The official grand opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter isn't until tomorrow morning, but last night a lavish VIP kick-off was held and WalletPop had a coveted golden ticket to attend. The new theme park at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure is how your family soon will be spending its vacation money.
On hand were most of the major players from the films, including Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Michael Gambon, Tom Felton (Malfoy), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom), Warwick Davis (Griphook, who led the "Frog Choir"), and the other Weasleys, Bonnie Wright, and James and Oliver Phelps. The most recent Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, wrapped shooting Saturday. Emma Watson wasn't able to attend, but she had visited the park earlier.
Series author J.K. Rowling made a rare appearance, too, although she didn't speak to the crowd. The elusive bazillionaire beelined past the press horde (most of the journalists were too engrossed with the movie stars to notice) and made straight for a group of small schoolchildren, who won their place on the red carpet, and stooped low in her evening dress to greet them.