Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Sneak peek…

Tonight we got a sneak peek at the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.  We were SO SO SO excited to see this park and were not disappointed.  No photo/video was allowed so we tried to sum up some of our experience.

*Enter to win your own trip to Orlando HERE with Orlando’s Smile Search!*

Here’s some more detailed information about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter from a theme park junkie’s point of view:

There are many shops that you can’t walk in that are still interactive as you walk by.  Spintwitches was probably my favorite.  It has a Quidditch set with a Quaffle, two Bludgers bouncing up and down trying to get free and a Snitch that’s seen flying about the shop inside (via hologram). The level of detail here is top notch.  Dogweed and Deathcap has exotic plants in the windows that move while Tomes and Scrolls has an enchanted quill that magically writes names in a book of future Hogwarts students.  Other shops include Wiseacres Wizarding Equipment and Outages Cauldrons.  We were told that many of the props in the window are actually from the Harry Potter movies.

Dragon’s Challenge looks great.  Before you walk into the castle you walk through a forest with banners advertising the challenge and see the Weasley’s crashed car.  Once you enter the que you walk into the Champion’s Tent with the Goblet of Fire in the center.  The goblet has smoke/mist shooting up out of it lit by blue LEDs from inside.  You then see the Triwizard’s cup, along with the 3 golden eggs.  You then enter a hallway filled with floating candles above you.  This was probably my favorite room of this ride.  The rest of the line is very similar to the Dueling Dragon’s line, except at the end you choose to battle between the Chinese Fireball or the Hungarian Horntail.  Once in the station there are shadows of dragons flying projected onto the tent above you.

The que for Flight of the Hippogriff takes you past the pumpkin patch where you hear Hagrid warning students to stay out of the forest.  You then pass Hagrid’s hut which looks almost lifesize.  The station is filled with ropes/tools etc.  As you leave the station there is a HUGE animatronic of a Hippogriff on his nest.  He bows at the train as you pass by (we of course bowed back).  Let me tell you, this thing looks amazing.  The feathers look real and I’m pretty sure it blinked.

Overall I was very very much impressed.  This is obviously the first night so I’m sure there are bound to be things added (hopefully it snows outside).  The costumes for the employees all look great.  I think my favorite are the Forbidden Journey costumes.  They are full black robes just like in the movies.  It’s just an entire experience that anyone who knows anything about Harry Potter will fall in love with.

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A Harry Potter fan perspective of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter:

As I read through the seven Harry Potter books I always longed to be able to take track 9 and 3/4’s to Hogwarts. I wanted to own a wand, drink butterbeer at Hogsmeade, and eat chocolate frogs. Today Universal Orlando finally gave me the chance to experience Hogwarts with the soft opening of The Wisarding World of Harry Potter.

My first stop (as every first year Hogwarts student knows) was Ollivander’s Wand Shop.  The man working behind the counter took his time asking questions about me and trying to find the right wand for my needs. I tried spells with a few wands one of which was to make flowers levitate, but instead they wilted. The man working fixed all my wrongs with his wand. On my third wand I did a spell that made wind blow, music play, and a light glow on me…my wand had chosen me. And for a small price (just below 30 dollars) I choose it.

Also in Hogsmead is Honeydukes which sold all flavor candy beans, chocolate wands, and soon chocolate frogs that will come with cards bearing famous witches and wizards pictures; Ron’s  twin brothers toy shop which was a little disappointing; and Three Broomsticks that sells butterbeer and pumpkin juice.

The area that looked the most like what I pictured when I read the book was Dumbeldore’s office.  The office is in the line for Forbidden Journey, which is the new ride that has not opened yet, but we were able to walk through the line. His office had amazing detail: tall wooden ceilings, his desk, and  Dumbeldore himself (as a really believable hologram) talking to people in line.  He warned us that there will come a time when we will have to choose between what is easy and what is right.  At that moment staring at that Hologram standing in the Hogwart’s castle I felt so much like Harry Potter…like it was my purpose to save the wizarding world. Don’t judge me but I almost cried a tear.

In the end I don’t want to ruin all the details of this spectacular addition to Universal Orlando.  No one  wants me to be a young Ron blabbing about how amazing Hogwarts is to Ginny who wasn’t old enough to take the train on track 9 and 3/4’s yet. The great thing is  you don’t have to wait years….just days to have your own magical experience. Enjoy the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

20 Responses

  1. Hi, great video, guys
    I was wondering did you see how much the Quaffles were??
    my wife and I are going before a baby comes and were big potter fans. also its $200-300 for brooms.

  2. To the person asking about ride warning signs, yes, they are there, with all the usual warnings-no persons sensitive to light and strobe effects, prone to motion sickness, with back or neck issues, no pregnant women, no casts, etc. I don’t think it mentioned it being a high-speed roller coaster, but it appears as though it will be a pretty intense thrill ride none the less.

  3. Thanks for the youtube preview. Our family is going to visit wizarding world on June 27th! Now we are even more excited. Probably max out all the credit cards with HP stuff :-)

  4. hi! on your way through the castle did you see any signs or rules for the ride? if so, did they give any hints about the ride? for example: on the mummy they have signs explaining that it is a high speed roller coaster?

  5. hi! on your way through the castle did you see any signs or rules for the ride? if so, did they give any hints about the ride? for example: on the mummy they have signs explaining that it is a high speed roller coaster.

    • Hunter, that’s one thing I wish I had taken more time to read but didn’t! We were so busy documenting the theming we missed the warning signs!

  6. I was there as well for the Pow Wow preview. Great review. I actually avoided the Castle and the Dragon Challenge as I will be there for the Grand Opening Celebration on June 17. I wanted to leave some magic for that night. But that was OK, because there is so much to see at Hogsmeade Village. I spent the entire time there and could have spent longer if they would have let us. You totally forget you are in IOA. Unless you go onto the patio of Three Broomsticks, you can’t see the rest of the park. A lot of ppl are saying it was small. I thought it was perfect in every way. Big Thanks to Universal Orlando, you did it right.

  7. To me, it’s kind of disappointing that you guy and girl didn’t get to see the main attraction. Call me cynical but the biggest thing in Potter area is the new ride, and all the other stuff is just shops, and re-doing old stuff like Dragon’s Challenge -aka Dueling Dragons, and the other coaster to another name.

    • yeah, we were really hoping to ride the new ride too, but even without it the new area is breathtaking.

  8. Did you see other merchandise? Do you remember how much brooms were?

    • we saw SO much merch! Most of the HP things you can buy at the park are exclusive to the park too. Didn’t see how much brooms are. There are robes you can buy from each house and they’re $99. There’s just SO much fun stuff to buy there it’s insane! Start saving now!

  9. Did the wands interact with the park? Some reports said that they do, but they were from a long time ago.

    Jeremy

  10. […] they put dust on the wand boxes. You can read an amazing review from the same website right here. I must go off topic to say how lucky I think they are. What an amazing job, to go to fun places […]

  11. My question did you guys see the chocolate frogs? and if so was the containers look like the ones in the sorcerer’s stone and it have a famous wizard cards? And you see any robes that the students wear in school?

    thanks.
    joel cruz from Miami, Florida

    • Hi Joel!

      We did see the chocolate frogs. They look exactly like they did in the movie. Thy even come with the famous wizard and witch cards. The pictures are hallograms. They were not selling them yet, but we saw them in a window display.

      And yes some of the employees were wearing different houses gear…which all looked amazing.

  12. Wow!! AWESOME! I loved your video and wonderful report on the theme park! You guys are so lucky. :D I wish I could go, but I live in California. I’m going to enter the contest once I decided whether to make a video or enter my pinpoint on the map. :)

    Best of luck to all entering! Thanks again for posting this!

    ~Sarah (World’s #1 Harry Potter fan. :D )

  13. Can you give more details on:

    The specific layout of the castle (order of rooms that you see)

    The dialog spoken between Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the Defense Against The Dark Arts Classroom

    ~Caleb

  14. Awesome stuff! Thanks for sharing guys!! :D

  15. Thanks for all the details, aaahh I’m so excited :)

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