Recently we went to the Harry Potter store in New York. Our experience was wonderful and here are three steps to having a delightful time.
Step 1: Wait time and virtual queue
The Harry Potter store in New York is in the Flatiron district on 22nd street. When you arrive anytime after 7 am in the morning they will put a daily QR code outside the store where you can sign up for entering the store. This QR code is changed daily, you must enable text messages on your phone. The QR code gives you a number and an approx. time to return.
As you can imagine it’s very busy, this is a way to allow you to explore the city and still wait in line. We arrived around 11:00 am. Sign-up was easy and straightforward. We had over 200 people ahead of us, we explored the area. It is a wonderful area with lots of parks and outside seating. Flatiron Plaza is right around the corner and Broadway is for pedestrians only.
We waited for a little over an hour then received a text message to return to the store. We did so, got in line within under 5 minutes we were welcomed to the store. The queue is updated on the webpage so check the link you receive in a text message when you see your position in the queue getting close to 60 minutes be prepared to receive a message soon that you are asked to return to the store. We received a message to return to the store within an hour More than enough time for anyone to get back to them especially since they are right near the R, W, Yellow subway with a stop on 23rd street and Broadway.
Step 2: Eataly New York
A unique and delicious store/restaurant that encompasses all the Italian food and sweets that you want if you were in Italy but you don’t have to travel to Italy to experience this wonderful establishment. Outside there is a Kiosk on the Plaza that sells homemade pizza and gelato. The mango gelato tasted like the crushed fresh mangos earlier that day for the gelato. The store is made up of different areas for wine, cheese, fresh pasta, and various markets. The selection of goods is astonishing to me since they really have everything from prosciutto to wine from Tuscany. The restaurant La Pizza & La Pasta has a beautiful outdoor seating area that reminds me of sitting in Italy along the Grand Canal in Venice. It definitely can fill up your time waiting and keep your mouth watering for Italian food.
The Gelato at this Kiosk in Flatiron plaza was amazing.
Step 3: Inside the store
Inside the store you enter and are instructed to leave your mask on, in New York, there is a vaccine mandate for restaurants but for stores they encourage you to leave your mask on. They even have security to ensure you do, I took it off for a picture and had a security guard standing next to me asking me to put it back on. The Store has interactive exhibits, displays, and lots of merchandise. I felt like I was stepping into another world when I walked into the store, it like you are walking on Diagon Alley and just happen to walk into a store to purchase your magical items. They had everything from wands, stuffed animals, your house colors and everything can be personalized just downstairs. Here are some of the photos I thought worth sharing, I won’t share them all since it’s up to your imagination to experience. Don’t miss the bowtruckle hanging out in the trees.
I’ve never been in a virtual queue but it sounds like a great system!
Eataly is a great tip while waiting in the virtual queue! Glad they figured out a way for you all to wait while allowing you to disperse. Love the staircase!
What a great idea of virtual queueing. I love it and wish more places did this. I love that you got to explore the area instead of waiting inline, especially at a busy place like the Harry Potter Store. That mango ice cream sounds delicious.