This past week, my inbox was flooded with e-mails wondering just where in the heck was the latest Wizarding World of Harry Potter construction photo update. The interest was flattering, but I’m sorry to report there isn’t much more to share about the upcoming Islands of Adventure addition. With most of the exteriors completed (sights already well-documented here), Universal Security is now out in full force swatting down anyone daring to sneak a peek inside the walls without an invitation from “The Man.” Said corporate entity has already greeted Ellen DeGeneres, oodles of news crews, and numerous fan sites to help publicize the June 18th opening, leaving the Wizarding World pretty much covered in full, outside of the rides.
Me? I just take pleasure in theme park enthusiasm, mixed with primo movie ride development (a personal weakness). I’ve only been approached by Universal once about my Potter pics, and it wasn’t with a cushy offer of airfare, a hotel room, and an early peek at construction site innards, lemme tell ya.
For 19 months, I’ve documented the flow of the construction process, hoping to impart friends and family with a feeling of juicy anticipation as each monthly update brought about wondrous change. What were once a few massive holes in the earth are now Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, now receiving their final once-over before opening up to a lathered public in just a few short weeks.
The pictures were initially meant for amusement and sewing-circle revelation, but interest in the updates grew rapidly, bringing a diverse collection of readers to my little corner of the web. I am eternally grateful to anyone who took the time to read these updates, especially to those who made the effort to send notes of encouragement and praise -- the thousands of people who stopped by to say hello. I truly appreciate the attention.
I’d also want to extend a hearty thank you to the websites, theme park forums, and Harry Potter fansites who’ve supported the updates through links and glowing chatter. Up until recently, the response has been overwhelming.
I leave you all with this video I took today while at the Wizarding World site. To keep fandom stoked, Universal has started to pump the score from the films into the construction area, which delights me to no end. It’s been thrilling to watch this theme park puzzle being assembled for nearly two years now, but to hear the music while shuffling though the nearly completed area is…sublime. I wanted to share that feeling of excitement with my readers in some small way, so I offer this stroll through the covered walkway dividing Hogsmeade and Hogwarts. I admit it’s not much to look at, but the sensation of what’s (finally) coming in June is awesome. Of special note is the timing of the score in the video. Only near the end did I suddenly realize that I stumbled blindly into perfect synch. Seems like a fitting note of semi-closure.
However, Pottermaniacs, all is not lost. There will be another update. Magic is afoot, and I will return once the gates have been opened and the madness begins.