herald

Monday 25 September 2017

I've just been to the magical, stunning world of Hogwarts

Years in the planning and costing millions of dollars to create, Orlando's The Wizarding World of Harry Potter finally opened its doors to the world.

The magical world of Hogwarts, which will open to the public next month, was shown to the world's media, with the Herald among the first to get a sneak peek at the Universal Studios' attraction in Florida.

It's been worth the wait -- the attraction is stunning. It has a Hogwarts Express train billowing out steam as you enter Potter world and the castle of Hogsmeade is jaw-dropping in its scale.

The main street is lined with olde worlde shops (and plenty of gift shops) looking ramshackle and covered in snow.

Inside Hogwarts, the paintings -- as in the movies -- come to life and talk to amazed visitors.

Snow (a light, bubbly foam) drops from the sky and then comes even more fun stuff.

There's a gentle rollercoaster for the youngest visitors, while the famous duelling dragons -- where two coasters seem to almost collide before soaring away from one another -- has been incorporated into Potterland.

Gift shops are stuffed with merchandise -- potter wands, rugby jerseys, T-shirts and baseball caps. The queues are geared up for thousands of visitors, so expect a rush if you're visiting from June 18 onwards.

hnews@herald.ie

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