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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood, but when?

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Published: December 6, 2011 at 4:01 PM
Universal Studios Hollywood officially announced this morning the arrival of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in California, though park officials provided few details of when and what that might be.

One fact is confirmed, though: USH's Wizarding World will include Hogwarts Castle, and there's more to come at the original Wizarding World in Orlando, too.

"We have brought the world of themed entertainment to a new level with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter," said Tom Williams, Chairman and CEO of Universal Parks and Resorts. He said that the Wizarding World would be "greatly expanded" in Orlando, "We're going to build upon the fantastic experience we have there."

Butterbeer toast

Williams joined California Governor Jerry Brown, Universal Studios President Ron Meyer, Warner Bros. Chairman Barry Meyer and Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky in a Butterbeer toast to the new land. The Weasley twins from the Harry Potter films, James and Oliver Phelps also were on hand for the announcement.

Weasley twins

"The Harry Potter books and films are among the most powerful stories of our time," said Ron Meyer. "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando is setting a new standard -- We'll take the same approach as we bring Hogwarts to Hollywood."

Gov. Jerry Brown

Governor Brown said that California is a "mythical place" and that "we have some tough times, but the movie industry gives us hope. We are truly a 'state' of imagination, and this Harry Potter project pushes us just further down that uncertain road where California is going."

Speaking of uncertainty, there were no question from the press during the scripted event so several questions remain unanswered about the project at this point:
- When will it open?
- What rides, shows, shops and restaurants will it include?
- What will it replace in the current Universal Studios Hollywood theme park?

Given that a Hogwarts Castle will be the centerpiece of the new development, it's hard to imagine that Universal would build the Wizarding World on the Lower Lot of the park. (Why put a castle in a valley?) So that would suggest that the Wizarding World would go somewhere on the park's Upper Lot, such as replacing either the Gibson Amphitheater or Terminator 2: 3-D attraction, as Robert suggested in a post earlier this year.

Update: Here are video highlights of the announcement:

Readers' Opinions

From James Rao on December 6, 2011 at 4:21 PM
Thanks for the update, Laurie, but be careful...if you continue to do such a good job Robert will have to find a new gig! :)
From Deidre Dennis on December 6, 2011 at 4:48 PM
Very excited for this parks patrons. Had no plans to go back to California but with Transformers and now this coming in the future, might have to make a special trip.
From Manny Barron on December 6, 2011 at 5:28 PM
Fantastic news. Can't wait to hear more info on this.
From 216.103.147.72 on December 6, 2011 at 6:19 PM
DON'T tear down the best (indoor) concert venue in So Cal for Harry Potter! PLEASE find somewhere else to build it... (many people have been working there for 20+ years & it would be an absolute shame)
From 82.9.117.19 on December 7, 2011 at 7:59 AM
Pretty awful news, tbh.

And who else is getting bored with the Weasleys going to the opening of an envelope every few days? Jeez, they need new agents.

From Anon Mouse on December 7, 2011 at 8:28 AM
Disappointed. Nothing to tell us how they will put the Wizarding World in the park. Mixed messages too with regarding how they will develop the other 200 acres. If they do intend to develop the untouched land, why would they need to raze the Gibson Theater?

The Hogwart castle and Hogsmeade Village should be developed deep in the undeveloped portion of the Studios Tour as a third land (besides the Upper and Lower Lots). It is best to keep people staying longer. Otherwise, you get into park at the Upper Lot and the Harry Potter attractions are right there. You enter and immediate leave upon getting your satisfaction. (I suppose this already happening in Orlando so Universal is fixing it by opening the London counterpart in the Studios park.)

From Manny Rodriguez on December 7, 2011 at 4:25 PM
Watched the news today it was about phase 2 of WWoHP and the news even talked about that jaws was closing and that a hogwarts express was going in jaws but they said that it was a rumor but the lead guy for orlando Attraction mag I personally cant see that can anybody explain how this would work our
From Manny Barron on December 7, 2011 at 6:28 PM
So I'm guessing that WaterWorld is more than likely in its last few months if it is true that the Gibson will be taken down and Harry Potter will be in that section of the park. I'm guessing once Transformers opens Water World may close down. We can only speculate now until we hear concrete details of the land.
From Tim Hillman on December 9, 2011 at 4:22 AM
Yeah, James and Oliver Phelps should fire that miserable agent who gets them a few thousand dollars for just showing up for half a day and hoisting butterbeers and posing for pictures with fans. Instead, he should let them focus on their waitstaff and construction careers like the rest of the struggling actors in Hollywood and London.

The nerve of the man!

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