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Wizarding World of Harry Potter Now Open to the Public

Six years and an estimated $200 million later, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is now open to the general public, with gates having opened at 5:30am EDT today and long lines expected. The park is situated within Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventures theme park.

The crown jewel of the park is the Forbidden Journey ride, which J.K. Rowling and several Harry Potter cast members rode during promotional events for the park earlier this week; however, waits for the ride are expected to be up to five hours long this opening week. And there are only two other rides at the park:The Guardian reports:

The limited number of rides may be disappointing for some, and at times it feels that half of Hogsmeade is up for sale in true “exit through the gift shop” style. In Ollivander’s wand shop the walls are lined floor to ceiling with dusty wand boxes and visitors can have their wand “choose” them, like Harry did in the Philosopher’s Stone. A Wandkeeper is on hand to find the right one for you, by asking a series of questions and getting you to try a few out, with mixed but magical results, until a suitable one is selected. It’s a fun experience, if also a canny marketing tool for a $25 piece of plastic memorabilia. Next door you can send postcards back home via Owl Post with a Hogsmeade postmark and spend a small fortune in Dervish and Banges on Triwizard costumes, wizard robes, Hogswarts scarves and Golden Snitches. It’s clear that Universal is banking on the money-making magic of Harry Potter to rub off on WWHP.

So: Relentless marketing-centric onslaught, maybe, but could be fun for the kiddies, or Harry Potter-obsessed adults who aren’t too focused on rides.

(via The Guardian)

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