Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Open June 18th

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Universal Orlando Resort

Calling all Muggles! It's official: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will open to the public on June 18th.

Until today, Universal Orlando has practically kept an invisible cloak draped over the progress of the theme park. In a press release, the company revealed details on the three distinct attractions the theme park will encompass: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Dragon Challenge, and Flight of the Hippogriff.

Fans of the Harry Potter series will no doubt recognize the Wizarding World right away. Created with close collaboration between set designers from the Harry Potter movies, the theme park brings together live action, robotic technology, and innovative filmmaking to create a realistic -- almost magical -- experience.

Universal has called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey "the heart" of the entire park. The attraction lies within the walls of the park's centerpiece, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, a castle nearly as recognizable as Cinderella's where "the wonder, excitement and adventure of the Harry Potter books and films comes to life."

When guests walk through the gates of Hogwarts, they will be welcomed by the Headmaster, Dumbledore, in his office. From there, they will move into the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom where they will meet Harry, Ron and Hermione. The trio convinces guests to skip a planned lecture, which begins the guests' journey through the halls and dungeon passageways of Hogwarts. There, they will witness magical talking portraits, see the Sorting Hat, narrowly escape a dragon attack, get pulled into a Quidditch match, and more.

At the Dragon Challenge, guests will be able to choose their own adventure aboard two high-speed roller coasters: "an aggressive Chinese Fireball or a ferocious Hungarian Horntail," according to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter website. Each "dragon" is a completely different ride that chases the other as they twist, loop, and nearly collide.

Flight of the Hippogriff is a "family coaster," that will be decorated to resemble the creature with the head of a giant eagle and body of a horse. The ride simulates a Hippogriff training flight over the grounds of Hogwarts castle, which includes "spiraling and diving around the pumpkin patch, and swooping past Hagrid's hut."

The park has also recreated Hogsmeade Village, where tons of Harry Potter merchandise will be up for grabs at places such as Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods and Dervish and Banges. Items for sale include everything from t-shirts and stationary to school uniforms and Harry's broomsticks, the Nimbus Two Thousand and Firebolt. The park will also feature Ollivanders, Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C., an interactive experience that will sell collectible wand sets.

At Hogsmeade Village, guests will be able to rest at the Owl Post, a functioning post office with numerous benches. Guests can write letters of postcards home while nearly two-dozen owls ruffled their feathers in the rafters overhead. Items mailed from the post box will be delivered with an authentic Hogsmeade postmark.

Dining options include the Hog's Head, and Three Broomsticks, a rustic tavern that will sell Butterbeer and hearty fare such as fish and chips. Honeydukes will sell sweets like Chocolate Frogs, Fizzing Whizzbees, and Bertie Bott's Every-Flavour Beans.

Located within Universal's Islands of Adventure, there will be no extra charge to become completely engulfed in the world of Harry Potter. To learn more, visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter website.
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