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Harry Potter's Going to Disney World?

Walt Disney World: Has Disney wrapped up the theme park rights to Harry Potter? One source says that Universal Orlando's president, Bob Gault, recently told Universal employees just that.

From T.Holland Creative
Posted July 12, 2003 at 3:41 PM
Every once in awhile Universal Orlando President Bob Gault holds a “Lunch with Bob” question and answer session. Middle and upper management types sit around and pepper Mr. Gault with questions regarding various projects and ideas. Mr. Gault responds and then assigns people to follow up on promising suggestions

On Thursday, July 3rd, Mr. Gault hosted one such question and answer session. The minutes from the meeting were circulated among various personnel at Uninersal Orlando.

While there were several interesting questions, Gault’s answer to one particular inquiiry was especially notable.

Question: Has Universal pursued ‘Lord of the Rings’ or Harry Potter?

Gaults’ answer: “Disney has Harry Potter wrapped up. We will check into ‘Lord of the Rings.’”

Huh?! Disney has Harry Potter “wrapped up?”

Can this be true? Is it possible? Of course Disney (ABC) owns the network television broadcast rights to ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ – a deal that allegedly cost Disney around $100 million.

The only time I have heard of a Potter presence at a theme park was in the Movieworld Park (I think) in Australia. Of course, Potter is a Warner Brothers property and may show up in one of their parks – although I have never heard anything about any attractions planned by Warner.

Now we all know Harry Potter stands as the most lucrative entertainment franchise of the last five years. J.K. Rowling’s books and the related licensing and films have generated more than a billion dollars in gross revenues. Those who have read the books know that Rowling’s stories would present any qualified theme park designer with a myriad of opportunities to create some of the world’s most popular attractions and/or shows. Imagine the number of families that would line up to have their children’s photo taken with Harry, Hermione and Ron.

Of course, I recognize that there are those who may believe Mr. Gault is wrong and that Disney does not have the theme park rights to the Potter franchise. They may believe that the President of Universal Orlando doesn’t know what he is talking about.

But considering the popularity of the Potter franchise, I have NO DOUBT that every major theme park has inquired about the rights to create Potter attractions. If Universal did this, it should surprise no one that the President of the company would know if his number one rival has acquired said rights.

Regardless of what you may conclude the fact remains, as indicated in the meeting minutes, Mr. Gault’s EXACT WORDS were: “Disney has Harry Potter wrapped up.”

If Disney actually has theme park rights “wrapped up” that can only be regarded as an EXTRAORDINARY ACHIEVEMENT.


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Robert Niles
Posted July 12, 2003 at 3:42 PM
I'm having trouble imagining a scenario in which a company would get such an important deal wrapped up and wouldn't announce it immediately. So my initial reaction is to suspect that a deal is not yet "wrapped up," though there are certainly a number of possibilities where Rowling's publisher could be in exclusive negotiations with a certain party (such as Disney), thereby keeping other parties (such as Universal) out of the game for now. I would love to be at such a meeting and have the chance for several follow-up questions.

Yes, Harry Potter is *the* entertainment franchise right now. So it is highly curious that no deal's been made to date. Makes me wonder if Jo Rowling has some aversion to theme parks. Or, more interestingly, if some future plot development will be set in a theme park or something like that, making the presence of a real Harry Potter attraction somewhat silly or otherwise inappropriate.

Who knows? But I still want a ride on the broomstick Quidditch coaster.

From T.Holland Creative
Posted July 12, 2003 at 4:16 PM
Thank you Mr. Niles for your gracious response.

YOU WRITE: I'm having trouble imagining a scenario in which a company would get such an important deal wrapped up and wouldn't announce it immediately.

I RESPOND: I agree with you on that. To take it a bit further, if Disney has the Potter themepark rights, I have to believe that word would have leaked.

Having said that, however, there is one thing we know for certain. Bob Gault, the President of Universal, has made it clear that the reason Universal is not pursuing theme park rights for the Potter franchise is because they are no longer available.

That means, even if it's not Disney somebody does indeed have the Potter theme park rights "wrapped up."

That alone is VERY VERY INTERESTING!

From Robert Niles
Posted July 12, 2003 at 10:03 PM
Of course, given the Potter series sales, perhaps we are jumping to an erroneous conclusion in assuming that Disney has Potter wrapped up. Maybe Rowling has *Disney* wrapped up at this point. By the time the seventh book's out, she'll be able to afford it!

From Brian Greer
Posted July 13, 2003 at 5:52 AM
With the kind of 'gag orders' and restrictive covenants surrounding this book series, it is certainly plausible that a deal has been made and will be kept under wraps until such time as J.K. Rowling has determined would be appropriate to announce the deal (ie, perhaps not until the final books are published, or some other arbitrary date/time).

From Robert Niles
Posted July 13, 2003 at 11:25 AM
Again, just speculating here, but what time is more appropriate than now? It's not like Potter, Inc. has held back on the toys, merchandise, movies or other tie-ins. Why have theme parks been left out the mix? As T. Holland indicated, it is not as if there hasn't been any demand.

I'm left with five possibilities:

1) Warner Bros. has plans to get back into the theme park biz, and wants to keep the Harry Potter rights as the franchise to launch its parks.

2) Rowling doesn't like theme parks and doesn't want anything to do with them.

3) There is some forthcoming plot element involving theme parks that would make the presence of a real Harry Potter attraction in one somehow inappropriate. Or, flip it the opposite way...

4) Potter, Inc. doesn't want anything permanent built depicting Diagon Alley, Hogwarts, Quidditch, etc. because future plot developments could make their physical depiction somehow inappropriate.

5) Potter, Inc. recognizes how badly everyone else wants Harry in their parks, and is holding out for a better offer -- which could include more cash, as well as marketing commitments and even creative control.

To me, four and five make the most sense. Four could be compatible with Disney, or another company, having a deal wrapped up -- but being unable to proceed with it until we know what people, places and themes ultimately will survive in the Harry Potter universe. Five could be compatible with the report of Gault's comments if what Disney has "wrapped up" is an exclusive negotiating period, rather than a final deal.

Personally, while I find option five believable, I find option four the more fascinating: What (or who) is gonna go in books six and seven?

From T.Holland Creative
Posted July 13, 2003 at 2:33 PM
MR. NILES WRITES: Why have theme parks been left out the mix? As T. Holland indicated, it is not as if there hasn't been any demand.

I RESPOND: Just imagine the line to get your picture taken with Harry!

MR. NILES WRITES: Warner Bros. has plans to get back into the theme park biz, and wants to keep the Harry Potter rights as the franchise to launch its parks.

I RESPOND: Remember, it takes two or more years to develop a major, gate-crashing attraction. If Warner were to start work today guests would not be able to ride it until 2005 (or later).

MR. NILES WRITES: Rowling doesn't like theme parks and doesn't want anything to do with them.

I RESPOND: She let one exhibit open in Autralia. Plus, let's be honest, she hasn't been THAT picky about how her characters are being used. Have you seen the volume of licensed Potter products? Finally, I find it difficult to believe that she would deny her fans a chance to visit Hogwart's.

MR NILES WRITES: There is some forthcoming plot element involving theme parks that would make the presence of a real Harry Potter attraction in one somehow inappropriate. Or, flip it the opposite way...

I RESPOND: That's a remarkablly creative answer. Imagine Harry battling Voldemort in Orlando. :o)

MR. NILES WRITES: Potter, Inc. doesn't want anything permanent built depicting Diagon Alley, Hogwarts, Quidditch, etc. because future plot developments could make their physical depiction somehow inappropriate.

I RESPOND: Considering the gazillions of dollars Potter Inc. would be turning down that would be one helluva plot twist! :o)

MR. NILES WRITES: Potter, Inc. recognizes how badly everyone else wants Harry in their parks, and is holding out for a better offer -- which could include more cash, as well as marketing commitments and even creative control.

I RESPOND: Clearly that is a viable scenario.

There is a sixth sceario. That is that Disney paid Warner an Rowlings a stipend for first rights to development. Meaning that they have paid a few million for the right to match any offer made to develop a attraction. In this way Warner's gets money for nothing (probably a lot of it) and Disney prevents another company from obtaining rights.


To me, four and five make the most sense. Four could be compatible with Disney, or another company, having a deal wrapped up -- but being unable to proceed with it until we know what people, places and themes ultimately will survive in the Harry Potter universe. Five could be compatible with the report of Gault's comments if what Disney has "wrapped up" is an exclusive negotiating period, rather than a final deal.

Personally, while I find option five believable, I find option four the more fascinating: What (or who) is gonna go in books six and seven?

From Pat Cronin
Posted July 14, 2003 at 8:18 AM
My understanding of the situation is this;
JK Rowling has agreed a complicated deal with Disney - which nets her an extraordinary amount of money.
There are also a few complicated reasons as to why no announcement has been made.
Ms Rowling retains full say and final approval regarding type of attraction, method of marketing and as importantly - initial timescales. (Believe me, nothing will be announced until JK says so, otherwise various penalty clauses will be invoked)
But my best guess (based on some inside knowledge) is that the first announcement will come just before book 6, with the first attraction being ready as book 7 is launched.
More amazingly, is that Disney have drawn up a number of ideas/options but haven't yet decided which park should have the attraction first !!!

From T.Holland Creative
Posted July 14, 2003 at 10:51 AM
Pat,

Your assertions are pretty "general." What you describe in your post is a very typical licensing arrangement that is standard for any attraction. Perhaps you could give us a source for your information.

Further, Ms. Rowlings' participation in the development of Potter projects is often exaggerated. Example: She never (not once) visited the set during production of the second film. She acknowledged that last fall -- explaining that she corresponded with Steve Kloves (screenwriter) by emails. Hell, she doesn't even have a say about when her books are released. She gets paid for writing the books. But Bloomsbury and Scholastic have complete control over when the books will be put on the shelves.

I still find it extraordinarily mind-boggling that -- regardless of contractual obligations to keep things quiet -- word has not leaked about this story. Clearly Mr. Gault's comment that Disney has Potter "wrapped up" may well be accurate. And if that is true, it would be a HUGE achievement for Disney and its much malligned CEO.

From Marc-André Routhier
Posted July 14, 2003 at 1:42 PM
Hello Everyone!

I will probably surprise everyone here but I don't think that Potter is a good thing for Disney. As incredible as it sounds I will try to make my point to you.

1- Opinion : Disney is trying to secure Potter not to help them grow their brand equity but to prevent others from getting it. This brand, “Potter”, is a direct competitor to the magical segment Disney used to be the best at. Bringing in Potter is a way to dilute the Disney brand but also a way to protect a competitor from having tools to work in the same segment. If this is true, this proves once again the inability of the company to create magical stories and their dependency on outside resources. Walt would be pissed of. He loved complete control. He wouldn’t believe he needs to negotiate with an outsider to get a good story…….

2- Potter is not assured to be a classic. Although it is a very successful story what guarantee do we have it will last forever? We though Star wars would last forever. It lasted a generation. It is not hot anymore. Imagine a complete land based on Star wars and Luke SkyWalker. I predict that when the next big magical story will be out, everyone will rush to it and leave Potter behind. Guests will want new lands and rides.

2- Disney lands are not based on a character or a story but on a theme. To create a land dedicated to Potter is dangerous. It limits you to the story.

3- Disney is attacking it's own brand by bringing Potter in it's theme parks. The mouse has less and less place. Buzz, Harry, Nemo,... In a few generations, what amount of attachment will there be between the public and the mouse?

3- Harry is changing the vision of the magical world Disney had (Princesses, Prince, love story, beautiful castles). Hoggwart compete with Cinderella Castle which is the symbol of Disney theme parks. Why would you cannibalize your own brand?

4- Finally, this strategy would only confirm the new identity of Disney : A STORY DISTRIBUTOR. Picking up what's hot on the market and making rides, movies and books and distribute them in their network. It’s not a problem but a fundamental change to their vocation.

Walt's vision was way different then that. He was a great fan of history. He wanted to celebrate the past and the myths and envision the future. Now the Disney organisation is trying to please crowds instead of pursuing the vision. To me it is exactly the same as the Universal strategy. Using hot ticket movies and making rides based on them. This will get them to the wrong place.

PS: Unfortunately the language barrier prevents me from offering you a clearer explanation. I intend to reformulate soon. Sorry for that

Marc-André Routhier, Montréal Canada

From T.Holland Creative
Posted July 14, 2003 at 4:52 PM
Responding to Marc-André Routhier

I RESPOND: First of all a good chunk of your response assumes that Disney would put Harry in the Magic Kingdom. I would assume that the attraction would go in Disney/MGM Studios – and would be no more detrimental than having Indiana Jones, Star Wars and the Muppets.

YOU WRITE: Potter is not assured to be a classic.

I RESPOND: Good God, sir! What exactly is your definition of “classic?” ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ boasts the largest first edition printing of any piece of fiction ever. It’s breaking all kinds of sales records. Check out the current New York Times best sellers list under children’s paperback fiction. The first four Potter books currently hold spots 1, 2, 3 and 4 (!!) . This series is not a fad by any means

YOU WRITE: We though Star Wars would last forever. It lasted a generation. It is not hot anymore.

I RESPOND: Oh please! The five Star Wars films earned a combined $1.8 billion dollars. All five are in the top 20 all time highest grossing films ever. The last Star Wars film grossed $300 million. That’s not hot anymore?

YOU WRITE: Disney lands are not based on a character or a story but on a theme. To create a land dedicated to Potter is dangerous. It limits you to the story.

I RESPOND: I agree. But then I doubt Harry will end up at the Magic Kingdom and would more likely

YOU WRITE: Disney is attacking it's own brand by bringing Potter in it's theme parks. The mouse has less and less place. In a few generations, what amount of attachment will there be between the public and the mouse?

I RESPOND: Uh huh. And how much of a place would the mouse have if Potter opened at Universal in Orlando? What would happen if IOA devoted an island to Hogwarts? I’ll respond to my own question with a song: M-I-C…K-E-Y…S-O-L-O-N-G!

From Robert Niles
Posted July 14, 2003 at 8:10 PM
Disney could find a way to shoehorn this thing into any of its parks. Heck, Hagrid's cabin could provide a pretty nifty theme for the "Beastly Kingdom."

From Mr. Pheneix
Posted July 15, 2003 at 2:35 PM
>>>Oh please! The five Star Wars films earned a combined $1.8 billion dollars. All five are in the top 20 all time highest grossing films ever. The last Star Wars film grossed $300 million. That’s not hot anymore?<<<

Titanic grossed over $600 million. Does anyone even care about that film anymore?

The only real test of quality is time, and I don't think anyone expects the prequels to ever last as long as the original trilogy did (and this is coming from a fan that loves the original trilogy/books/games that the Star Wars saga has brought out. The prequel films were dissapointments).

Now, admittedly, Harry Potter probably isn't going to run into this problem, although it would be wiser to associate any kind of attraction in a theme park with the *books*, and not neccesarily the films (the films aren't masterpieces like the Lord of the Rings, not by a long shot).

Another thing that probably bears mentioning is that with the impending shake-up of the entertainment industry* (MGM buying Universal), all of these third-party licensing agreements going to get hairy really fast.

* And now the financial rags are reporting that Vivendi has rejected MGM's new bid, and that Barry Diller/Viacom are now thinking about making a joint bid. Oh well, the point is the same (big shake-up coming in the industry), and the potential for changes is still great. Just think if Viacom bought Universal. Now you would have the Universal parks AND the Paramount parks to be able to put new attractions in (and to make money from).

Poof! In that scenario Disney's leverage in any potential tug-of-war just got considerably smaller.

From Marc-André Routhier
Posted July 15, 2003 at 9:40 AM
Thanks Pheneix for your comments!

I would like to bring some clarifications to my earlier comments

Theme parks built on movies are exposed to the life cycle of the movie. For instance : Back to the future ride has less and less value over the years because the movie is not hot anymore. I guess we will see the same down the road with terminator, star tour,…..

If you had 500 million dollars, would you invest to build rides based on a film franchise that has less then 4 years old?

Exceptions: We can build a ride based on a movie when it is a timeless story. Cinderella will remain.

My question is the following : Will Potter be a classic enough to last forever? That's my question. If not, then it is what a call a short term business move. Meaning building a ride on the instant popularity of something. This is where Disney is making a guess. They are either guessing for the almost eternal success of the story or.... the short term gains that will be replace down the road but huge investments...

Walt has not create stories. He has in the past illustrated those stories into movies. Taking Potter is in line with what he used to do. But the main difference is that Walt would have make an animated movie and then create the ride based on it. The problem I foresee is the fact Harry is not an animated character. Meaning they will need real actors in the parks. Is this good?

I'm not saying the move is a complete mistake. No. All I’m saying is that this is a new Disney era if they go this way and I’m not sure it will bring them what they want.

MA Routhier
Montréal Canada

From Josh Huntsman
Posted July 15, 2003 at 11:00 AM
ya know, Disney World sells the books. I worked at the Tower of Terror gift shop and the books are sold there. No other theme park I've ever been to has sold any legal Harry Potter stuff.
Also. Star Wars as a passing fad? the opinion of one who knows not is not worth the zero's and one's it took to decode it on the computer.

From Marc-André Routhier
Posted July 15, 2003 at 12:23 PM
Dear Josh!

Here is another explanation.

By the way could you please express you dissatisfaction instead of demolishing my credibility? Thanks in advance.

All I meant by Star Wars getting outdated was the following

1- Everything related to the future has always been the weakest aspect of Disneyland. Tomorrowland has not been able to catch up with the future.

2- Epcot enjoy the same problems. Every time we try to make something futuristic, the very next new things takes care of the old/new. It is like the computer industry. 3 years and your computer is worth zip.

3- Star Wars X wing fighters are not as spectacular as they once were. There are tones of new more futuristic vehicles on the market.

4- If you build a park on Star Wars today, I guarantee that in 5-10 years most of everything will be obsolete. With CGI, we can liberate so much creativity that I expect much better things in the next few years that will surpass the Star Wars concept.There is no timeless classics in science fiction because it evolves. Look at Space 1999, UFO TV series...

Don't get me wrong : The movie was really good. I don't deny that. All I’m saying is that the Star Wars ride concept would not be supported by the public over a long period of time.
And because so, it would continually require huge investments be up to date. Exactly like Tomorrowland.

That’s it.


MA Routhier
Montréal Canada

From Anonymous
Posted July 15, 2003 at 4:49 PM
Dear Marc-André Routhier,

Here is an explanation for you!

Josh, T. Holland, and many others including myself see Potter in a themepark to be a positive thing.

It may be an odd concept to you that millions of people who have come to treasure and even love the characters and places potrayed in a novel that has people saying only good things about it, but trust me when i say its not.

Is Potter a fad? It very well could be. But with the release of "The Pirates of the Caribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" out, could we call this a fad too? We could just as we could to Potter. If pirates is a fad movie, is that going to stop myself and many others to experience a great attraction? I think not. I myself find Back To the future at usf to be my favorite ride.

But must a ride of Potter be based on the movies? The answer is know. The characters are illustrated in the book and that would end your claim that "they will need real actors."

I also find it quite ironic that you wrote: "By the way could you please express you dissatisfaction instead of demolishing my credibility? Thanks in advance." Now, I don't know how this would sound in Canada, but it seems to me that sounded snotty, as if you were trying to demolish his credibility? Maybe you should practice what you preach and either write to him independently instead of trying to be harmful to him on a message board.

Whoops, looks like I may of made a hurtful remark about Canada. I appologize in advace for that and therefore accept your thanks in advance since that seems to be the way you like to do things. Now living in Wisconsin, I have nothing against Canada or Candians, accept i get particulary annoyed by one Canadian for their responses on message boards at a particular Themepark website. In fact, i can't wait for their response on my posting.

That's it.

AC Schauer
Milwaukee U.S.A.

From T.Holland Creative
Posted July 16, 2003 at 6:26 AM
My final post for this thread. It still remains unclear about whether or not Disney actually has the rights to build Harry Potter attractions. I have contacted various on-line sources regarding that particular question and cannot get any sort of confirmation.

Maybe Mr. Gault misspoke regarding that specific aspect of this discussion.

Having said that, however, there is one thing we can derive from Mr. Gault's comments.

The reason Universal is not pursuing the rights to Potter is because -- according to Gault -- those rights have already been acquired by another company.

In short, someone out there has spent some money to create Potter attractions. That alone is VERY INTERESTING.

From Josh Huntsman
Posted July 16, 2003 at 10:16 AM
star tours. nuff said

From Marc-André Routhier
Posted July 16, 2003 at 12:19 PM
Dear A.C.!

My comments have nothing to do with my nationality. In fact most of the time I’m in admiration for most of the USA incredible sense of show-business and it's ability to spread it's own culture around the world.

Look today, most of the kids drink Coke, eat at McDonald, listen to Madonna, watch Terminator, wear Nike,.... I could go on and on. America has a very strong identity and it seems to be strong enough to spread around the world. So please be reassured I have nothing against America. The opposite : America inspires my creativity and my desire to make my dreams come true.

By the way I’m sorry if I hurt anyone on this thread. All I meant about credibility was that many time on this site people have objected my positions. I have been tempted to use sarcasm because it hurts me to see someone bashing my great vision or ideas. I admit, sometimes I could not resist and I did it. But after all the messy fights, I came to realise we did not provide the site with solutions. I now prefer to find a way to communicate so we can share our point of views and grow from it. Unfortunately, I sometime (as a reflex) translate from French to English when I write. So a sentence may be offending in English but in French it is definitely not. So if I offended Josh, I would like to apologize. I'm really sorry.

Let's go back to the topic :

As far as Potter and Star Wars I agree they were good and still are. All I’m saying, is the following : Should we take a chance and invests tones of money on these franchises? That's all. It is a risk and I’m not sure it would work on the long run because those stories did not passed the test of time.

My wish : I would like to debate on that not on the fact these movies made millions and were big commercial successes. Would you be interested?

MA Routhier
Proud Canadian and a sincere close American friend.


From Anonymous
Posted July 16, 2003 at 10:36 PM
Warner Bros. ownes three theme parks them self! I don't thank Potter would make a good themed land anyway! But I heard A rumor that Warner Bros. and Six Flags are working to geather on a 3D Simulator attraction! Harry Potter in 3D

From Pat Cronin
Posted July 17, 2003 at 2:46 AM
Just a couple of points - in no particular order.
Disney definitely have the theme park rights to Harry Potter - I am unable to divulge how I know this (yes, I know it is easy to make a comment and not back it up, but for the time being you can make up your own minds wether to believe me or not)

JK Rowling is a very talented and shrewd lady, Harry Potter has made her what she now is - fabulously wealthy, but more importantly to her - highly respected. Does anyone seriously believe that JK takes anything but a major interest in the major projects affecting Harry???
Yes, she has an army of people making decisions on merchandise agreements for dolls, food, clothes, etc. She needs to have this or she would never find time to write ANY books...But for something like the films (where she had enormous input well before any filming started) and the theme park attraction, we can rest assured that JK knows exactly what she will or will not allow.
Although I don't know the full details, I understand that Harry will basically be an "attraction" (ie, show, ride, simulator), within one of the disney parks - not a separate park itself.

Do Disney have any qualms about the longevity of the Potter franchise - do they hell! This is not a "Power ranger" or "Mutant ninja turtle". This is a phenomena that has been read by millions of kids of all ages but especially those under 12 - do you think that in 5 - 15 years time when these kids are frequenting theme parks that they will have forgotten about Harry? No chance.
The beauty about this franchise is that it has captured the imagination of the young - they have grown up with it, they have queued at mid-night to BUY A BOOK (not a computer game - which is an achievement in itself)
The franchise will both appeal now and especially in the FUTURE (this I believe is the key reason Disney wanted it so badly) Disney is at its best when it is dealing in pure NOSTALGIA, and in 10 - 15 years the kids of today will relish a Harry attraction as it will deliver this nostalgia.

From Josh Huntsman
Posted July 17, 2003 at 9:13 AM
if you are Mrs. Rowling, who would you trust to bring your creation to a ride? Six Flags, or Disney? While Six flags is sure ... big and scary and... roller coasters.. and stuff, Disney is Story telling. It seems obvious to me.

From Anonymous
Posted July 17, 2003 at 6:11 PM
I have no problem with a debate, nor do I have a problem with your nationality. In fact, I earlier stated that I have nothing against Canadians, but I strongly disliked your posts. It is mainly because of your particular writing style that comes off, as stated earlier, as rude. Now you have blamed this problem on the language barier, and this could very well be true. So therefore i will try to remain opened minded with reading your posts.

But back to the topic at hand.

You asked the question of: "Should we take a chance and invests tones of money on these franchises?"

First things first. A tone defined by Webster's Dictionary is the following: "1. a vocal or musical sound of a specific quality, 2. to give a particular intonation or inflection to."

Now I'm confused if we should invest the sound of money, or the way it looks?

I believe you may be meaning: tons.

From Marc-André Routhier
Posted July 17, 2003 at 6:38 PM
Of course it was tons.....

M.A. Routhier

From Marc-André Routhier
Posted July 17, 2003 at 6:41 PM
I'm wondering Anonymous where you are heading.

Your talking about my rude posts. Now you are writing about my mistake on tones vs tons like you don't understand my post because of this regretable error.

COME ON....

I exposed myself on my last e mail trying to build a bridge between us and now all you could come up with is the dictionnary definition of the word : tones.

From what I read, I don't see the connection between us and because so, I prefer to stop this conversation right away.

M.A Routhier

From Anonymous
Posted July 18, 2003 at 8:37 AM
Stop if you wish, but the fact remains disney needs something new. If they can take a chance with dino-rama, they can take a chance with this.

From Anonymous
Posted July 19, 2003 at 9:41 PM
I thank the 3D thingy is going to be themed around Kangaroo Jack any way!

From Anonymous
Posted July 27, 2003 at 1:46 PM
I believe Harry Potter is a story of substance and a book that will and has become the book(s) of a generation. Those of you who question turning Harry Potter into a ride/theme-park because it might just be another passing fad, I ask you, have you read these books?-because 10-15 years from now I guarrentee you that the children who read these books will be introducing them to their children...bottom-line...these books are time-less and WILL stand the test of time BECAUSE of their HUGE following.

From Anonymous
Posted July 27, 2003 at 10:24 PM
Come on people.
Disney has the means to make HP into an attraction and/or park. Six Flags or Warner in my opinion do not.
IMO if Dinsey does indeed have the rights to HP,the long-rumored 5th park at WDW may indeed be a HP theme park.I love the books and movies so I would be sure to visit the park.

From Pat Cronin
Posted July 28, 2003 at 5:38 AM
If Disney can truly follow through with the tentative plans I have heard about, then prepare to be gobsmacked!!!

From T.Holland Creative
Posted July 28, 2003 at 5:25 AM
For those of you who did not read the original post, this thread was started after Universal Orlando President Bob Gault, told an audience of Universal employees (during a Q and A session) that Disney had the theme park rights to Harry Potter "wrapped up."

Since I offered the original post, I have contacted a bunch of different people (theme park sites, the Orlando Sentinel, a few Potter fan sites, etc.) to determine whether or not Mr. Gault's comment has any validity.

While no one could confirm anything, the general consensus is that Disney has purchased the "right of refusal." Meaning if any other company wants to make an offer to build a Potter themed attraction, Disney has the right to match any contract that is offered to Potter Incorporated (AOL/Time/Warner/Rowlings/Baxter/Niles/Vivendi etc., etc.)

Of course, when you have a company the size of Disney, no competitor will waste the time and resources to approach Potter Inc. knowing that Disney could write a check and dance away with the rights.

Thus Disney's right to refusal would be a defacto exclusive contract to build a Potter rides.

Personally, if Disney has those rights, I belive they need to tear down the big wizard hat at Disney/MGM Studio, re-do the exterior facade on the Chinese theatre. Turn it into Hogwarts and build a Potter dark ride. Disney/MGM provides the perfect themed setting. The ride would be a gate-crasher. The line going into the attraction would be visible from the Space Shuttle.

Adding a Potter themed dark ride would put MGM on par with IOA.

From T.Holland Creative
Posted July 29, 2003 at 4:34 AM
I was stunned to learn that production has wrapped on ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.’ ‘Newsweek’ published the first photos of the production that is scheduled to be released in the Summer of 2004. Considering that the fifth book in the series was released less than two months ago, news that Potter movie #5 is in post production is remarkable.

I am struck by how quickly Warner has been able to crank out the Potter flicks. There is already buzz circulating about who will be signed to direct the next story ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ – a film that (due to the length of the novel) may be divided into two films in 2005.

The first two Potter films generated a combined total of $580 million. If film number three and film number four (Parts one and two) maintain that pace, it would generate a pile of cash so high it would cast a shadow over K-2. In just five years – from the commencement of production on the first film through the release of the fifth – Potter Inc. could produce gross box office receipts totaling $1.5 billion. Add in DVD/home video sales and Potter Inc. film foray could reach $2 billion over a period of five or six years.

When you consider the FACT that it takes (on the average) of two and a half years to bring an attraction from concept to opening, I would think that whoever has the theme park rights to Potter would want to do something soon. This franchise is a gold mine.

From Pat Cronin
Posted July 29, 2003 at 6:05 AM
Now, now T Holland - it's good to see you excited, but where's the rush?
Firstly, you are wrong in saying that;
"Considering that the fifth book in the series was released less than two months ago, news that Potter movie #5 is in post production is remarkable."
Potter movie NUMBER FOUR is in post production NOT 5. And it's not that quick considering "the prisoner..." came out nearly THREE years ago!!!

JK has previously stated that there will be 7 books, and I would suggest that book 7 will appear sometime around 2006. Assuming it will take at best 12/18 months after this before the seventh film appears then we are talking - at the very earliest 2007/8 - but more likely 2008/9.
That gives us between 4 and 6 years until the film is released.

ALSO, JK has stated that Book 7 will tie ALL the ends up and provide a number of insights.
The major difficulty this presents imagineers - AND THE CRUX OF THE WHOLE ANNOUNCEMENT TIMING THING - is that how do you develop an attraction when you only know half of the story - and most imortantly don't know the final outcome.

From T.Holland Creative
Posted July 29, 2003 at 8:17 AM
YOU WRITE: Potter movie NUMBER FOUR is in post production NOT 5.

I RESPOND: (Chuckle) Actually we are BOTH wrong. Movie number 3 finished principle shooting and is in post production.

From Steve Moore
Posted July 31, 2003 at 5:53 AM
My god how sad are you guys.

Keep it simple.
They are a bunch of good entertaining books and movies that would lend themselves well to a theme park environment, Thats it period!!

Instead of bleating on about the most obscure business scenarios, Why not chat about how H.P could work in a park, what would you like to see developed?

Imagine a 4D ride similar to Spiderman themed on a quiditch match.
How about a live wizard adventure show in the IOA stadium that currently hosts Sinbad, or a coaster ride themed on the Hogwarts Express.

Tons of possibilities

Steve

From Anonymous
Posted July 31, 2003 at 6:50 AM
how about the idea its in a disney park like the universal guy said it would be?

From Anonymous
Posted August 1, 2003 at 10:17 AM
I agree, I mean when you think of a good company that is known universally for their quality and dedication to its theme parks, you think Disney...and I think that's what Mrs.Rowling thinks too. That is why I believe that she is choosing Disney--(or so it seems)

From Robyn Koons
Posted August 5, 2003 at 3:40 PM
I think it would be great to see Harry Potter at Disney. It would add a touch of something for preteen and teenage children. The only problem will be the Christian Fundamentalists who "boycotted" Disney a few years ago because of Gay Days. These are the same folks that believe HP is bad as it is "black magic". Hopefully, the day will come when these folks can look to some of the real problems in the world instead of fighting entertainment.

From Robert Niles
Posted August 5, 2003 at 8:30 PM
Thanks to that response, a very dark, irreverent part of my brain is now concocting the ultimate anti-fundamentalist Disney day -- involving Gay Days, kids dressed like Harry Potter, plenty of R&B and hip-hop music and a ever-flowing supply of booze.

Wait a minute, I think that's Pleasure Island!

[Although, to be serious, I think a real anti-fundamentalist movement would probably involve raising taxes on the rich to prevent the government from dumping its debts onto future generations, withdrawing our armed forces from other countries, feeding the hungry, treating the sick and infirm, immunizing the world's children, and educating everyone to the best of their abilities. Gee, if only there'd ever been a major religious leader who had preached stuff like that.

Oh, you say there was?....]

From Alex Klein
Posted August 7, 2003 at 4:09 AM
Just saw these messages. It isn`t true! Warner has confirmed that it retains Harry Potter theme park rights and has no current plans to license them to a third party.

From Anonymous
Posted August 8, 2003 at 5:52 AM
why cant you show the harry potters pictures

From Anonymous
Posted August 8, 2003 at 7:25 PM
If you go to this website: http://www.disneycorner.com/modules.php?name=Disney_Future&file=wdw they have a Harry Potter attraction listed as coming out in 2006 at Epcot.

From Anonymous
Posted August 8, 2003 at 7:27 PM
and personally I would love to see a Harry Potter attraction at Disney World, as I love them both.

From Anonymous
Posted September 27, 2003 at 10:58 AM
Warner Bros. has a deal with Six Flags. Warner brothers also has a park outside Madrid in Spain.

From T.Holland Creative
Posted September 29, 2003 at 5:47 PM
Are you claiming Warner Bros. has a deal with Six Flags to create Potter attractions? Care to source that assertion? After all, the only Potter attraction that has been built thus far was at the Movie World park in Australia.

Regardless, I am still stunned that none of the major parks have acquired the rights and announced a concept. As I posted here before, families would line up for hours to have a chance to get their children's photos with Harry, Ron, Hermione and Hagrid.

From Anonymous
Posted October 3, 2003 at 2:16 AM
Oh great, the Rat got Harry Potter.

As an avid anti-rat person,(okay so I don't HATE the rat, I hate the company) this is a blow to the head. I can't see WB parting with the HP group.

They're putting Soarin' in between Imangation and Land, anyone know where they're going to put this?

Now I've gotta call castmembers and pick they're minds for info on it.

Carrie
Sinofhope@aol.com

From Jessica Donahoe
Posted October 6, 2003 at 4:53 PM
No wonder why I heard the Harry Potter theme in Disney! lol. No seriously, I did hear it ;-D

I don't think it would be a good idea to mix them together (Harry and Mickey that is). When people see Mickey, they think Disney and when they see Harry, they see Warner Brothers. Also, isn't Warner Bros part of Six Flags? If this is so, Harry Potter would be a goldmine for them.

From Anonymous
Posted October 17, 2003 at 3:00 PM
But six flags doesn't have the quality image that Harry Potter would need in order for it to succeed - where as Disney does....

From T.Holland Creative
Posted October 18, 2003 at 4:46 AM
To maintain theming, it seems to me a Potter attraction would have to go into Disney/MGM Studios.

From Ben Mills
Posted October 18, 2003 at 7:38 AM
How about Potter presents Britain in World Showcase? Sure, we Brits would be shocked, appalled and disgusted, but I can guarantee that the American population would just drink it up.

Alternatively, a reconstruction of Hogwarts could play host to the Harry Potter Hotel. Then their holidays really would be "magical".

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