Comments for First Look: Tour the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando

108 Comments

  1. Avatar

    omg it looks like so much fun wish i was there

    omg i wish i was there that is home to me. with out it being there i have nothing.

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    Doug

    I give it the summer before elements of the area stop working, and the whole area doesn’t have the opening ‘polish’… just like the jurassic park area of ioa has done

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      Ricky Brigante

      I worry about that as well. There are A LOT of moving parts. They’re in windows, on shelves, popping out of random places. There will be a ton of maintenance required for this area.

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      Hagrid

      I do think that Universal’s contract with JKR, well let them lose the polish.

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    Reilly

    How did you get into the park before it even opened? Is it because you wrote this article or do you just have connections?

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      Frog

      If you had read the whole thing, you would have realized that this was a soft open. Universal has been very tight lipped about this, so even if he did know someone who worked for the park, he wouldn’t have been able to get in…

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        Hagrid

        PLease know that the Forbidden Journey is a very complicated ride. It goes down often and for long periods of time. This is a soft opening for a reason. There is no assurance that people will get to go on the ride.

        Taller and wider riders will also be sad to know that they wont fit on the ride. Know in advance so you won’t be heart broken when you get there. Pack your desire for wonder and a whole lot of patience!

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    Jeff Merritt

    The Olivander’s skit was excellent, but I too wonder how it is going to work when tens of thousands of people are in the park. I imagine a huge line will form outside the shop. How will the actor(s) and the effects stand up to doing the presentation hour after hour all day long?

    Wizarding World and the upcoming Fantasyland expansion remind me of the development of Pirates and the Haunted Mansion– originally they were going to be interactive walk through experiences but these ideas were scrapped because of low capacity.

    A question: How much were the wands going for in the shop? Are there any places in the Wizarding World where one can trigger effects with a wand or is it simply a piece of merchandise?

    Thanks for the videos. Great stuff.

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      Frog

      Well, the wands have been said to be priced at around 30 dollars, and I doubt Universal would pay millions of dollars for a park, and simply let it break down… And at the moment, the wands do not interact with other areas, however, Universal has been said to be considering having them interact with certain areas in the village and Hogsmeade. As an avid Harry Potter fan and a theme park goer, this place makes me very excited. The new ride has state of the art, ground breaking technology, and to the Harry Potter fan in me, the detail is incredible. I can not wait to go to the park…

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        Kate

        Only 30 dollars! That’s ridiculous! I paid way more than that for the one I own! Maybe the wand prices are different on Ollivander’s website. Or maybe the ones online back in the day are better quality?

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      Ricky Brigante

      The Ollivander’s actor was doing a great job today. I caught the show in the video above plus one more (which was actually better than the one I recorded). He was entertaining both times and seemed like he could do it all day. The performance is rather subdued and it’s rather cool (temperature) in there, so I’m sure the actors can keep it up for a long time.

      Hogsmeade Village is truly a walk-through attraction. Sure there are things to eat and buy, but you can spend hours marveling at the detail. I wasn’t expecting THIS amount. I have another video on the way tonight that will show many more details from walking through the stores.

      The wands are $25-30. No effects are triggered by them, unfortunately.

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        Frog

        Not yet, but Universal has had talks about making them interactive with the rest of the park… Sooo…. Yeah, I’m excited, cause I’m gonna get to the front of the line to have my wand choose me… I’m gonna act excited, so the actor will choose me…. I know it’s random, but they are more likely to choose people who look or act like they know about the wands (at least, if I was an actor, I would be lol)

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        Hagrid

        Don’t expect wands to trigger anything.

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    seth w

    can u tell how much the school book are? like the monster book of monsters? cant wait to go on june 11 good job on pics

    1. Avatar

      Ricky Brigante

      I would love to buy the Monster Book of Monsters… but it’s not for sale. It’s a display in the store that snarles, growls, blinks, and occasionally jumps a bit. I’ll have video of it up soon.

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        Frog

        Universal said you would be able to buy one that was less interactive than the one in the shop… Oh well…

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        Hagrid

        Store has some great things as props that are not for sale. I hope they start expanding the offerings soon. The windows show Potion text books and Time turners , neither are for sale. Also, inside the store that have sleeping bags on the top floor that are great and also are not for sale.

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      hairyleo

      I’m almost positive you can buy a plush version of the monster book of monsters

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        Holly

        You can – I own one myself. Bought it online…

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    Peter

    Wow Ricky is da man!

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    Peter

    Looks like Universal hit a nice winner.

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    Gabby

    OMG!!!!!! It looks amazing! I’m so jealous of the people who got to go already. I really can’t wait. I’m so relieved that I live so close to Florida (it’s a few hours away), but I’m also sad, because I don’t know if I will be able to go to the Grand Opening.

  9. Avatar

    Your pictures and videos were truly OUTSTANDING!! We live way up in Maine and were totally awestruck! Funny how you watched all the films to “prepare yourself” for this event. My son works as a engineer for many long months on a grain ship and has even traveled through pirate territroy delivering wheat. Having not spent much time on land, we made sure he had all the Potter books to read on his long journeys across the seas. The first thing he did when coming home to visit us? Watch all the DVD movies, to catch up, of course!! He has been at sea for MANY months at a time and hopes to be able to join us at Wizarding World of Harry Potter July 6-9, depending on ships’s schedules. We HOPE he can come. He, as well as us, will be totally “blown away” by Wizarding World and I can’t wait to be able to contact him and tell him about your article and those films you did!!
    Excellent Job! You are APPRECIATED!!!! Thanks for your efforts!! KUDOS to you! Keep up the good work!! You’re the Greatest!!!

    1. Avatar

      Ricky Brigante

      Thanks! I’m glad you have been enjoying them. There’s still a bit more on the way…

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    Alex

    How did the chocolate frog and the butterbeer taste?

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      Ricky Brigante

      Butterbeer is crisp and refreshing. The foam on top is vanilla and the drink underneath is a mixture of cider and something else I can’t quite figure out… but it’s good. I didn’t eat a chocolate frog.

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        Peter

        Did you try Pumpkin Juice?

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          Michelle Moss

          Yes, it’s tastes like pumpkin pie in juice form.

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    mera

    … the blue sky doesn’t quite work

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    jessie

    well lets see if i get to go in to this tomorrow as a totally blind person it might be interesting lets hope the friend i am going with tomorrow can discribe for me what is around will try to tweet from the park if i can.

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    Sarah

    So what’s the deal with the actual Hogwarts castle? Can you go inside? Is it built up like the actual castle inside?

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      Frog

      That’s one of the biggest things. The outside is obviously a facade, however, you tour Hogwarts castle to get on the new ride. There is an option, what with the que being so interactive, for guests to just walk through the castle without riding the ride… But yes, you do go inside the castle…

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    Traffi

    How much does a butterbeer cost
    ??

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      Peter

      70 bucks. jk.

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      Michelle Moss

      It was about $8 for with the collectible mug. You can refill the mug for about $4.

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    Edward

    OMG…this looks AMAZING i soo can not wait to go. i’ve got to start saving money so i can go..this will be awesome to see and im a HUGE potter fan. Just looking at all of this makes me want to scream with frustration cuz i cant go any sooner lol..purely magical it looks. and im super excited to go

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    jake didger

    looks sooooooooo amazing. there is so much great detail its too bad they ruined it with those roller coasters. the flight of the hippogriff doesn’t bug me so much it that dumb dueling dragons i thought that the would have repainted it or something it just sort of ruins the whole theme. Its also unfortunate that you can see some of the giant white backstage walls of the forbidden journey ride from inside the park. Other than that i think its very cool my favorite effect is the quill writing by itself in one of the closed shops. Its a very simple effect (as are many of the effects throughout the land) but it is very effective.

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    Holly

    Is the Buckbeak/Hippogriff ride pretty tame? I really don’t handle roller coasters that well – I almost died on Space Mountain at Disney. XD So I know I won’t be able to do the dragon one, but I was hoping the Hippogriff one would be gentle enough that my stomach and fear of heights could handle it.

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      Michelle Moss

      It’s very very very tame. And it’s only a minute long.

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        Holly

        A minute long! Goodness, that’s rather short.

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          Michelle Moss

          It’s a kiddie coaster.

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            Holly

            Yeah, and unfortunately that’s the only kind I can handle (LOL), so I was hoping it would be longer. Ah well. I was never a ride person really, so I’m more excited about the overall atmosphere and shopping! 😀

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    kylee

    maybe next time some of you potterphiles will actually BATHE before we have to deal with your sorry asses in the park

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      Oh! OH MY! What a sad , sorry comment! We haven’t been there yet, but I wonder if in the crowds and all the humidity and heat down there, one would think that some people in the crowd didn’t bathe ,when they actually DID! Just be patient and a bit kinder with your fellow potterphiles.

  19. Avatar

    Tiffany

    What was the price range on the pieces like the Sneak-o-scope and such. Were there limits on how many you could get?

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      Michelle Moss

      It was $15 and I have no idea if there was a limit. Just remember, it’s a long walk back to the car with all of that stuff 🙂

  20. Avatar

    Andrew

    It would be great if you made a list of all the items you bought. Those pictures are nice but I can’t tell what some of the items are. Prices included would be even better (but not necessary). Please contact me by email if you decide to do that. 🙂

    1. Avatar

      Michelle Moss

      I put the list and prices on the other post that shows the merchandise.

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    Andrew

    Sorry just found it. XD

    1. Avatar

      Michelle Moss

      LOL. No problem 🙂

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    Alex

    I am surprised by the Dueling Dragons, the queue theming looks great but I really thought they would paint the rides themselves, that bright turquoise and even orange don’t really fit in Harry Potter’s muted colour scheme, sad really considering the money they put into the other areas of the Wizarding World that a paint job would have made it feel less like it was patched together from older attractions.

    1. Avatar

      Michelle Moss

      I agree totally. And I need to get to the bottom of why they left out Cedric Diggory completely. He isn’t mentioned at all. Only Harry, Krum, and Fleur are mentioned. Very very strange!

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        Holly

        Because Cedric went over to the dark side. AKA Twilight. ROFL.

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          harry potter fan

          LMAO YEAH he did go over to the dark side ;D “twilight” ew LMAO

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        Hagrid

        Cedric’s Banner is outside the ride – you will notice 4 banners – one for Fluer, Krum, Harry and Cedric. Also they mention in in the Voice over in the cue.

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          Michelle Moss

          They didn’t have anything for Cedric on Friday, not even a voice over that I noticed. Maybe the added the banner after I was there. I’ll have to check it out again.

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            Hagrid

            There are 4 coloured Banners outside the main entrance – one is for Durmstang ( brown ) one for the Beauxbaton ( blue ) and the other two are for the 2 hogwarts Champions thus they feature Harry and Cedrics House colour. The cue line has not student made banners cheering on Mr Diggery from some reason, but when you get to the tent room in the castle you will hear the recording of Dumbledor removing the names from the Goblet from the film. ( Harry part is not on the v/o i guess because Dumbledor sounds so Pissed when he says it )

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            Michelle Moss

            I did see the 4 banners when I went yesterday. It just doesn’t say Cedric anywhere like the others. It’s just a Hufflepuff banner. It’s still strange.

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    nickole916

    I’m going to cry!! Oh my God! I wanna stay there!

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      Peter

      Me too! Not as much as WDW for me though lol.

  24. Avatar

    Oh, this is THOROUGHLY awesome. As a long-time Harry Potter fan I’m itching to get into this place and take a look at what’s been done. Thanks for all the detailed information!

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    KH

    I read an article that said they are only letting people in from 8am-10am during this soft opening time. Is this true? I bought one of the exclusive packages before we knew it was going to be pre-grand opening, and they assured us we’ll get in, but I guess they didn’t say if we could only get in for a certain amount of time. I really want to be able to take my time and not be rushed!

    1. Avatar

      Ricky Brigante

      Yes, the preview for package and on-site hotel guests begins at 8 a.m. (though I recommend getting there at 7:30 a.m.). They have been telling everyone it ends at 10 a.m. However, they don’t start asking people to leave until between 11 and 11:30 a.m. It’s really not enough time to see everything but it’s better than nothing. If you’re going to eat the breakfast that was promised to you, I recommend eating fast. 🙂

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        Marv

        I went on the actual ride inside the castle today, me and my girlfriend got in through a special package through virgin. The ride is one of the best iv been on yet and the detail in the castle is superb . I can honestly say that this area of universal is unbelieveable and no one will be dissapointed ( it’s that good) the only thing is it was mayhem, there was only a few hundred people in there and it was like a stampede when they opened the gates,kids getting knocked over people pushing and shoving and trying to run to the ride etc. Other than this it was fantastic and every credit to universal for pulling the ride and the actual harry potter world off. Warner bros, universal and jk Rowling will be laughing all the way to the bank coz this is gonna make them so much money …

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          Holly

          Are you serious? People were getting knocked over? That kind of behavior is so disgusting. Just goes to show how we regress to animalistic behavior in certain situations, like Black Friday at Walmart. Guh.

          Maybe I shouldn’t be so bummed that I can’t go this year, then. Hopefully things will calm down over time.

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          Kelly

          Were the words spoken during the Dueling dragons ride, actually on the screen so you can read them? I am deaf and don’t want to miss ANYTHING. I have tried to ask Universal this question but have not received a response from them. Thanks!!

          1. Avatar

            Ricky Brigante

            Dueling Dragons is a roller coaster and does not have any words. If you mean the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, I didn’t see wa for you to read the words spoken by characters in the queue or the ride.

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            Kelly

            I meant Forbidden Journey…Thanks for the info. In your opinion, do you think you miss a lot by NOT being able to hear what Dumbledore, the Sorting Hat, The trio, etc are saying in the “video” parts?

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            Ricky Brigante

            Actually, if you don’t (or can’t) listen to the audio in the queue, you won’t miss a ton. It does set up the story of the ride, but since the ride’s story is fairly weak, it doesn’t really matter. 🙂 The visuals are the most stunning part about it.

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        Mikey55

        Which Universal hotel did you choose to stay at, to get into the Wizarding World previews? What did you think of it (the hotel)? Better than Disney?

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          Ricky Brigante

          Portofino Bay is great! The food is fantastic and rooms are very comfortable. It’s on par with any of Disney’s moderate hotels.

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            Mikey55

            “Portofino Bay is great?” Ricky, you’re giving me the impression that you didn’t actually stay at one of the Universal hotels to get into the Wizarding World preview. After all, how could you have edited all that video and put it online so quickly if you were staying the night at Portofino? The clues don’t add up.

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            Ricky Brigante

            There are no “clues.” Universal has been admitting anyone with a valid on-site hotel key card into the Wizarding World each morning since May 28. Whether those guests actually spend the night at the hotel is irrelevant. So really anyone willing to purchase a night’s stay at one of Universal’s on-site hotels could easily get in even if they had no intention of spending the night there that evening. But yes, Portofino Bay is a very nice hotel and, having spent a night there, I would recommend it to anyone.

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    rachel

    I agree about painting the dragon ride. Also, are there no support Cedric signs on the queue, or are they just not on the video? If there are none, that is a huge oversight. Otherwise, The Wizarding World looks really cool!

    1. Avatar

      Michelle Moss

      I mentioned this before. There were no Cedric signs.

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        Peter

        Probably because he died.

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          Michelle Moss

          But he didn’t die until after the Dragon Challenge.

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            Hagrid

            as posted above:

            There are 4 coloured Banners outside the main entrance – one is for Durmstang ( brown ) one for the Beauxbaton ( blue ) and the other two are for the 2 hogwarts Champions thus they feature Harry and Cedrics House colour. The cue line has not student made banners cheering on Mr Diggery from some reason, but when you get to the tent room in the castle you will hear the recording of Dumbledor removing the names from the Goblet from the film. ( Harry part is not on the v/o i guess because Dumbledor sounds so Pissed when he says it )

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    Jade

    For the Dueling Dragons, do you know if there is an Exit right before you get on the ride? I can’t handle roller coasters but would like to walk through the queue to see it. I know some other theme parks have an exit for people who change their minds, does this one have something like that?

    1. Avatar

      Ricky Brigante

      Yes, you can walk all the way through the queue and then exit. Since we have been on that ride many times, we didn’t go on it again this weekend. We only walked the queue. Likewise, you can walk through the entire Hogwarts Castle queue (for Forbidden Journey) and see all of the great scenes without actually riding.

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      Yes, I wsa wondering the same thing…that roller coaster might be a bit “much” for me….the upside down stuff and all that. I’d like to walk through too and just see all the Triwizard scenery.

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        Ricky,

        We wanted to know,too, if there a chance to walk through Hagrid’s area too “just to look” at the details, if you don’t want to ride the “Flight of the Hippogryff”?

        You and Michelle are doing a GREAT job! Thanks so much!

        Only 35 more days until we’re there!!!

        1. Avatar

          Ricky Brigante

          Yes, you can definitely walk the Hippogriff queue without riding. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the coverage!

  28. Avatar

    potter4MOM

    This is the single most amazing theme park i’ve ever seen. I really want to go,but unfortunetly I live in Australia, so I won’t be going for a long time!
    Shattered if I miss out.
    The inside hogwarts ride and like walking around looks amazing, and butterbeer, ahh it’s like heaven on earth!

    1. Avatar

      Michelle Moss

      This isn’t actually a theme park. It’s a section of Islands of Adventure.

  29. Avatar

    Ingridy Rayane

    AWESOME!
    I’m from Brazil and I love it!
    So perfect!
    Harry Potter forever!

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    Ravenclaw48

    Can you list all the character’s wands that they had. I know they have Harry’s, Ron’s, Hermione’s, Snape’s, Sirius’s, and Voldemort’s.

  31. Avatar

    Ravenclaw48

    I’m gonna try to get my step-grandparents to by me the Weasley Twin’s Wand Collection, for a very early Christmas Present. They always get me something expensive, and this is what I want : )

  32. Avatar

    janice brook

    i just visited from england and had to spend an hr queuing just to get into the harry potter part of universal, crazy, almost from entering the universal park, once in the park it was then a 2 hr queue to almost every ride and an hr queue into a shop to purchase a wand or broom. it looks amazing and the buildings look fab but too much queueing for me. we even had to queue to get out of the park. complete madness. maybe in a yr or 2 it wont be so bad

  33. Avatar

    OMGOMGOMG THIS IS GONNA BE AWESOME!!!!! :)

    is this in Universal Park or in the sub-section Islands of Adventure? thanks 🙂

    1. Avatar

      Ricky Brigante

      The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a section of Islands of Adventure. It replaced part of the Lost Continent.

      1. Avatar

        OMGOMGOMG THIS IS GONNA BE AWESOME!!!!! :)

        thanks 🙂

  34. Avatar

    rinodino

    hi! do you happen to remember if there were ravenclaw emblem shirts?

  35. Avatar

    nour el-din mamdouh mahrous abdel all el-sayed

    how i see a jk rawling’s wand and fantastic beasts and where to find them character wands

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