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Mark Woodbury

Wizarding World of Harry Potter ride may conjure a new path for theme park rides

Wizarding World of Harry Potter ride may conjure a new path for theme park rides

The opening of Universal Studios' new Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood brings to the West Coast what many consider the grandest theme park attraction in North America.

A mix of fully realized sets — including a steamy, fire-breathing dragon — as well as screens interspersed with actors from the "Harry Potter" films, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a highly kinetic motion simulator that aims to re-create the sense of flying. Guests sit on what appears to be a bench, pull down an over-the-shoulder harness and are soon whisked into the air, gliding in and out of filmed moments and elaborately constructed scenes.

A dragon, captured in a...

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