Sneak Peek: Inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Photo: Chip Litherland, The New York Times Ah, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Orlando Resort in Florida. This is t...

Ah, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Orlando Resort in Florida.

This is the one we all have been waiting for!
The books have ended, and the movies are about to end too.
So a Harry Potter theme park for us mere Muggles is GENIUS!

And The New York Times has reviewed it!

Wizarding World doesn’t formally open until June 18

Read on for excerpts and pictures.

"It’s just as well that there’s only the one truly outstanding ride in Wizarding World, because rides aren’t really the point; workmanship is. This attraction was made for the kind of people who have more or less memorized Ms. Rowling’s books, and it shows in all sorts of details. The weathering of the stone to make it look indefinably old. The way the snow sits on the rooftops, just on the verge of melting.

Wizarding World carries the weight of responsibility on its shoulders. Just as the Potter films gave readers the official interpretation of what the scenes they had been imagining actually looked like, Wizarding World is the official, Rowling-blessed interpretation of what it would feel like to be in those scenes. So there are no hawkers who would not be on the streets of Hogsmeade; no giant foam-rubber hands in sight. But make no mistake: this place is built for commerce.

Which is why, though it’s a tad out of character, just off the main street there’s an A.T.M. (a Gringotts A.T.M., of course, named after the bank in the stories). It’s needed, because the wand shop, candy store and other establishments have plenty to sell. In Honeydukes that Memorial Day Saturday, the shelf of chocolate frogs — $9.95 each — was empty in an hour.

Fans, of course, will not be able to leave without trying two drinks invented in the books and brought to life here. Heresy alert: butterbeer ($8.50 in a souvenir mug), while better than what you get if you pour melted butter into a Budweiser, is indistinguishable from a good-quality cream soda. Pumpkin juice (in a cute, pumpkin-topped bottle) is far more interesting, perhaps because the actual pumpkin content seems minimal — it’s more like a feisty apple cider with a little pumpkin thrown in."
- Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

Some of the first riders on the Flight of the Hippogriff at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida. It opens officially June 18.

Fans run through Hogsmeade, a village of quirky shops, on their way to the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride.

The line for the Forbidden Journey winds through Hogwarts Castle, the witchcraft and wizardry school that Harry Potter attended.

A hippogriff, a magical creature that is half eagle, half horse, greets visitors at the Flight of the Hippogriff ride.

Inside Ollivanders Wand Shop, one child is chosen by a wand, just as Harry is in “The Sorcerer’s Stone.”

Food is served at the Three Broomsticks pub, in the village of Hogsmeade.

Butterbeer, similar to a good-quality cream soda, is on tap at the Hog’s Head.

Rooftops in the village of Hogsmeade.

It's so beautiful! *sob*


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  1. OH MY GOD I'm going to have to go to Disney World again. I might even appreciate it more as an adult!!


  2. Definitely! Kids don't remember much of their travels.

  3. I'd looove a tall glass of butterbeer.

  4. We'd love a tall glass of everything! XD


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