Since its official opening in June 2010, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure theme park has drawn large crowds each day, creating long lines for its most popular attractions. Now Universal has expanded one of those attractions to create more room for visiting muggles.
One of the must-do’s inside the Wizarding World is visiting Ollivander’s Wand Shop, a 4-5 minute experience that is often preceded by a wait time of at least an hour to get inside. Following the “wand chooses you” experience, guests enter the connected Owl Post which features plenty of Harry Potter-themed merchandise including, of course, a large selection of magic wands. These wands, at roughly $30 each, are one of the park’s biggest sellers and as a result this shop is almost always crowded to its capacity.
But Universal Orlando realizes the popularity of its unique Hogsmeade Village shops, which people are willing to wait in line just to enter, and has now expanded the purchasing experience to include a new store room:
Photos taken Dec. 15, 2010 by @AccessUniversal
The new area is an expansion of Dervish & Banges, adding an extra room to the original shop, which is attached to the Owl Post. It is accessible within Dervish & Banges as well as directly via Ollivander’s Wand Shop, not by exiting through the right-hand door into the Owl Post, but rather through a left-hand door on the opposite side of the room. The new room is formerly an employee-only area that served as a stock room. It not only features the same assortment of magic wands but also other Wizarding World-exclusive merchandise, also available in other area stores. (This paragraph was updated on 12/23/10 to clarify the location and purpose of the store.)
If you haven’t seen the Ollivander’s Wand Shop experience yet and won’t be making it to the Wizarding World any time soon, here’s a video of the short show, shot on the area’s first preview day back in May 2010:
While this expansion of the Wizarding World is only minor, it does show that Universal sees the larger-than-average crowds filled with excited guests who are eager to visit the new attractions and stores. Rumors suggest that Universal is currently in talks with Harry Potter author/creator J.K. Rowling to expand the Wizarding World of Harry Potter further, but those remain only rumors for now.