You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Whole Hogwarts

'Harry Potter' theme park opens

Universal’s Orlando resort opened its doors June 16 to Hogwarts Castle, and kicked off the days leading up to the big bow of the new “Harry Potter” pic with a red-carpet premiere on the streets of Hogsmeade village, covered in snow. Even J.K. Rowling made a rare appearance, flying in from Scotland.

Guests checked out the Three Broomsticks restaurant, munching on authentic pub grub that’s described in the books before boarding the three rides in the 20-acre themed section of Islands of Adventure. The whole package carries a $300 million pricetag.

Universal Studios topper Ron Meyer and Warner Bros. chief Barry Meyer thanked the creatives behind the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including art directors and production designers Alan Gilmore and Stuart Craig, and franchise producers David Heyman and David Barron.

But they were sure to single out Rowling.

“Her creativity is the reason we’re all here,” said Meyer.

Daniel Radcliffe and other cast members piled out of the three-story purple Knights Bus from the films, and shortly after John Williams led the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in a stirring medley of “Harry Potter” music, the boy wizard himself instructed the 800 guests to raise their wands and cast the “Luminous” spell, igniting a fireworks display over Hogwarts.

Those wands, used to illuminate the castle, proved controversial. Guests thought they were keepsakes. But upon entry to the Forbidden Journey ride, the magical sticks were taken away and handed out to other guests and staff. Forbidden, indeed.

More Film

  • Berlin Facetime: Director Pascal Plante of

    Berlin Facetime: Director Pascal Plante of 'Fake Tattoos'

    Universal’s Orlando resort opened its doors June 16 to Hogwarts Castle, and kicked off the days leading up to the big bow of the new “Harry Potter” pic with a red-carpet premiere on the streets of Hogsmeade village, covered in snow. Even J.K. Rowling made a rare appearance, flying in from Scotland. Guests checked out […]

  • Film News Roundup: Maggie Gyllenhaal's 'Kindergarten

    Film News Roundup: Maggie Gyllenhaal's 'Kindergarten Teacher' Sells to Netflix

    Universal’s Orlando resort opened its doors June 16 to Hogwarts Castle, and kicked off the days leading up to the big bow of the new “Harry Potter” pic with a red-carpet premiere on the streets of Hogsmeade village, covered in snow. Even J.K. Rowling made a rare appearance, flying in from Scotland. Guests checked out […]

  • 'Mug' Review: Blackhearted Satire on Small-Minded,

    Berlin Film Review: 'Mug'

    Universal’s Orlando resort opened its doors June 16 to Hogwarts Castle, and kicked off the days leading up to the big bow of the new “Harry Potter” pic with a red-carpet premiere on the streets of Hogsmeade village, covered in snow. Even J.K. Rowling made a rare appearance, flying in from Scotland. Guests checked out […]

  • Richard Glickman Dead

    Richard Glickman, Engineer and Fog Machine Designer, Dies at 91

    Universal’s Orlando resort opened its doors June 16 to Hogwarts Castle, and kicked off the days leading up to the big bow of the new “Harry Potter” pic with a red-carpet premiere on the streets of Hogsmeade village, covered in snow. Even J.K. Rowling made a rare appearance, flying in from Scotland. Guests checked out […]

  • Aga

    Berlin Film Review: 'Ága'

    Universal’s Orlando resort opened its doors June 16 to Hogwarts Castle, and kicked off the days leading up to the big bow of the new “Harry Potter” pic with a red-carpet premiere on the streets of Hogsmeade village, covered in snow. Even J.K. Rowling made a rare appearance, flying in from Scotland. Guests checked out […]

  • Guillermo del Toro Shape of Water

    'Shape of Water' Lawsuit Spurs Debate Amid Oscar Voting

    Universal’s Orlando resort opened its doors June 16 to Hogwarts Castle, and kicked off the days leading up to the big bow of the new “Harry Potter” pic with a red-carpet premiere on the streets of Hogsmeade village, covered in snow. Even J.K. Rowling made a rare appearance, flying in from Scotland. Guests checked out […]

  • 'This Is Me' Catapults 'Greatest Showman'

    'This Is Me' Catapults 'Greatest Showman' Soundtrack Toward One Billion Streams

    Universal’s Orlando resort opened its doors June 16 to Hogwarts Castle, and kicked off the days leading up to the big bow of the new “Harry Potter” pic with a red-carpet premiere on the streets of Hogsmeade village, covered in snow. Even J.K. Rowling made a rare appearance, flying in from Scotland. Guests checked out […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content