"Wizarding World of Harry Potter" prepares to open at Universal - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

"Wizarding World of Harry Potter" prepares to open at Universal Studios

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UNIVERSAL CITY (CNS) - Online advance tickets for Thursday's opening day of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios are sold out, park officials announced Tuesday, marking the first time the park has had to cut off online ticket sales.
  
Specialty tickets, such as VIP Experience and Front-of-Line passes, are also sold out for Thursday, as well as Friday and Saturday -- giving a hint of the crowds the Harry Potter attraction is likely to draw in its opening days.

"We have been getting ready for this exciting day for the past five years and share the exhilaration with those guests who've made April 7th a sell-out day," Universal Studios Hollywood President Larry Kurzweil said. "This incredible consumer demand speaks largely to the arrival of 'The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,' and the dramatic 75 percent transformation of Universal Studios Hollywod into an entirely new destination."

Although the attraction won't open to the public until Thursday, a host of celebrities and dignitaries will get a sneak peak during a preview gathering Tuesday night, highlighted by a fireworks display in the skies over Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

[To view video on YouTube, Click Here.]

Oscar-winning composer John Williams will be on hand to conduct a performance by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A handful of starts from the "Harry Potter" film franchise will also be on hand, including Warwick "Professor Flitwick" Davis, Tom "Draco Malfoy" Felton, Evanna "Luna Lovegood" Lynch, and James and Oliver Phelps, who portrayed Fred and George Weasley.

Universal Studios execs will also be on hand to welcome the attraction, along with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
   
The much-anticipated attraction includes a meticulous recreation of Hogwarts, with features such as Professor Dumbledore's office, the Portrait Gallery and the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom.


The surrounding Hogsmeade village includes shops such as Honeydukes, Owl Post, Wiseacres Wizarding Equipment, Dervish and Banges, Gladrags Wizardwear and Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods.
   
Also included in the attraction are two rides - the 3-D "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey'' and Universal Studios Hollywood's first outdoor roller coaster, "Flight of the Hippogriff."
   
A virtual tour is available online at: www.universalstudioshollywood.com/wizardingworld.

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