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June 21, 2010

Mary McNamara: Universal’s Harry Potter outduels Disney

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Los Angeles Times television critic Mary McNamara is in Orlando to review the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Her full review will run later this week but here’s a few quick dispatches from the scene. Click on the photos to go to a full gallery.

I never realized it was so hot and humid in Hogsmeade or that snow could look so convincing in Florida. Lines for Honeydukes and Ollivanders are longer than for the two smaller rides, which are great, by the way. And as for the ultimate question — can Universal out-disney Disney? — the answer is apparently yes. Forget Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey is now officially the coolest ride on the planet. Don’t drink the pumpkin juice, though.

The saucy schoolgirl look that has made knee socks and pleated skirts a tried-and-true fetish for so many years has a new twist. Desperate to show their Potter love despite mid-90s heat, some teen girl fans are pairing short shorts and sheer tank tops with capes made to look like Hogwarts robes. Oh, those British boarding schools…

— Mary McNamara



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Rupert Grint explains the pain of love … and quidditch

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Jessie Cave spills about scaring, smooching Rupert Grint

QUIZ: How well do you know the halls of Hogwarts?

Getting to know the real-life Weasley boys

Photos: Guests arrive under faux snow during the official grand opening at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. Credit: Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel. A guest, in her Hogwarts school regalia, uses a mobile phone during the grand opening. Scott Audette / Reuters

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