Harry Potter the Theme Park, also known as ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’, is scheduled to open up at Universal Studios near Orlando, Florida in the Spring of 2010. It appears to be another clever way to separate money from muggles.
Harry Potter the Theme Park is laid out thus:
First, the happy muggle enters to the sound of the Hogwarts Express whistle to the village of Hogsmeade, where in the books Harry and his friends would repair on weekends for tankards of butter beer and loads of trouble. There will be various shops, many of them apparently transplanted from Dagon Alley in London, where the happy muggle can spend lots of money on souvenirs and unhealthy food, such as chocolate frogs (presumably these will not actually hop around as in the books and films) and ever flavor beans (though one hopes not those that taste like snot or worse). The Three Broomsticks and the Hogs Head Pub will be there to eat English food (oh boy) and drink butter beer (is it fermented or is it like ginger beer and just spicy?)
There will be two roller coasters, one extreme and the other family friendly. The extreme roller coaster is called Dragon Challenge, which is said to simulate the Triwizard Competition depicted in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The more family friendly roller coaster is called Flight of the Hippogriff and is self explanatory.
The center of Harry Potter the Theme Park is, of course, Hogwarts Castle. Within Hogwarts Castle is another attraction called “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” which promises to use “entirely new technology to bring the magic, characters and stories of Harry Potter to life in ways never before experienced.” No hint as to what that might exactly be.
After this experience is another opportunity to spend money at Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods (who knew that old git was so entrepreneurial) before exiting back to Hogsmeade.
The downside of Harry Potter the theme park will likely be the outrageous prices and the mile long lines for the attractions. And why there is not a ride based on a Quidditch game, I cannot fathom. One would love to have the experience of riding a broom, even if it is just simulated.
Still, I know lots of muggles who will hardly be able to wait before they have the opportunity to pay Harry Potter the theme park a visit. And some of these muggles are adults who will not be dragged along by their kids for a fun filled day of aching feet, packed crowds, and spending money.
One way to alleviate the problem of crowds just packing this Harry Potter theme park attraction would be to build more than one, not only across the United States, but certainly in Great Britain, the supposed home of Harry and his friends. Certainly there should be one on the West Coast, but how about at least one in fly over country? Texas, by preference. That would help to sop up some of the cheek to jowl crowds Harry Potter the theme park is likely to attract.
One can also hope that, if the admission prices have to be kept at a confiscatory level, that there could be things like discount coupons, maybe family day passes, that sort of thing. We are, after all, in the middle of an economic downturn.
And besides the addition of a Quidditch ride, maybe a laser tag game, only done with wands, could be added. Help Harry stop the Deatheaters in the Hall of Mysteries or that sort of thing. The first to zap Voldemort gets a prize.
Now I would pay for that.
Source: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Details Revealed!, Coming Soon, September 15th, 2009