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Wizarding World of Harry Potter Grand Opening at Universal Studios

Updated on August 29, 2010

Pictures from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Hogwarts Castle at Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park
Hogwarts Castle at Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park
Hogwarts Castle at Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park
Hogwarts Castle at Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park
Hogwarts Castle at Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park
Hogwarts Castle at Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park

Harry Potter Grand Opening At Universal Studios

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter grand opening was this past Friday, June 18th at Universal Studios. It was a highly anticipated event worldwide, with Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe and other stars like Rupert Grint on hand to greet the guest.

Even the people from The Today show were on hand to report on the grand opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Located inside the Islands Of Adventure park, next to the Jurassic Park land, It now becomes the newest "land" in the park at around 22 acres in size.

Unknown to most, Universal actually was letting people inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter for several weeks before the grand opening. It's what they call a "soft" opening, so they can test out the rides and see what glitches and bugs may come up.

That way the grand opening goes much smoother! However I really don't think they were expecting so many people! Universal Studios opened up their parking garage at 5:30 AM, and within a half hour there was well over 5,000 people lined up at the gates.

In fact they formed two big lines to the entrance of Islands of Adventure theme park. One went back and past the Hardrock Cafe in the back end of the lagoon that is in the center of the park. The other line went from the front all the way past citywalk and up to the Bubba Gump restaurant!

I have never seen a line that long before there, let alone two! Once inside the park there was then another long line you had to wait in to get into the actual Wizarding World of Harry Potter land.

They started letting groups of people in as others left, as it quickly filled up to capacity. It was a very hot day with a clear sky and bright sun. Many waited in line for over 6 hours to get into the park! Yet Universal did not have many water stations around, an oversight that many noticed.


Hogsmeade village merchandise

Hogsmeade village merchandise at Harry Potter land
Hogsmeade village merchandise at Harry Potter land
Hogsmeade village merchandise at Harry Potter land
Hogsmeade village merchandise at Harry Potter land

Butterbeer and Harry Potter magic wands

One of the most popular things everyone wanted to sample was one of the butterbeer beverages sold there. Butterbeer was what Harry Potter and friends drank in the Harry Potter movies. Amazingly they only have one cart set up serving butterbeer and the line for it quickly was very long.

I am sure they will add one or two more butterbeer carts. Sold both frozen and non-frozen, this butterbeer has a cream soda and slight butter scotch taste to it with a thick foamy head. It is non-alcoholic.

The number one Harry Potter merchandise item everyone wanted was a magic wand at Ollivanders magic wand shop. Surprisingly the shop, like all the others there, is small and gets packed fast. There was a line of over two hundred by afternoon waiting to get a Harry Potter wand!

They did add another wand cart after seeing how full it was. I imagine they will add more shops that carry them, or expand the Ollivanders shop. There is many more Harry Potter shops also at the snow covered village of Hogsmeade.

Chocolate covered frogs, even flying broomsticks are just some of the hundreds of items you can buy inside the shops. All are related to the Harry Potter books and movies. But they should have made the shops bigger, they will be crowded for a long time.

Harry Potter rides

Hogwarts castle at the Harry Potter land theme park
Hogwarts castle at the Harry Potter land theme park
Hogwarts castle at the Harry Potter land theme park
Hogwarts castle at the Harry Potter land theme park

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride

Inside the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter theme park, the main ride attraction is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. Housed inside the Hogwarts castle replica, It is a very exciting ride that makes you feel like your flying.

People who rode it gave it rave reviews for the most part. However the ride does not accommodate large people, so if you are very over weight or very tall check to see if you can go on it. Nothings worst than waiting two hours only to be told you can't ride it! You also have to be 48 inches tall or over.

The other two rides at The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter is Dragon Challenge, which is two side by side roller coasters, and Flight of the Hippogriff, which is a more family friendly ride.

So the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Grand Opening at Universal Studios was a big success, if a bit overcrowded. Many got over heated in the hot Florida sun, and they should have put out more beverage carts for the people in lines.

It will stay very crowded for the next few months as everyone wants to see the new Harry Potter land at Universal Studios. If you go soon allow the full day to see it and go on all the rides. Grab some bottles of water and dress cool, as it's going to be hot!

Check out more of my hubs on Universal Studios rides and Orlando theme parks at my Orlando tourist guide. Hope you enjoyed my report on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter grand opening at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure!


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    • profile image

      808momof6 4 years ago

      Do you know how the Harry Potter Park is now, 2014?

    • profile image

      HPfan123 7 years ago

      i just cant wait to go there!

    • Bill Manning profile image
      Author

      Bill Manning 7 years ago from Orlando, Fl.

      Your welcome everyone. It's still pretty crowded in the morning. So enjoy the rest of the park, then try going into the Harry Potter section after 2:00 PM or so.

      Also they have been keeping the Potter park open until 9:00 PM. Once it's dark they light up all the shop windows and even light from the castle. It's well worth seeing it at night. :)

    • profile image

      monika 7 years ago

      Yes I plan on going in around 2 weeks...Thanks, Bill for that advice. I'm looking forward to the adventure.

    • ceciliabeltran profile image

      Cecilia 7 years ago from New York

      This is so helpful!

    • Bill Manning profile image
      Author

      Bill Manning 7 years ago from Orlando, Fl.

      Hi there Katie. I just got back from there today. You had to wait in line for 3 hours in the morning just to get into the Potter park. What I did is go to the other park, then came back around 1:00 PM.

      By then you could just walk in. However it was very crowded, lines at all the shops, butterbeer cart and of course the rides. I did go on The Forbidden Journey ride, two hour wait.

      But it was worth it, a very good ride. I'll be making a hub with pictures and a video soon! :)

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      I appreciate this great review of the wizarding world of harry potter as I've been wondering if I should take my daughters yet... I think I'll wait till it calms down a bit. Thanks and Peace :)

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