If you live in New York City, you might have seen the plastered ads of the “Hall of Magic” advertisement all across Manhattan, the picture of an ethereal faun-like creature with the golden words The Magicians written next to it, besides the exhibit’s name. Wander to the borders of Williamsburg to The William Vale and you’ll find the location of this immersive and interactive experience.
To quote SyFy, “Enter a world of illusion and fantasy at the “Hall of Magic” inspired by SyFy’s The Magicians. Aspiring Magicians, Aficionados of Illusion & NYC Adventure-Seekers Can Step Into a Mystical World of Sensory Exploration From January 20 – 29.” The experience begins in the lobby, entrance found on the corner of Wythe and 12th, where you can check your coat and pick up a pair of SnapChat Spectacles. Note: if you’ve never tried these, you have to, they definitely are worth it.
In the lobby, you’ll find some season 2 promotional photos of the cast in gilded frames, and more importantly, you’ll find three infinity boxes. These infinity boxes are essentially little boxes of art, compiled of mirrors and butterflies and playing cards. One even requires three people to get the full effect.
Then you’ll enter in through a dark neon-lined hallway that feels like something out of Tron, but when you exit on the other side you’ll find yourself in the clean, bright hallway of the “Hall of Magic”. The door you exit from turns out to be a clock and you are first greeted with a room full of books called the Library — all of the rooms are labeled at the entrance on the ground. Not just piles, literally open books along all of the walls and flying above you. It’s an ideal photo op area, and the dream decor for any book lover.
Across from the Library, is the door that simply reads “Illumination”. Perusers opening the door might think they’re being transported into another world as a bright white light shines from the door. But step a little further and you’ll find merely an illuminated wall of light in front of you. Another good photo op, but sorry travelers, this door ain’t legit.
Going deeper into the hall and you’ll come to the Room of Potions. Step through and you’ll be transported to an apothecary shop with bubbling dishes, colorful bottles, and the smell of essential oils wafting through the air. The “witch” working behind the counter will tell you what kind of magic you have by looking at your palm — I have time magic, aka time loops until I get this life right — and then let you release your magic through a small little ritual.
This is one of the first more detailed rooms, you could definitely spend a little time in here looking around before grabbing a photo on the chaise and heading to your next room.
Continue further on and you’ll come to the Room of Levitation. This is one of the interactive and creative rooms. The whole room is essentially a photo op, and let me tell you now, even with the help you get, levitation is not easy. Through some clever camera trickery and a couple well-placed limbs, you too can learn the power of levitation.
Venture on across the room to the Forest. This is one of the rare rooms that actually is definitely not made for photography. You’re thrown into darkness with fog and fairy lights around you, illuminated lollipops guiding your way through the forest on a small winding path. The end of the path comes to a dinner setting on the ground where you might find some peculiar silverware that comes to life on its own. Despite the dark setting, this was definitely one of my favorite rooms. Not exactly interactive, but totally immersive.
Next door you’ll find a more curious room, the Room of Shadows. While the other rooms are elaborately decorated and intricately planned, this one definitely seems like the slapdash room. You face a green glowing wall and a recurring flash of light. A couple tries and you’ll quickly find out that your shadow is being cast into the green wall. Amusing at best, and if you’ve got time, there’s a potentially good photo waiting there.
After that, you can start getting into some real interactive rooms. The next two rooms are Battle Magic and Room of Constellations. In Battle Magic, you walk into a white room, where the walls, television, phone, cabinents, even the flowers are all white. There are two spotlights on the ground, and instead of battling each other, you’re simply doing magic. Wave your hands and obey the command on the floor that tells you to do some goddamn magic; the white room begins to react to your hand motions, changing colors and moving objects back and forth.
The Room of Constellations next door is equally interactive, but might be more for the kind of person who just wants to lay back on the grass and see a magical night sky. Similar to the Room of Shadows, the “sky” is like a projector screen that mimics your movements as you lay back on the soft astroturf in the darkened room.
The last room (well the last room you can walk into) of the Hall of Magic is a Brakebills classroom. Potions light up the back wall underneath the Brakebills flag, wood paneled walls and floors warm up the atmosphere, as enchanted books on the wall will speak to you if you have the magic touch. Three desks face a larger teacher’s desk and an elaborate chalkboard. At one time, it must have been The Magicians canon symbols of magic, but now it has messaged written on it from Hogwarts to the TARDIS. Not that we really mind. It’s all just different worlds, isn’t it?
Before you leave, there are two doors leading to the cottage and to Fillory (video of both rooms are linked here, bringing you to our Facebook). But before you can think about drinking cocktails with Eliot and Margo, or chase after Jane Chatwin, you might find that you’re in need of one of Alice’s Drink Me potions beforehand. The miniature doors open into something similar to the infinity boxes. Small, intricate designs of the two locations exist through a door no bigger than your palm.
Sadly we can’t stay in the Hall of Magic forever. The last door you go through unfortunately leads you back to a Brooklyn warehouse. The giant mural on the wall promotes The Magicians, along with a final little piece of art in the form of some stacks of old televisions that put together images from the second season of the Syfy show.
If you want to see the experience, go to our Facebook, where you can playback our Live stream walkthrough of the experience, as well as the view through the spectacles of individual rooms and the infinity boxes. More photos and videos are on our Facebook, it’s the first place our photos and videos go. So if you want to stay up to date, make sure to like us on Facebook!
If you’re in the NYC area, this is definitely worth the train ride. Find more information and reserve tickets at www.hallofmagicnyc.com. The experience goes until the 29th, with weekday hours from 2:00pm to 10:00pm and weekend hours from 12:00pm to 10:00pm.
You can binge all of season one of the show now on Netflix. The Magicians returns this Wednesday on Syfy at 9/8c!