Harry Potter theme park nears completion

The Harry Potter theme park is scheduled to be opened in early spring 2010, the 20-acre park, which is in the Universal Orlando Resort, is estimated to have cost upwards of £160 million.

The theme park will offer guests a tour of Hogwarts Castle, a visit to Ollivander’s wand shop and the chance to drink some real-life butter beer. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be followed up in November by the release of the last film in the series, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows.

Guests to the park will be greeted by the iconic whistle that announces the arrival of the Hogwarts Express into Hogsmeade Station. At the Hog’s Head pub, in the recreated Hogsmeade village, Fire-Whiskey and pumpkin juice will be on offer, along with “traditional British food fare.”

Three roller-coaster rides make-up the centre of the new park but Universal are still keeping the biggest and best rides under wraps. Internet fan sites speculate it is a hi-tech experience inside the Hogwarts Castle called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey that involves likenesses of the actors from the films.

Flight of the Hippogriff is described as a family-orientated ride that replicates a Hippogriff – the half-horse, half-eagle beast from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – training flight over Hogwarts castle.

Dragon Challenge will be a twin high-speed coaster that features elements from the Triwizard Tournament, which made up a plot line of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Central to the park though, is the recreation of the Hogwarts Castle, in the same way that Sleeping Beauty’s castle at Disney Land is the iconic image of that park.

Standing 150 feet tall, the castle will appear to tower some 600 feet up due to architectural tricks the parks creators have put in place. Brad Globe, President of Warner Bros. Consumer Products, said: “Harry Potter continues to spark the imaginations of fans of all ages and we really have seen the anticipation continue to build for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.”

“We are excited to share with fans a first glimpse into the truly enchanted world we are bringing to life with all of our partners at Universal Orlando Resort.” The park has already received the approval of the stars of the films Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson and they have both visited the park. Harry Potter creator JK Rowling has said: “The plans I’ve seen look incredibly exciting, and I don’t think fans of the books or films will be disappointed.”

Content sourced from The Telegraph Feb 2010
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