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March 25, 2010

Harry Potter theme park to open June 18

harry potter theme parks

OK, Harry Potter fans, start your queues. The event you've been waiting for -- the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando – is scheduled for a June 18 grand opening. In announcing the date, the company also revealed details of the park's signature attractions: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

The attraction is described as "360-degree theme park experience and first-ever combination of live-action, advanced robotic technology and innovative filmmaking." Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative, said: “We have created an entirely new way to place our guests into the heart of one of the most compelling stories of our time. What we have done will forever change the theme park attraction experience.”

The attraction will introduce visitors to scenes such as Dumbledore’s office (shown here), while enveloping them in filmed action scenes that move with them through the ride. The full experience -- including the queue -- will take about an hour. Here's the premise for the ride: "As you venture through Hogwarts, you meet Harry, Ron and Hermione, who convince you to skip a planned lecture and follow them. ... Upon taking their advice you travel by Floo powder, and begin your adventure as you soar over Hogwarts, narrowly escape a dragon attack, have a close encounter with the Whomping Willow, get pulled into a Quidditch match and more."

Other attractions include the Hogwarts Express and Hogwarts Castle.

Have fun!

Posted by Dave Rosenthal at 11:06 AM | | Comments (19)


When I think of spring, June does not come into my head. All news results and advertisements had said that this park would be opening in spring. I'm really disappointed that I won't be able to visit the park when I take my trip there in late April.

Brianna i could not agree little boy was so excited when waking up this morning only to go to school upset.We booked our holiday for april because this is spring and they said it would open spring.Shame on you universal you have upset the biggest harry potter fan in the world...................

Wait, really? Then why are they currently booking packaged trips beginning on May 28?

Randy, on the Universal Orlando website, packages tours start June 18. If the tour you mentioned is from another company, you ought to check -- fast!

Some preview packages were being booked a little earlier, according to this story. But an HP fan site notes that the availability and features were limited.

I couldn't agree more, in fact we are so upset I started a facebook group, I am hoping if enough people join they may do a "soft" opening in April for folks like us! My group is called JUNE 18TH IS NOT SPRING,VACATION RUINED, THANKS UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FLORIDA
- even if they refuse at least we can vent :)

Thanks Dave, I just checked the Universal Site and saw that they had backed the date up. I was planning on booking the trip today or tomorrow. So I have been watching it the past couple days. They just recently moved the date to June 18th. Originally is was planned to start May 28th. Thanks for the concern!!!

I wouldn't recommend going when the area first opens. New technology as mentioned in the article seldom is without bumps and bugs. (Islands of Adventure had a devil of a time getting the Spider-Man ride working correctly after it opened). Better to wait a few months and get a good experience, then go right away and be disappointed because technical difficulties keep you from having the full experience. (And by bumps and bugs I am not referring to the safety of any attraction)

Frustrating. I booked a flight to come out to Orlando in May. I changed that flight (costing me over $300) to be able to see the Harry Potter land, thinking that the May 28th date was for the actual opening. So yes, the announcement of the opening date was a vacation ruiner. And I just checked, the first day of summer is June 20th. Cutting it kind of close Universal Studios! Boo.

I am sooo disappointed that i am not going to be able to go to the harry potter theme park. my family is going to be there the beginning of June i hardly call that spring. the theme park was the only real big reason that i want to even go to Florida this time in the first place.this sucks :(

i planned my family trip for may as well specifically to visit the park, my husband and i have already taken the time off work and made travel plan, and on top of that we used to live down the road from univeral studios and wouldn not have taken a vacation there at all if it hadnt been for the opening of the wizarding yeah ruined trip :-(

complained to universal via email and had telephone call from usa today explained all advertisments indicate spring opening and holidays booking from 28th may i booked my family holiday from 1st june on this information
i was told there is soft opening days from then and to try and go to the park and ask if we could get in
they are aware of the situation
may i sugest emailing them and hopfully with enough compaints they might do somthing
i have a very upset famliy this was the only reason we were going

liiiiiiaaaaaaarrrrrsssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!! you people ruuuuiiiinnnneeeedddd my life!!!! >:((((

Twelve -- that's 12 -- members of our family, including members from age 7 to 70, made plans, got vacation dates lined up, made reservations for hotels, got airline tickets, etc., especially so we could go together to visit Harry on May 30 -- with much excitement and enthusiasm -- only to find we will not be able to do so. We are devastated! Please, please . . . if there is any way for us to get in, Universal Studios, let it be known to such as us.

They can keep their Grand Opening on June 18th. But why can't Universal open each store, restaurant, or ride as it becomes available? That way visitors can be happy that they got to try butterbeer, have a wand choose them, or bring home extendable ears.

I think everyone who is unhappy about the opening date should send an e-mail to Universal and let them know what we think:

Everything said "More info in Spring 2010." Even still, Spring goes to June 21, then Summer starts. Stop spoiling your wimpy kids.

i booked a one night package on June 3rd with a two day ticket. I was told by 3 agents from Universal that as long as you stay on site with a package, ANY package through Universal you will get into Harry Potter park. I have called back 3 times to confirm this after booking. They said that they can not guarantee that everything will be opened but that any guest who books a package, whether it be a special HP package or not will get in before June 18th. Make sure you question agents when you call. Some will probably not tell you about it unless you ask. But I still think that Universal was deceiving.

Hi , I am happy to see somebody else is upset because of this!
Universal said it was going to be opened in MAY !!! and then, one day I hear that the opening is on june 18th!! It really got me down because I am going to be in Orlando from May 26th to 30th and I am going to miss the Park ( the only reason why I wanted to go). I am from Argentina , and I really dont know how many time will pass until I can go back.... / sorry for my english... KATE: I have just add to the facebook group and I will send a mail too . At least they should let us walk into the park...... I really really hope so!

Great article. I have found this one with a lot more info as well

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About the blogger
Dave Rosenthal came to The Baltimore Sun as a business reporter in 1987 and now is the Maryland Editor. He reads a wide range of books (but never as many as he'd like), usually alternating between non-fiction and fiction. Some all-time favorites: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole; Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery; and anything by Calvin Trillin or John McPhee. He belongs to a book club with a Jewish theme.
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