Universal LA theme park hopes fans buy into new Harry Potter world

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Fans of Harry Potter will be able to immerse themselves in a new Wizarding World attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood, complete with cobblestone alleyways and snow-capped roofs.

The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter is set to open on April 7 and will bring to life the quaint town of Hogsmeade from author J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books and subsequent films.

Alan Gilmore, The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter supervising art director, said: "We've been very lucky to work with an amazing location here in Hollywood and we've had the chance to bring Harry Potter to life in the home of movies so it's been a huge challenge, but a great one too to realise the sets and bring them to life as a real set that you can walk around and enjoy."

The park will feature two rides alongside intricately detailed restaurants and shops, where visitors can purchase a vast assortment of Harry Potter merchandise.

"We've always aimed to be as authentic as we can be, even down to the name of the shops, they're called shops, not stores. We have Honeydukes sweet shop, everything, all the words, all the descriptions are all very much original to how J.K. Rowling would've wanted them to be, it has to be an experience of stepping into Scotland and England," said Gilmore.

Universal Studios already has a Harry Potter themed destination at its Orlando, Florida location. They're banking on the popularity of the boy wizard to up its attendance at the Hollywood locale, which already welcomes around 6.8 million people annually.