For the past few months, the constructions crews, art directors, and special effects “wizards” (pun intended) have been busy working on turning the story of Harry Potter into a living breathing world as an attraction at Universal Studios Orlando.
As per the Universal website:
“For the first time, guests can visit ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ and stroll the streets of Hogsmeade, exploring the sights, sounds and magical wonders therein; and experience thrilling rides and attractions that bring the adventures of Harry Potter and his friends to life.”
Of course, all of that sounds great but how is it going to actually look?
Recreating the Hogwarts castle, something that only existed in the mind of J.K. Rowling until the first Harry Potter film, is no small task. Disney is usually the theme park king when it comes to creating entire sections of park that revolve around a particular theme. Universal, while having a fantastic park, has only recently moved in that direction, with their Islands of Adventure addition.
They did a nice job of creating a Dr. Seuss-themed play land in Islands of Adventure, but even though the artistry was extremely whimsical and top notch, the area lacked any type of ride or reason to revisit it. Across the street in the classic Universal Studios park, the focus is more on movies and behind-the-scenes recreation; this is where Universal shines.
Universal knows Harry Potter will be a HUGE attraction and they have to absolutely do it right or suffer the wrath of Potter fans worldwide. The Super Bowl ad they ran this year gave us the first good look at what visitors can expect (minus the whole flying on a broomstick part). Today, we have some great pictures of the construction being done and the sets going up and I have to say they look fantastic! The set builders have to be extremely proud of their work because to create a full size replica of an entire fictional town is a daunting task indeed.
Take a few moments to look through the 12 pictures below and then let us know what you think in the comments section.