveling exhibition ten years ago, they attended a game in the Rhein-Energie-Stadion and also took a photo with Billy Goat Hennes, say the Phelps- Twins. “I follow the Bundesliga, it’s sad where FC is at the moment,” says Oliver. He hopes that things will go better in the second half of the season.

Tickets for “Harry Potter – Visions of Magic” are available from 26.90 euros, reduced prices from 20.90 euros. More information can be found at harrypottervisionsofmagic.com/en .