Talk about stepping on Disney’s toes!
Just several days after Disney announced some modest expansions to its theme parks, Universal Studios has released extensive details about its new Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction opening next spring at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida.
The attraction, which is being designed, in part, by the Harry Potter movies’ production designer Stuart Craig and art director Alan Gilmore, will include a mix of newly built attractions and reconfigured existing attractions from the park.
The premiere new attraction is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, “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.”
It will be located inside a newly constructed Hogwart’s castle.
The second major ride is called Flight of the Hippogriff, a “family” roller-coaster that simulates a hippogriff training flight over Hogwart’s.
Other new attractions include eating establishments such as The Three Broomsticks and Hog’s Head, which“will feature traditional British fare and drinks including Butterbeer and pumpkin juice.”
Ollivanders’ wand shop promises an “incredibly interactive experience” where, presumably, wands will somehow pick their owners, and Dervish and Banges will sell quidditch equipment, Triwizard apparel, spectrespecs and remembralls.
The third major ride in the attraction is a reconfigured one: Dragon Challenge, a pair of dueling roller-coasters that previously existed in the park as Dueling Dragons. Although the ride was always fantasy-themed, it will get a make-over to make it more in keeping with the world of Harry Potter.
The entire attraction — called “a park within the park” — will be spread over 20 acres and is said to be costing Universal $265 million.
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