Top 10 New Theme Park Attractions for 2010

Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Studios Orlando)
by , SmarterTravel Staff
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on May 22, 2010. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: adventure travel, destination, family travel, Kate Hamman, student travel, theme park, Universal Orlando.

As families gear up for summer vacations and the weather begins to heat up, there's no better time to let your inner (or outer) child run free. And what better place to feel young than at a theme park designed for just that? From testing your skills as a wizard to leaping off a tall building, here are the best new attractions and death-defying rides of 2010.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal's Islands of Adventure

For the first time ever on June 18, muggles (non-wizards or witches) are invited to step behind the enchanted curtain and enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You will get the chance to explore the streets and shops of Hogsmeade, including familiar places like the "Three Broomsticks" and "Hog's Head," before testing your bravery with three new rides.

Find Cheap Flights!
Find Cheap Flights!
Get Prices
Find Cheap Vacation Packages!
Get Prices
Find Cheap Hotel Deals!
Get Prices
Find Cheap Car Rentals!
Get Prices
Find Cheap Cruises!
Get Prices
Advertisement
In "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey," you will tour the hallowed halls of Hogwarts Castle, where you can see first-hand Professor Dumbledore's office, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, Gryffindor common room, and so much more. From there, you will join Harry and his friends as you soar high above the ground, encountering many magical creatures. This attraction uses state-of-the-art technology to bring the well-loved characters to life.

Next, you can visit Hagrid's hut, where the burly groundskeeper will give you very specific instructions on how to approach a mythical Hippogriff (a creature with the head of an eagle and the body of a horse). Once you have mastered how to say hello, you will take a "training flight" aboard "Flight of the Hippogriff," a magical wicker coaster that spins and dives through the pumpkin patch and zooms past the hut.

Finally, the ultimate test awaits you at the "Dragon Challenge," where you will choose between a Chinese Fireball and a Hungarian Horntail "dragon," and then hang on tight as the two twist, loop, and come dangerously close to colliding. This ride is actually two different high-speed roller coasters that intertwine at dizzying heights.

Before you head back to the uneventful world of the magically-challenged, stop in one of the many stores in Hogsmeade, and pick up Quidditch necessities, a Screaming Yo-yo, and a few Fizzing Whizzbees.

One-day one-park access tickets start at $79 for adults and $69 for kids.

12345678910Next
Read comments or add your own insight!
Please enable JavaScript to properly view and use this web site.