It sounds like a new book in the Harry Potter series, but "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" will be a high-tech ride and the marquee attraction at the "Wizarding World of Harry Potter," a new theme park area opening in spring 2010 at Universal Orlando Resort.
The "Forbidden Journey" ride was named by author J.K. Rowling and described Tuesday by Universal officials in a Webcast revealing new details of what the Potter park will look like. The ride will take guests through scenes and rooms from the movies inside a remake of Hogwarts Castle made to look 700 feet tall.
While Universal has unveiled other new big-ticket attractions in recent years, the scope of "Wizarding World" is "in a whole other league," says Mark Woodbury, Universal's creative president.
Guests will enter "Wizarding World" through a station archway named for Hogsmeade, the village near Hogwarts. A plume of steam and a whistle will sound the arrival of the Hogwarts Express. The goal is to make the experience immersive, so nothing outside is visible after guests pass the station archway.
Other rides include: "Dragon Challenge," a twin high-speed roller coaster with a "Triwizard Tournament" theme, and a family roller coaster, "Flight of the Hippogriff."
Every shop and eatery is Potter-themed. Honeydukes will sell chocolate frogs and "Bertie Bott's Every-Flavour Beans" and Zonko's joke shop has Sneakoscopes.
The Potter park is sure to prove popular not just with American fans but with visitors from the United Kingdom, Potter's home.