Hogwarts Castle image

Universal Orlando again allowed members of the public into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter on Wednesday, as it continued a soft opening period ahead of the area's grand opening on June 18.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Wednesday's soft opening differed from Tuesday's, with the Wizarding World being opened to Islands of Adventure guests at 10am (having closed at the same time the previous day). This allowed Universal to thin out the crowds prior to opening the gates to Hogsmeade - by falsely warning hopeful Potter fans that the area would not be closed to the public for the day.

The unpredictable pattern of soft opening periods is likely to continue, as Universal seeks to ramp the Wizarding World up to full operations ahead of the grand opening. Hotel guests will continue to have priority, with many having booked special Harry Potter vacation packages that entitle them to breakfast at the Three Broomsticks restaurant.

Theme Park Insider's Robert Niles points out that the Wizarding World is likely to be closed for the two days immediately prior to the official opening date (June 16 and 17) to enable media events to take place. After the grand opening, the Wizarding World's opening hours should synchronize with those of the rest of Islands of Adventure, although its headline attraction - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey - may continue to suffer some periods of downtime due to the cutting-edge technology that it employs.

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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