As a massive theme park fan and an avid reader of the Harry Potter books, I’m really lookingforward to ‘The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter’ at Universal Orlando. Yesterday, chiefs finally revealed what’s going to be in the new area.
But first, a bit of background. ‘The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter’ was announced a couple of years ago. It’s to be a new ‘land’ as part of Universal’s ‘Islands of Adventure’ themepark in Florida. It’ll be taking up part of the existing ‘Lost Continent’ part of the park. The new area is due to be open by Spring next year.
So what’s going to be in it? Well, loads! They’ve created the whole area of Hogsmeade, including a Hog’s Head restaurant. There’s going to be various locations from the films including Ollivander’s (an interactive attraction) and an Owlery. There’s to be two rollercoaster’s, one based around Dragon’s and one based on Hippogriffs. And the highlight of it all, a massive Hogwarts castle with an all new interactve ride inside called ‘Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey’.
It’s the biggest single themepark development that I’ve seen in a long long time. What they are planning to do looks amazing and I really cant wait to experience it.
However, this has all come at a cost. The ‘all new’, ‘Dragon’s Challenge’ coaster isn’t as new as Universal will claim. It’s been there since 2002 and is currently called Duelling Dragon’s. For me DD is one of the best themed rides in the world. Although the Harry Potter theme is similar, I do fear that the whole story of the ride will be altered and will never be as good. I understand that this will mean little to some people, but to me it’s very important and I think it’s the shame the ride, as it was, will be leaving. They could’ve at least kept the name, ‘ Dragon’s Challenge’ is rubbish!
But apart from the sad decline of Lost Continent, I think this will be an absolutely phenomenal development and can’t wait to see the final results.