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Harry Potter and Walt Disney Imagineering, together at last?

Written by
Published: October 17, 2006 at 11:09 AM

Reviving the rumor. From Mugglenet.com:

"After months of negotiations, JK Rowling has, according to a new report, signed a letter of intent to the Walt Disney Company allowing them to carry out preliminary construction on a theme park with Harry Potter characters. Although a letter of intent isn't legally-binding, it is "a serious intent to carry out certain business activities." The company is hoping for a definitive response from Jo on the situation by next summer."

For the record, Mugglenet is probably the biggest and most reliable Potter site on the net.

There have been rumors and wishful thinking scenarios about this for years, but now, it looks like it's really going down.

As a Harry Potter nut and a Disney freak, I am ecstatic. BUT...

Where will this park sit? How in depth will it go? Will it end up as a whole park or just a ride at Disney Studios, Orlando?

So many questions...so many possibilities.

Tell me you'll be able to be sorted and stay at Hogwarts in the dormatories. Tell me you'll be able to shop Diagon Alley and Hogsmead. Tell me they'll have Quidditch.

This is awesome.

[Editor's note: This has been a persistent rumor in the past, fed even by Universal at one point. See a previous Blog Flume entry for details.]

Readers' Opinions

From Chris P. on October 17, 2006 at 11:59 AM
It would be awesome if they had a Hogmsmeade themed area or a Chamber of Secrets 4D show.

I agree that Mugglenet is very reliable and by far my favorite Potter site, but they post things even if it wasn't from a reliable source , and usually if the news was wrong, they would say so later when they recieve more info.

This story WAS false, Mugglenet posted news shortly after saying that Jo signing a letter of intent is false.

From Greg Shilton on October 17, 2006 at 1:17 PM
False?

Lame, I got my hopes up for nothing. The whole potter-dorms style hotels is genius, and an entire park themed after it would make me cry with joy. But, I digress.

Curse you false hope.

From Robert Niles on October 17, 2006 at 1:36 PM
Here's a better archived discussion thread about Disney and a Harry Potter theme park attraction.

The questions I posed in that thread, more than three years ago, remain unanswered: Why would a deal, so wanted by so many fans and theme park businesses, remain undone? What must J.K. Rowling have against theme parks?!?

From Anthony Murphy on October 17, 2006 at 2:02 PM
Strange!

I thought Warner Brothers had rights to Harry Potter.

Now what park would it go into?

Do I see Beastly Kingdom making a comeback>?

From Erik Yates on October 17, 2006 at 2:05 PM
I was always of the understanding that disney has the rights to any and all theme park rights as well as broadcast rights to Harry Potter. It was also my understanding that she has final say as to what the attraction or park may be, which leads me to believe that they havent shown her a satisfactory idea. Of course, she could just be nitpicky...After all, its been almost two full years since book 6, the movies are catching up.
From Scott Seal on October 17, 2006 at 3:13 PM
If cussing were allowed on these boards, I'd quote my favorite Adam Sandler line. The line from Big Daddy when they tell him breakfast ended at 10:30. It starts with "Awwwww..." and then that is directly followed by a slang term for horse maneur.

I'm very angry now. Not only because I look like an idiot for jumping the gun and then having a story blow up in my face (I feel like a CNN reporter) but also because this isn't going down.

NOW, a Potter park wouldn't have great legs...there's nothing you can add to it over time, and so it's not a good idea, but it would have been around long enough for me to visit and stay in the dungeons of Slytherin.

But alas, no Quidditch ride.

From Erik Yates on October 17, 2006 at 4:33 PM
Unlike a FOX news reporter, who's always fair and balanced....cough.....to the extreme right.

It would have the imagination of many kids to stand on. How many things were in the books that werent in the movie? How many other things have people come up with while making their own Harry Potter fanfics? Its a really good idea for a park...though I wouldnt call it "Harry Potter Land" or anything lame like that. See disney heads, thats real magic. The ability to see past the boundaries of movies or books and go into lands only mentioned, and some not even thought of by the authors and filmmakers. Would they truly be Harry Potter? No, but then again not really any of Prince's songs from the Batman soundtrack were really in the movie either.

From scott lindsey on October 17, 2006 at 7:25 PM
i like the idea but why not lotr or something else or indy flims or the comic books or bruce lee or indy books or one on corptions in general it would be great to due one on the theme park or the tour de france or the nfl
From Anthony Murphy on October 18, 2006 at 9:18 AM
What's wrong with creating ideas based upon a book? Everybody has done it that way. Shrek? Yes a book, Jurassic Park, a book, Tom Sawyer Island, a book, Cinderella, a book (or story)

So nobody has a extremly unique idea when it comes to theme park attractions or anything else! Personally, I could care less if Harry Potter comes to Disney. Does anybody remember what happened to Goosebumps and Ace Ventura?


Though Harry Potter Rides would be really cool anyway. It would also make JK Rowling rich!!!

From Chris P. on October 18, 2006 at 12:07 PM
^She's already rich enough as it is. She doesnt need more money.
From TH Creative on October 19, 2006 at 8:05 AM
Scott Lindsey writes: i like the idea but why not lotr or something else or indy flims

I respond: When you said "indy films" I first thought you meant "independent films" -- which made me wonder what a Viewaskew themepark would be like.

(Shudder ...)

From TH Creative on October 19, 2006 at 8:07 AM
I picture a Main Street kind of entrance with a Mooby's and a Quick Stop
From James Adams on October 19, 2006 at 1:05 PM
Disney doesn't deal with anyone unless they can have complete and utter control over everything and their really cheap. Both of which are probably not very attractive to a professional like Rowling. Look at Star Tours and how Disney was let that ride age very poorly. Rowling's no dummy - she knows Disney will "muggle" it up.

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