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Hogwarts Castle image

Universal Orlando's TV advertisement for its upcoming Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been released on the web, unleashing a new flurry of rumors about the area's headline attraction.

The advertisement (embedded below) is due to be shown on television during Sunday's Superbowl, but has been released in advance of this exclusively on AOL's WalletPop.com. It features two children riding on broomsticks through Hogsmeade Village, which has fuelled speculation that the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction will be themed around a broomstick flight.

Towards the end of the advert, Harry Potter himself appears and invites the children to follow him into Hogwarts Castle. Forbidden Journey, the only new attraction to feature in the $200 million Wizarding World at Islands of Adventure, will be located in Universal's replica of Hogwarts Castle. This further suggests that the ride will feature a broomstick journey.

It has long been rumored that Forbidden Journey's ride system will be based on Kuka's robotic arm system, as seen in the recently-opened Sum of All Thrills at Walt Disney World's Epcot. If true, guests would be mounted on one of the arms, which could provide the freedom of vertical movement needed to simulate soaring into the skies on a broomstick.

Unlike the ride system used for Sum of All Thrills, the Forbidden Journey is likely to see the arms mounted a moving ride system. This will carry riders through scenes from a storyline that will incorporate elements from all of the Potter movies. The stars of the film, including Daniel Radcliffe who plays Potter himself, have filmed special sequences that will form part of the ride’s plot.

The ride’s queue system will pass through the Great Hall and Gryffindor common room, which will closely resemble their movie counterparts. Guests will be kept entertained by “moving” portraits and characters from the movies including Aragog, the giant spider featured in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

Universal recently began recruiting staff for the Wizarding World, suggesting that it is on track to open the new area in its original spring timeframe. This should mean an opening prior to the key Memorial Day weekend at the end of May, although there are indications that the area may be open by April.

Full details of the attractions, restaurants and shops that will form part of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter can be found in TPT's recent news story.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey tops Theme Park Tourist's list of the 10 most exciting theme park attractions opening in 2010.

You can keep up to date with the latest confirmed and rumored opening dates for new attractions through Theme Park Tourist's "New Attraction Watch" section, and by signing up for our weekly newsletter using the box on the right of this page.

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