Photos: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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  1. The Hogwarts Express arrives in Hogsmeade Station at Universal Orlando Resort's Wizarding World of Harry Potter. As guests enter Hogsmeade, they are greeted by the iconic, smoke-billowing steam engine, made famous in the Harry Potter books and films for transporting students to a world of magic and wonder. (Kevin Kolczynski / Universal Orlando) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. As guests pass through the arch into Hogsmeade at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, they can explore the cobbled streets of the highly themed environment, and will encounter iconic locations from the Harry Potter books and films, like Ollivanders and the majestic Hogwarts castle. (Kevin Kolczynski / Universal Orlando) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Visitors stroll the streets of Hogsmeade in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando theme park. The attraction opens to general admission ticket holders on June 18. (John Raoux / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Members of the Hogwarts Choir sing for guests. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter features multiple themed attractions, shops and a restaurant. (John Raoux / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A clerk, right, at Ollivander's Wand Shop, helps visitors pick out a magic wand. Park guests will have plenty of opportunities to shop for wands, broomstics, scarves and more. (John Raoux / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Mounted on the wall of the Hog's Head pub is the hog's head, which will come alive and puff its jowls at visitors. Adjacent to the Three Broomsticks, the Hog's Head pub is where guests can enjoy a cold Butterbeer, pumpkin juice and other beverages. (Kevin Kolczynski / Universal Orlando) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. The entrance to Hogwarts Castle is seen at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. (John Raoux / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Hogwarts Castle is seen at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Construction of the park was overseen by the production manager from the Harry Potter movies. (John Raoux / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. The office of headmaster Albus Dumbledore is intricately displayed at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling, author of the Potter books, is a stickler for details, and Universal worked hard to get her OK on the park's attractions. (Kevin Kolczynski / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Guests will pass by the regal Griffin statue on their way to Dumbledore's office. (Kevin Kolczynski / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Just like the Harry Potter films, portraits line the walls of Hogwarts castle, the home of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. When passing through the Portrait gallery, guests will encounter several magical talking portraits created exclusively for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including the four Hogwarts founders. (Kevin Kolczynski / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. An authentic replica from the Harry Potter films, guests will pass by Hagrid's hut on their way to the Flight of the Hippogriff family-friendly roller coaster. Just before they board, Hagrid instructs guests on how to properly approach and fly on a Hippogriff. (Kevin Kolczynski / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 12/2/2011 1:34:03 PM ET 2011-12-02T18:34:03

Comcast Corp. is in the final stages of a deal to bring Harry Potter's magic to life in Hollywood.

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The owner of Universal Studios will announce before year's end that it will build a version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at its Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. That's according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly about it.

The first Harry Potter attraction opened in Orlando, Fla., in June 2010. Since then, attendance at Universal Orlando has jumped by 40 percent to 50 percent, Comcast executive vice president Steve Burke said in September. He said the attraction caused "a gigantic sea change in the profitability."

A Universal spokeswoman declined to comment Thursday. The development was earlier reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Comcast, the cable TV giant that bought a majority stake in NBCUniversal in January in a $13.5 billion deal, also bought out its 50 percent partner in the Universal Orlando theme park, The Blackstone Group, for $1.03 billion in June.

(Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)

Burke told analysts in September that the theme parks business was the "last thing on our list" when acquiring NBCUniversal, but the company is now "delighted" to own more of it.

In the nine months through September, its theme-park revenue rose 33 percent from a year ago to $1.49 billion, while operating cash flow jumped 61 percent to $644 million.

That makes it the company's second-most profitable division behind pay TV channels, accounting for just under a quarter of the operating cash flow overall.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Wizarding World brings Potter to life

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