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updated 10/21/2010 8:29:59 PM ET 2010-10-22T00:29:59

A few lucky visitors first are invited to try on the sorting hat, which compliments them on their bravery, intelligence or cunning. Then, a few steps down a dark corridor and you are surrounded by a cloud of steam. Ahead is the train station, where the Hogwarts Express has just arrived.

You have entered "Harry Potter: The Exhibition," a showcase filled with the imagery evoked in J.K. Rowling's seven-part series about an orphan named Harry who discovers he is part of a mostly hidden magical world. The traveling museum show opens at Seattle's Pacific Science Center on Saturday.

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What Harry Potter fan hasn't wanted to sit for a bit in a giant chair at Hagrid's cottage, watching to see if the dragon's egg shaking and rattling on the table is going to open? The show also give fans a chance to test their Quidditch skills and see up close the beautiful gowns the actors wore to the Yule Ball in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire."

Costumes and props from the seven movies are in Seattle for an exhibition, including a few that weren't shown when the show stopped previously in Chicago, Boston and Ontario. Seattle is the last stop — for now — in the United States for the 10,000 square-foot exhibit.

"The filmmakers have been great. They love the exhibition and love sharing things with the fans," said Eddie Newquist, chief creative officer of Global Experience Specialists, an exhibition and trade show company based in Las Vegas.

Newquist said it took two years to create the exhibit, and it continues to evolve as the filmmakers release more props. The seventh movie opens Nov. 19, and one more film is planned.

From the seventh movie, the exhibition includes a decoy detector, Rita Skeeter's biography of Albus Dumbledore, and a costume worn by Helena Bonham Carter, who plays Bellatrix LeStrange.

As you enter the castle, the fat lady, who usually sits in a picture frame that blocks the entrance to the Gryffindor Common Room and Harry's digs at Hogwarts invites the visitor to stop and enjoy her singing. When you start to walk away, she signals the visitor to give her just a little more time.

In the end, she breaks her wine glass on the wall when she can't break it by singing — just like in the movie.

Just about everything the fan has ever wanted to take a closer look at is on display: from the tapestry outside the Room of Requirement — it's painted, not woven — to the creepy, crawlers stored in jars in the potions classroom, plus the marauder's map, Harry's broomstick, various school uniforms, everybody's wands and Dobby the house elf.

A few things were missing from the displays, including owls, which were not seen until the gift shop.

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The show has only a few hands-on exhibits: tossing a quaffle, pulling a mandrake from its pot and sitting on Hagrid's chair. But a group of second graders, many who hadn't read any of the books or seen the movies, were quickly immersed in the displays and hyped up with excitement, without any assistance from the sweets on display at the end.

Kyleigh Ball, 7, who has read the first book in the series, said her favorite part was the costume displays.

"I thought it was great," she said. When asked if anything in the exhibit was too scary, Kyleigh added, "I definitely don't want my best friend to get freaked out by the statues. They were scary."

She would advise her friend to avoid the giant statue of the Angel of Death from the graveyard scene in the "Goblet of Fire."

Newquist said the exhibit is appropriate for children old enough to read one of the books or see the first movie, and the scary parts of the exhibit were not as scary as the later movies.

Kyleigh's teacher, Dano Beal of Lafayette Elementary in West Seattle, wore a wizard's robe and a fancy hat to the preview. Harry Potter is his classroom theme this year — with a focus on teamwork — and he contacted the Science Center to tell them his class was really immersed in the story. They were invited to be the museum's special guests for the press preview of the exhibit.

"I'm terribly excited," he said, when asked if he or the children were more entranced by the displays. "The kids have just been wiggling about it. They're going to be talking about this for months."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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  1. The Hogwarts Express arrives in Hogsmeade Station at Universal Orlando Resort's Wizarding World of Harry Potter. As guests enter Hogsmeade, they are greeted by the iconic, smoke-billowing steam engine, made famous in the Harry Potter books and films for transporting students to a world of magic and wonder. (Kevin Kolczynski / Universal Orlando) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. As guests pass through the arch into Hogsmeade at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, they can explore the cobbled streets of the highly themed environment, and will encounter iconic locations from the Harry Potter books and films, like Ollivanders and the majestic Hogwarts castle. (Kevin Kolczynski / Universal Orlando) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Visitors stroll the streets of Hogsmeade in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando theme park. The attraction opens to general admission ticket holders on June 18. (John Raoux / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Members of the Hogwarts Choir sing for guests. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter features multiple themed attractions, shops and a restaurant. (John Raoux / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A clerk, right, at Ollivander's Wand Shop, helps visitors pick out a magic wand. Park guests will have plenty of opportunities to shop for wands, broomstics, scarves and more. (John Raoux / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Mounted on the wall of the Hog's Head pub is the hog's head, which will come alive and puff its jowls at visitors. Adjacent to the Three Broomsticks, the Hog's Head pub is where guests can enjoy a cold Butterbeer, pumpkin juice and other beverages. (Kevin Kolczynski / Universal Orlando) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. The entrance to Hogwarts Castle is seen at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. (John Raoux / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Hogwarts Castle is seen at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Construction of the park was overseen by the production manager from the Harry Potter movies. (John Raoux / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. The office of headmaster Albus Dumbledore is intricately displayed at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling, author of the Potter books, is a stickler for details, and Universal worked hard to get her OK on the park's attractions. (Kevin Kolczynski / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Guests will pass by the regal Griffin statue on their way to Dumbledore's office. (Kevin Kolczynski / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Just like the Harry Potter films, portraits line the walls of Hogwarts castle, the home of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. When passing through the Portrait gallery, guests will encounter several magical talking portraits created exclusively for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including the four Hogwarts founders. (Kevin Kolczynski / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. An authentic replica from the Harry Potter films, guests will pass by Hagrid's hut on their way to the Flight of the Hippogriff family-friendly roller coaster. Just before they board, Hagrid instructs guests on how to properly approach and fly on a Hippogriff. (Kevin Kolczynski / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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Video: Al learns about Butterbeer, pumpkin juice

  1. Transcript of: Al learns about Butterbeer, pumpkin juice

    AL ROKER reporting: I got to tell you, that looks pretty refreshing right about now, guys. But another thing that's very refreshing, butterbeer. That's right . The iconic drink that is a delicacy here in Hogsmeade was created by Mr. Steve Jason . He is the executive chef here at Hogsmeade . Steve , good to see you.

    Mr. STEVE JASON: Good morning, Al . Good to see you.

    ROKER: Now, how does a guy from Brooklyn end up in Hogsmeade ?

    Mr. JASON: Good question.

    ROKER: Hey, tell me, so butterbeer, what goes into it?

    Mr. JASON: Butterbeer is a lot of great flavors and a lot of -- we looked in the book, we tried to get a feeling for what we wanted it to be. We put all the ingredients on the table, we worked on it. After 15, 16 tries we got something really great. We flew it over to Edinburgh , we gave it to the author, she gave it to...

    ROKER: J.K. Rowling had this?

    Mr. JASON: Yes, she loved it.

    ROKER: And this is butterbeer?

    Mr. JASON: And this is butterbeer.

    ROKER: All right, cheers.

    Mr. JASON: Cheers to you.

    ROKER: Mm. That's good butterbeer. Mm, I like it.

    Mr. JASON: You like that?

    ROKER: What's the other drink you've got here?

    Mr. JASON: I got a little pumpkin juice over here.

    ROKER: Pumpkin juice?

    Mr. JASON: Another one that we had to create and take over to J.K.

    ROKER: Mm-hmm.

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