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Interactive map gives muggles a peek into Harry Potter attraction

Sarah Miller, 11, Imani Wiley, 9, and Colby Rogers, 12, right to left, taste Butterbeer, a popular beverage from the Harry Potter books and movies, during a press conference in 2011 to announce the new Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood. The park launched an interactive map Tuesday to give fans a peek at the attraction, set to open in the spring of 2016.

Sarah Miller, 11, Imani Wiley, 9, and Colby Rogers, 12, right to left, taste Butterbeer, a popular beverage from the Harry Potter books and movies, during a press conference in 2011 to announce the new Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood. The park launched an interactive map Tuesday to give fans a peek at the attraction, set to open in the spring of 2016.

(Al Seib)

The new Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction doesn’t open at Universal Studios Hollywood until next year, but fans of the boy wizard can get a peek into the much-anticipated attraction with a new interactive website.

Universal Studios Hollywood launched a website Tuesday with an interactive map that lets visitors stroll around a virtual replica of the attraction, scheduled to open in the spring of 2016.

On the website, visitors can look into various shops featured in the Harry Potter books and movies, including Honeydukes, Ollivanders, Owl Post, Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment and Gladrags Wizardwear, plus such eateries as Three Broomsticks and Hog’s Head pub.

The website also features videos of the two rides featured in the new attraction, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” and “Flight of the Hippogriff,” the park’s first roller coaster.

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The new attraction is expected to keep attendance numbers rising.

The park got a boost in attendance this summer when it opened its new ride “Fast & Furious: Supercharged 3D,” which is based on the popular “Fast and Furious” movie franchise.

Comcast Corp., the park’s parent company, on Tuesday reported 17% higher profits in the third quarter compared with the same period last year, thanks partly to Universal Pictures’ blockbusters “Jurassic World” and “Minions” and record attendance numbers at its theme parks in Los Angeles and Orlando, Fla.

Revenue was up 14% at the theme parks, to $896 million compared with the year-earlier period.

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To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow me on Twitter at @hugomartin.


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