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‘Harry Potter’ A Go At Universal Studios
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Owl's Eye ViewBack in April, it was rumored that a Harry Potter attraction might be coming to Universal Studios.

Now, it’s official. Today, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. and Universal Orlando Resort announced that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will open at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando in late 2009. [*See further update at bottom.]

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which will be the first themed environment based on the popular children’s book series by J.K. Rowling, will enable guests to visit some of the most iconic locations found in the books as well as in the blockbuster films.

Islands of Adventure’s new land is being considered a theme park within a theme park and will include the village of Hogsmeade (photo below at left) and the mysterious Forbidden Forest. Anchoring this new section of the park will be Hogwarts Castle (photo below at right), where fans will get the chance to experience some of their favorite locations both within Hogwarts and around the castle grounds.

Hogsmeade Hogwarts Castle

“The plans I’ve seen look incredibly exciting, and I don’t think fans of the books or films will be disappointed,” said Rowling.

Universal’s new Harry Potter area will feature immersive rides and interactive attractions, including the debut of a state-of-the-art attraction that will bring the magic, characters, and stories of Harry Potter to life in what’s being touted as “an exciting way that guests have never before experienced.” Also, experiential shops and restaurants will enable guests to sample fare from the wizarding world’s best-known establishments.

Stuart Craig, the Academy Award-winning production designer who worked on all of the feature films, leads the creative design for the new area to ensure it remains faithful to the look and feel of the films.

“Our primary goal is to make sure this experience is an authentic extension of Harry Potter’s world as it is portrayed in the books and films,” said Craig.

The HPANA site has a partial transcript here of a Webcast with additional details of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter announcement.

 

*UPDATE 5/31/07 9am: Universal Studios Orlando has launched an official Web site dedicated to the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter located at www.universalorlando.com/harrypotter. Here’s are some new facts from the site:

  • Wizarding World of Harry Potter to open late 2009 or early 2010.
  • The new section of the park will be created from a portion of what is currently The Lost Continent as well as from an undeveloped area that is currently not in use.
  • The new environment will be comparable in size to the other islands at the Islands of Adventure park.
  • All of the Harry Potter books and movies will be used to create the fully immersive experience.
 

*UPDATE 5/31/07 11am: Video announcement below:

  • Pingback: Jeqq.com()

  • Victoria Schimansky

    I personally think that Universal and Islands of Adventure should work together to make a Harry Potter Theme Park. Like Islands of Adventure, there should be Harry Potter theme park,but where you have sections of each book. There should be seven sections, the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh Harry Potter Book for each section. Harry Potter Book one section should have Diagon Alley, a platform nine and three quarters train ride, a Gringotts walkthrough, a broom stick ride to catch the golden snitch, and a walkthrough adventure of going through every collum in finding the Sorcerers Stone. In book two section two there should be the forbiden forest ride riding on the flying car, Chamber of Secrets passagay,and the burrow. In book three section three, like you said a buckbeack flying adventure, dementor escape, and an Escaping the Whompping Willow rollar coaster. In book four section four there should be a water ride of the second task of finding Ron underwater, a little maze like the third task, and a dragon rollor coaster ride like the first task. In book five section five there should be an Umbridge escape, another broomstick ride where the Order is transporting him, a passagway in Sirius’s house, in the Room of Requirement, and Umbridges office, and a rollar coaster of flying on the threstals. In book six section six there should be a ride of Dumbledore Harry and the cave, and there the Quiddetch Match rollar coaster. In book seven section seven there should be a tour of godrics hollow, a ride of escape the death eaters, and a ride of getting the sword from the puddle. Like every other theme pak, Harry Potter world will have a map called the marauders map. The resturaunts should be called the Hog’s Head and the Three Broomsticks. The candy shop should be called Zonko’s. And thehotel’s should all be called the Leaky Cauldron.

  • chris cruz

    i completely agree with victoria.

  • Although the timing may be a problem, no doubt Universal will compromise…

    For example, I seriously doubt that they will omit the characters Remus Lupin, Albus Dumbledore, and Fred Weasley – they are essential to the park, athough by the seventh book, they are dead.

    Like Stuart Craig said, they will try to create the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as accurately as possible…well, we’ll see how that goes…

  • Adam Steiner

    I do have some information on the main attraction ride in the new Harry Potter World at Universal Studios Orlando. I have a close relative that is doing some of the engineering for the ride. Right now Universal is calling it “Project Strong Arm” and it will consist of 40 or so high power industrial robotic arms on a track. Riders will be in seats with shoulder harnesses, much like a roller coaster, at the end of the robotic arm. These arms will travel on the track through the ride course and interact with the scenery in a similar way the spiderman ride does. This ride will be much more interactive however as the scenery will actually be moving in sync with the arms. The ride is supposedly going to start out with riders being “swept” up a giant chimney and into the world of Harry Potter. Right now a lot of the engineering work has to do with safety…such as ride control not allowing the arms to get too close to each other or hitting riders into the scenery. So far this is what I know about the planned ride. More to follow…

  • ma

    will the stairs move in the castle?!

  • Trisha

    i think they should there should be a amusment park that is all Harry potter that shows all the areas and stuff in the books and movies like the platform 9 3/4, the train, forest, hogsmead, castlew, classes, hagrids cabin, ministry of magic, every thing!

    that would be awsome!

  • Bradley

    Adam Steiner,

    It would be lovely if you could shed some more light on this topic, considering that you know someone who is working on the ride.

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