Hogwart’s School Of Witchcraft & Wizardry Becomes A Reality

At Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, FL

Universal Studios theme park Islands of Adventure in Orlando, FL is preparing for the launch of their newest park attraction titled The Wizarding World of Harry Potter which is set to open to the public in Spring 2010. Here are a few newly released artist renderings of what is in store when the real life Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry opens to the public:


It was brought to life spectacularly on the big screen. But from next spring, Harry Potter fans will get to experience a full-size version of his magical world as a vast new area is opened at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida. The new attraction – named the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – will feature an array of rides, with a centrepiece which includes a lavish recreation of Hogwarts Castle. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey will take guests through scenes and rooms from the blockbuster movies with the turreted building made to look 700 feet tall. Pottermaniacs will enter the ‘Wizarding World’ through a station archway named after Hogsmeade, the magical village near Hogwarts. A plume of steam and a train whistle will sound the arrival of the Hogwarts Express. Other rides include the ‘Dragon Challenge,’ a twin high-speed roller coaster themed after the ‘Triwizard Tournament’. There will also be a family roller coaster aclled ‘Flight of the Hippogriff,’ named after a creature with an eagle’s head and a horse’s body. Every shop and restaurant is Potter-themed. Honeydukes sells chocolate frogs and ‘Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans,’ Ollivander’s peddles magic wands, Zonko’s joke shop has Sneakoscopes, and the British restaurant Three Broomsticks pours Butterbeer. At The Owl Post, guests can send letters with a certified Hogsmeade postmark. Magical instruments and equipment are available at Dervish and Banges, including everything needed to play Quidditch – a game like soccer played on flying broomsticks. ‘Along those journeys they’re going to be swept up into the greatest parts of the movies and the books. We’ve pushed every technology available to us to give guests a theme park experience unlike any they’ve had before,’ said Paul Daurio, producer of the Potter area. Art and set directors from the films, including Oscar-winning production designer Stuart Craig and art director Alan Gilmore, were hired to translate the movies into the park. Rowling, known for carefully guarding the Potter franchise, hasn’t yet been to Orlando, but the design team has made several trips to London for consultations with the author. ‘The interesting thing about Harry Potter is that the stories are so rich in themselves, so deep,’ said Universal Creative President Mark Woodbury. ‘There wasn’t so much difficulty of creating the look, it was, ‘How do you execute at a level of authenticity that is unquestionable?” There could even be new footage of Potter stars shot on actual sets from ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.’ A Universal spokesman declined comment on the issue, but the company was explicitly granted those privileges in its 2007 licensing agreement with Warner Brothers, according to the contract filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Potter area will be Universal’s third big-ticket addition in three years … The Potter park is sure to prove popular not just with American fans but also with visitors from Britain, Potter’s home and the largest source of international tourism to Orlando, with about 1 million arrivals a year. ‘It couldn’t have come at a better time,’ said Danielle Saba Courtenay, spokeswoman for the Orlando Convention and Visitors Bureau. ‘There is such an affinity for the characters, particularly in the United Kingdom, and we do expect that the pent-up demand and having such a strong name will drive traffic to the area. ‘It’s such a huge worldwide brand, and the only place in the world you’re going to be able to experience it is in Orlando,’ she said.

Oh man, if the actual park is even half as cool as it looks/sounds then this attraction is going to be a HUGE draw for fans. I understand that a real life version of Ollivander’s Magic Wand Shoppe will be included where the wands available for sale there will choose their owners. OMG, how fun!! After the jump, check out a few more artist rendering photos of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter


I am not gonna lie … when this attraction opens in Orlando, FL next year … I’m deffo gonna visit. David and I have been talking about a theme park visit to Florida so I’m gonna make sure we visit to see this attraction. How many of y’all will I see there next year?

UPDATE: Pink reader Kendra pointed me in the direction of this virtual tour of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter:

 

OMG! It looks so cool!! We love, yes?

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  1. Mr. Gyllenhaal

    I too will 100% be there!!! HOLY AWESOMENESS!!!!

  2. This is amazing. I’ve never been happier to be a Florida resident :)

  3. Kristi

    OMG I will sooo be there! It’s kind of sad how excited I just got after reading this!!

  4. EmCee

    I might have to save(then spend) all my hard-earned money from the year on a Spring Break trip to Hogwarts!!!
    Like the good college student I am. Butterbeer-pong, anyone?
    But really, this looks amazing, and I want to be there now!

  5. Ally

    This sounds so amazing. Why did no one do this sooner??

  6. nicole

    im so there.

  7. Dayna

    omg!!
    I’m 19 and I want to go sooo bad.
    If anyone is going and passes by SC, call me! lol

  8. Mrs Jackman

    I’ll make the trip across the pond JUST for this.

  9. Kendra

    I know where I’ll be ringing in my birthday next September! So excited!!

  10. Chivonne

    I just geeked out a bit. I’m SO going there! It looks amazing !!

  11. I’m gonna be there. Come hell or high water. My extended family wants everybody to do a Disney Cruise or another trip to Disney World, which I didn’t get to make the last time. They can go visit the Mouse. I’ll be in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and I will not leave.

  12. Wow, I wish I can visit. That should be awesome!

    -meream

  13. Jessica

    This is a must visit for me!

  14. Lisa.

    Holy crap I am so excited that it’s almost pathetic. It looks amazing.

  15. *J*

    wouldn’t be amazing if u have to use wizarding money?? like you had to change your dollars for galleons and all that?? that would be pretty cool!

  16. Meagan

    I’ve been saving for this since 2007 when it was first announced!!! I won’t be able to help but spend a crap load of money on Butter Beer and having a wand choose me. And I’m 24! Haha :) I am not sure how I will react upon entering the park… I’ll either laugh uncontrollably, cry from sheer overwhelment, or pee my pants.

  17. jessicagiovanna

    i’m gonna be the oldest trick there, woot woot

  18. Ann

    I was just at Islands of Adventure last week, and even though the Hogwarts castle is still under construction, it already looked super cool! Can’t wait to see it when it’s done :-)

  19. Ai

    IM DEFINITELY GOING TO BE THERE!!DEFINITELY!!

  20. Kendra

    Hey Trent..Here’s a video of a virtual tour of what it’s going to look like!

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/videobeta/watch/?watch=d659bfed-3b12-421a-86a8-644739a9a20d&src=front

  21. Irma

    @EmCee, rack’em up! Butter beer pong sounds fantastic

  22. Christine

    I will be making my way across the pond for this!!
    Trent, since youll be able to go way before (most of) us, be sure to include a deailed recap when you go!!

  23. Marianne

    oh my gosh! I got goosebumps I’m so excited! I don’t care if my husband puts up a fight…..WE’RE GOING!

  24. Megan

    I got the chills from just watching the video. I dont care if I have to spend all my life savings. I’m going!

  25. Lulu

    AAAaaaahhhh!!! I MUST go.. and
    @Meagan… I’m 28, and I think I’ll probably cry too…! How could you not?!?! LOL.. AAAHHhhh… :) :) :) :) : ) :) :)

  26. Dave

    It should be noted that this is not a theme park itself, but rather a section/land of Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park that has been rethemed. The concept is incredible and the attractions sound like they’ve paid a lot of attention to detail from the books/movies, but the rides (with the exception of the new “HP and the Forbidden Journey” ride) already exist, and are just being rethemed. I’m certainly not a ney-sayer, I just don’t want people to be disappointed that it isn’t a full park in and of itself when they arrive!

  27. Jenny

    I really don’t want to admit how geeked I am about this opening…seriously….

  28. Alleycat

    @ Dave – This is a plus, not a minus. It is too small to be a destination all by itself. It looks really great, and I’m planning a trip like everyone else!

  29. Nichole

    We’ve been delaying our trip to Florida until this opens. I’m so excited!

  30. Disgusted American

    while I would love to see this attraction – I refuse to GO to Florida and spend my tourism dollars in a state thats Bigoted and Discriminatory towards LGBT American citizens….so Disney World will have to wait til Florida decides to come into the 21st century!

  31. Nancy

    How sad, I’m in my 30′s and will be leaving my kids at home so their whining will not spoil this awsome expierience!

  32. Lauri

    EPIC. I am so there.

  33. Emily

    We live in FL!! Let me know when you are going and we will soooo be there too :)

  34. Apples v 2

    Yess. Only one state away (Georgia). Guess where I’m going for vacation!

  35. meg

    i think i just peed my pants!

  36. Not only do i live in FL, but i’m in ORLANDO and I’m totally stoked for this opening! i’m even willing to brave the millions of tourists, hours of lines and sick Florida heat for this puppy!

  37. Alichia

    This has been a long time coming and i’m super excited :) ya’ll have no idea how AWESOME it’s going to be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But i imagine it’ll be a serious mad-house on opening day!

  38. Me!! This is pretty much the only reason I’d consider going to Florida. ;) I think I’ll wait til fall to try and get cooler weather tho!

  39. joeygirl1215

    i was at islands of adventure this past spring, and i believe the ride that is now dueling dragons is going to become the “dragon adventure”. so excited for this!

  40. Ja

    I can’t believe this is actually happening… I AM SO EXCITED!!!! It’s my childhood fantasy come to life. :) Actually, I’m not going to lie…it’s my adult fantasy as well (I’m 20). I hope this will be well worth the trip, but judging from the virtual tour it’s going to be all that and more.

  41. JuLiA

    @Jenny — LOL!!! You’re so right.
    I’m from Argentina… but I’m sooooo going to be there.
    I’d better find some excuse to tell to people :)))
    Trent you’re the best! I LOVE reading your blog!!!

  42. Kyon

    I have been waiting for this, will be in the area next year for vacation. I did a survey about the park, so hopefully that info helped.

  43. Hayley

    OMG I live in the UK and just have to go! I feel like such a geek! im 24!!
    My husband can take me for my bday/valentines/christmas pressie!
    I think ill dress up as Hermione as well!!!! Cant wait to get a wand!!!
    xxx

  44. liz

    FREAK THIS I SO AWESOME! I really hope to go there!

  45. THIS IS AWESOME! I can’t wait to go!

  46. Lady J

    OMG I was so excited to see this on mugglenet.com (yes I’m an adult who visits that site ha!) and my gf and I are already planning our Fall 2010 trip to this!!! w00t! <—barely describes my excitement :)

  47. Kristen

    Jenny, I am with you on that – I cannot believed how geeked out I am after watching the video. Think I am going to go home and hope into bed and pop the Potter movies into my DVD player. Cannot wait!

  48. Tiffany

    Forget going to Paris next year! I’d rather go to Hogwarts instead! LOL

  49. Luz

    OMG I LUV YES!!! START SAVING UP MONEY!!!!

  50. nikkababe

    i have been looking forward to this day for a VERY long time now. =oD

  51. Kate

    OMFG!! So freaking awesome!! I will travel there! I dont care how much I’ll expend on that trip! Gotta go!

  52. Chloe

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  53. vintage

    @Dave: Ah, I was gonna ask how did they manage to allocate such a huge space for that… I see now it’s just being re-themed. But cool nonetheless! I’m more looking fwd to the postcards, wands, candies, and butterbeer than the rides itself.

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