(Paris) “We want you to feel in the Harry Potter universe and tell you how it was created”: an immersive exhibition dedicated to the most famous wizard of the last 25 years arrives in Paris on Friday and until the 1st october.

At the Porte de Versailles, visitors check in with a bracelet, select their house (Gryffindor—that of fan-favorite Harry, Ron, and Hermione—Slytherin, Ravenclaw, or Hufflepuff), their wand magic, their “Patronus” (their guardian animal) and become students of Hogwarts, the school of wizards.

The magic formula “Alohomora” opens the first of the exhibition’s 25 halls (4000 m2 of surface), which take the public from the classrooms to the house of the giant Hagrid through the Ministry of Magic or the tiny room of Harry under the stairs of his uncle and aunt.

“It’s a combination of original props and costumes from all the Harry Potter movies, plus Fantastic Beasts and Cursed Child (derived from the original saga, editor’s note), set in a very immersive environment.” , describes Tom Zeller, CEO of Imagine Exhibitions, behind the exhibition.

Depending on the location, the light and music vary: in the botany class, a floral scent and screaming plants; at Hagrid, the crackling fireplace and the smell of the wood fire.

Magic potions, divination and spells… Visitors scan their bracelet to take part in tests and earn points for their house.

It is also possible to “teleport” with a boot and practice quidditch, the favorite sport of wizards… without however riding a flying broom.

Secrets of making the costumes and sets of the films are also revealed.

In Paris, stage of a world tour passed by the United States and Vienna, “more than 175,000 tickets” were sold on the eve of the opening, including “20,000 on the first day of sale”, underlines Tom Zeller.

“We wanted to go to France because we know there are a lot of fans and it’s not easy for them to go to the United States or London”, where there are dedicated amusement parks to the wizard, he adds. “Travel is expensive, so we brought the magic here,” starting at 19 euros ($28) for those under 15 and 25 euros ($37) beyond.

The success is there despite the controversial positions of the author J. K. Rowling on the rights of transgender people.

“His opinions are his own. We have worked with her for years and the creative and narrative genius she has brought is completely unparalleled,” comments Philippe Roucoule, representative of Warner Bros., which owns the rights to the saga.

She has also “worked on this exhibition to be sure that each of the details is respected because, when we ask the fans to come, we cannot harm them”.

Launched in 1997, the seven-volume literary series imagined by the British novelist, then adapted to the cinema, tells the fight of the young wizard Harry Potter against Lord Voldemort, a black magician in search of immortality.

Sales of the books and the eight films generated billions of dollars in revenue. “The enthusiasm is timeless and cross-generational,” explains Philippe Roucoule.

The latest example, the video game Hogwarts Legacy: The Legacy of Hogwarts panicked the counters when it was released in February, with 12 million copies sold for 850 million dollars in revenue in two weeks.

Highly anticipated, another game dedicated to quidditch “will arrive next year”, specifies Mr. Roucoule.

A decade-long series will also feature “the stories from each of the books,” Warner Bros. Discovery mid-April.