Books, film and now, attraction:
A comparison of the Harry Potter universe


In the journey from book to film, something often gets lost in the translation. The creators of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction, which opened Friday at Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, faced similar challenges. They set out to make a three-dimensional, real-life version of J.K. Rowling's beloved creations, known to millions of readers and filmgoers. Of course, not every element could be spotlighted in the 20-acre attraction, which includes Hogwarts castle (home of the ride called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey) and Hogsmeade village. Here's how some major elements from the Potter universe stack up in print, on screen and now, in the park.


— By Linda Shrieves and Dewayne Bevil, Orlando Sentinel

Find an interactive map of Wizarding World and an updated Thrill-O-Meter at our Wizarding World of Harry Potter channel at
Download a PDF (5.3 MB) of this graphic that ran in the Orlando Sentinel on June 20, 2010


Hogwarts castleSeven stories tall with five towers and extensive grounds that include a lake, dense woods known as the Forbidden Forest and a Quidditch field.Actually a model.The first exterior ever built of Hogwarts is 150 feet tall but lacks Black Lake and Forbidden Forest.
OllivandersDescribed in the first book as a small, shabby shop, with neat stacks of wands from floor to ceiling. The only window display is a single wand resting on a faded purple cushion.In the first movie, Harry tries out several wands here — with disappointment — until Mr. Ollivander hands him a holly wand with the core of a phoenix tail feather.There's no Diagon Alley, so designers have created a "second location" of the shop in Hogsmeade. As in the books, guests are measured — from fingertip to armpit and every which way — to fit them with the right wand.
Snowman in HogsmeadeSnowman? What snowman?Nothing to see here.On the edge of Hogsmeade, in the shadow of Hogwarts, you'll see a snowman wearing a Gryffindor scarf.
Triwizard ChampionsFour students compete for the Triwizard Cup: Harry Potter and Cedric Diggory, representing Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry; Fleur Delacour from Beauxbatons Academy of Magic; and Viktor Krum of Durmstrang Institute.Cedric is portrayed by Robert Pattinson, star of the "Twilight" films.The tournament is represented by the Dragon Challenge ride and queue. Although there are banners touting Harry, Fleur and Viktor, there's none for Cedric.
VoldemortHe Who Must Not Be Named is one of the biggest presences and most important characters.Played by Ralph Fiennes, Lord Voldemort appears in the first film attached to the back of Professor Quirrell's head. He comes to life in later movies as a tall, thin figure with snake-like facial features.He's mentioned (by Dumbledore in Forbidden Journey) but only seen in doll form at the gift shop.
Rubeus HagridA half-giant, half-wizard who is Hogwarts' gamekeeper, he's described as "twice the size of a normal man and five times as wide.Camera angles and other tricks make actor Robbie Coltrane, who's 6-foot-1, appear large but not 10 feet tall.Hagrid doesn't roam the grounds at Universal — for that matter, no specific character does — but he's seen a couple of times in Forbidden Journey, and his hut can be spotted near Flight of the Hippogriff.
OwleryA circular, open-air room where students' owls and the school owls live is at the top of Hogwarts' west tower.First appears in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire."Situated on street level in Hogsmeade, it is one of the only places to find shade. Luckily the floor isn't covered with owl droppings — just the rafters.
ButterbeerAppears alcoholic because Winky the house elf has to sleep off its effects.In "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," young Hermione looks tipsy after consuming it with Ron and Harry.The only buzz you'll get from it may come from the sugar content. There's no alcohol involved.