Confirmed: ‘Harry Potter’ Experience Relocating After Petition

in Harry Potter

Fans at Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience

Credit: Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience

After a hard-fought war, it’s been confirmed that one Harry Potter experience is relocating.

The immersive Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience has opened at several spots across the globe in recent years, but its most recent location triggered heavy backlash when it was first announced in January.

Harry Potter's Forbidden Forest experience in Birmingham, UK
Credit: Harry Potter – A Forbidden Forest Experience

Related: Universal Set to Close Iconic ‘Harry Potter’ Experience

Scheduled to be held in Australia in April, the plan was for the experience to give Potterheads the chance to get up close and personal with one of the franchise’s spookiest locations in Melbourne’s The Briars in Mount Martha. However, local residents and environmental activists shared concerns that this would impact the area’s wildlife.

“This venue is far from appropriate for such an event, as it goes against the ethos of this sanctuary’s mission – to protect wildlife,” the official Change.org petition – which currently has over 22,000 signatures – argued. “The Briars is not just any park; it is the only fenced sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula, home to incredibly significant yet fragile ecosystems.”

Guests duel at Harry Potter - A Forbidden Forest Experience
Credit: Harry Potter – A Forbidden Forest Experience

The Briars is a conservation park, home to native animals such as koalas, emus, kangaroos, and echidnas. While a representative for Fever, which organized the event, originally told Inside the Magic that “measures to mitigate any potential risks have been and will continue to be explored by staff and experts to minimize the impact to wildlife and the natural beauty of the location,” it has since been decided that the event will be held at a different location.

When the experience opens on April 6, it will still take place within The Briars, but in its Community Forest where an ecological report concluded it would have less environmental impact.

(L to R) Hermione Granger, Harry Potter, and Ronald Weasley in the snow in 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: ‘Harry Potter’ Event Canceled, Blamed on JK Rowling Being “Transphobic”

According to Secret Melbourne, the event will account for the safety of local species and wildlife at all times and will cut down no trees. Instead, it will enhance the natural environment of The Briars’ Community Forest.

Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience will be open from 5.30 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily, with each experience lasting between 60 and 90 minutes. It is currently also running in Singapore after successful runs in Texas, Virginia, New York, Belgium, and the UK.

Have you ever attended Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience? Let us know in the comments!

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