Next Year You Can Go to Hogarts For Real

I know I’ve talked a bunch lately about Harry Potter lately. I’m sorry, but that’s what I’m reading and enjoying right now. And I’m gonna go there again today.

You see, I was reading an article by AP writer Travis Reed in the newspaper today and it turns out there is going to be a Harry Potter theme park area opening in spring 2010 at Universal Orlando Resort. This will include a high-tech ride “Forbidden Journey” was named by J.K. Rowling herself.

Here’s a little description of the ride from the AP article:

The ride will takes guests through scenes and rooms from the blockbuster movies inside a richly detailed remake of Hogwarts Castle made to look 700 feet tall. Hogwarts is where Harry attends a boarding school for witches and wizards.

Guests will enter the “Wizarding World” through a station archway named for Hogsmeade, the magical village near Hogwarts. A plume of steam and a train whistle will sound the arrival of the Hogwarts Express. The goal is to make the experience immersive, so nothing outside is visible after guests pass the Hogsmeade station archway….

…Every shop and eatery is Potter-themed. Honeydukes sells chocolate frogs and “Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans,” Ollivander’s peddles magic wands, Zonko’s joke shop has Sneakoscopes, and the British restaurant Three Broomsticks pours Butterbeer.

So basically, it will be as close as you’re gonna get to ever being in the Harry Potter universe. Maybe I’m ignoring my doubting self, but this sounds like a lot of fun.

The park is supposed to open in Spring of 2010, but I doubt I would get there any time soon. Something about flying on a plane with a one year old just doesn’t appeal to me. In a couple years, though, I’m there.

I have been to Florida once before a number of years back when my office sent me to a conference in Orlando. My wife and I were able to stay in the Disney Swan Hotel (this was before we had kids even) on the company buck. It was great. Even better, we got to spend one night at the Universal Park in a private little group with the rest of the people from the conference. We were one of the first to ride on the Mummy ride, I believe.

Anyhow, I’ll get there someday. Besides, I could use a new wand now that I’m a Java wizard (and a huge nerd, I suppose).

io9 has some cool concept art of the park.