UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. (FOX 11 / CNS) - Excitement is hitting a fever pitch in the Muggle community, as Universal Studios Hollywood prepares to open its much-anticipated Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction this week.
The attraction won't open to the public until Thursday, but a host of celebrities and dignitaries will get a sneak peak during a preview gathering Tuesday, highlighted by a fireworks display in the skies over Hogwarts School
of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Oscar-winning composer John Williams will be on hand to conduct a performance by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A handful of starts from the "Harry Potter'' film franchise will also be on hand, including Warwick "Professor Flitwick'' Davis, Tom ``"Draco Malfoy'' Felton, Evanna "Luna Lovegood'' Lynch, and James and Oliver Phelps, who portrayed Fred and George Weasley.
Universal Studios execs will also be on hand to welcome the attraction, along with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The much-anticipated attraction includes a meticulous recreation of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, with features such as Professor Dumbledore's office, the Portrait Gallery and the Defence Against the Dark Arts
The surrounding Hogsmeade village includes shops such as Honeydukes, Owl Post, Wiseacres Wizarding Equipment, Dervish and Banges, Gladrags Wizardwear and Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods.
Also included in the attraction are two rides -- the 3-D "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey'' and Universal Studios Hollywood's first outdoor roller coaster, "Flight of the Hippogriff.''
A virtual tour is available online at www.universalstudioshollywood.com/wizardingworld.
Enthusiasts hoping to be among the first to visit the attraction can buy tickets in advance on the park's website. Buying a ticket at the gate will cost $115, but buying online in advance for Thursday reduces the price to $105.
How big a deal is the Wizarding World going to be? Julie Chang went along as some fans got a sneak peek.
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