Hogwarts Castle image

Universal has begun a full public "soft opening" of its highly-anticipated Wizarding World of Harry Potter, with guests at Island of Adventure allowed into the area for a limited period on Tuesday morning.

Social media site Twitter has been buzzing with reports from excited guests who have finally been able to see inside Universal's $200 million recreation of Hogsmeade. Today marks the first time that Universal has opened the Wizarding World to all park guests at Islands of Adventure, with previous openings having been limited to Universal employees and hotel guests. However, the Wizarding World closed to guests at 10am to allow further preparations to take place for its grand opening on June 18 - giving fans just an hour to experience Potter's magic.

Universal placed a hard limit on the number of guests allowed into the Wizarding World, according to Inside the Magic. However, those who were lucky enough to get in found headline attraction Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey up and running, having been plagued by technical problems over the last week.

Hopeful fans have mobbed the entrance of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter throughout the last week in the hope of a soft opening taking place. Attendance at the park is likely to rocket following the news of today's opening, although Universal is expected to continue favoring hotel guests as it gradually ramps up the area up to full operations. Soft openings are likely to continue to be of limited duration, with the ever-present risk of attraction breakdowns.

The first reviews and videos from the Wizarding World have appeared online, and some of the best can be found in Theme Park Tourist's round-ups of Wizarding World previews and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey reviews.

Have you been able to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey? What did you think of it? Get in touch via the comments section below or confidentially via e-mail.

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.


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