Today, at an exclusive webcast, Universal Studios announced the opening for the upcoming Wizarding World Of Harry Potter which will take place in the Spring of 2010!
The webcast took place in Studio 33 on the Universal Studios Orlando lot, and was attended by 7 top HP sites, Feltbeats.com, as well as Tom Felton himself! The set was a replica of the Gryffindor Common Room. It was hosted by President of Universal Creative Mark Woodbury. Also in attendance were Show Producer Paul Daurio, and Art Director from the films Alan Gilmore who works directly with Stuart Craig, Academy Award winning Production Designer on the HP movies.
A brief video was shown introducing the park and how it will fit in with other attractions at Universal Orlando. They then began describing the different areas in the Wizarding World. Visitors will enter through the gate into Hogsmeade station where there will be a replica of The Hogwarts Express. They will then pass into Hogsmeade where you can visit Zonko’s Joke Shop, Honeydukes, and The Owlery where you can send owl post with the official Hogsmeade stamp. Down the road you can visit Ollivander’s where your wand will choose you! If you are interested in picking up some magical keepsakes, you can go to Dervish and Banges for your remembralls and spectraspecs!
Next come the rides! There will be the Dragon Challenge which takes you through the triwizard challenge. This is formerly known as the Duelling Dragons! Next is the Flight Of The Hippogriff where you will be emmersed in a Care Of Magical Creatures class taught by Hagrid. This is a family coaster. The main attraction is the Hogwarts Castle which will include the ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. This ride will be including technology never before seen in a theme park! It will take you through all of your favorite parts of Hogwarts Castle, and the characters you love! Before exiting back into Hogsmeade, you can visit Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods to pick up Omnioculars and remote control Snitches! There will be an entire line of merchandise only available at Universal Orlando!
Tom was introduced as the special guest, and he said he normally wouldn’t be welcome in the Gryffindor Common Room! One of the things he is most excited about is being able to go into the Three Broomsticks and trying Butterbeer, and the food that they normally don’t get to experience on set. He is over the moon to be taking part in the making of this park! The rest of the cast is envious that he is able to visit the park. The makers of the park think Tom’s enthusium is absolutely contagious. Tom did say that he may have to go into Ollivander’s and get a new wand after the events of the books.
The park has been in the works for about 5 years now, with over 1000 people taking part in the conception and building of such a monumental area. It has been a collaborative effort between Universal, J.K. Rowling, and Warner Bros. to make this a reality.
We will have more information in the coming hours so stay tuned!