Harry Potter Theme Park Almost Ready to Open

By Jackie Potts

Universal Orlando's Harry Potter attraction is nearly complete, which means your little Muggles can finally get to experience Hogwarts' School of Wizardry, the magical town of Hogsmeade and the thrill of a Quidditch match for themselves.

Universal is now carefully doling out photo and video sneak peeks (like this one) for the much-anticipated mini-park, which opens officially to the masses on June 18 (although tickets to the attraction are available beginning May 28).

It's located among the already existing Islands of Adventure. Officially called The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it includes rollercoasters and interactive rides along with replicas of many of the books' beloved landmarks and characters. On the main ride, parkgoers will actually be able to venture into the greenhouses and classrooms of Hogwarts itself, before Harry and his pals beckon them via video onto a flying adventure that includes brushes with the Whomping Willow, a harrowing dragon attack and a Quidditch match.

Down below, the village of Hogsmeade will offer butter beer and pumpkin juice at the Three Broomsticks and sweets at candy emporium Honeyduke's, along with other familiar storefronts, such as Zonko's Joke Shop. "You can actually step into this amazing world," actor Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley, says. "All the fans are just going to love it."

Image courtesy: 2010 Universal Orlando Resort