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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter turns one!

By Domenik Jost
Published: June 18, 2011 at 7:16 PM
Exactly a year ago today, at 9:23 am, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened it's doors. Since then millions of guests have walked through the arches into Hogsmead, rode the award-winning ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and tasted that deliciously addicting butterbeer.

Today, at exactly 9:23 a.m., Universal Orlando celebrated the one year anniversary with complimentary Butterbeer, Cauldron Cakes, and Chocolate Frogs.

With my virtual butterbeer on my screen, I say toast to a happy one-year anniversary!

Remember, Theme Park Insider has an entire page dedicated to all the coverage from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter including photos, videos, and reviews.

Readers' Opinions

From Anthony Murphy on June 18, 2011 at 8:42 PM
I know I am bias, but is WWOHP the only "land" that has its own page on TPI?

Is Fantasyland going to get its own page? I mean congrats for HP,but I feel its a bit much.

From Hermione Potter on June 18, 2011 at 10:03 PM
I don't think it's too much considering that one land boosted Universal unheard of percentages this past year in attendance, revenue, etc. Clearly there is a demand for such a page. However, I do want a Fantasyland Expansion page as well...
From Sylvain Comeau on June 18, 2011 at 10:26 PM
We went to WWOHP for the first time in May. Beautifully immersive theming and a great new state of the art ride; that and the new Star Tours were the highlights of our trip. Unfortunately, it was too hot to wait in line outside of Olivander's, so we saved that for next time.

Happy anniversary to one of the top attractions in Orlando!

From Dominick D on June 18, 2011 at 11:14 PM
Happy BDAY WWOHP! On here Im late, but I posted on time on You Tube and Mugglenet.
From 98.65.185.146 on June 19, 2011 at 10:30 AM
When WWOHP was first announced there was going to be a phase 1 and a phase 2. Whatever happened to that plan? Did I miss a key bit of info somewhere or is phase 2 still happening?
From Rod Whitenack on June 19, 2011 at 6:25 PM
Great, only three or four years left to go before I'll feel comfortable enough with the crowds to make it worth me going. Hopefully everything will still work by the time I get there (I'm looking at you, Disco Yeti!).
From 98.21.205.107 on June 19, 2011 at 7:21 PM
I agree with the sentiment that if Harry Potter gets a page then let's have a Fantasyland Expansion page also.... Fantasyland Expansion page please. :-)

It was a big deal (Harry Potter land), but I was less impressed eithor by what it did for Universal's attendence or by what Universal's attendence to begin with was apparently (for something that got this much hype, I just had higher expectations for the results.... not because I'm such a fan, but just because all that media attention and constant hearing about it and it still did not get more people in the park than Animal Kingdom?!?). Maybe I was just not aware at how low IOA's attendence was before for this to be such an improvement.

From Rob P on June 20, 2011 at 2:16 AM
How do the attendance figures this week differ from opening day ?.

Have they eased or is it still as busy now as it was back then ?

From 97.65.77.193 on June 20, 2011 at 6:45 AM
I'm really hoping it eases up, my wife and I are planning to go down in September.
From 74.82.68.16 on June 20, 2011 at 9:33 AM
I'm kinda upset cause I'm going today but happy birthday :)
From Adam Dodds on June 20, 2011 at 10:31 AM
The size of the area and the crowding makes it immensely unpleasant for me. I agree that the theming for the most part is awesome but it has problems. The castle is too small and the FJ ride is less fun the more I ride it, and I think in part it is because there are so many video sequences on it that it feels like 50% of it is just motion simulator and another good chunk is tacky looking demontors. The line for the wand shop has always been too long for me to go watch a little kid pick up wands. Which leads me to the problem that if they do expand WWHP, then the Hogwarts cant really be expanded even though it could make for a great walk through or indoor theme park section like The Land Pavilion, and Olivanders is in Hogsmeade now so if they build Diagon Alley, it will be misplaced.

I was disappointed to see that there was only one new ride, and in my opinion, a ride that had potential to be awesome like Spider-man, but like I said, it was too much film and too little integrated effects. The ride vehicles are cool, but get tiring after the first few rides. Technology wise, there wasn't anything new in the ride. It is a collection of borrowed technologies put together. There was no new mind blowing effect or element to the ride.

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