Skip to Content

Review: Harry Potter Exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philly

This review of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia tells you everything you really need to know about the exhibition before you go, as well as whether it's worth it.

harry potter exhibition

Since the world premiere of this exhibit was first announced, it sold tickets at an all-time record speed in the history of the museum, with many dates sold out months before the exhibit even began!

As a book blogger, I visited the exhibit in its first week and am here to share my full review with you about it: all the details, tips to make the most of your experience, whether it's worth it, and photos from the exhibit.

Review of the Harry Potter Exhibition at the Frankin Institute in Philadelphia

The Details

Where will the Harry Potter exhibit be?

The Franklin Institute museum in Philadelphia, located in Center City Philadelphia, at the intersection of 20th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. 

How long will the Harry Potter exhibit be at the Franklin Institute?

From February 18, 2022 - September 18, 2022

What is the Harry Potter exhibit?

An immersive and interactive exhibit for fans of the Harry Potter movies, filled with costumes and props in impressive set designs. It also incorporates interactive, personalized technology with which visitors can engage, as well as movie clips.

Quick ticket details:

The Harry Potter exhibit is open 7 days a week from 9:30 am to 8 pm, with the last entry at 6:30 pm. (The Franklin Institute museum otherwise closes at 5 pm.)

Daytime prices generally range from $39-$43 per ticket, depending on age, military status, etc, and they include general admission to the full museum. Nighttime (5-8 pm) tickets are $30 each.

Member tickets are $20 each. There are no service fees, and general museum admission is included with daytime tickets for those who already have a Franklin Institute membership or who join the Franklin Institute.

You must buy your ticket for a specific date AND time, unless you buy VIP tickets.

VIP tickets ate $59 each and include an immediate-access pass, lanyard, and a discount on an audio tour and photo op. VIP tickets are valid for any timeslot on the date indicated at the time of purchase.

Groups pricing is available for groups of 15+, and the prices range from $24-$30 per ticket.

All guests ages 3+ are required to wear masks during their visit.

Small strollers are allowed.

Get answers to more FAQs on the Franklin Institute's website.

Purchase tickets on the Franklin Institute's website.

Tips

First and foremost, wear your best Harry Potter gear! SO MANY fans came to the exhibit dressed in everything from Harry Potter shirts to Harry Potter scarves, Harry Potter wands, and full Harry Potter costumes, and it really added to both the fun and the communal experience!

If you can, try to go on a weekday. I heard the first weekend was immensely crowded. I went at 9:30 a.m. on a Wednesday, and I found the crowd to be manageable. I was worried at first because there was a line to get in, but I found the whole experience to be really well managed overall. The staff was well prepared and the Harry Potter exhibit itself is set up for dispersing guests within each setting.

Going early on a weekday also helps with parking. I was able to park at a meter right outside with no problem (and for only a few dollars). Otherwise, parking in this area can be a bit difficult. Parking in the Franklin Institute's garage is limited.

You can head south of the museum a few blocks and park at a parking garage in Center City, or you can head north towards the Free Library of Philadelphia and look for street parking. It's not impossible to find street parking near the Library, but it's also not extremely easy. The Franklin Institute is also a short walking distance from both Suburban Square and 30th Street train stations.

Plan to spend about 1.5 to 4 hours at the museum, depending on how much you want to experience in the museum outside of the Harry Potter exhibit. I spent about 1.5 hours in the exhibit itself. I estimate that most people will spend 1-2 hours inside the exhibit.

Is the Harry Potter Exhibit Worth It?

Below are my top six pros and cons of the Harry Potter exhibit, to help you determine if it's worth it for you.

Pros:

  • Laid out well to disperse crowds in each setting
  • Staff was well prepared to manage crowds
  • Fun community atmosphere of excited fans
  • Feels immersive and interactive with elements of technology and magic
  • Covers most of the important plots, settings, plots, and characters
  • Designed to please both adults and children

Cons:

  • Expensive for a family or group visit
  • Hard to get tickets due to popularity
  • Non-refundable and non-transferable tickets
  • May be crowded, depending on when you go
  • Parking may be difficult, depending on when you go
  • No rides or amusements like you would find at Universal Studios in Florida

The Harry Potter exhibit was worth it for me. I really enjoy seeing movie memorabilia in person, and I did feel like they were placed in a really interactive, impressive, very crowd-controlled environment. I thought that the price was fair, nearly everything I wanted to see was there, and the community of museum staff and guests maintained a fun and polite atmosphere.

Beyond the memorabilia, each guest receives a "golden snitch" wristband, by which you set up a profile with your favorite Hogwarts house, Patronus, and wand. You then scan this wristband throughout the exhibit to take photos and engage in other magical tasks, like casting spells! This element really takes the Harry Potter exhibition to the next level, especially for kids.

The exhibit may not be worth it if: you don't really enjoy movie memorabilia (or are a fan of the Harry Potter book series but not the movie series); you want a more amusement park type of experience; or you have a large family, as several tickets plus parking, food, and more can really add up to one expensive day.

Photos of the Harry Potter Exhibit

Below are photos I took of the Harry Potter exhibit during my visit. Of course, this means they are SPOILERS, and you should proceed only if you do NOT want to be fully surprised at the exhibition.

That being said, I did my best to leave A LOT out of these photos, so as not to spoil ALL the surprises for you. There's definitely a lot more at the Harry Potter exhibit beyond what's pictured below. These photos are meant to give you a general idea of what it's like.

harry potter movie costumes
hogwarts great room
hagrid's hut and forbidden forest
harry potter potions
harry potter quotes

That concludes my review of the Harry Potter exhibition. If you attend, I would love to hear your thoughts, tips, etc., in the comments below!

For more Harry Potter, I have tons of Harry Potter posts for you to explore. You can start with the following posts to get your gear ready to attend the Harry Potter exhibit:

Share this post:

Add a Comment:

Robert

Friday 22nd of April 2022

Thanks Jules, very helpful. Beyond wearing my robe, is there any point in bringing my wand? Would it do any spells anywere?

Evelyn

Monday 9th of May 2022

@Jules Buono, wow thanks for your review. Im still debating if it's worth it. I love both the book and movie series. I've visited both parks in Orlando and the LA wb studio tour. The wristband sounds cool and overall an interactive experience. Prob just do the after 5p time.... Oh and a London tour? I must go to England then!! I'll let you know if I end up going!

Jules Buono

Friday 22nd of April 2022

I wouldn't worry about it since the bracelet they give you has a lot of magical features as you go through the exhibit. Have fun!

Heather Poland

Tuesday 19th of April 2022

Any comments on the audio tour and if it’s worth the extra $8? Going this weekend snd was curious if we should get it. Our tickets are for 6pm so we only have two hours. Thank you!

Jules Buono

Tuesday 19th of April 2022

I did not do the audio tour nor have I heard anyone talk about it, so I don't have any comments on it, unfortunately. I will say I found the signage to be in-depth and informative even without the audio tour. And I wouldn't worry about the 2 hours -- I think that's plenty of time to enjoy the exhibit! Have fun.

Anna

Monday 4th of April 2022

Is there food venders? How much money should I bring with me for gist store and food? Im planning a surprise for my friends birthday who is OBSESSED with harry potter and I just want us to make sure were prepared.

Jules Buono

Monday 4th of April 2022

I did not see any vendors other than those already in the Franklin Institute. In the gift shop, they had candy and butterbeer. For costs in the gift shop, it really depends on what you want to buy, but I'd say the bulk of items were in the range of a few dollars to $50+. The smaller items were things like cards and mugs, and the larger items were things like sweatshirts. A lot of it was sectioned off by Hogwarts house. I hope you and your friend have an AMAZING time! Happy birthday to him or her!!

RS

Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

Thanks for the info - great article. My wife and I are reading the books for the first time along with our 8 year old who loves them all. We are only on books 3 and 4. We really want to visit the Philly exhibit, but curious if there are spoilers that would ruin anything in upcoming books/movies?

Jules Buono

Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

Hello, I would say yes you will probably feel there are spoilers. The exhibit really tracks the books/movies in order from 1-7 almost directly in a row and there's also some video at the end. I hope you can finish them up and visit before the exhibit leaves town!

Hannah

Monday 28th of February 2022

Hi Jules, love HP so would be keen to visit this, but do you think it offers something new for those who have been to the Studio Tour in London? Thanks for the informative post!

Jules Buono

Tuesday 1st of March 2022

I wish I could fully answer this, but I have not been to the Studio tour. From what I can see on Google images, the props and costumes look similar but the Studio tour set designs look more impressive and immersive. Perhaps the Franklin Institute's golden snitch wristband technology features would be distinguising. Hopefully, if someone else reads this and has been to both, they can kindly reply to you and provide more info!

200,000+ MONTHLY READERS

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!