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Special wands let muggles do magic at Wizard World of Harry Potter in Universal

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With Diagon Alley poised to open, Universal Orlando Resort just announced that special wands will enable guests to cast spells in both the new area and the original Hogsmeade section of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Click the video accompanying this article to see "Harry Potter" stars trying it out for themselves.

The media preview event for Diagon Alley runs today (June 17) through the 20th, and special vacation packages start on June 29, so you'll soon get to try the magic out for yourself...that is, if you're prepared to brave the crowds. Guests waited in long lines just to get into the park and then again to actually enter the Hogsmeade area when it opened in 2010. Early indicators point to Diagon Alley being just as popular, if not more so, since it provides a chance to actually ride on the Hogwarts Express and exquisite details like the imposing fire-breathing dragon perched on top of Gringotts (don't forget that there's a new thrill ride inside the bank, too).

I'll be covering the full media event, so follow me on Twitter via @themeparkwriter and watch my Examiner column for regular updates. You can see the first installment right here. I also posted a special report, including photos of the new lazy river that just opened at Cabana Bay Resort, in this article. Warning: the cool, refreshing water will make you want to jump right in.

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