Nothing would have pleased me more than to send an army of dementors loose on the lucky crowd of people… except to perhaps take their place.
I was like a child who was told that they were going to spend the evening at a candy factory. I watched the Universal Studios website looking for any sign that a streaming video would begin… and I waited… and waited… I’m not a big Harry Potter fan, (gasp! What?) but I am a MASSIVE, GIGANTIC theme park fan! The mere fact that there was a new land in my favorite theme park— plus the land happened to be based on a movie series I enjoyed—AHHHHH! Much anticipation ensued!
After months of waiting, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was set to have its official opening ceremony on June 18… but tonight was the celebrity preview ceremony—and I was watching it live online.
Suddenly the screen twitched. An orchestra led the way for actor Warwick Davis and his singing Frog Choir—it was straight from the movies! I looked through my laptop’s screen and glared at the thick crowd who had been lucky enough to be at the park this evening. Watching the choir sing must have felt like the movie was coming to life.
After some words from the big heads of the parks (I only paid attention to their faces because I intend to take over their jobs someday), I started screaming some more.
“Universal Studios welcomes John Williams and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.” AHHHH! I would love to meet John Williams! Who is he? He only has more hits than Beyonce. This conductor and composer is the brains behind the theme songs for Star Wars, E.T., Jurassic Park, even the Olympics, (and Harry Potter of course) among others. Much screaming ensues! I really enjoyed his leading of a local orchestra in the event. When the first notes of the Harry Potter theme played, listening to it in the night air with the shadows of Hogwarts behind you could have given anyone goosebumps.
Soon, the double-decker bus from the movie appeared and out came many of the actors from the movie… the twins… Malfoy… where were the main stars? From the corner the Ford Anglia car (also from the movie) appeared and out came Harry Potter and Ron Weasley! Camera phones dominated the air! The only important person who wasn’t there was author J.K. Rowling… but at least the big guys gave mucho thanks to her. Oh yea, and Hermione wasn’t there.
After a cheesy, “everyone wave your wands and say ‘Lumos Maximus’!” led by Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry Potter) the Hogwart’s Castle that had been silently overlooking the theme park for many months suddenly sprang to life. Video shots played upon the rocks holding the castle as fireworks sprang out and the orchestra played.
Despite minor video streaming problems, watching the preview online was still more than enough to make me want to run to the Universal parks. Sigh, but I made a promise to my theme park partner not to visit yet. ARGH! I don’t remember any theme park land that got as much attention as WWoHP. The ceremony was short, but it was very moving and impressive. A few miles away, the mouse better be preparing his own wizard hat.