Sneak Peek: Holy Hogwarts! The New Wizarding World of Harry Potter Ride Is Spectacular

(5 Photos)

Liz Zack on Jun 17, 2010 at 11:49AM

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The Village of Hogsmeade

Universal Studios

a Liz Zack on Jun 17, 2010 at 5:28PM

The whole World is Rowling-approved, so the detail is staggering and, as Potter superfans will attest, true to its origins. This corner of Florida has been transformed into a European village in winter, with snow-covered rooftops, cobblestone streets, and leaded glass windows. There is an A.T.M. in Hogsmeade, the only real anachronism I could see, but at least it’s from Gringotts bank, the bank in the book. One of the most magical experiences in Hogsmeade is Ollivander’s Wand Shop. The dark little shop’s walls are covered with dusty wand boxes from floor to ceiling. After you mill around for a while, Ollivander picks a young child from the guests and starts to take measurements for his first wand. He tries a few, has the child use it to ring a bell until the perfect wand is found -- and as in the book, the wand chooses him. The ride was spectacular (more on this in a minute), but this sweet exchange in the dimly lit wand-filled room was the highlight of Wizarding World for me.

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