Hogwarts Castle at night

Universal Orlando has finally opened the long-awaited Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the public, with huge crowds descending on Islands of Adventure for a chance to experience the $200 million land.

The grand opening took place on Friday, June 18, with Universal opening its parking lot at 5.30am to allow Potter fans to begin queuing early. This didn't prevent the volume of visitors from causing problems, with some guests reporting that they waited as long as 9 hours to get into the Wizarding World - only to be greeted by more lines once inside.

Universal restricted the number of guests allowed inside the Wizarding World at any one time in order to ensure that they were able to enjoy the experience. This led to long waits to get inside, with the line at one stage extending from the the Lost Continent area at the rear of Islands of Adventure, all the way around the park and out into the Universal CityWalk area.

Despite the queues - which caused growing frustration due to the intense heat in Orlando - Universal Orlando will be delighted to see the appeal that the Wizarding World holds. It hopes that the Potter-themed land will help establish the resort as a multi-day destination and help draw guests away from nearby Walt Disney World for extended periods.

Universal released the video below showing the events of the opening day, including footage of Potter movie stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint visiting the Wizarding World:

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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