Wizards, witches and Muggles (that would be non-magic folk) of all ages traveled by brooms, planes and cars to Orlando last Friday for the grand opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort.
The park consists of three rides, an entire village of Hogsmeade with shops and restaurants, and a massive replica of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Fans will be pleased to find that there is nothing in the park that can’t be found in the original stories. Every detail, from the maid’s cart in the upstairs hallway of the Three Broomsticks Inn to the talking oil paintings — that actually look like they’re painted and not just computer-animated — are accurately portrayed.
Hogsmeade, a village that is frequented by both Hogwarts professors and students in the series, offers restaurants, clothing, toy and candy shops that will satisfy even the pickiest Muggles. “I’m excited that Harry was here,” said Robert, a 6-year-old from Ft. Lauderdale. “I love the movies and want to go to the candy store [Honeydukes].”
Members of the cast including, yes, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Rupert Grint, and Warwick Davis were present as well as author J. K. Rowling. All were very impressed.
“In a way — to not be disparaging to the film sets — but this world is even more complete,” said Radcliffe.
“Because, you know, [on] the back of film sets you see scaffolds and plaster, and here there’s never a moment where the illusion is broken.”