This is what the new Harry Potter experience world in the Cologne Odysseum offers

From December 8th to June 2nd, 2024, fans of the world’s most famous sorcerer’s apprentice can explore the magical settings of the books and films in the Odysseum.

Armed with magic wands, the visitors make their way through dark corridors. Around every corner there is a new room waiting to be discovered and its secrets to be revealed. There is the “Knight Errant” bus, which races through the streets of London at murderous speeds, or underwater worlds through which magical beasts with sharp teeth and tentacles swim.

Actors present at the opening

You can tell: magic has come to Cologne. Tomorrow, Friday, the Harry Potter exhibition “Visions of Magic” will celebrate its world premiere at the Odysseum in Kalk. “This is a great honor for us,” says Andreas Waschk, managing director of the Explorado Group, which operates the Odysseum. With the show you “immerse yourself in what Harry Potter actually stands for.” Waschk brought an exhibition about the magic student to the Odysseum nine years ago, “now the journey continues”.

This continuity is also reflected in the guests who traveled to Cologne for the performance of “Visions of Magic”. James and Oliver Phelps, who once played the twins Fred and George Weasley in the “Harry Potter” films, were at the opening in 2014 and this time too they didn’t miss the opportunity to take a look at the show in advance. “Practice your wand skills, people,” advises James Phelps, grinning.

The new experience world was devised by the production company Warner Bros., which was also responsible for the Potter films, and the Neon company, which specializes in immersive experiences. The organizers emphasize that “Visions of Magic” is not actually a classic exhibition, but rather an “interactive art experience”.

In this, fans of the most famous sorcerer’s apprentice in the world can explore various places and settings that played an important role in the eight-part film series and the spinoff “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. These include, for example, the mysterious “Room of Prophecies” or the ministries of magic in various countries.

Search for traces of magic

Guests can also stroll along the eerie “Knockturn Alley”, a kind of shopping street for witches and wizards where you can buy all sorts of magic potions, spiders and bats – including ground fog for the spooky atmosphere. The original film music is played as you walk through the different rooms, providing a good dose of nostalgia for die-hard Potter lovers. “Visions of Magic” definitely has an attention to detail.

During their journey, visitors must always keep their eyes open for “traces of magic”: small reflections of light that can be activated using the magic wand they have previously taken with them. The traces form the interactive element of the show; Anyone who finds them can use the magic wand to make hidden images, objects or information visible.

Even before the opening there was a huge rush for tickets – 130,000 tickets had already been sold in advance. The show is completely sold out for December, and in January you can only get remaining tickets for during the week. The fans obviously don’t want to miss the experience.

The first reactions are positive: “I think it’s really beautiful and well done,” says Jana from Wermelskirchen. Like many of her generation, the 24-year-old grew up with Harry Potter. Friend Anna (27) from Bochum sees it similarly: “When I was in first grade, the first film had just come out. It was formative for my youth!” She also thinks the show and its effects were successful, but would have liked to wave the magic wand even more: “Especially at the beginning, I would have liked a little more interactive stuff.”

Prices and opening times

The best way to buy tickets is online . They cost from 20.90 euros for children (from 5 years) and from 26.90 euros for adults (from 16 years). There are family and group tickets (for groups of 10 or more) as well as special prices for seniors, schoolchildren and students.

The show is recommended for children aged twelve and over; younger visitors should have an adult accompany them. “Visions of Magic” can be seen at the Odysseum until June 2, 2024. Open Tuesday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, during holidays as well as on public holidays and bridge days in North Rhine-Westphalia from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (crb)