Universal Releases Details of Harry Potter-Land

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It’s not really called that. It’s called “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.” I don’t know how to feel about it.

Even leaving aside the odious press-release-ese (TWWoHP “brings the stories of Harry Potter to life in a way never before imagined”? Don’t tell me what I have or haven’t imagined you bezoar-eating shill) there’s no way I can get past the fact that I like books and not theme parks and don’t see any earthly need for the latter.

Does that make me a sour middle-aged Harry Potter fan? Whatever, don’t answer that. Here’s the list of “attractions”:

    At the entrance of Hogsmeade, billowing steam and an iconic whistle signal the arrival of the Hogwarts Express into Hogsmeade station

    Across the way is Zonko’s, a joke shop with a collection of tricks and jokes, including Extendable Ears, Boxing Telescopes and Sneakoscopes

    Honeydukes is next door and full of treats like Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans

    The Three Broomsticks and adjacent Hog’s Head pub will feature traditional British fare and drinks including Butterbeer and pumpkin juice

    Across from the Three Broomsticks is The Owlery, where owls roost and await their next delivery

    The Owl Post sends letters with a certified Hogsmeade postmark and sells official stamps from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

    Ollivanders wand shop is an incredible interactive experience where the wand chooses the wizard

    Completing Hogsmeade is Dervish and Banges, the magical instruments and equipment shop featuring Quidditch equipment, Triwizard apparel, Spectrespecs and Remembralls

    The first attraction, Dragon Challenge, features a twin high-speed roller coaster with many iconic elements from the Triwizard Tournament

    Next is Flight of the Hippogriff, a family coaster simulating a Hippogriff training flight over the grounds of Hogwarts castle

    Located in Hogwarts castle, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is 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

    Before exiting back into Hogsmeade, Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods is full of Ministry of Magic and magical creatures merchandise, Omnioculars, and even remote control Golden Snitches

Now obvs Ollivander’s is not in Hogsmeade, but that’s not even the point. The point is, Harry Potter is a series of fantasy novels, not a mechanism for delivering over-priced, made-in-China remote-control Snitches into the hands of sugar-crazed pre-teens.

Is there ever a bad time to quote Christian Slater in Pump Up the Volume? (Don’t answer that either.) “All the great themes have been used up and turned into theme parks.”