Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Wizarding Starts June 18th

Universal Orlando has made their major announcements regarding the grand opening date of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - the new area officially opens to the public June 18th.

Room of Requirement © Universal Orlando

Details were also provided for the area's star attraction: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The ride "combines a powerful storyline with spectacular new technology so effectively that guests will be completely immersed in the experience." The attraction takes place within Hogwarts Castle, as guests are enveloped in Harry's world.

Dumbledore's Office © Universal Orlando

"As you venture through Hogwarts castle, 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 the 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. "

Portrait Gallery © Universal Orlando

A large part of the experience takes place as guests explore the inside of the castle. Amazingly detailed recreations of many locations from the films await them, such as those pictured within this post. Even the queue of the ride will be full of special effects.

Once boarded on the ride's innovative seats, the ride portion begins. According to the park, "the attraction's newly created ride system envelops guests in filmed action scenes and moves those scenes with them as they travel through the ride, allowing more time in the center of the adventure and with their favorite characters. This fusion of robotic technology and filmed scenes has never been achieved until now." This is the first use of robotic ride system technology paired with immersive film making in the amusement industry.

The entire experience, queue exploration and ride included, will take about an hour. Personally, I am anxiously awaiting experiencing the new area - the level of theming and detail looks like it will set a new standard. And that's not to mention the amazing rides that are involved!