The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter comes to Universal Orlando
Its official, Harry Potter is coming to Universal Orlando, more specifically he is coming to Islands of Adventure
in his own 20 acre Island, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
. Universal Orlando Resort, and Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc. are partnering to bring a completely immersive and interactive area that is second to none to the Florida theme park.
“We will rely on our company’s rich movie heritage and expertise in transforming film concepts into theme park entertainment experiences,” said Ron Meyer, president and COO, Universal Studios. “The Harry Potter stories are among the most compelling of our time. The millions of people who have read the books and seen the movies will now be able to experience the world of Harry Potter in person.”
Inspired the stories by J.K.Rowling, the area will immerse visitors in the world of Harry Potter an allow them to visit such area as Hogsmeade,the Forbidden Forrest, and even Hogswart Castle.
The area is expected to open in 2009, and will include several attractions, shops and resturants that bring the stories to life, as well as a new state of the art attraction that will bring the characters to life in a way that fans have never seen before.
This rumor has been going on for the better part of a year [here, too], and has raised several questions on where the land will go. While it is still unclear, it looks as if some speculation is correct, that part of the Lost Continent area will become Harry Potter. Rides such as Flying Unicorn, and Dueling Dragons will be renamed and rethemed while areas such as Sinbad, Poseidon and Mythos will remain untouched. While this is not official, it does have many fans of the park breathing a sigh of relief, especially since Mythos has been voted "Best Theme Park Resturant" four years in a row beginning in 2002 by Theme Park Insider.
The entire project is expected to be complete in 2010. [Check out TPI readers' plans for a Harry Potter theme park from four years ago.]
Update: See http://media.universalorlando.com/harrypotter/ for Universal's press release and handout art as well as the anouncement webcast.
Freakin awesome...finally! No more speculations, just facts. I'll be looking forward to seeing these new additions. I'm excited!!!! Even though i would've preferred a Lord of the Rings Island, Harry Potter is really not that bad.
I personally question the timing of this announcement. Blue Man Group opens next week. No one is going to care. They all want to know about Harry Potter. I think they jumped the gun on this, and should have waited until the last book came out at least. I'm happy that they announced it, but from a marketing and PR standpoint.....its got to be a nightmare. Lets promote our newest show thats opening NOW, all the while fielding questions about the new attraction. I feel bad for the PR folks....."Yes Harry Potter is coming, but BMG is here."
I'm going out on a limb and guessing that this means Harry won't die when the last book comes out next month. :-)
I don't know. I mean I'm sure it IS going to steal some of BMG's thunder. But at the same time, the speculation has been so deep for so long, I'm sure they just got tired of it and decided "Alright, we need to just go ahead and tell everyone what we're doing so the rumors will stop."
Hey, Robert made a good point that i didnt even realize...there's no way there going to kill off Harry now. It will probably be Ron, Germaine(sorry about the spelling), or Hagrad(bad spelling there too huh?) I am also glad that very few things in the lost continent are being rethemed. Dueling dragons castle will most likely be Hogwarts, and the actual coasters could have something to do with a Quidditch match. Anyone else have thoughts about what they could do with this new development?
Well, it's good to know that they're finally going to do something big at IOA.
I'm curious how they're going to have those two rides PHYSICALLY incorporated into the HP island... unless they the actually MOVE them to the new island or reroute the waterways in the park. It seems like it would damage the whole point of the park's set-up if one theme's attractions spanned over two islands. But whatever, I'm sure they have already considered that.
Interesting stuff, but I am still concerned about the space needed for this project. Does Universal have it? Also, from the press, it sounds like it going to be huge, but the area makes it sound smaller. This would do well in an area as big as Jurassic park since it seems that they are building more or less of the same thing! (Buildings, forrest areas, etc)
Too bad Six Flags did not grab this theme. Seeing that they already have several Warner Bros characters in their parks. Of course, does SF really have the tools and whereabouts to create a lavishly and well themed area? No. They would just build a ride in a parking lot and color it close to HP and stick a sign on it.
"Rides such as Flying Unicorn, and Dueling Dragons will be renamed and rethemed while areas such as Sinbad, Poseidon and Mythos will remain untouched."
If you got to orlandosentinel.com you will see all the information you need to answer some of the questions being asked. It is currently their leading story. Obviously they are not disclosing everything just yet, but it does answer some questions that are being asked in this forum.
The concept art looks pretty amazing but do they have room for all of this? I was under the impression they had used up most of their land. I still think it would have been better if they started on this project years ago since by the time the land is actually opened, Potter mania won't nearly be as big. Anyway, I'm really excited to see what Disney's response will be too. It would be pretty hard for them to ignore something of this size.
I don't think "Potter Mania" dying down is going to affect anything. It's an enduring series and a multi-billion dollar industry in and of itself.
I was hoping the Harry Potter Park would be in Disney World...a far better park that would be able to pull out all stops
I agree with Erik, the timing is off, but a correction to the opening of Blue Man Group. They are starting shows beginning with June 1 as preview shows, or probably to them better known as some more dress rehearsals. Personally, bringing Blue Man to Orlando, cool idea, but to crush it by announcing HP coming to IOA was a bad move. I haven't really heard much Blue Man Group talk around here locally to begin with and this will just crush it some more.
Well they were certainly at the forefront of ride-technology and design with Spider-Man.
Im excited they're changin IOA. I think the themes will be sick. I like the Harry Potter books and I'm sure it will help the park but for how long...Yea there are themes that are outdated, but for a whole section (instead of one ride like splash mountain) is a little risky.
OK, then look at it this way.
I guess most of you arent taking my advice to go orlandosnetinel.com. To answer the question about where are they going to get the space from...they are expanding thru the employee parking lot and park support outside the back fence. There is no need to have it completely take over another "island". It will be a 20-acre island and some of it comes from the already there lost continent. No worries people! I actually think Universal knows what its doing, cha-ching for them. Believe me, this will be a hit. Again, read the article.
I don't mean to poop on anyones party, but I hate Harry Potter. Most of the people I know in the entire northern half of the midwest hate it, so I have a feeling that this area will stink.
You my friend are in a very small majority, I think some people are putting way to much focus on if Harry will last, or if Harry will be a hit. It is a themed area that even for people who have never heard of Harry Potter will be impressed with. This is only a good thing since it will once again spark up things between Disney and Universal which is always good for us, the park patrons.
amen to that brian!
I have to agree - by not liking Harry Potter, you are definitely in the minority. And I wasn't trying to say that the section wouldn't be popular, I just think it would have been better to open it earlier. For instance, how much more exciting would it have been if they opened it this July alongside the last book and 5th movie?
The most frustrating aspect of the entire concept is the idea of retheming Dueling Dragons. In my opinion, the theming and queue are the most original and detailed of any ride in the industry. Rather than retheme Dueling Dragons, it seems like with this ride in particular, only a few small modifications or additions to the queue are needed to fit it in with the Harry Potter theme. Other than that, however, I think that Harry Potter is going to be an amazing addition to an already awesome theme park.
From the original post...
Thanks for the AR Bruce. I was rushing to get this out, and did not aim for perfection, obviously....and the real funny thing...no one seemed to care :)
Honestly, I hadn't noticed any mistakes. And Erik was right - it is the "Forbidden" Forest.
Universal. Harry Potter. Small 20 acre land. Who knows what could happen? I personally hope we could get a dark ride with broomstick style vehicles that takes a tour through Hogwarts, with some (ahem) unexpected twists along the way. But a quiditch roller coaster would be totally awesome. You know what would be even better? A state of the art virtual reality experience that simulates the flight of a Quiditch match. Now that would rock my world.
Well, I kind of agree about the BMG theory, however, you need to buy tickets to that in advance. I can guarantee they have a summers worth of ticket sales on them already. They are only a limited time thing.
p.s. i didnt read all of the things going on in the comments here as i dont have time. but upon reading the last one... everything seems like speculation. here is something more solid for you all to look at...
Not to be picky, but Universal doesnt own Aquatica, Sea World does.Blue Man Group is a permanent show, much like Cirque Du Soleil is at Downtown Disney. And the rumors have been around for a while about Harry Potter taking over The Lost Continent, as IOA does not have a whole lot of land, and The Lost Continent deals with the same content as Harry Potter does, so it wouldnt make any sense to have two lands that are themed in a similar fashion. It would make sense that they would take over Lost Continent to make room for Harry Potter. Thats one thing I agree with the Sentinnel about, as I've heard that from several people who work for Universal, especially in the Lost Continent area.
im just going by the official annyouncements I heard yesterday. i didnt say they made sense. lol
If people who don't like Harry Potter are in the minority, then I guess you can add me to the list as well. I never liked it to begin with. I still think it's a franchise on it's last leg. The last book comes out soon, and then what? The guy who played Harry in the movies was laughably older than the character he was playing in the last movie. If the franchise continues on it's path, than it will be forgotten by the time IOA completes the project. My point is this. The name Harry Potter won't make the project, the quality of the attractions will.
I love when people equate their own opinions with that of the general public. Come on, what does the last book coming out and the movie series winding down have to do with anything? Despite the age of both series now (the movies and the books) they are both more popular that ever right now. And it seems farily likely that that popularity will remain intact. It's been decades since the LOTR books were published and years since the last movie. Does that mean that people have forgotten about either? It's been close to a century since Baum's Wizard of Oz books were published and almost 3/4 of a century since the classic movie. Does that mean that people have forgotten about it? What about classic fairy tales? What about the works of Lewis Carroll or Jules Verne or Arthur Conan Doyle? The Harry Potter series is this time's equivalent to those. Classics of storytelling, adventure, fantasy and literature.
A quick additional note. The actor's ages are irrelevant. The principles are (on average) about 2 years older than the characters they are playing. What's the big deal? Teenagers have been routinely played by people in their 20s and even 30s since the dawn of Hollywood. Did people complain that Sarah Michelle Gellar was in her mid twenties playing a high school senior on Buffy? Or that Stockard Channing was 33 when she played a high school student in Grease? The HP actors are actually closer to their characters ages than is the norm for Hollywood. So what is the issue there?
We love Universal so any new attraction is welcomed. This gives us another reason to go back to Orlando for another fantastic vacation. Can’t wait!!!! Thx for keeping us informed.
The idea that Potter is on its last legs is so ridiculous. Some of the Marvel Characters are 40 plus years old, that doesn't seem so stop them form being popular. I honestly could care less if they were making a island themed with teletubbies as long as its done right and has some great rides I am in. We should all be happy that they are making this investment in the parks period.
I can see why some people would think that Harry Potter is on its last leg, because everything is close to ending. However, I think Potter has more than just the stories in the books and the movies going for it. Harry Potter is a world filled with all kinds of different things, and I can see several different spinoffs happening in that world. Its like Star Wars, it created a whole universe....most of which was created by fans. One of the most popular star wars comics deals nothing with the Star Wars we know, but the way two characters mess things up and kind of influence the way things turn out. Add to that the fact that two games having nothing to do with skywalkers, kenobi's or yoda have been two of the best selling games of all time. This shows that if done properly, Harry Potter can be a huge success for Universal. It doesnt even have to do anything with the books or the movies, but something that goes along with that world. Dragons happen in Harry Potter's world, so Dueling Dragons would fit. Unicorns happen in Harry Potters World, so Flying Unicorn would fit. Its way to soon to call this a success or a failure. But everyone thus far is on the right path....its going to take more than just some new paint and new names for existing rides that have a harry potter sticker on it to make a section a success.
I said from the start that a re-themeing of duelling dragons into harry potter would be easy.
I was just looking at Google Earth and trying to see where this new land would go, and I can't see how its going to fit. I know they will make it work and look great but they really are going to have to take a lot of the lost continent with it. From what I can tell DD is almost going to have to be the center of the new island. I can see the employee parking lot they are talking about but I am having trouble seeing how they are going to integrate what's already there with what's going to be new. Its very interesting and I recommend you all take a look. I can't see how they will keep that side of the park open while this is going on. I wish I was a fly on the wall right now so I could see things as they are being planned.
This is totally heresay, but a friend of mine who works for disney said that within a month they will announce plans for Narnia at MGM, and a big expansion at AK....Beastly Kingdom.whoever said it earlier seems to have hit it dead on the head.
I could see a new Narnia attraction (the one they have now is basically pointless, a trailer and a few costumes). I'd love to see Beastly Kingdom develop off of AK, with Everest as its flagship attraction, obviously.
WELL I AM A VERY BIG FAN OF UNIVERSAL ORLANDO AND WANT TO WORK AT UNIVERSAL CREATIVE WHEN I GROW UP I LOVE THE FACT THAT HARRY POTTER FITS RIGHT IN WITH THE LOST CONTINENT AND I LOVE THE LOST CONTINENT. KNOWING UNIVERSAL THEY PROBABLY WILL NOT RE THEME THE DUELING DRAGONS BUT WHAT IM THINKING IS THEY MIGHT PUT SOME OF THE HARRY POTTER WORLD WERE THE JURASSIC PARK SECTION IS I JUST HOPE THEY DONT GET RID OF THE GOOD SHOWS LIKE THE 8TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD AND PIOSIDENS FURRRY. BUT IN THE PIOSIDENS FURRY RIDE A GOODSHOW TO PUT IN THERE WOULD BE THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS. I LOVE UN IVERSAL ORLANDOS UPCOMING ATTRACTIONS BUT I DONT LIKE THE SIMPSONS! PLEASE RESPOND TO MY COMMENT.
I LOOKED OM GOOGLE MAP AND COULDNT FIND ANY LAND EITHER.
I continue to be amazed at the different perspectives from people in regards to this Harry Potter themed "island" coming. I say GO FOR IT... just another excuse to take a vacation to see and try something new. I don't understand why it has to be EITHER Disney OR Universal. We went to WDW last June and made Univeral and SeaWorld part of our trip. I thoroughly enjoyed all the parks and all cast members at all parks were great. I'm excited when any of the parks build new attractions, as it's another excuse to take a trip and probably see something really cool.
Hmm... I'm surprised I'm the first one to get truly geeky and compared the publicity art with aerial photos. Obviously, their plans might change, and it's always just an impression anyway, but if we're going on the idea that the art is accurate, then the following things can be deduced:
2009 is a long ways off. Things can change, and plans will be announced. Until then, sit tight, and dont get pick the bogey flavored Berty Bott Bean.
I just saw the First picture in the comments a few comments back and No, dueling dragons did not have the extra line queue outside the castle. Flying Unicorn does look a lot more complicated and i hope that it is. Even my niece thinks that coaster is boring, and she's scared of everything. I am very impressed with the artwork. This is going to be an awesome Island.
IOA has been my favorite theme park since my first visit there in 2000. The one flaw has been that Universal has added nothing significant since then so I couldn't be happier about the new Harry Potter island. As long as they keep the theming and entertainment level at the level the rest of the park enjoys, I'm sure I'll be thrilled.
Iris - Duelling Dragons has a huge outside Queue. As you enter the castle take a look over to the left, its really massive and winds back & forth. I've foten looked at it and wondered if it was ever used! The ropes are still up. I have never seen it used and I have never seen the queue reach outside of the Castle...
I've seen the DD queue get filled completely up during HHN. It was all the way back to the beginning, and all the way in the back of the queue. Thats like a 3 hour wait. Simply insane.
Look, I'm thrilled that IOA is finally putting some money on the table to compete. I'm sure that the finished product will look impeccable, and the rides will be themed flawlessly. What I'm saying is this. If this is the last book, and the last movie is coming out shortly, then what will be done to keep the franchise going? There's no denying that Harry Potter is a widely popular moneymaking machine, as were boybands, and beanie babies, and Jurassic Park, and Star Wars, and the Macarena, and a million other franchises that have existed for a period of time. The ones that survive are the ones that stay fresh. If Harry Potter wants to stay fresh for another 3 years until IOA opens it up, than more will have to be done.
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