Who wants a butterbeer? The next round is on me. Well, not just yet, but soon. After all, it’s only a few short months before “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” opens for the first time as part of Universal’s “Islands of Adventures” theme park at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.
Since Universal first announced the development of a Harry Potter theme park, fans of the series from around the world have been clamoring to learn more. Luckily, there was a short sneak peak of the park found in the special features on the two-disc edition DVD and Blu-ray of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. While short, the clip did offer a whole mess of details about the park, which have been compiled quite nicely by Orlando Attractions Magazine.
Besides a warm and frothy butterbeer (which J.K. Rowling apparently “loved”), you can try some of the Wizarding World’s favorite treats like Chocolate Frogs, Every Flavor Beans, Cauldron Cakes, and Treacle Fudge at a replica of Honeyduke’s Sweetshop. Fans will also be able to check out both the Three Broomsticks and the neighboring Hog’s Head Pub. For those looking to make a little magic themselves, the park will have a replica of Ollivander’s Wand Shop so that young wizards in training can pick up their very own wand.
Of course, no theme park would be complete without rides and it sounds like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will have at least a few that are worthwhile. Take, for instance, the Forbidden Journey ride, which Potter actress Emma Watson described as the “best moments from all the films.” To line up for the Forbidden Journey ride, fans will walk through Hogwart’s castle, complete with moving portraits and other magical touches.
Besides the Forbidden Journey ride, there will be a family-friendly ride called Flight of the Hippogriff, that will feature everyone’s favorite half-giant Hagrid. Guests will be required to properly approach their Hippogriff (avert eyes, bow low, etc.) before being allowed onboard. Another ride is said to feature the Whomping Willow and the over-sized spiders (properly termed Acromantula) from the Forbidden Forest.
I’m a big Harry Potter fan and a huge sucker for theme parks, so this sounds like something I would definitely enjoy. On the other hand, it definitely sounds like it’s got a family/young child vibe, so I wouldn’t be surprised if groups of mid-20’s adults don’t make it a priority to go see the park. What do you think? Does this sound like something you’d bring your family to? Would you go if you don’t have any kids?
Source: Orlando Attractions Magazine