- "The plans I've seen look incredibly exciting, and I don't think fans of the books or films will be disappointed."
- —J. K. Rowling
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a themed area that replaced the Merlin Woods portion of the Lost Continent region of Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park, part of the Universal Orlando Resort. The 20-acre area includes attractions, restaurants, and shops themed around a recreation of Hogwarts Castle and Hogsmeade Village. In 2014, this would be joined by Universal Studios Orlando's addition of a recreation of Diagon Alley located on the former site of the Jaws attraction, with the Hogwarts Express train connecting the two.
The Wizarding World includes attractions pertaining to adventures in the film and book series, and shops where "wizard lore" is sold including a replication of Ollivander's wand shop. Since its opening on June 18th, 2010, the area has proved very popular with guests, increasing park attendance by over 50%. It was announced that a Harry Potter themed land would be built and opened by 2016 at Universal Studios Hollywood. A version of the land for Universal Studios Japan is set to open in summer 2014.
- On May 30th, 2007, the plans for the Harry Potter-themed area were announced during a joint press conference with Warner Bros. and Universal.
- On September 15th, 2009, during a press conference featuring Tom Felton, Universal revealed the official names of the three main park rides.
- On March 25th, 2010, the grand opening date was announced.
- On May 20th, 2010, Matthew Lewis, Emma Watson, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, and Robbie Coltrane had a tour of the area.
- On May 28th, 2010, Universal began letting park guests preview the area.
- On June 16th, 2010, a celebration was held with the Orlando Philharmonic performing music from the Harry Potter series led by composer John Williams. The Frog Choir sang Double Trouble conducted by Warwick Davis. Actors Bonnie Wright, Matthew Lewis, Tom Felton, Michael Gambon, James Phelps, and Oliver Phelps arrived on the Knight Bus. Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint arrived in the Flying Ford Anglia.
- On June 18th, 2010, Daniel Radcliffe and the cast in attendance officially welcomed the first group of guests into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
- In December 2011 it was briefly stated that the Wizarding World in Florida would be expanded. This expansion is rumoured to be Diagon Alley-themed and include a ride based off the carts at Gringotts Wizarding Bank. Rumours have also stated that Harry Potter cast members such as Rupert Grint and Helena Bonham Carter have been filming new material for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, presumably connected with this planned expansion.
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been estimated to cost at least $265 million.
- Over 600 items have been created to be sold in the Wizarding World based on products from the Harry Potter series. 
- Foods and drinks that appeared in the books and films (like Butterbeer and Pumpkin Juice) are also available.
- The House Points hourglasses are also featured at the entrance in the Hogwarts castle in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The total amount of House Points in each changes from time to time.
- In November 2013 , it was announced that a new Diagon Alley section will be added, which will include a Leaky Cauldron restaurant and a Gringotts Wizarding Bank main attraction, replacing Universal Studios's Jaws attraction. Several references to the former attraction were hidden in the final build of Diagon Alley, most notably a group of Shrunken Heads in a windowfront of Knockturn Alley singing a song from the film.
- Dragon Challenge - Twin inverted roller coasters.
- Flight of the Hippogriff - A family roller coaster.
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey - A 4D experience ride
- Ollivanders - here the wand chooses you.
- Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts - A multi-demensional experience ride through Gringotts Bank
- The Hogwarts Express
- Dervish and Banges - Sells Quidditch equipment, Triwizard apparel, Spectrespecs and Remembralls.
- Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods - Sells Ministry of Magic and magical creatures merchandise, Omnioculars, and even Golden Snitches.
- Honeydukes - A recreation of the Hogsmeade sweetshop selling notable treats such as Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans.
- The Owl Post - Send letters with a certified Hogsmeade postmark.
- Zonko's Joke Shop - A joke shop with a collection of tricks and jokes, including Extendable Ears, Boxing Telescopes and Sneakoscopes.
- Ollivander's Wand Shop - Sells wands originated from the Harry Potter film and also sells different designs of wands. The original wands sold are those that belong to the film characters, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Albus Dumbledore, Lord Voldemort, Sirius Black, Draco Malfoy, Severus Snape, Ginny Weasley, Luna Lovegood, Minerva McGonagall, Remus Lupin, and Neville Longbottom.
- Borgin and Burkes - Sells Death Eater masks and other merchandise related to Voldemort and the Death Eaters.
- Madam Malkin's Robes For All Occasions -
- Quality Quidditch Supplies -
- Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes -
- Wisacre's Wizarding Equipment -
- Magical Menagerie - Sells stuffed animals of magical creatures
Other items of interest
- At the entrance of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, there is a recreation of Hogsmeade Station featuring the Hogwarts Express and the Conductor who welcomes guests to Hogsmeade
- Students from the Beauxbatons Academy of Magic and Durmstrang Institute have a performance similar to the one seen in the film version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire called the "Triwizard Spirit Rally" on the grounds of Hogwarts. It is hosted by a Hogwarts Prefect.
- Students from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Frog Choir perform songs from the Harry Potter films with large frogs croaking out the bass line. Music is done in the style of Toxic Audio.
- There is a Gringotts themed Automated Teller Machine. Additionally, the Gringotts office in Diagon Alley offers a "wizard money exchange" scrip service which will function as Universal Studios's counterpart to Disney's Disney Dollars. Inside this Gringotts wizard money exchange, you can find an animatronic goblin that will answer various questions such as "how old are you?" or "how many sickles to a galleon?".
- The voice of Moaning Myrtle can be heard speaking to guests in the Hogsmeade Wash-rooms.
- A moving poster of Sirius Black can be seen outside The Three Broomsticks.
- An animatronic Buckbeak can be seen at the Flight of the Hippogriff ride.
- A theatre group from the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts in Diagon Alley presents puppet shows based on Beedle the Bard's Tale of Three Brothers and The Fountain of Fair Fortune.
- Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees perform three of their songs in Diagon Alley.
- A scavenger hunt-type game where using a map and special interactive wands sold at Olivanders, guests can go to different spots and use the designated spells to activate different special effects.
- Dogweed and Deathcap
- Dominic Maestro's
- Gladrags Wizardwear
- J. Pippin's Potions
- McHavelock's Wizarding Headgear
- Potage's Cauldron Shop
- Scrivenshaft's Quill Shop
- The Magic Neep
- Tomes and Scrolls
- Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment
- Official Website
- Media Website
- Harry Potter Theme Park Unofficial Website
- Orlando United-Islands of Adventure
- Screamscape-Islands of Adventure
- Harry Potter theme parks information
Notes and references
- ↑ "Harry Potter Wizarding World coming to Universal Hollywood" L.A. Times, retrieved 06/12/11
- ↑ Mugglenet.com's various reports on the Theme Park
- ↑ Wizarding World Theme Park to open Spring 2010, rides confirmed
- ↑ The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood, but when? from Theme Park Insider by Laurie Niles.
- ↑ http://www.snitchseeker.com/harry-potter-news/harry-potter-cast-rumoured-to-be-filming-mini-movie-for-wizarding-world-orlando-park-91935/
- ↑ Butterbeer, wands make Wizarding World of Harry Potter a potential sales bonanza for Universal
- ↑ [http://www.traveldailymedia.com/199602/universal-reveals-diagon-alley-plans/ "Universal reveals Diagon Alley plans"