Wings and Wizards was an interactive, family-friendly exhibition where you get to solve puzzles and cast spells at Vancouver’s BC Place Stadium in 2021.
The attraction opened on June 8th and ran until September 6th.
If you like Harry Potter, you would have liked this event. It’s not affiliated with the Harry Potter franchise in any way. That being said, between the spells, Wizards’ academy and other elements, you would have recognized the similarities. Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione were wizard apprentices at Hogwarts. In 2021 you could have been one in Vancouver.
Wings and Wizards in Vancouver
Taking place at BC Place Stadium in downtown Vancouver, Wings and Wizards was a theatrical exhibition. It ran for almost the entire summer in 2021. While suitable for children, the event advertised itself as fun for all ages. Kids and Harry Potter fans though especially loved it!
Each group of one to six people received a magic wand which helped them navigate the experience. While Wings and Wizards was touch-free, the wand assisted the group as they made their way through a magical forest and a wizard’s academy. Along the route guests encountered riddles and other obstacles in their path. The whole experience lasted for about three-quarters of an hour.
The self-guided exhibition used technology to provide an interactive and immersive story. The attraction was a production by SHINE Experiences and a couple of other Vancouver-based production companies.
Where is Wings and Wizards
The event was at BC Place Stadium. It didn’t fill the stadium though, or even take place on the playing field area. It was in a different area in the building. The entrance was at Gate A which is near the BC Sports Hall of Fame not far from the intersection of Robson Street and Beatty. The address is 777 Pacific Boulevard.
Although not on the playing field, the exhibition was at around ground level in the stadium. You haad to walk down the sloping halls within the building to get to the entrance. That in itself was actually kind of cool. The anticipation built as you got closer to the venue.
The attraction itself was like a maze where you went from room to room, following instructions and magical footprint-like lights on the floor. Unlike in the main part of the stadium, the entire area has ceilings of an average height. It was dark in most of the rooms, but not too dark.
Staying Safe and Having Fun
As Vancouver continues to fight the spread of COVID-19, the exhibition kept pandemic-safety in mind. Wings and Wizards was an audio-visual experience, meaning that groups passed through without physically touching the exhibits. The magic wand each group received was also a souvenir. The wand could be taken home at the end of the experience.
Each group could be up to six people. Face masks were required. Hand sanitizer also had to be used prior to entering and groups were sent into the venue at staggered times to minimize contact. Measures such as these were put in place to help make the experience as safe as it was fun.
Note: The exhibition occasionally featured flashing strobe lights and so wasn’t suitable for people with light sensitivities.
Tickets and Admission
Tickets could be purchased on the Wings and Wizards website. Solo tickets cost $65 plus taxes and fees. Pricing for multiple tickets depended on how many people were in the group. Each additional person cost between about $30 and $40. Children, seniors and adults all cost the same.
Admission to the attraction was via Gate A at BC Place Stadium. Gate A is near the side of the stadium facing Beatty Street and Robson Street.
Ticket prices as of July 2021 were the following (including all fees, taxes and one wand per group):
- 1 Ticket – $71.50
- 2 Tickets – $112.25
- 3 Tickets – $133.00
- 4 Tickets – $153.75
- 5 Tickets – $184.50
- 6 Tickets – $215.25
Each group received one wand no matter how many people were taking part. If desired, additional wands cost $30 each. They were available online at the time of paying for admission. Children under 24 months were free, although they also still needed a ticket.
The exhibition opened on June 8th and planned to run until September 6th. In the end though, the last day of operations was August 29th (so about a week earlier than originally planned).
Note: Later in the summer prices dropped, especially for larger groups. By the end of the season prices (before taxes and fees) were the following:
- 1 Ticket – $65.00
- 2 Tickets – $95.00
- 3 Tickets – $110.00
- 4 Tickets – $115.00
- 5 Tickets – $120.00
- 6 Tickets – $125.00
Towards the end of the summer additional wands could be purchased for $20 (so $10 less than previously).
What to Expect
You could expect a magical experience when you visited BC Place Stadium in the summer of 2021. If you’ve been to Universal Studios, you would have seen similarities between Wings and Wizards and the Harry Potter attractions in California and Florida. It’s not the same, and they aren’t affiliated. They both, however, involve wands, magical spells, fantasy creatures and a wizard theme.
At the Vancouver attraction there were talking trees, a dragon and a variety of special effects. There were no moving animatronics, like you might have seen at touring dinosaur events in the past, but there were model life-sized plants and other objects. There were also talking paintings and video projections of various kinds. It wasn’t Hogwarts, but there was a Wizard’s Academy.
At the event you and your party of up to six people went from room to room. Your wand helped guide you, as did footprint illuminations on the floor. Similar to the experience at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter attractions at Universal Studios, the wands had sensors that allowed you to interact with different props.
Entry into each room and hallway activated sensors controlling the lights, audio and special effects. Only one group was allowed in a room at a time, which helped keep different households apart and maked the event extra COVID-friendly. You didn’t wander around the facility freely, going from whichever room you wanted to the next. There was a definite one-way route.
The different scenes and activities on your journey through the attraction were tied together by a story. The experience was fun, entertaining and great for children, magic lovers and fans of fantasy tales.
Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions that would have helped you make the most out of your experience.
TIP #1: Don’t be surprised if you see kids in costume in the lineup looking like Harry, Ron or Hermione. You don’t have to dress up to participate, but you can if you want.
TIP #2: Don’t expect Wings and Wizards to be like the multi-gazillion-dollar Harry Potter attractions at Universal Studios. The Vancouver event is great, and magical, but it’s not the same. The story behind Wings and Wizards is also original and different.
TIP #3: Be sure to go to the bathroom at the start before you enter the attraction. It’s unlikely you’ll find a restroom inside in a room or the Wizard Academy.
TIP #4: Masks must be worn in the venue. Remember to bring one.
TIP #5: Take your camera, or at least make sure your phone is well-charged. You can take photos for non-commercial use. You cannot, however, use flash.
Who Will Love It, and Who Might Not?
TIP #6: Although suitable for people of all ages, it’s ideal for children between 8 and 12 years of age. Their friends, parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents will love it too.
TIP #7: More timid younger kids might find some of the scenes a bit scary. Also good to know is that you can’t touch things, and you have to concentrate, listen to the story, wait for a few things and follow instructions.
TIP #7: Because of some of its special effects, the attraction might not be appropriate for people with light sensitivities.
What Other Attractions Might You Like?
TIP #9: If you like mysteries and make-believe, you might also like Vancouver Mysteries and Forbidden Vancouver. One is an adventure games company and the other is a guided walking tour company. More for adults, but not exclusively, they are also in downtown Vancouver and lots of fun.
For more information about the attraction visit the Wings and Wizards website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver’s Best Indoor Activities
- Vancouver Places for Children
- Entertainment in Vancouver
- BC Place Stadium
- Vancouver Summer Activities
- What’s Open in COVID-19 Vancouver