Universal Studios announces Harry Potter theme park

Sophia Oswald

Harry Potter fans are already patiently waiting for the release of J.K. Rowling’s new book, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” coming this summer. Just in time for this release, Universal Studios Hollywood has announced something else for Harry Potter fans to get excited about.

On April 7 the Universal Studios Hollywood is opening the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the public.

There is already a Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios Florida, but the creators are back at it again to re-create the world of the books and the films into another interactive and realistic park. The designers stayed true to the film sets, making the park look identical. There are even real film props scattered around the park.

There are many rides and attractions coming to the park. Two are Flight of the Hippogriff and the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride that will take visitors through Hogwarts. There are also many attractions that don’t involve rides such as the Triwizard Spirit Rally and the Frog Chair.

One other attraction will be the selection of Harry Potter snacks and other items that visitors can buy at shops based on the books and movies. People will be able to purchase wands, robes and any other item a first-year student of Hogwarts could possibly need at shops like Ollivander’s and Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment. People can even purchase a stuffed animal owl at the Owl Post or a broomstick and other quidditch gear at Dervish and Banges.

Visitors can find many foods and drinks featured in the novels and films such as Butterbeer and Chocolate Frogs. There are more than 1,000 items that can be purchased at the park.

“When I went there I thought it was a really memorable and magical experience since all this stuff I saw in the movies actually came to life right in front of me,” said CJ Williams, freshman theatre major. “Besides all the people who are obviously muggles, it actually feels like I’m in the wizard world, which was wickedly whimsical.”

“When I visited the one in Orlando, it was a fun way to immerse yourself in some nostalgic goodness, but I also felt really aware of how plastic and commercial everything felt,” said Anders Fredrickson, freshman psychology major. “You’re being sold something at every turn – there was a bit of dissonance there as it became clear how hard Universal was cashing in on my childhood. Overall, though, it’s still really cute and enjoyable time if you can get past that.”

Charlie Stinson, Freshman/Forensic Chemical Science said “I did not have any idea that there was a Harry Potter park being built at the Universal Studios park,” said Charlie Stinson, freshman forensic chemical science major. “I am sure it will be one of the better and more popular parks in the resort because of the many devoted fans of Harry Potter. I wouldn’t mind taking a trip to Diagon Alley myself.”

A trip to either Universal Studios locations can be an expensive one. A one-day general admission ticket at Universal Studios Hollywood costs $105 for anyone 10 years of age or older and $99 for ages 3-9.