A look inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

On June 18th Universal Studio’s Islands of Adventure will open the much anticipated Wizarding World of Harry Potter and it will be no surprise to see fans of the popular book and movie series flock from all around to experience Harry Potter’s world in the most realistic way possible.  Universal Orlando announced the creation of the park in October of 2007.  The park features full scale replicas of Hogsmeade, the magical town often visited by Harry and his friends.  It also features Hogwarts, the legendary school of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  In addition to three large rides, the world will feature many other attractions as well.

The park has been a long time in the making and was first proposed and discussed nearly a decade ago.  J.K. Rowling, famed author of the Potter series originally wanted visitors of the park to gain access by tapping the right brick in the Leaky Cauldron Pub, thus leading to Diagon alley from where they’d catch a ride via the Hogwarts Express and on to the famed school itself.  While that might not be the exact way visitors will enter the park, Rowling will see many aspects of her world from the Potter series come true with the opening of the park itself.

Dragons, Hippogriffs, and Adventure

Walls inside of Hogwarts lined with portraits

The main attraction will be a ride giving visitors a tour of Hogwarts.  Titled Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, visitors will enter Hogwarts through the gates and journey onward through Hogwart’s hallways.  There they’ll see familiar sights from the books and movies.  Such sights include the headmaster’s office, classrooms, the Gryffindor Common room, and the Mirror of Erised.  After waiting in line visitors will board a magical bench(also known as a ride vehicle) where they’ll be given a special tour of Hogwarts by Harry.  Visitors will experience the castle firsthand, get to fly around, run into some dementors, and get caught up in a Quidditch match.  When exiting the ride visitors will be lead to Finch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods gift shop.

The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

The other two rides are both roller coasters.  Dragon Challenge offers visitors to choose either the Chinese Fireball or Hungarian Horntail.  While it’s the only inverted roller coaster in the world, the coaster itself was originally opened by the park in 1999 as Dueling Dragons.

Flight of the Hippogriff is a bit calmer of a ride.  Like Dragon Challenge, Flight of the Hippogriff is an older park ride originally titled Flying Unicorn that has been re-themed to fit into the world of Harry Potter.  While visitors wait in line for this much anticipated ride they’ll see a full scale replica of Hagrid’s hut.

Conceptual art of the Hogsmeade area of the park

Besides the three large rides included within the world, the park also includes dining and shopping.  Two of the restaurants include The Three Broomsticks, which offers pumpkin juice and butterbeer along with food included from the Potter universe.  The other restaurant and pub, Hog’s Head will offer visitors 21+ some refreshing alcoholic beverages.  Shops include the famed Ollivander’s where Harry got his wand.  It will also be an interactive experience where visitors are able to have their wand choose them.  Other shops that will also be featured include Honeydukes, a candy store, Owl Post, a post office selling stationary, and Dervish and Banges, a magic store.

Stars from the Harry Potter movies recently got a sneak peak of the park.  You can check out photos here at this link(thanks to yahoo):   http://movies.yahoo.com/photos/collections/gallery/2493/harry-potter-theme-park-revealed#photo0

For more information visit: http://www.universalorlando.com/harrypotter/


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