Harry Potter theme park set for 2010: All aboard the Hogwarts Express!

Flight-of-the-Hippogriff_lDetails are finally emerging about the long-awaited Harry Potter theme park: Universal Orlando hopes to open The Wizarding World of Harry Potter next spring. The park will include a Hogwarts Express train, lots of the shops from Hogsmeade, an owlery, and, of course, Hogwarts.

According to a press release, Ollivanders will be “an incredible interactive experience where the wand chooses the wizard” — how much does a good wand run these days? — and Zonko’s, Honeydukes, and Dervish and Banges will all sell Potterverse stuff like chocolate frogs, extendable ears, etc. The Three Broomsticks and Hog’s Head will “feature traditional British fare and drinks including Butterbeer and pumpkin juice,” because if there’s anything we know about children, it’s that they love traditional British fare. Ride-wise, there will be a “twin high-speed roller coaster” based on the Triwizard Tournament, a family coaster called Flight of the Hippogriff, and, within Hogwarts, “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.”

Cool, right? I’m more of a rides person than a “hey, let’s buy stuff” person, but I can absolutely see this becoming a pilgrimage destination for Potter fans of all ages. (Hogwarts weddings, anyone?) Would you visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, PopWatchers, or can nothing ever top the Hogwarts in your head?

Comments (63 total) Add your comment
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  • Cole9219

    I absolutely wil!!! My family is going there on Spring Break (hopefully). It sounds great and awesome!!

  • LC

    i’m so excited!!! i can’t wait!!

  • Scott

    Yeah, I’m sure I’ll stop by. But no matter what Universal pulls out of the air, it’s still no Disney World. I practically grew up in that place.

  • HPfan

    Wow hot and humid Orlando Fla. is SOOOOOOO not the place to have a Harry Potter theme park.

    • mscisluv

      We won’t even get to wear our house scarves!

      • Anne

        Bursts out laughing. Love the post.

      • Caleb

        hahahahaha xD

        great post

  • OMFG.


  • jana

    oh, i’m in!!!

  • Miles Straume

    Sorry, it’s just concept art in the above link. My bad. Still, very nice!

  • carol

    Yup! I am also looking forward to the Boston Museum of Science Harry Potter Exhibit coming in October.

    • marebear79

      its awesome–saw it in Chicago

  • nanago

    Hate florida, thought nothing would pull me back to that state. . .but an HP theme park just might do it. But not in the summer, humidity, bugs, won’t allow me to enjoy the rides. I’ll wait till winter.

  • Rich

    It should be noted that two of the rides, the Hippogriff and the Triwizard Tournament twin coaster, are retrofits of rides already at Islands of Adventure (Flying Unicorn and Dueling Dragons, respectively). Hogsmeade and the Harry Potter ride itself, however, are all new and sound pretty nifty.

  • Michael Martinello

    These Harry Potter books turn children to the occult. Now we have a theme park to celebrate witches, wizards and black magic. Now we can all worship Satan… Way to go Universal.

    • PJ

      I think someone needs to lighten up. The books are about heroism, bravery, loyalty and love. Perspective, dude, get some.

    • Mike

      ::) (yep, that’s an eyeroll)

    • Jenn

      Seriously?? It’s a FICTION book series…someone needs to relax. Just because a person might like HP…doesn’t mean they practice, or worship Satan. Get a life!

    • frostbite

      hahahhah, crazy people are awesome! thanx for the laugh!

    • paige

      ive worshipped Satan way before Harry Potter…

    • cookiegirl

      Honestly? Are there still people out there like you? Do you have any fun at all? Do some real research on the occult, find out what witches really are and lighten the f**k up, or witches like me might just might have to put some happy spells on you so you can enjoy the wonderful world around you, especially Potter World! PS: Satan? Really? Are you really worried about SATAN? You poor person. Please do your research and worry about something real….

    • Josie

      HAHAHAHAHA! I’d say more, but I’m running late for my Tuesday blood ritual….

      • cookiegirl

        Wow, was that tonight? See you there, Josie!

      • Chris

        as opposed to the Sunday Blood Ritual better known as Communion >_>

    • MIchelle

      Michael when you are done flogging yourself and dunking witches step outside and breath in the 21st century.
      PJ said it best Harry Potter is about heroism, bravery, loyalty and love. Instead of the nonsense you are spouting – fear, prejudice,and fanaticism.

    • Caleb

      Hey, I got an idea!

      Lets make a theme park called BIBLE WORLD. It would be just like church. :D

      There will be really big benches that you can sit on while trying not to look like your sleeping; along with back pouches that hold bibles, golf pencils, and little doodles from bored children.

      AND THEN

      There could be a haunted cathedral ride, where nuns chase you with rulers.

      And they could also make a ride called the Holy Grail. Where you have to cross a wooden bridge, made by Jesus of course, and on top of the bridge, there would be a HUGE grail that pours “holy” water all over you.


      ( >___>)

      “This below is my rendition of your stupid comment”

      These Old Testament books turn people into psychopaths. Now, we have a group of people that celebrate book burnings, genocide, and cultural discrimination. Now we can all worship a dead guy… Way to go Christianity.

  • GlenCoco

    I love HP!!! I’ve been waiting to go to Disney World for a honeymoon, so I’ll add this to the list for sure!

    • mscisluv

      We just did our Disney World honeymoon last year (2 years late)…if we had waited, we could have added this!

  • Katie

    I was hoping EW would find the time to write about this. It looks so amazing! And I personally thought Universal was MUCH cooler than Disney World, and this was like 12 years ago, before Islands of Adventure even.
    It just shows how truly huge HP is. Disney World is big, but has rides from numerous films and stories. This is an entire park based on a single story! Just mind-boggling.
    I’m sure Summit will be lagging behind with The Forks, WA Experience soon enough. *rolls eyes*

    • Scott

      “Disney World is big, but has rides from numerous films and stories.” — And this is exactly why Disney World won’t get stale. Not saying Hogwarts will stink. No, it’ll be awesome. But there’s nothing new being released that we know of after the movies. So how long will it take before this goes the way of the King Kong and Back to the Future rides at Universal? :(

      • MW

        I don’t think it’s the same thing. I feel as though the Harry Potter series is going to become a classic, a rite of passage for childhood. The people that read the books in their first incarnation will read them to their children and it will be passed on down the line. Then those kids will want to visit Hogwarts themselves. You can’t say the same about King Kong or Back to the Future. I would think Universal must believe the same thing, or they wouldn’t have sunk this kind of money into creating an entire island for it,as opposed to a single ride.

    • Britt

      It’s not an entire park. It’s part of Islands of Adventure, which has individually themed ‘islands’… comparable to Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland or Fantasyland. At IAO the Islands are Seuss Landing, Jurassic Park, Toon Lagoon, Marvel Hero and The Lost Continent. Based on the description of the rides and the theming, I’d imagine that either all or part of The Lost Continent has been turned into the Harry Potter section.

      • Stryker

        …no, I’m pretty sure it is an entire park.

      • Rich

        No, Britt is right. It’s just one “Island” at Islands of Adventure. For details, check out the Orlando Sentinel’s website.

  • hc

    ummmm. GOING.

  • Jacquelyn

    So I want to have a Hogwarts wedding! haha I am totally going this spring as soon as college exams are done. I am so there!

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