The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood, but when?
Published: December 6, 2011 at 4:01 PM
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."
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.
"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."
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: