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Robert Niles
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New photos from 'soft opening' of Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Published: May 29, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Theme Park Insider reader Jason sent along some pictures of the hotel-guest-only opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. He wrote that Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was open for only 20 minutes this morning, "but it's [a] beautiful area!"

Hogwarts Express
The Hogwarts Express

Hogsmeade
Walking through the village of Hogsmeade

Flight of the Hippogriff
Test train on the Flight of the Hippogriff family coaster

Entrance to Hogwarts Castle
The crowd, queuing for the Forbidden Journey in Hogwarts Castle.

The Wizarding World is opening to hotel guests only for two hours each morning (8am to 10am, I believe). Forbidden Journey seems to go down like Newton's apple, so if you're staying in a Universal Orlando hotel and want to ride, I would advise getting to the park well before 8 to get to the front of the line.

Note from Robert: Great pics there! But the shot of Hogwarts got me thinking, where have I seen that before? A ride entrance, through two animal-guarded columns, with a castle tower looming behind?

Curse of DarKastle at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

It's on a much smaller scale, but still, I find the comparison interesting.

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