Harry Potter theme park set to open
Published 17/06/2010 | 10:11
Harry Potter fans will finally be able to quaff a glass of butterbeer, buy their own magic wand from Ollivander's and sample Bertie Bott's Every-Flavour Beans as the wizard's very own theme park opens in the US.
The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter, a minipark inside Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Florida, opens to the public this week.
And as fans of JK Rowling's famous wizard arrive they will be greeted by the steam-belching Hogwarts Express, before a recreation of Hogsmeade with shops straight from the books and movies.
Zonko's joke shop offers Sneakoscopes and extendable ears. The sweet shop Honeydukes has chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott's Every-Flavour Beans (literally ranging from pear to fish).
Towering over it all is Hogwarts, a perfect reproduction of the imposing, many-spired castle where Harry and his magician friends are students.
Park construction was overseen by the production manager from the Potter movies, and as Warner Bros filmed the series' sixth movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, scenes were shot for the park's crown jewel, a ride called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.
The cutting-edge ride seamlessly combines the sensation of flight with tactile experiences like smoke and drops of water as it takes guests through a hodgepodge of encounters in Potter's chaotic life, from the Quidditch field to the mouths of giant spiders and dragons.
So many recipes were offered to find the perfect look, texture and taste for the previously fictitious butterbeer that Mark Woodbury, head of Universal Creative, lost count.
"We had to package up all the ingredients and rent a hotel kitchen in Scotland so that we could put it all together," he said.