There’s a decent chance you know that the “Boy Who Lived” is returning to screens this summer in the latest Harry Potter mega awesome blockbuster spectacular of underage wizardry and shenanigans. If you haven’t already, check out our preview of the upcoming film and be sure to watch one of the greatest trailers made in the last five years. It wasn’t quite enough for Harry’s creator J.K. Rowling to nigh simultaneously release the latest movie and the final book in the series. No, the world is quite capable of handling a trifecta of major Potter news. Warner Bros. Entertainment and Universal Orlando Resort recently made official plans to build a ”theme park within a theme park” in Universal’s Islands of Adventure at the Orlando resort.

Rumors of the plans have circulated for years, mainly starting out as wishful thinking on the parts of fans that wished to wander the Great Hall of Hogwart’s Castle. Disney was often cited as a strong pursuer of the Potter license, and with their proven record at creating and maintaining innovative attractions it seemed like a good fit. But in the end Universal showcased the ideas and ambitions Warner Bros. and Rowling desired. For those who question Universal Orlando’s ability to put together something special – after all, the “premiere” rides like King Kong, Jaws, and Earthquake were admittedly silly – have no fear. The park has two things going for it: Rowling is peripherally involved to make sure things adhere to her high standards; and many of Disney’s Imagineers make the trek up to the Orlando Resort to lend a hand or take on new challenges. With this combo things should be exciting. ”We are going to devote more time, more money, more expertise and more executive talent from throughout our entire organization and creative team…to ensure that this entire environment is second-to-none,” said Universal Parks and Resorts chairman and CEO, Tom Williams.

The park is expected to open in late 2009, conveniently within a year of the final film’s expected release. Stuart Craig, who has brought the magical world alive in all of the films, heads the design team. Immerse and innovative attractions will be littered throughout the theme park that features iconic locations such as Hogsmeade, the Forbidden Forest, and the coup de grace Hogwarts Castle. One thing the Universal Orlando Resort is sorely lacking in is actual resorts for guests to stay in. I’m not saying they should do this, but it wouldn’t be a horrible move to put a Leaky Cauldron resort on property.

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