Harry Potter: The Exhibition

The much anticipated exhibition is in town!

Two admission tickets for entry to the exhibition on 5 June 2012 from 1100 to 1159.

 There have been many interpretations of the entry time online. Either the time period within which the ticket holder is allowed to enter or the time period within which the ticket holder is allowed to view the exhibits. Which is correct?

By the way, when it comes to booking confirmation, be sure to scrutinize each word, especially the date and time. I chose the 1100 to 1159 session but on the confirmation email, it was stated as 1700 to 1759. Imagine the shock I had. However, I was relieved that everything is settled after I rang SISTIC up. Thanks to the male staff who assisted in the refund and re-booking of tickets.

Here’s an advice, if you have the time, be at the ArtScience Museum early to buy the tickets over the counter, which is cheaper by $4. That’s a huge amount of savings!

For those who have never been to any of the exhibitions at ArtScience Museum, do note that all visitors are required to scan the barcode strip at the entrance gantry next to the ticketing counters before taking the glass lift to Basement 2, where this Exhibition is held.

The Flying Ford Anglia featured in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Showcased directly beside the ArtScience Museum Gift Shop is the original movie prop, at the courtesy of the Ford Company. Fancy a go at 4D with 7990?

Prior to entering the exhibition hall, there is a booth which has audio sets for rent. I didn’t see any who had an audio set with them though. Are we more focused on seeing the exhibits than listening to the story behind it? Yes, I supposed so.

Followed by a spot with green background. Staff were holding on to green (Slytherin) and scarlet (Gryffindor) scarves, together with a few wands will approach you. Make your selection, don it, and say “Cheese!” 🙂

Three backgrounds to choose from – The Great Hall, the surroundings of Hagrid’s Hut and the Hogwarts Castle. Each photo costs $20. Three for $50.

While waiting for the photo, the staff at the counter started chatting with us. Asking if we are fans of Harry Potter, who’s our favourite character. It should be perfectly normal for us to like a character of the opposite sex but he didn’t seemed to accept our answers which were “Harry, Ron and The Weasley Twins” and started to recommend Loony Lovegood? Aww. I meant Luna.

My friend and I holding on to Hermione’s and Harry’s wands.

One of the staff benefits was to meet the Weasley twins, or rather,  James Andrew Eric Phelps and Oliver Martyn John Phelps ♥ on 1 June, when both of them visited the exhibition with fortunate kids as Muggles. Their heights (1.91 metres) left a deep impression on the staff.

Visitors were asked to gather in front of eight screens and wait for the doors to open. Similar to how Harry and all other first years were ordered to wait at the door leading to the Great Hall by Professor Minerva McGonagall. Initially, the screens portrayed all eight movie posters. Shortly after, movie excerpts were played on the screen.

A Witch (acted by one of the staff) led us to the Sorting Hat section, where she asked for volunteers to sit on the chair and place the Hat on their heads. The speech was taken straight from the first movie if I’m not wrong. It is said that only one lucky guest will get sorted at each group performance. But for the session which I went for, there were two lucky guests. Regretting after all is over, for what an experience it would be if I raised my hands to volunteer.

The route (from beginning till end) – Hogwarts Arrival, Gryffindor Common Room, Gryffindor Boys’ Dormitory, Hogwarts Classes, Quidditch, Hagid’s Hut, The Forbidden Forest, Dark Forces, Great Hall.

To be honest, the costumes failed to catch any of my attention. Simply replicas which is not of 1:1 ratio. Kinda disappointing.

However, the interactive displays and hands on practical helped to save the day, in one way or another.

The Fat Lady’s futile attempt to break the glass cup with her high pitched screams. Only if I could annoy her on the spot by getting in and out of the Gryffindor common room, saying passwords such as “Mimbulus Mimbletonia” and “Bladerdash” on the spot.

Fat Lady meets her rival. In Herbology classes, knowing how to tackle mandrakes was obviously part of the curriculum. The root screams whenever unearthed, hence earmuffs are essential.

Theory-wise, “The scream of a mature Mandrake when it is unearthed will kill any person who hears it, but a young Mandrake’s screams will usually only knock a person out for several hours.”

Fear not, do try your hand at pulling a squealing Mandrake out of a pot in the Herbology classroom. The first time was fun and it gets increasingly irritating for consecutive tries.  “Be considerate!”,  the ear drums complained. Don’t risk your wrists, do exert sufficient force to carry it upwards. Use both hands!

Quidditich. Interested in being a Chaser? Try out your shooting skills by throwing Quaffles through golden hoops! The first hoop on the right was my favourite. The middle was cursed. I thought it was rather wise of me to leave the remaining left hoop alone. Never underestimate the weight of the Quaffle. Well, maybe my arms were too weak. Is the Gryffindor team recruiting new Beaters or Seeker?

Have a seat on Hagrid’s humongous armchair! Plenty of space, allowing two adults or three children to share?

In the Dark Forces section, visitors get to see the six Horcruxes of Voldemort. Also, the chance to listen to his voice, which I thought was Wormtail’s. How embarrassing. This is when I realized that Dementors had bones!

Upon entering the Great Hall, you’ll see costumes worn by characters attending the Yule Ball and items of the major event such as the Triwizard Cup and O.W.L papers  in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I paid utmost attention to the feast they always had in the Great Hall. Appetizing.

Aha! You have come to the end of the exhibition. Trace your steps back if you’re reluctant to leave as no return is allowed once you step into the gift shop. Don’t you agree that the Exhibition grounds is too small despite being touted as the “Largest in Asia”? Imagine how “spacious” it will be when it moves on to another country in Asia.

May your wallet be fat enough for you to bring home all the souvenirs you want! Simply too expensive. To the point of being ridiculous. Wands at $70 each, buy it to wave like a maniac so as to make full use of it?

2 June – 30 September 2012. Grab your tickets now!

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