46° Good Afternoon
46° Good Afternoon

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Guests enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Guests enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter during the grand opening at Universal Orlando theme park in Orlando, Fla. (June 18, 2010) Credit: AP

Going to Universal Studios in Orlando this summer? Grab your broomsticks and be sure to check out the newly opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The mini-world at the Universal Park is sure to please muggles young and old who have been nothing less than enchanted by the wildly popular book and movie series.

Visitors to the park will be able to see some of the most popular and iconic places and moments from the book series through walking attractions and rides.

Tourists can start their day at Dervish and Banges, a store where they can buy everything Harry Potter-related including Sneakoscopes (a dark detector to let you know if something untrustworthy is happening around you), the Monster Book of Monsters (to know what that thing hiding under your bed or in the closet actually is) and all of the Quidditch gear you would ever need.

A true Harry Potter fan will have to stop at Honeydukes Sweet Shop for a taste of something sweet, and often a little wonky, to get their daily sugar rush. Be sure to try Cauldron Cakes, treacle fudge, and chocolate frogs, but unless you want a mouthful of earwax (like Professor Dumbledore) be careful when braving Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans.

Every wizard needs a wand and the best place to go would be Ollivanders. Witches and wizards-in-training can let the wands in the shop choose them as they test out everything the wand maker has to offer or they can opt to buy a replica wand based on one of the main characters in the movies.

Need to send a post card to your friends at home who, for some reason, didn’t come with you? No problem! The Owl Post is a fully functioning post office in the park that will safely send your mail with an official Hogsmeade postmark.

Zonko’s joke shop will be able to sell you anything else you need to prank your friends in a truly magical fashion. After you check it out, head over to Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods to see exactly what the crazy old caretaker and his cat have taken from innocent students over the years.

But what is a theme park without the rides? Muggles can take a ride showcasing the many journeys of Harry Potter or compete in the Dragon Challenge based on the Tri-wizard tournament. Finally, find out what it would be like to ride Buckbeak in the Flight of the Hippogriff ride.

Finally, end your day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Three Broomsticks for a cup of butterbeer and wizarding-themed food. If that doesn’t catch your fancy, there are some muggle favorites for you to enjoy.



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