Warner Bros. Theme Park to Open New Harry Potter Land

November 10, 2022, 1:01 PM · The wizarding world of Harry Potter is expanding, this time to the Middle East.

Miral and Warner Bros. Discovery announced today that Miral's Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi on Yas Island will open a Harry Potter-themed land. No further details were provided, including an opening or project groundbreaking date, but this would be the first Harry Potter theme park land to appear outside a Universal theme park since the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure in 2010.

The new Potter land also would be the first land at Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi themed to a non-animated Warner Bros. franchise. Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi's other themed lands are the DC-themed Gotham City and Metropolis, Looney Tunes-themed Cartoon Junction and Dynamite Gulch, and the Hanna-Barbera-themed Bedrock.

"The Wizarding World offers something for fans of every age to enjoy," Pam Lifford, President, Global Brands and Experiences from Warner Bros. Discovery, said. "The original Harry Potter stories and the blockbuster film series continue to captivate and inspire hundreds of millions of fans around the world, and our Global Themed Entertainment team together with our world-class partner Miral, will expand our successful Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi to bring this magical experience to life. Together with our lands at Universal Parks, this will add a wholly new and spectacular destination for fans to immerse themselves in."

"We are very proud of our continuous partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery and excited to be bringing this spell binding first to the Middle East and the world in the future," Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Miral, said. "This is yet another testament to our commitment to continue to position Yas Island as a top global destination for entertainment and leisure, and a great addition to Abu Dhabi's tourism offerings, contributing to the growth and economic diversification of the Emirate."

Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi won our Theme Park Insider Award as the world's best theme park in 2019. The world's largest indoor theme park is one of three theme parks in the Yas Island resort, along with Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and the soon-to-open SeaWorld Abu Dhabi. Discounted tickets to the park, starting at US$41, are available via our international travel partner.

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Replies (12)

November 10, 2022 at 2:58 PM

Hopefully the standards set by UC will be maintained here. Are the park and it's subcontractors developing this project working directly with JK Rowling as UC was forced to do when creating the WWoHP projects at Universal Parks around the world?

There are a couple of traveling HP attractions as well as the permanent attractions in New York and London, but most reviews of those experiences note that they're inferior to UC's lands.

November 10, 2022 at 5:32 PM

I’ll be laughing if it turns out to be another Hogsmeade clone. It would be good for the locals but it’s less incentive for many to make the travel to this park.

November 10, 2022 at 7:21 PM

Hogsmeade wouldn’t work as well in an indoor park as Diagon Alley or the Ministry. I would bet on one or both of those.

November 10, 2022 at 7:42 PM

Would they technically even allowed to clone an attraction from Universal? What are the licensing terms here, I wonder. I realize that WB is the studio that owns the rights to the Potter films, so I guess technically they are being licensed to Universal and not the other way around. Robert, do you have any idea as to how and what this park can do in terms of it’s possible relation to what’s come before?

November 10, 2022 at 9:48 PM

Just like Disneyland could not copy Universal’s Spider-Man ride, WBWAD will not be able to copy Forbidden Journey or Escape from Gringotts. But whatever company Miral selects to head up design of the new attraction (Thinkwell Group again?) will have clear use of the IP, characters, settings and stories, so long as WB and JK Rowling approve whatever they propose to do.

It's probably too early to talk about ride systems, but WBWAD has a Kuka arm dark ride, a motion-base dark ride, a flying theater, an interactive dark ride (and it's my all-time favorite shooter ride, BTW), a trackless dark ride, a flume ride, a Zamperla spinning coaster, and an Intamin inverted family coaster, as well as some flats, so there's already a well-established variety in this park.

November 11, 2022 at 8:07 AM

I guess a more specific way of asking my question would be whether or not they are able to use the specific IP of the potter film verse: re-creations of movie sets, actors from the films, John Williams score, etc? Of course, without copying any of the Universal attractions, this creative team would still have heaps of content from which to pluck, as the Potter universe is still ripe with potential.
And not for nothing, the idea of a potter land based solely on the writings of J. K. Rowling without hewing closely to the films is also very enticing as well. So many fans know the characters from the films so it might be a tougher sell to audiences looking for something immediately familiar, but it would also be creatively an open-ended book if you will…

Thanks for helping clear this up Robert!
To paraphrase Bobby Boucher, “Mama said IP licensing rights gives her the brain pain”

November 11, 2022 at 9:51 AM

Warner Bros licenses all the film IP so they should be clear to use it in their own park. But Universal filmed a ton of stuff with the actors during the HP films’ production, and that footage remains Universal’s property. WBWAD can’t use that.

November 11, 2022 at 9:57 AM

I see. Thank you good sir

November 11, 2022 at 11:41 AM

Before opening, after construction is complete, David Zaslav will announce the land's closure and demolition as a tax write-off.

November 13, 2022 at 3:25 PM

Okay, I laughed at that.

November 13, 2022 at 10:50 PM

An interesting story.LOL

November 16, 2022 at 9:23 AM

INDOORS, so...
I think, it's much more interesting to look at what the WB HP studio tour in Londen is actually offering. (Real sets and rebuilt sets)
Let's not make the speculations too complicated.
That is "their own" already existing HP theme park. It's logic, WB will built further on the London type of experience, and will not even blink an eye on Universal.

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