The world is huge

Don't miss any of it

Travel news, itineraries, and inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.

By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.


Top 10 New Theme Park Attractions for 2010

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.{{{SmarterBuddy|align=left}}}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.

We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Top Fares From