Today’s the big day for Harry Potter fans who are looking forward to actually visiting Hogwarts School of Magic or walking through the village of Hogsmeade. Universal Orlando is rolling out more details of what you can expect in a special video conference. Unfortunately it’s invite only.
As it turns out, the attraction names I had back in July were correct. The main attraction that will feature robocoaster technology and will inhabit the interior of Hogwarts will be called “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.” Universal claims it will be unlike anything ever ridden before and will feature popular scenes from the books and movies. It also sounds like Forbidden Journey will have a very detailed queue that winds through some of the castle’s well known rooms.
Two existing attractions will be renamed. The kid friendly Flying Unicorn will become “”Flight of the Hippogriff” and Dueling Dragons will become “Dragon Challenge”. I hope they work hard to keep all the great details of the Dueling Dragons queue. It’s one of the best outside Disney. Dragon Challenge is based on the Tri-wizarding Tournament, which features dragons, so that makes sense. Flight of the Hippogriff will feature a ‘Care of Magical Creatures Class.’
There will be three dining locations: Three Broomsticks, Magic Neep, and Butterbeer. Stores and retail locations include: Zonko’s, Owl Post, Ollivanders, Honeydukes, and Dervish and Banges. A new shop, located inside Hogwarts, will be called “Fitch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods.” There you can buy remote-controlled golden snitches among other fun items.
The Owlery and Owl Post will be working Post Office where visitors can get a Hogsmeade postage cancellation. Won’t all your friends at home be jealous?
Right now the ‘Grand Opening’ for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is planed for Spring 2010, which meets their June 2010 contractual date, but probably won’t include all the attractions.
Update: Here’s a video fly-through of the new land. I’ve added some annotations to help make connections
Update: Follow below the jump for the full press release:
Universal Orlando Resort Reveals Highly Anticipated Details about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Universal Orlando Resort, together with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, today revealed first-ever details about the incredible scope of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Universal also announced that the highly anticipated land will open in spring 2010.
Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters – and faithful to the visual landscapes of the films – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure will provide visitors with a one-of-a-kind experience complete with multiple attractions, shops and a signature eating establishment. This completely immersive environment will transcend generations and bring the wonder and magic of the amazingly detailed Harry Potter books and films to life.
The expectations of Harry Potter fans are high and Universal Orlando Resort is collaborating closely with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and the Warner Bros. Harry Potter brand team to ensure that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be an experience of a lifetime. The Harry Potter films’ production designer, Stuart Craig and art director, Alan Gilmore, in cooperation with a corps of artisans from Universal Creative are working daily to construct the most authentic Harry Potter experience possible. Guests will be able to sip Butterbeer in Three Broomsticks, buy Extendable Ears at Zonko’s and experience a state-of-the-art attraction that brings the stories of Harry Potter to life in a way never before imagined.
“All of the action and adventures of Harry Potter’s world will come to life here at Universal Orlando Resort,” said Tom Williams, chairman and CEO, Universal Parks and Resorts. “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be unlike any other experience on earth and we can’t wait to see the looks on our guests’ faces as they enter this rich environment.”
“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,” added Brad Globe, President, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “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.”
From the front archway of Hogsmeade to the immensity of Hogwarts castle, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will feature the locations listed below:
# At the entrance of Hogsmeade, billowing steam and an iconic whistle signal the arrival of the Hogwarts Express into Hogsmeade station
# Across the way is Zonko’s, a joke shop with a collection of tricks and jokes, including Extendable Ears, Boxing Telescopes and Sneakoscopes
# Honeydukes is next door and full of treats like Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans
# The Three Broomsticks and adjacent Hog’s Head pub will feature traditional British fare and drinks including Butterbeer and pumpkin juice
# Across from the Three Broomsticks is The Owlery, where owls roost and await their next delivery
# The Owl Post sends letters with a certified Hogsmeade postmark and sells official stamps from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
# Ollivanders wand shop is an incredible interactive experience where the wand chooses the wizard
# Completing Hogsmeade is Dervish and Banges, the magical instruments and equipment shop featuring Quidditch equipment, Triwizard apparel, Spectrespecs and Remembralls
# The first attraction, Dragon Challenge, features a twin high-speed roller coaster with many iconic elements from the Triwizard Tournament
# Next is Flight of the Hippogriff, a family coaster simulating a Hippogriff training flight over the grounds of Hogwarts castle
# Located in Hogwarts castle, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a thrilling new state-of-the-art attraction that uses entirely new technology to bring the magic, characters and stories of Harry Potter to life in ways never before experienced
# Before exiting back into Hogsmeade, Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods is full of Ministry of Magic and magical creatures merchandise, Omnioculars, and even remote control Golden Snitches
“This Universal Creative and Warner Bros. team shares an incredible passion and commitment to making this destination an exceptionally immersive environment that will touch the lives of our guests,” said Mark Woodbury, President, Universal Creative.
“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is yet another way that fans will be able to experience and enjoy Harry Potter for many years to come,” said Diane Nelson, President of DC Entertainment, who is also responsible for overseeing the Harry Potter brand team worldwide. “The power of this brand speaks for itself, as the enthusiasm of our dedicated fans around the world continues to grow even stronger as we move into the future.”