Category Archives: Wizarding World Theme Park

It’s official: New Wizarding World theme park heading to Hollywood, and Orlando to be expanded

Warner Bros. and Universal executives, along with James and Oliver Phelps, today gathered in Hollywood to make their much anticipated announcement that a second Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park is to be built there in sunny southern California. You see pictures above and below from that event, and you can read more of what was said over on Hypable.com, who had press access for the announcement.

Here is the official press release, that also confirms the rumours that the existing Orlando park is to be expanded (more on that soon!).

Warner Bros. Entertainment and Universal Parks and Resorts today announced a partnership to bring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – the enormously popular themed entertainment environment which debuted in Orlando in June 2010 – to Universal Studios Hollywood.

The two companies also announced their plans to significantly expand The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood will be as impressive as what has been created in Orlando – and is expected to transform tourism in Los Angeles for decades to come. It will be a fully immersive environment for the entire family that brings the stories of Harry Potter to life and is faithful to the visual landscape of the films, including a majestic Hogwarts castle to serve as the centerpiece of the themed environment. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood will be created with the same commitment to authenticity and the same level of talent and resources as its Orlando counterpart. Get the whole story »

Second Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park to be built in Hollywood

Big news! Reports last night have revealed that a second Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park is to be built by Universal at their site in Hollywood, California.

The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and Variety have all released some information ahead of an official announcement which they say is coming soon. From the Wall Street Journal:

“NBCUniversal is planning to expand its Los Angeles theme park with a section devoted to the “Harry Potter” franchise, according to people familiar with the matter, hoping to repeat the success of a similar attraction at NBCU’s Orlando, Fla., resort.

The new “Harry Potter” addition in the Los Angeles park, Universal Studios Hollywood, will likely resemble the one in Florida, these people say, which includes a Hogwarts Castle, roller coasters, and several Potter-themed restaurants including the Hog’s Head tavern, which serves butterbeer, as in the books.”

This attraction is likely open some time after 2015. They also say more HP parks could eventually spring up all around the world:

“If the new section succeeds, more “Potter” attractions could open in other parts of the world where Universal has theme parks, including Japan, Singapore, and Spain, say people close to Universal.”

Interestingly, there is currently very little space at Universal Hollywood, and the budget is reported to be $200 million, which is less than the $265 million that was spent on the original Orlando one. This could mean the new park isn’t on as big a scale as the existing one.

Good news? Not brilliant, in my opinion…

While the news will likely bring immense happiness to anyone around the west coast of the USA, I personally have rather mixed feelings about this development.

My fear is that a second park in America will reduce the novelty of the experience. The Orlando park is THE place to go for Harry Potter fans worldwide. Having a second park, which by the sounds of it will be very similar to the first, may cheapen it and make it all less special.

For the moment I’d rather see them putting all their resources into developing and expanding the Orlando park, and maybe try to improve the accessibility and affordability for the whole of America. Then I’d like to see them build a new Potter park in another corner of the globe, like the UK, or maybe more feasibly near Disneyland Paris. It would also be good if they developed a park in Asia, which seems likely as Universal already has a site in Singapore.

This way, there would be a park close enough to every Harry Potter fan around the world, whilst still maintaining the integrity, the novelty, and the special magical experience which has made the Wizarding World in Orlando such a huge success. Each of these three theme parks could then be the “Holy Grail” for Harry Potter fans in each third of the globe.

But alas, it doesn’t seem like they’re doing it my way.