top of page

Experience the Magic Castle: Insider Tips and Tricks

Step into a world of enchantment at the Magic Castle in Hollywood! Discover secret shows, exclusive dining, and unforgettable magic. Ready to unlock the mystery? Your magical adventure awaits!

The Magic Castle in Hollywood with a sunset in the backgound
A look at the Magic Castle in Hollywood.

Unveiling the Mysteries of the Magic Castle: Hollywood's Hidden Gem

Nestled in the heart of Hollywood, the Magic Castle stands as a beacon of mystery and wonder in the world's entertainment capital.

This exclusive, members-only club is the home of the Academy of Magical Arts (AMA), a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing and preserving the art of magic.

The AMA is also among the seven North American magician organizations recognized by the FISM World Championship of Magic.

Since its founding in 1963, the Magic Castle has become a mecca for magicians and enthusiasts.

Behind its Victorian-era façade lies a world of enchantment, where world-class magicians perform nightly, and the impossible becomes possible. The Academy of Magical Arts provides a stage for established performers and nurtures up-and-coming talent, ensuring that the art of magic continues to thrive and evolve.

But how does one gain entry into this enigmatic establishment?

While the Magic Castle is known for its exclusivity, there are actually four ways to step through its magical doors:

  • Know a member

  • Stay at the Magic Castle Hotel

  • Befriend a magician

  • Become a member

Whether you're a lifelong magic aficionado or simply curious about the secrets hidden within the Castle's walls, this blog post will guide you through everything you need to know about this extraordinary Los Angeles landmark.

From its rich history and exclusive performances to insider tips and membership details, prepare to be spellbound by the magic that awaits!


About the Magic Castle

About the Magic Castle

Nestled in the heart of Hollywood, the Magic Castle is a world-famous private club that has become a sanctuary for magic enthusiasts from around the globe.

This iconic venue is not just a place to witness incredible magic; it’s a cornerstone of the magical arts community, where the impossible becomes possible and the ordinary transforms into the extraordinary.

A Private Club for Magic Enthusiasts

The Magic Castle is more than just a club; it’s a magical haven where members and guests can immerse themselves in the enchanting world of magic.

This exclusive club is dedicated to preserving, promoting, and advancing the magical arts.

From the moment you step inside, you’re transported to a world where mystery and wonder are part of everyday life.

The Club’s Mission and Values

At its core, the Magic Castle is driven by a mission to foster a deep appreciation for the art of magic.

The club is committed to supporting magicians in their craft, providing a platform for them to perform, learn, and grow.

The values of the Magic Castle revolve around creativity, excellence, and community. It’s a place where magicians and magic enthusiasts can share their passion and inspire one another.

The Secrets Behind the Magic Castle’s Success

What makes the Magic Castle so successful? It’s a combination of its rich history, its commitment to the magical arts, and its ability to create unforgettable experiences.

Four magicians in front of a step-and-repeat at the magic castle in Hollywood.
Visiting the castle with friends in the biz. Ryan Joyce (me), Michael Paul Ziegfield, Timothy Drake & Peter Mennie

The club’s success is also rooted in its exclusivity; gaining access to the Magic Castle is a privilege, and this air of mystery only adds to its allure.

The club’s dedication to maintaining high standards in performances and hospitality ensures that every visit is memorable.

The Formation of the Magic Castle

The Magic Castle was formed in 1963 by Milt Larsen, a magician and entrepreneur, along with his brother Bill Larsen Jr. and its owner, Tom Glover.

The trio transformed a Victorian mansion into what is now known as the Magic Castle.

Their vision was to create a space where magicians could perform and hone their skills while providing guests with a unique and magical experience.

Over the years, the Magic Castle has become legendary, attracting some of the world’s most talented magicians and magic enthusiasts.

What the Magic Castle is All About

The Magic Castle is about celebrating the art of magic in all its forms.

It’s a place where you can witness jaw-dropping performances, learn the secrets of the trade, and become part of a vibrant community of like-minded individuals.

Whether you’re a seasoned magician or simply a fan of the magical arts, the Magic Castle offers something for everyone.

It’s a place where the impossible becomes possible, and every visit is a journey into the unknown.

What secrets lie within the walls of the Magic Castle

The Magic Castle is shrouded in mystery and intrigue, with many secrets hidden behind the walls of this mysterious house.

Some of the secrets that lie within include:

  • Hidden rooms and passageways that only members know about

  • Closely guarded magic tricks and illusions performed by world-class magicians

  • A private library containing rare books on magic and the occult

  • Artifacts and memorabilia from famous magicians throughout history

  • The secrets of the Houdini Séance room

  • Insider knowledge is shared only among the magician members

  • Surprise impromptu performances that happen when you least expect it

  • The true stories behind some of magic’s greatest legends and illusions

Part of the allure of the Magic Castle is that its secrets are closely protected.

The full extent of what lies within those walls is known only to its members and those lucky enough to visit.

The mystery is part of the magic!


Getting into the Magic Castle

The Magic Castle’s exclusivity is part of its charm, but don’t let that discourage you.

There are several ways to gain access to this enchanting world of magic.

Let’s explore the four main ways to enter those mysterious doors and experience the wonder within.

Four Ways to Gain Entry

1. Know a Member

One of the easiest ways to access the Magic Castle is to know a member.

Academy of Magical Arts members can invite guests to join them at the club.

If you're lucky enough to have a friend or acquaintance who's a member, you're in for a treat!

Remember to be polite when asking for an invitation. Magic may be their passion, but it's also a closely guarded art.

2. Stay at the Magic Castle Hotel

Don't know any members? No problem!

You can book a stay at the Magic Castle Hotel, which grants you access to the club during your visit. This option is perfect for out-of-towners or locals looking for a magical staycation.

Plus, you'll enjoy all the hotel's amenities, including the famous "Popsicle Hotline" by the pool!

3. Befriend a Magician

Magicians who are Academy of Magical Arts members can also extend invitations to guests.

You might know a magician or two if you're a magic enthusiast.

Don't be shy about expressing your interest in visiting the Magic Castle – many magicians are happy to share their magical world with appreciative fans.

4. Become a Member or Magician

The Magic Castle offers three types of memberships: Associate, Magician, and Junior.

Each allows you to enjoy the Castle's world-class performances, dine in Victorian splendor, and attend special events.

Membership fees are among the most expensive of all the magician organizations.

New resident members will pay a $2500 initiation fee and 150 a month.

Here are some key details about membership:

  • Members can issue guest passes to friends and business associates.

  • Special perks include Friday lunches and weekend brunches for the whole family.

  • Magician members get access to an extensive library of magic resources and can attend expert lectures.

  • Non-resident memberships are available for those living outside a 60-mile radius of the clubhouse.

  • The Academy has reciprocity agreements with many other private clubs nationwide.

  • All members and guests must adhere to the Castle's rules, including a strict dress code and no photography policy.

  • Memberships are non-refundable.

To apply for membership or get more information, visit the Academy of Magical Arts' website or call (323) 851-3313 ext. 352.

Remember, becoming a member means the Magic Castle becomes your magical home away from home!

Reservations are required for all visits to the Magic Castle, no matter which method you choose. Also, adhere to the dress code—coat and tie for gentlemen and equally formal attire for ladies.

The Magic Castle takes its atmosphere seriously, and dressing up is part of the magical experience.


Getting into the Magic Castle might require some effort, but that's part of what makes it special.

The exclusivity adds to the mystery and excitement, ensuring every visit feels like a unique and magical adventure. Whether you're a one-time guest or a regular member, stepping into the Magic Castle is always an extraordinary experience.


The Magical Arts Experience

Live Performances and Shows

Step into the Magic Castle and immerse yourself in a world where reality and illusion blend seamlessly.

The heart of the Magic Castle experience lies in its live performances and shows, each designed to leave you spellbound and questioning the very nature of reality.

As you explore the castle's winding corridors and hidden rooms, you'll encounter a variety of magical performances.

a magician spreading cards on the table
You'll find magic everywhere-- from close-up to stage magic

From intimate close-up magic in the Close-up Gallery to grand illusions on the Palace of Mystery stage, there's something to amaze everyone.

The performers range from up-and-coming magicians honing their craft to world-renowned illusionists who have perfected their art over decades.

But the Magic Castle isn't just about watching magic – it's about experiencing it.

The superb dining at the castle's restaurant adds another layer to the magical atmosphere. Imagine savoring a delicious meal while a magician performs miracles at your table. This unique blend of gastronomy and illusion makes dining at the Magic Castle an unforgettable experience.

For those looking to delve deeper into the magical arts, the Magic Castle offers learning opportunities from expert instructors.

Whether you're a complete novice or an experienced magician looking to refine your skills, you can find classes and workshops to suit your level.

Who knows? With dedication and practice, you might even discover the secrets to becoming a master magician yourself!


Special Events and Activities

Houdini Séance and More

Among the many special events at the Magic Castle, the Houdini Séance stands out as a truly unique experience. This isn't your average séance – it's a tribute to the legendary escape artist and a chance to connect with the rich history of magic.

The Houdini Séance takes place in a specially designed room filled with artifacts and memorabilia from Houdini's life.

Sitting at the table, you'll notice that the 14th chair always remains empty for Houdini– a tradition that adds to the event's mystique.

But don't be surprised if that chair doesn't stay empty for long!

During the séance, a medium attempts to contact Harry Houdini's spirit, creating an atmosphere of suspense and wonder. Whether or not you believe in the supernatural, the experience will leave you with a sense of awe and a deeper appreciation for Houdini's lasting impact on the world of magic.

But the Houdini Séance is just one of many special events at the Magic Castle.

Unique Activities and Magic Shows

Throughout the year, the castle hosts a variety of unique activities, from lectures by renowned magicians to special themed nights.

These events allow members and guests to delve deeper into the world of magic, learn about its history, and connect with others who share their passion.

Remember, each visit to the Magic Castle is a unique experience. The performances change regularly, ensuring that even frequent visitors always have something new to discover.

Whether watching a mind-bending illusion, participating in a séance, or simply soaking in the magical atmosphere, your time at the Magic Castle will surely be filled with wonder and surprises.

So, when you visit the Magic Castle, come with an open mind and a sense of wonder. You never know what magical experiences await you behind those mysterious doors!


Accommodations and Amenities

The Magic Castle Hotel

While the Magic Castle is the star attraction, the adjacent Magic Castle Hotel offers a delightful place to rest your head after a night of wonder and illusion.

This charming boutique hotel provides more than just a place to sleep – it's an extension of the magical experience.

Costs & Satisfication

Starting at around $200 per night, the Magic Castle Hotel isn't the cheapest option in town, especially for locals. However, the unique amenities and the perk of guaranteed access to the Magic Castle make it worth considering for magic enthusiasts and tourists alike.

One of the hotel's standout features is its commitment to guest satisfaction, which has earned it consistently positive reviews. When you check-in, you'll notice the little touches that set this hotel apart.

Complimentary snacks are available 24/7, ensuring you never go hungry during your magical stay.

Popsicle Hotline

But perhaps the most whimsical amenity is the "Popsicle Hotline" by the pool.

Yes, you read that right! Pick up the red phone by the pool, and within minutes, a staff member in white gloves will appear with a selection of free popsicles on a silver tray.

This playful attention to detail makes a stay at the Magic Castle Hotel truly special.

Amenities & Services

For those looking for a home-away-from-home experience, the hotel's suites are equipped with full kitchens and dining areas. After a night of magical performances, you can whip up a midnight snack or enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the comfort of your own space.

The comfortable beds ensure a good night's sleep, leaving you refreshed and ready for another day of enchantment.

Speaking of comfort, the heated outdoor pool is a perfect spot to relax and soak up the California sun. Whether taking a refreshing dip before heading to the Magic Castle or unwinding after a night of wonder, the pool area provides a tranquil oasis.

To cap off your magical experience, the hotel offers turn-down service, adding an extra touch of luxury to your stay. These thoughtful details transform a simple hotel stay into a memorable part of your Magic Castle adventure.

While the price point might be steep for some, the Magic Castle Hotel offers more than just accommodation.

It's a gateway to the world of magic, providing easy access to the Castle and extending the magical atmosphere beyond the club's walls. For those looking to fully immerse themselves in the Magic Castle experience, a stay at the hotel is well worth considering.

After all, where else can you order a popsicle with a special hotline and watch world-class magicians perform in the same evening?


Insider Tips and Tricks

Make the Most of Your Visit

Visiting the Magic Castle is a unique and enchanting experience, but a few insider tips and tricks can help you make the most of your magical adventure.

Here’s what you need to know to ensure your visit is smooth and enjoyable.

1. Reservations are Required

One of the most important things to remember is that reservations are required for all events and shows at the Magic Castle.

This exclusive club has a limited capacity, and performances often sell out quickly.

To avoid disappointment, make sure to book your reservation well in advance.

Whether you’re a member or a guest, planning ahead is key to securing your spot at this magical venue.

2. Dress Code: Coat and Tie Required

The Magic Castle takes its dress code seriously, and adhering to it is part of the experience.

Gentlemen are required to wear a coat and tie, while ladies should opt for equally formal attire.

Think of it as an opportunity to dress up and add to the elegant, old-world charm of the club.

The dress code helps maintain the sophisticated atmosphere that makes the Magic Castle so special, so be sure to pack your finest attire.

3. No Photos Allowed Inside the Club

While you might be tempted to capture the magic on camera, photography is strictly prohibited inside the Magic Castle.

This rule helps preserve the mystery and exclusivity of the club.

Instead of snapping photos, take the time to fully immerse yourself in the experience and enjoy the live performances.

The memories you make will be far more magical than any picture.

4. Miracles are Rampant, and Magic is Always Happening

One of the most enchanting aspects of the Magic Castle is that magic is happening all around you, all the time.

From the moment you step inside, you’ll encounter magicians performing impromptu tricks in the hallways, at the bar, and even at your dinner table.

Keep your eyes and mind open, and be ready to witness miracles at every turn.

The spontaneous nature of these performances adds to the sense of wonder and excitement.

Additional Tips

  • Arrive Early: To make the most of your visit, arrive early and take some time to explore the castle. There are hidden rooms, secret passageways, and plenty of surprises waiting to be discovered.

  • Interact with the Magicians: Don’t be shy about engaging with the magicians. They love sharing their craft and might even teach you a trick or two.

  • Enjoy the Dining Experience: The Magic Castle’s restaurant offers a delightful dining experience. Make a dinner reservation and enjoy a meal before or after the shows. The food is excellent, and dining in such a magical setting is a treat.

  • Respect the Rules: The Magic Castle has a few other rules to maintain its unique atmosphere, such as no cell phone use in performance areas. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these rules to ensure a smooth visit.

By following these insider tips and tricks, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy all the Magic Castle offers.

Whether it’s your first visit or your hundredth, the Magic Castle promises an unforgettable experience filled with wonder, amazement, and, of course, a touch of magic.


Location and Accessibility

Surrounded by Entertainment and Attractions

The Magic Castle's location is as enchanting as the performances within its walls. Nestled in the heart of Hollywood, this magical enclave is perfectly positioned for those looking to experience the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles.

The Magic Castle is a mystery beacon in the bustling entertainment capital of Los Angeles, California, situated in the iconic Hollywood district.

Its prime location puts you in the center of the action, making it an ideal base for exploring all Hollywood offers.

Nearby Attractions

Just a block from the world-famous Hollywood Boulevard, the Magic Castle is within easy reach of some of the city's most renowned attractions.

Take a short stroll, and you'll find yourself on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where you can quite literally follow in the footsteps of Hollywood royalty.

With each step, you're treading the same paths as the stars of yesterday and today, adding a touch of stardust to your magical adventure.

The surrounding area is a treasure trove of entertainment options.

From historic theaters and museums to trendy restaurants and nightclubs, there's no shortage of things to see and do.

You might

  • Catch a movie premiere at the TCL Chinese Theatre

  • Explore the Hollywood Museum

  • Tour the Dolby Theatre, home of the Academy Awards.

  • For those interested in the darker side of Hollywood, the Hollywood Museum of Death is just around the corner.

Nearby Restaurants

Food lovers will be in heaven, with many dining options ranging from casual eateries to high-end restaurants.

Whether you're in the mood for classic American diner food or innovative fusion cuisine, you'll find it all within walking distance of the Magic Castle.

Here's a list of popular dining options near the Magic Castle in Hollywood:

  1. Musso & Frank Grill - Classic Hollywood steakhouse known for its martinis and old-school charm

  2. Yamashiro Hollywood - Japanese-inspired cuisine with stunning views of Los Angeles

  3. Mel's Drive-In - Iconic 24-hour diner serving American classics

  4. 25 Degrees - Gourmet burgers and shakes in the Roosevelt Hotel

  5. Katsuya Hollywood - Upscale Japanese cuisine and sushi

  6. Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant - High-end steakhouse and butcher shop by celebrity chef Curtis Stone

  7. Cleo Hollywood - Mediterranean small plates in a trendy setting

  8. Tao Los Angeles - Pan-Asian cuisine in a stylish, high-energy atmosphere

  9. Shake Shack - Popular burger chain with a Hollywood location

  10. Miceli's - Old-school Italian restaurant known as Hollywood's oldest Italian restaurant

  11. Boardner's - Historic bar and restaurant with a film noir vibe

  12. Wood & Vine - New American cuisine in a stylish setting

  13. Delphine Eatery & Bar - California-inspired cuisine in the W Hollywood Hotel

  14. The Hungry Cat - Seafood-focused restaurant with a raw bar

  15. Greenblatt's Deli - Classic Jewish deli, popular for sandwiches and wine selection

For those relying on public transportation, the Hollywood/Highland metro station is just a few blocks away, providing easy access to other parts of Los Angeles. If you're driving, valet parking is available at the Magic Castle, taking the stress out of finding a spot in busy Hollywood.

Given the Magic Castle's rich offerings and the abundance of attractions in the surrounding area, it's no wonder many visitors plan a return trip before they've even left.

As the saying goes, "Chances are you'll need to stay with us twice to see, taste, and feel everything our home offers."


Wrapping Up

The Magic Castle and its Hollywood location provide such a wealth of experiences that a single visit often isn't enough to fully experience them.

So, when you visit the Magic Castle, don't just come for the magic – come for the full Hollywood experience.

From the moment you step out of the Castle's doors, you'll find yourself immersed in the glitz, glamour, and excitement that make Hollywood one of the most famous neighborhoods in the world.

It's not just a visit to a magic club; it's a journey into the heart of entertainment itself.


Related Posts

See All


Here's More Magic For You: