The Wizarding World of Harry Potter // © 2010 Universal Studios Orlando
Just in time for summer, the Universal Orlando Resort welcomed its new Wizarding World of Harry Potter on June 18. The grand opening celebration featured appearances by actors from the popular film series, including Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton, James and Oliver Phelps, Matthew Lewis, Bonnie Wright, Michael Gambon, Warwick Davis, as well as thousands of fans.
With the opening of the park, fans of the Harry Potter book series can see its magical world come to life. Visitors can take a tour of Hogwarts Castle, shop in Hogsmeade village and dine in the Three Broomsticks pub. Other adventures allow guests to fly with Harry, ride on a dragon, sample Butterbeer, eat exploding sweets — and experience other magical adventures featured in the Harry Potter books and films.
“We have created a special place unlike anywhere else in the world,” said Tom Williams, chairman and CEO for Universal Parks and Resorts. “The adventures of Harry Potter are among the most popular of our time — and we are bringing them to life. We put our guests in the middle of a Harry Potter adventure. They feel as if they are in the movies with Harry and his friends.”
One of the theme park’s main attractions is the ride called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The adventure takes guests on a ride during which they travel by Floo Network, soar over Hogwarts, narrowly escape a dragon attack, have a close encounter with the Whomping Willow, get pulled into a Quidditch match and more.
For more adventures, visitors can brave a Hungarian Horntail or a Chinese Fireball on the dueling roller coasters of the Dragon Challenge or learn a few tips from Hagrid before taking a training flight on the Flight of the Hippogriff.
Guests can also visit Zonko’s, stop by Ollivanders wand shop, buy their very own Marauder’s Map at Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods, mail letters from Hogsmeade at the Owl Post, buy Hogwarts school robes at Dervish and Banges or rest under the rafters of the Owlery.