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“Harry Potter” cast members lead the way at Wizarding World’s grand opening

“Harry Potter” cast members lead the way at Wizarding World’s grand opening

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By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the huge crowds that turned up on Friday. The line that stretched all the way back into CityWalk. Which was full of Harry Potter fans determined to be among the first to visit IOA’s Wizarding World.

The line to get into Islands of Adventure were out to the bridge to Islands of Adventure on the opening day of theWizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando Florida
Photo by Jim Hill

Mind you, one of the main reasons that these folks were so eager to visit this new addition to the Universal Orlando Resort on that day was because they had heard that cast members of the “Harry Potter” films were in town to help open this brand-new “land.”

Which was true. After a giant piece of canvas (which had been painted to look like just the letter that Harry received when he was initially invited at attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry) …

A VERY large envelope covers the entrance to Hogsmeade prior to the Grand Opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Resorts Orlando
Photo by Jim Hill

… was pulled away, several members of the cast strode out onstage. Among them Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Bonny Wright (Ginny Weasley) and Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom.)

Tom Felton, Michael Gambon, Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, Bonny Wright and Mathew Lewis were on hand to open the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Resort in Orlando
(L to R) Tom Felton, Michael Gambon, Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe,
Bonny Wright and Matthew Lewis. Photo by Jim Hill

Radcliffe basically served as spokesman for the group. He first thanked everyone for coming out on this extremely hot Central Florida morning. Radcliffe then went on to praise the Wizarding World’s design team, saying that he was “ … grateful that the next part of the Harry Potter legacy has been so well done and well made.” Daniel then led the cast off of that temporary platform, where they chatted with a group of first graders from San Antonio, TX. who had been selected to be the very first Muggles allowed into this brand-new addition to Universal Islands of Adventure.

Tom Felton, Daneil Radcliffe, Bonny Wright, Rupert Grint, Mathew Lewis and Michael Gambon greet some very excited shool kids at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter grand opening
Photo by Jim Hill

Twins James and Oliver Phelps (who play Fred & George Weasley in the Potter films) eventually stepped away from this meet-n-greet to man an oversized fireworks (a wet start, no heat filibuster, to be exact). Which was supposed to cap off the Wizarding World’s grand opening celebration with a thunderous explosion.

James and Oliver Phelps get ready to light the fuse of their special fireworks to open the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
James & Oliver Phelps get ready to light the fuse. Photo by Jim Hill

But what happened instead was a bit more magical. After a short burst of daytime fireworks, the skies over Hogsmeade Village were suddenly filled with snow.

It began to "snow" paper in Hogsmeade at the Grand Opening Ceremony of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo by Jim Hill

And as the conductor of the Hogwarts Express welcomed everyone as they strode under that stone arch at the entrance to Hogmeade Village …

The conductor of the Hogwarts Express greeted the first guests of the day as they entered Hogsmeade
Photo by Jim Hill

Daniel Radcliffe and Co. led that lucky group of school kids up towards Hogwarts Castle.

Daniel Radcliffe leads a special group of school children through the snow into Hogsmeade
Copyright 2010 Universal Orlando. All Rights Reserved

So that they could all then go on the inaugural ride of “The Flight of The Hippogriff.”

James and Oliver Phelps ride "The Flight of the Hippogriff" with some very special school children
Copyright 2010 Universal Orlando. All Rights Reserved

Which (you have to admit) would have been a pretty cool way to start off your first visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

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  • I'm so envious that you were there. My family is planning a trip to Wizarding World of HP in August. Please tell me you'll have more articles on this. You didn't just see the opening ceremony, did you?

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