The film centers on Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob (Dan Fogler), a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.
A story of this scope demands an equally magnificent setting, and New York landed the starring role. Before filming began in August 2015, director David Yates took his creative team on a mission to the Big Apple to draw inspiration from its history, scale, grit and grandeur. They returned to Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, in England, and, under the direction of Academy Award-winning production designer Stuart Craig, built their own magical 1920s New York. However, a lot of the sites that were seen in the film can be seen on the NYC TV & Movie Tour and the Central Park Walking Tour.
In the film, we get to know what the Wizarding World is like in America. Lucky for us the MACUSA Headquarters (short for the Magical Congress of the USA) is located in NYC at 233 Broadway. As Newt tracks down his escaped creatures and titular beasts, he has to travel around the city. One memorable scene finds Newt in Central Park as he is able to catch a hippo like creature that was trying to get to the Central Park Zoo.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was released in November 2016. It kicked off a five-movie franchise within the larger Wizarding World, most known for the eight Harry Potter films.
The 2018 sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald further explores the history of Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Gellert Grindelwald’s relationship and what it means for the larger Wizarding World. Although much of the movie takes place in Paris and at Hogwarts, the beginning of the film finds Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) escaping from the New York Wizarding Prison in a flying thestral-drawn carriage, as he throws the guards into the Hudson River by the Statue of Liberty. This area of NYC can be seen on our similarly magical Super Tour of NYC.
* In an effort to stay current, we are constantly updating our tours with new locations and cannot guarantee the presence of locations mentioned on our site. If you have a particular interest in locations from a specific TV show or movie, please let your tour guide know and we will do our best to accommodate your request.