1:00 pm EST, November 11, 2011

Hypable’s Top 8: Things we really want out of a new Harry Potter theme park

Upon hearing rumors about the Magical World of Harry Potter amusement park in Orlando Florida, my imagination immediately ran away with me. I envisioned riding on a dragon with a golden Snitch flying around my head and although I admit that it seems a little far-fetched, it was still what I was expecting.

Now, word has gotten out that more Potter theme parks are in the works. Well, this is fantastic because the news has arrived just in time for a Christmas wish list.

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Now before we start, let’s just mention to the creators of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that the current park is still phenomenal. The little touches and details are frankly astounding and that’s something we hope to see in future parks! Now without further ado-

#8 Gringotts

Now, other theme parks have seen a park-wide currency system go very wrong, but Harry Potter is unique in that the currency system is integrated right into the mythos of the source material.

What were saying is that it would be amazing to convert our own money into galleons, sickles and knuts. I had a difficult time forking over fourteen hard earned dollars just for a full meal, but something tells me that if we were paying a galleon and three sickles instead, it might be a little easier on everyone’s collective psyche.

Also, the coinage would effectively function as its own souvenir. This spells more profit for the park as well as more fun for the visitor. To be honest, we just want the coins so that we can try to buy donuts with them in the real world.

#7 Nightly Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes Fireworks

Yes, by suggesting Gringotts and by suggesting Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes we’re suggesting that Diagon Alley be added to the plans for the future park. Aside from expanding the size of the park (which is also very much needed, but we’ll get back to that later) it would also help Ollivander get back to his original home (which is not in Hogsmeade).

Okay, now onto the fireworks. An excellent fireworks presentation was afforded for the grand opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but after that day, the skies of Hogwarts were never again brightened by pyrotechnics. Check out this video of the festivities below!

Now what we’re imagining is a nightly display hosted by the Weasley twins (not James and Oliver of course) in front of their joke shop (which we also want). They could gesture towards the castle as the brilliant show sparkles over Hogwarts. Do you think the giant CGI fireworks dragon from Order of the Pheonix can be reproduced? We certainly hope so!

#6 Alcoholic Butterbeer

We don’t wish to be mistaken for alcoholics or anything, and yes there is a full bar available in the Hog’s Head, but after seeing Winky get wasted on Butterbeer in Goblet of Fire, we’ve always wondered how many cups of the frothy nectar of the Gods we could handle before getting sloshed.

All we’re asking for is the option (for those who are legally allowed to drink of course) to have a traditional alcoholic mug of Butterbeer. Bailey’s Irish Cream might work perfectly in this scenario.

#5 Hidden Hallows

Now, this is a suggestion stolen straight from Disneyland. Any Disney-phile can tell you that if you search carefully, you can find the iconic mickey mouse head and ears in over hundreds of unique and secret locations in the park. Some are obvious and some are near impossible to find, but there are entire tribes of people that plan trips just to snap pictures of them all. Below is a simple example of one of the easier hidden Mickeys in the park.

See the head and ears hidden in the sign? This is just one of many, literally hundreds, and having an assortment of “Hidden Hallows” might add some additional intrigue to the park. Going on hunts for the sign of the deathly hallows could seriously amplify the repeated visitor ratio and give the visitors of the park yet another fun and exciting thing to do. Also, speaking of the park itself-

#4 A Larger Park

This is probably one of the biggest complaints so far concerning the park. It seems like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was only meant to accommodate a few thousand people which simply doesn’t seem to be enough for the Harry Potter nation.

There are plenty of locations to stretch the park into, Diagon Alley being the first and foremost, but the books are so rich with interesting locales and mysterious shops that it wouldn’t be difficult to expand the park and allow everyone a little bit more elbow room.

Anyone who has visited the park will tell you that not being able to find a place to sit at the Hog’s Head and not being able to even enter Ollivanders because of cramped conditions severely impact the enjoyment factor even if it’s the way that Harry Ron and Hermione experienced it. A few more restaurants, shops and rides might seriously alleviate the problem.

#3 A British Location

As soon as Orlando, Florida was announced as the future location of the first Harry Potter amusement park, we could have sworn that we heard a million English voices cry out in anguish at once. It was a disturbance in the Force that we had never experienced before.

Frankly, it’s not hard to understand why America was chosen ($$$), but anywhere in England seems to be a more suitable location. J.K. Rowling has insisted many times that the books are very distinctly British, so it was very much a slap to the jowel when Hogwarts suddenly showed up in America

Ideal locations for an additional park: Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo and London. Also, let’s get to work on a Harry Potter themed hotel in Vegas, shall we?

#2 The Hogwarts Express

It was a beautiful idea for the Hogwarts express to be the first thing that visitors see at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but it would be extra magical to take it a step further.

What if, in order to visit the new amusement park, one had to take the Hogwarts express? Disneyland uses that fancy tram to transport people from the parking structure, so a series of Hogwarts Expresses transporting people to and from the park wouldn’t be too far-fetched.

Just imagine. The journey would really only need to be a few minutes long to get the effect and the experience would be extra magical if Hogwarts and the grounds weren’t visible to the public until a certain point on the train.

#1 Rides, Rides, Rides!

One of the things that has always made us skeptical about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the serious lack of rides. Yes, I guess the existing park is really more of a “land” than its own amusement park, but does that mean that only three rides should be enough to satisfy Harry Potter obsessed visitors from all over the globe?

Yes, children love Flight of the Hippogriff, but people above the age of fourteen  quickly run out of things to do in the park after just a few hours and the source material has plenty of opportunities to introduce truly magical rides.

Where’s Quidditch: The Ride? Where’s our Triwizard Tournament ride? Yes, Dragon Challenge is similar, but as someone who wasted his childhood on Roller Coaster Tycoon I can see the millions of unused possibilities.  Should the Gringotts bank we proposed earlier have an underground cavern roller-coaster? After watching Deathly Hallows Part-2 we think it’s pretty much inevitable!

So what do you think? What additions would you like to see to Potter parks in the future? Let us know in the comments below!

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