September 15, 2009 / 6:28 PM / 10 years ago

Harry Potter park to open in Florida 2010

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Creators of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando said on Tuesday there would be three major attractions, including a “Forbidden Journey” ride set in the iconic Hogwart’s Castle.

Actor Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter is shown in this undated publicity photo for the Universal Orlando theme park attraction "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" in this undated image released to Reuters September 15, 2009. REUTERS/Universal Orlando Resort/Handout

“(It is) brand new, extremely exciting, never been done, never been seen before. I can’t say big enough words. It’s going to be absolutely mind-blowing,” said Alan Gilmore, the project’s supervising art director and art director on two Harry Potter films.

Paul Daurio, show producer for the Wizarding World, said the attraction “couldn’t be further from a roller coaster.”

The 20-acre “park within a park” is due to open in spring 2010. In a Webcast, descriptions of the attractions were generalized, and questions submitted via the Internet about ticket price were ignored.

Mark Woodbury, head of Universal Creative, said Wizarding World scenery, attractions and souvenirs were faithful to British author J.K. Rowling’s seven-book Harry Potter series.

Woodbury said visitors would be able to sample butter beer and pumpkin juice at the Three Broomsticks Restaurant, relax in the Owlery and be fitted for a magical wand in Ollivander’s Wand Shop, all of which are familiar to Potter fans.

Major attractions include the Dragon Challenge, a high-speed ride described as “definitely for the brave.” It is based on the Triwizard Tournament, a fictional 13th century contest between students of the three most prestigious magical schools of Europe.

Another is Flight of the Hippogriff, a coaster based on Rowlings’ magical creature with the head, wings and front legs of a giant eagle and body, hind legs and tail of a horse.

Actor Tom Felton, who plays Draco Malfoy in the film versions of the Harry Potter novels, said of the park: “It’s going to blow some serious minds.”

Woodbury said the Wizarding World had been under development for five years.

Editing by Jane Sutton

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