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Hogwarts castle exterior complete at Universal's Islands of Adventure

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Published: January 25, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Universal Orlando sent along a photo of the now-completed exterior of Hogwarts Castle in Islands of Adventure:

Hogwarts castle at Universal's Islands of Adventure

The castle will be the home of the new Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter land that will open at the park this spring.

Readers' Opinions

From 208.196.162.2 on January 25, 2010 at 2:42 PM
I can't wait for this to open - we are trying to plan a vacation accordingly!
From Joshua Counsil on January 25, 2010 at 3:12 PM
Beautiful in itself, but very out-of-place in the park. All of the other islands, with the exception of Jurassic Park, feature bright, colorful landscapes and backdrops. Jurassic Park does not, but, unlike Hogwarts, has no structures that can be seen all around the park.

This was a major design concern with Disney's parks, and one of the things that can genuinely trick you into believing your surroundings (it has, though, been somewhat ignored in recent years - see Soarin' backdrop from Canada pavilion at Epcot).

From Robert Niles on January 25, 2010 at 3:42 PM
Let me take another view: I've always been a bit disappointed with the way that the various land at IOA have blended together. To me, they *should be* separate "islands," visually distinct from one another. That's what makes the park "Islands of Adventure." So I'm glad to see Universal finally doing something to realize that original concept.
From Tyler Bell on January 25, 2010 at 5:08 PM
Universal is by far my favorite theme park empire,and FINALLY completeing the castle is another step towards the openning of WWHP.Also I just came back from UO and the castle is truly amazing.
From Rob Chandler on January 25, 2010 at 6:02 PM
absolutley stunning, makes me very excited and i can not wait to go back to florida! planning my next trip for 2011
From James Rao on January 25, 2010 at 8:08 PM
It is so amazing that I am almost considering adding a few days for Universal during my May visit to Orlando. If it just hadn't been for that RRR fiasco last year....

No, I cannot waver. I will visit in 2011 after everything is running smoothly. It is just too expensive to plan a visit when no firm opening dates have been announced.

Still, the castle looks wonderful.

From Sylvain Comeau on January 25, 2010 at 9:38 PM
The castle does look great. Looks like they aren't skimping on this. They are clearly aiming to make Potter one of their key draws for years to come. Hopefully the ride itself will live up to expectations.
From Joshua Counsil on January 25, 2010 at 10:36 PM
Robert -
I should have been clearer. I enjoy contrast between lands, but do not enjoy seeing one island's landmarks when I'm in another section of the park.
From Steve Ward on January 26, 2010 at 3:52 AM
Wow it actually looks like the artists renderings.. thats damn impressive!
Will be going next year for sure
From Rob P on January 26, 2010 at 4:05 AM
I agree with Joshua on this one. It could have been disguised a little. Not only would it then not impact on other areas of the Park by providing an unwanted backdrop but it might also have added to it's own mystique.
That said I do recall visiting Universal in either 1996 or 1997 ( we went both years) when they handed out "passports" to the proposed Islands of Adventure. They also had a visitor centre so you could see how some of it might look. The overall concept seemed to me to be of a number of separate islands that you visited by land or sea. Each with it's own distinct flavour and style.
In the real world I suspect that you might be able to see neighbouring islands lying close by in the distance so, to that end, Universal's layout isn't without substance but , like Joshua, I think it might have been better to conceal them from our view until we got there.

Robert :
By the way I do still have that passport. Could I scan it and post it here on TPI for those interested or would it breach copyright ?

From Joshua Counsil on January 26, 2010 at 5:44 AM
Thanks, Rob P. Couldn't have put it better.
From TH Creative on January 26, 2010 at 9:23 AM
Arthur: Camelot!

Sir Lancelot: Camelot!

Sir Robin: Camelot!

Sherpa: It's only a model.


(Couldn't help myself).

From Robert Niles on January 26, 2010 at 10:48 AM
I say let's do it, Rob. Send me the scan and I'll post it.
From Ryan Sanford on January 26, 2010 at 2:25 PM
I wonder how big this Hogwarts castle is compared to the Magic Kingdom...
From luis gonzalez on January 26, 2010 at 6:49 PM
i heard that the first 10 riders on the new harry potter ride get a date with maggie smith
From Joshua Counsil on January 27, 2010 at 12:40 AM
Maggie Smith is hot, Luis. I'll take that deal.
From Rob P on January 27, 2010 at 5:38 AM
My Dad once danced with Maggie Smith at a party at the Old VIc theatre !!
From James Rao on January 28, 2010 at 7:18 AM
On another note: our very own Mr. Niles was quoted not once, but twice, in today's article about the Harry Potter expansion in the USA Today! Kudos to our founding father for his ascension into stardom!
From 64.122.230.40 on January 31, 2010 at 10:47 AM
Im so excited for it to open but i was wondering would you be able to stay inside the castle/Hogwarts? Like you can stay in the cinderella castle overnight, are you going to be able to do that at Hogwarts?

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