The doors were open, but if only there were a spell to cut through long lines.
New York City's flagship Harry Potter store — the first of its kind — opened on Thursday, with throngs of crowds eager to get into the new attraction in the Flatiron District. So many magically interested people showed up, the store had to start turning people away at one point in the afternoon, with a line to get in already stretched down the block.
Six-year-old Oliver Fabrie was in his wizarding robes as he zipped around on his scooter, hoping to get a chance to see what's inside, and get a more "realistic" wand.
Fans of all ages waited and waited for hours. Some spent the night sleeping on the sidewalk, with others showing up early in the morning.
Like many of her fellow Potter-heads, Brittany Sanders spent most of her Thursday sitting on the sidewalk, perhaps wishing that the time-turner Hermione used in the "Prisoner of Azkaban" was real. She wasn't surprised at the turnout, given the fanbase's passion for all things wizarding.
Lines and crowds like the ones in front of the store Thursday have been rare sights since the pandemic began, with the only places seeing long lines were grocery stores in the early days of the shutdown. But those who were turned away said they expect to come back and try again another day, and expect to encounter more lines when they do.