Home » Want To Be Selected at the Ollivander’s Wand Experience? Here’s Our Advice… And What A Wand Costs If You’re Picked…

Want To Be Selected at the Ollivander’s Wand Experience? Here’s Our Advice… And What A Wand Costs If You’re Picked…

It’s often said that when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in 2010, it changed the course of theme parks forever. In short, Hogsmeade changed the game. Overnight, the standard for theme park expansions changed from standalone E-Tickets to immersive, cinematic, “Living Lands” – worlds plucked from the screen, giving guests the chance to inhabit the places they’d seen in their favorite films: to eat where characters ate; shop where they shopped; live how they lived.

Seeing multi-hour waits to buy Butterbeer and House Robes, it’s no surprise that Disney and Universal doubled-down, creating an entire economy of “in-universe” snacks and “world-building” souvenirs… But reigning over them all in the Wand; the simple faux wood sticks that power the Wizarding World and exist somewhere between a collectable, an interactive, and a statement of personality. Sure the Wizarding World has E-Ticket rides… but no visit is complete without a stop at Ollivander’s – “Makers of Fine Wands Since 382 B.C.”, thank you very much – where a hidden gem of an attraction invites a group of gathered Muggles into a wandkeeper’s showroom for a real time demonstration of magic…

Okay, okay, the Ollivander’s wand experience that guests eagerly queue for is really just an elaborate, optional pre-show to a gift shop… but for those selected to stand in Harry’s footprints and be chosen by a Wand among a swirling score and ethereal light, this theatrical showroom sure is a Bucket List experience… So how do you get chosen to be the selected demonstrator of a Wand’s pairing abilities? We’ve got some tips… and some information on how much it’ll cost you if you’re chosen.

1. Optional: Be a kid


Sure, this isn’t easy advice to follow. But for obvious reasons, Ollivander’s wand shop proprietors often do select children to have the “magical” experience of picking a wand. The sentimental among us would suggest that that’s because of the childlike wonder that young people exhibit, and their uncanny ability to really believe that the wand they’re handed is magic; the narrative purists would insist that it’s because you’re supposed to get your wand when you’re a kid; and the cynical might suppose it’s because an adult is more likely to follow through with the purchase if it’s the fulfillment of their child’s fantasy. 

You don’t have to be a kid to be selected for the experience, but obviously, it doesn’t hurt. The moment when a child successfully pairs with a wand is a moment that can make the whole room misty-eyed. A run-of-the-mill adult doesn’t always have the same warm and happy feeling – and indeed, might leave parents in the room flabbergasted and frustrated that their precious child was passed over in favor of some grown-up nerd. But the good news for those of us who are post-teens, it’s not the only way to be chosen.

2. Be into it


Though it may go without saying, your best chance to be chosen for the experience as an adult is to be into it! That is, enter the experience in house robes or Hogwarts ephemera. Again, it may sound cynical to say that spending money on Wizarding World merch gives you your best to chance to spend more money on Wizarding World merch… but for obvious reasons, the shopkeepers want to choose people of any age who look like they could be moved by the experience. “Proving” you’re a Potter devotee without saying a word will certainly help the shopkeeper know that you’re someone who would take the experience seriously and provide the good “show” that they want for all guests.

But just being “into it” isn’t enough. There’s a few simple but key things to keep in mind on the next page… 

3. Be visible


Anyone who’s stepped foot into Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley (and soon, Epic Universe’s Ministry of Magic) can tell you that these lands are a kind of Mecca for Potter fans and themed design enthusiasts. For better or worse, one of the aspects of them that makes them so memorable and beloved is that they’re built to the “real” proportions of the “real” places we saw on screen, not upsized for theme park efficiency. Despite promotional photos showing a family spending one-on-one time with a wand expert, when you’re invited into the inner sanctum of Ollivander’s, you’re in… well… a very small, dark room filled with wand boxes and people, lit only by a few lamps.

Though it’s fair to imagine a dreamy scenario where the wandkeeper senses your magical potential, parts the crowd, and pulls you out of a dark corner, that situation is… well… unlikely. Though you wouldn’t want to be seen displacing children or pushing your way through the crowd, just physically being visible in the “front row” of the experience makes you more selectable than someone in the second row of the assembled group. Obviously if you look too eager, a wandkeeper may pass over you – they want to be the star of the show, after all, not upstaged by a hyperactive superfan. But being literally visible is an important foundational step.

4. Be ready to pay.


There’s a whole lot of wide-eyed wonder that comes with a wand choosing you. But even in the Wizarding World, simply bonding with a product isn’t enough to take it home. (Certainly, Ollivander’s hasn’t been in business since 382 B.C. by giving away fine-crafted wands to everyone who makes a bell ring or a flower bloom.) So once the magical wand selection has taken place, assembled guests are invited to step out into the store proper to find their own wands while the family of the person who’s been selected is invited to stay behind for a little additional detailing.

That detailing, of course, is the wandkeeper’s bad news: if you want to keep the wand, you’ll need to fork over some Galleons – or the Muggle U.S. dollar equivalent. Wandkeepers are careful to explain to families that they are under no obligation to purchase the wand. And indeed, they may want a wand of a different design than the one that “picked” their child, or a “non-interactive” wand, or a legacy character wand, etc. etc. 

Though some report that they’ve been offered a small discount – $2 or so on the $63-ish dollar product – far more people have reported that there is no discount offered, suggesting that if there ever were a discount, it’s been discontinued. So though it may be an awkward moment or exchange, know that if you’re lucky enough to be picked, it doesn’t mean your wand is free. 

5. Know how to use it


Dozens of hidden spellcasting sites are set throughout Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley, and soon, Epic Universe’s Ministry of Magic. Denoted by bronze medallions embedded in the pavement, the spaces allow you to enchant the objects in shop windows, illuminate and extinguish lights, send fire roaring or water soaring, and more. Be sure to check out the list of our 8 favorite spells – including some hidden, unmarked ones – to put your wand to use.

And given rumors corroborated by Orlando Park Stop that Epic Universe’s Ministry of Magic land will introduce a whole new generation of wands – perhaps with light, sound, or haptic feedback – be ready to upgrade.