The much-anticipated Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction doesn’t officially open at Universal Studios Hollywood until April 7, but a few lucky visitors to the theme park can get an early peek as soon as today.
Theme park operators inside the new land, inspired by the popular books and movies by J.K. Rowling, will begin testing the newest rides, restaurants and retail shops “sporadically” as part of a process known in the theme park industry as technical rehearsals.
“It’s common practice in the theme park industry to put rides and attractions through the operational process prior to official opening,” said park spokeswoman Audrey Eig.
Starting today, guests in the park may get a chance to try the signature ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and the roller coaster known as the Flight of the Hippogriff.
The Forbidden Journey is an indoor ride that uses moving seats, synchronized to high-definition 3D images projected on wraparound screens to give riders the illusion that they are flying with the boy wizard Harry Potter.
The ride is similar to the Forbidden Journey attraction at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida, except that the Florida version does not have the 3D special effect.
During the technical rehearsals, the retail shops and restaurants, including Ollivanders Wand Shop and the Hogsmeade Pub, may also open for short periods. But park officials warn that they cannot guarantee when or if the new land will open on any given day.
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