Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Harry Potter Theme Park

"The Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter," a new theme park based on the exploits of the hugely popular boy wizard, is set to open in spring 2010 at Universal Studios, the Orlando resort, in its Islands of Adventure theme park. The theme park will recreate the fabled Hogwarts school for wizards that Potter and his friends attend, as well as the surrounding village of Hogsmeade. "Harry Potter continues to spark the imaginations of fans of all ages and we really have seen the anticipation continue to build for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter," said Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

The park will also feature theme rides, including the "Flight of the Hippogriff," which will simulate a training flight on the magical, quick-to-offend creature. The rides are set around Hogsmeade Village, which will have medieval British architecture and ambience and will include businesses that fans will recognize from the books and movies.

At a replica of the Three Broomsticks, one of Hogsmeade's popular pubs, visitors will be treated to traditional British fare and have the chance to sip on Butterbeer -- Potter's tipple of choice. In Honeydukes, visitors will be able to buy sweets including Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott's Every-Flavour Beans. At the Three Broomsticks and Hog's Head Pub, Butterbeer will be available. At the Owlery, guests can send postcards via owl. And at Ollivanders Wand Shop, the appropriate wand chooses the wizard, instead of the other way around.

Fans of the fast-paced wizard sport Quidditch will also have a chance to partake in a simulated Triwizard Tournament, as well as examine Quidditch equipment and even the elusive Golden Snitch at several Hogsmeade shops.

The Harry Potter series continues to be a global phenomenon -- over 400 million copies of the books, which are available in 67 languages, have been sold in more than 200 countries and the movie adaptations have broken box office records.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the first of a two-part film adaptation of the seventh book in the series, is scheduled to be released in 2010, followed by the final movie in 2011.

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