Can you imagine actually having the chance to step inside the world of the Harry Potter books? You could have a butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks, stroll through Hogsmeade, and shop in Diagon Alley. Starting in 2010, if you visit Universal Orlando, you could get the chance to do all these things and more as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens in the park.
In a joint venture with Warner Brothers and Universal Orlando Resorts, a park has been dedicated to Harry Potter, the title character of the book series created by J.K. Rowling, and will open inside Universal’s Island of Adventure park in Orlando, Florida. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be situated in Lost Continents section of Islands of Adventure.
While there has been a great deal of speculation about when the park will open, Universal has only stated on their Web site that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, touted as a “theme park within a theme park,” will open some time in 2010. Rowling herself has been very supportive of the park, and Universal has enlisted the help of Stuart Craig, the creative mind behind the set design of the entire Harry Potter movie series, to give the park a look that will allow patrons to imagine that they’re right in the middle of one of the films.
Because the park’s design will be inspired by the films, some of the most iconic locations from the series, including the village of Hogsmeade, the Forbidden Forests, will be part of the layout. The centerpiece will be Hogwarts itself, a structure that may rival one of the great landmarks of Orlando, Cinderella’s castle at Disney World. Concept art for Hogsmeade, Hogwarts and inside the Three Broomsticks have already been made public.
Specific details about the rides and attractions hasn’t been fully disclosed yet. However, during one of the first reports on the park in June 2007, Orlando news station Local 6 reported that one of the rides, according to their sources, will include the Ford Anglia featured prominently in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Universal has created a Web site for the park, located at www.wizardingworldharrypotter.com, which has attraction renderings, frequently asked questions and an invitation to get regular updates on the park through your e-mail.