Hogwarts Castle: Your First Look

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The highly-anticipated Harry Potter theme park experience – courtesy of the Universal Orlando Resort – is nearly ready for the swarms of Wizard-lovers sure to come running.

This is the first image of the actual park, which is still under construction, and gives a glimpse of The Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. The building looks massive, and according to Universal will house new attraction Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. (And according to rumors, the park’s villain will be none other than Salazar Slytherin, the founding member of Hogwarts’ Slytherin house.) The park is set to open sometime in the spring, and I’m guessing it will be just in time for spring break getaways.

Aside from the castle, the Potter-mecca will also include the village of Hogsmeade along with a foray of shops, the Three Broomsticks along with its famous Butter Beers, Hagrid’s Hut, an impressively-sized lake, a Dragon’s Challenge and ride The Flight of the Hippogriff. (Check out the map here.)

(More on Techland: Universal Releases Details of Harry Potter Land)

That said, just the sheer volume of the multi-billion dollar Potter franchise alone creates a pressure-cooker of hype that I can’t imagine Universal is taking lightly. I have no doubt that Potter lovers from around the globe will be trotting in, and literally storming this castle in a spellbound frenzy. But, if they walk away disappointed, it could be a huge blow to the Potter Universe. (i.e. Don’t screw this up, guys.)

Luckily, Universal has a history of theme park magic, so I have a feeling Hogwarts visitors will be enthralled (myself including). I’m just hoping costumes will be optional.

Will you go?

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