EW’s First Look at Wizarding World In Hollywood

Exclusive new pictures of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando Studios Hollywood have just been posted online.

The new magical theme park stationed in California isn’t due to open to the general public until April 7 of this year. For many muggles and wizards alike, this is still too far away a deadline, as most have been waiting for the park’s opening since the first announcement of its creation.

And yet it may all have been worth the wait, as Entertainment Weekly has posted 30 never-before-seen images of the theme park on their website.

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As promised, Universal Studios has constructed a faithful rendition of Hogwarts, the Hogwarts Express, and Hogsmeade, as seen and described in the Harry Potter films and books. Muggles and wizards alike will delight in the many attractions, from the Hogwarts Express train where Ron and Harry forged their friendship, to the Hog’s Head Pub, where Harry, Ron and Hermione held the first D.A. meeting. Additional pictures feature other iconic buildings found in the books and movies: The Three Broomsticks, Honeydukes, Ollivander’s Wand Shop, Owl Post, Madam Puddifoot’s Tea Shop, Zonko’s Joke Shop, and so much more. The resemblance of these places to their film counterparts is so uncanny that one actually feels they’ve entered the magical world of Harry Potter, and according to Alan Gilmore, supervising art director for the Harry Potter films and the Wizarding World, this is due to Universal Studios spending much time and effort recreating the actual film sets into real buildings.

“The challenge is to hide everything, hide all the modern details and make you feel like you’ve gone back in time.”

To give the park more authenticity, Gilmore opted to follow Rowling’s example in not using modern technology.

“There’s no electricity, ” [Gilmore] says. “It’s all gas lighting, oil lighting. Any machines are mechanical, they’re not modern electronics. You’ll see motors; you’ll see chains; you’ll see the kind of older style of engineering.”

While the buildings will, no doubt, garner a great deal of attention, one must not forget the rides made available, such as the “Forbidden Journey” or “Flight of the Hippogriff.” Both will send riders through a variety of different scenery consistent with the Wizarding World, from the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom to Hagrid’s Hut to the Whomping Willow Tree, where one might glance Mr. Weasley’s flying Ford Anglia. Added alongside the cobblestone streets of Hogsmeade, fans will not be disappointed when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando Studios Hollywood opens up.

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This will be the third Wizarding World attraction theme park in the world, hosting similar attractions found in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida and Osaka, Japan, while also adding its own charms and magic.

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