After three years of anticipation and hype, at 9.00am today, Universal Orlando will formally throw open the doors at its Islands of Adventure theme park to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The spectacular addition has cost over $200 million and is a fantastically detailed collection of rides, shops and eateries. The new addition is expected to lure millions of new visitors to Universal Orlando in the coming months as the resort becomes home to all things Potter.
It’s a remarkable rise considering the first Harry Potter book was only published in 1997. Since then the franchise has catapulted itself into one of the most commercially successful entertainment properties of all time. The book has more than 400 million copies in print and has raised more than $5.4 billion in global box-office receipts.
Interestingly, the seventh and final volume in the book series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was published three years ago, and author J.K. Rowling has no plan to write more Potter books, aside from a possible encyclopedia about Potter’s magical universe. The eighth and final film, Deathly Hallows, has been split Deathly Hallows into two parts by Warner Bros, and is to be released next year.
Universal Orlando has informed us that it is planning to open its parking garage at 5:30am this morning to handle the first of what are expected to become daily crushes of visitors to Wizarding World this summer. Further, it has erected a large screen near the entrance of Islands of Adventure to let as many guests as possible watch a grand-opening spectacle which is scheduled for 9 a.m. today in Wizarding World.
Universal officials remain tight-lipped about what’s in store and who will attend the event, but if you are unable to make it don’t worry as the event is being streamed live online. That said, we do expect some of the stars behind the franchise to be in attendance though and many of them including Rowling and actor Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) are already in Orlando so it would be very odd if they didn’t make an appearance!
More during the day as we get it.The Live Event Feed is here and it begins at 9.00 EDT:
And don’t forget our own “Wizards of Leisure” offer… and details on how you can join in the fun are below:
Wizards of Leisure Offer
In celebration of the opening of the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park, Florida Leisure Vacation Homes will supply two adult tickets to Universal’s Islands of Adventure to any guest making a reservation this week for 5 nights or more. This is a $156.72 value!!
You get :
2 tickets to Universal’s Islands of Adventure Theme Park
Includes entrance to Wizarding World of Harry Potter
with any 5 nights or longer vacation home reservation
So make your reservation NOW! Remember, you must make a reservation for 2010, this week for 5 nights of more to qualify. To make a reservation for your next Orlando vacation, simply visit our web site FloridaLeisure.com or call our hotline on 1-800-760-1114 and quote “Wizards of Leisure”