Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park in Westchester County, New York has a magical secret. At night, it completely transforms into a Harry Potter immersive experience, creating an amazing experience that comes complete with magical creatures and plenty more for any fan to enjoy. Here’s what you can expect from the Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience.
Dedicated to the seven book, eight movie series and franchise, it features a fully interactive exhibit that includes amazing theatrical illusions, light shows, and plenty more. Another location has also been opened at Morven Park in Loudoun County, Leesburg, Virginia.
As you set foot in the magical forest experience, you’ll hear the iconic theme by John Williams in the background interspersed with well known lines from the movies. The greenery is lit up with multicolored lights, completing the magical aura of the whole place.
You can feel like a witch or wizard by casting spells that will turn lanterns on and off, duel your friends, and enjoy delicious treats like hot chocolate that’s decorated with your own house colors.
You can cast your Patronus to find out which animal is your magical protector and watch as Buckbeak the Hippogriff bows down gently to give you the okay to pet him. There are plenty more magical creatures, some of which are scarier than others, so consider yourself warned.
You’ll experience walking by unicorns, following trails of lit up mushrooms, and experience what a Dementor attack feels like. You’ll also see some creatures from the Fantastic Beasts movies alongside magical creatures from the original series like owls, giants, centaurs, and more.
There is plenty to choose from when it comes to food and drink, and of course you’ll be able to have some classic Butterbeer, which is available at the entrance as well as in the midpoint of the forest.
The magical park experience is open from 5m to 11pm, with the last entry available at 9:45pm. While it is an activity that’s later in the evening, it is still family-friendly and the walking trail should take you between 45 to 75 minutes total.
The even organizer assured visitors that “the vast majority of the overall woodland will remain completely untouched by the experience and should have minimal impact to natural habitats. Working in conjunction with the estate manager, any sapling trees that are removed for the event will be replaced within the wood system with species benefiting the overall health of the wood. Therefore, we will not reduce the woodland, but look to increase the number of heritage species on the estate as a whole.”