Ahead of the April 7 opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood, BuzzFeed got a behind-the-scenes tour from Alan Gilmore, the art director of two of the Harry Potter films. AND HE GAVE US ALL THE SECRETS.
1. Right when you walk into the park, you're going to want to check out the Hogwarts Express exhibit, where you can see the actual luggage racks that were used in the film. Go ahead and touch that magical history. (I did.)
2. The Wizarding World employees' outfits probably look extra magical because they were actually designed by a costume designer from the films.
3. All of the food at the Three Broomsticks is probably so delicious because it is J.K. Rowling–approved. According to Gilmore, she taste-tested everything — so if it's on the menu, Rowling liked it.
4. The broomsticks in the Three Broomsticks were made by the same prop makers in London who made the ones in the film.
5. If you listen carefully, you can hear house elves working in the Hog's Head kitchen.
6. Don't worry, that bird poop you see on the ground in the Owlery isn't real…it was painted on to add even more detail to the park. If you look above, you'll see the owls that the fake poop came from.
7. Oh, and while you're in the Owlery, you should probably head over to the Owl Post — which is a legitimately functioning post office — and send your real-life friends real-life letters with magical Wizarding World stamps.
8. If you put your fingers in the cage housing The Monster Book of Monsters located in Dervish and Banges, the book might just try to bite your fingers off. You've been warned.
9. What's that you hear? If you stick around long enough, you'll probably get to listen to the Hogwarts Frog Choir sing songs from the films or get to watch the students from Durmstrang and Beauxbatons put on a show.
10. The park's version of Hermione's pink Yule Ball dress — which we all know should have been periwinkle — might be a copy, but Cho Chang's dress protected in the glass case is the real one from the fourth movie.
11. The park was designed with the sun in mind, and Gilmore says 2 p.m. is the best time to take in all the magic that the world has to offer.
12. The castle might appear to be 1,000 feet high, but that's just a little movie magic used on us mere Muggles. Basically, they used forced perspective, which makes the details shrink as they go up.
13. THERE ARE NEW WANDS TO LEARN ABOUT. Besides the character wands we already know about, J.K. helped create 13 new wands, which are based on the Celtic calendar. She also wrote the characteristics of each wand, which can be seen in glass cabinets throughout Ollivanders.
14. The two desks and the chalkboard that you pass by while in line for the Forbidden Journey are all from the films.
15. Although the baby mandrakes in Professor Sprout's herbology class in the Forbidden Journey line are molded from the film molds, the earmuffs seen next to them are from the films.
16. Make sure to look out for moving portraits in the Gryffindor common room, because they are filled with brand-new characters that J.K. Rowling personally created.
17. If you peek around the Three-Eyed Witch while you're in the line for the Forbidden Journey, you can see Snape's office.