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Harry Potter theme park set for 2010: All aboard the Hogwarts Express!

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Flight-of-the-Hippogriff_lDetails are finally emerging about the long-awaited Harry Potter theme park: Universal Orlando hopes to open The Wizarding World of Harry Potter next spring. The park will include a Hogwarts Express train, lots of the shops from Hogsmeade, an owlery, and, of course, Hogwarts.

According to a press release, Ollivanders will be “an incredible interactive experience where the wand chooses the wizard” – how much does a good wand run these days? – and Zonko’s, Honeydukes, and Dervish and Banges will all sell Potterverse stuff like chocolate frogs, extendable ears, etc. The Three Broomsticks and Hog’s Head will “feature traditional British fare and drinks including Butterbeer and pumpkin juice,” because if there’s anything we know about children, it’s that they love traditional British fare. Ride-wise, there will be a “twin high-speed roller coaster” based on the Triwizard Tournament, a family coaster called Flight of the Hippogriff, and, within Hogwarts, “a thrilling new state-of-the-art attraction that uses entirely new technology to bring the magic, characters and stories of Harry Potter to life in ways never before experienced.”

Cool, right? I’m more of a rides person than a “hey, let’s buy stuff” person, but I can absolutely see this becoming a pilgrimage destination for Potter fans of all ages. (Hogwarts weddings, anyone?) Would you visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, PopWatchers, or can nothing ever top the Hogwarts in your head?

Originally posted September 15 2009 — 3:02 PM EDT

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