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We knew this was in the works for a while now, it hasn’t exactly been a secret. But today Universal Studios has officially announced that they are building Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Orlando Resort. The new area will be built where the Jaws ride was formerly set, and will connect the two parks via a Hogwarts Express ride experience (I’m sure this ride experience will result in a lot of guests supersizing their passes to include both parks). Fans exploring Universal’s Islands of Adventure will experience Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, and the other theme park will feature the new areas that will represent the London and Diagon Alley sides to the Harry Potter world. Details are pretty thin right now, but Universal says the new area will feature “shops, a restaurant and an innovative, marquee attraction based on Gringotts bank.” See the full awesome concept image after the jump.

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Harry Potter is making his way to sunny Southern California. In a unanimous vote, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has given the go-ahead to NBCUniversal’s plans to build a Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios Hollywood.

The attraction is part of a $500 million plan from the company which also includes upgrades to the studio backlot’s office space, TV production facilities, and other infrastructure. Hit the jump for more info.

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The team that brought you the first official Back to the Future Lego is back at it again, and this time they run on steam. Team BTTF has created a functional, unmistakably detailed Lego recreation of Doc Brown’s Jules Verne Train that appears at the end of Back to the Future Part III. The Lego Cuusso project only has a few hundred supporters at the time, and needs 10,000 to get put in front of the Lego board but, that’s bound to happen with this cool creation.

Not to be outdone, Harry Potter fan Alice Finch created a jaw-dropping, 400,000 brick, room by room recreation of Hogwarts Castle from the Harry Potter films. Check out photos of both below. Read More »

If you ever want to feel bad about your paltry salary, looking into what you favorite A-listers make per film is a good way to do it. No doubt Kristen Stewart works hard on her Twilight movies — it can’t be easy saying some of those lines with a straight face — but can her $25 million payday for Breaking Dawn Part 1 and 2 really be worth it?

Actually, yes. Forbes has compiled a list of the actors whose movies offer the highest returns for their hefty paychecks, and Stewart comes in at an impressive #2 on the list. The only person who makes a better investment is Natalie Portman, whose Black Swan ultimately grossed 25 times its $13 million budget. Read the full list after the jump.

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It’s a sad fact for geeks that there’s still no way to actually become a hobbit or a wizard. But thanks to two new spots, we can at least pretend for a little while.

The King’s Cross station in London has opened a new souvenir shop at Platform 9 3/4, which Harry Potter fans know is where Hogwarts students catch the train to school. Meanwhile, Hobbiton in New Zealand has transformed the Green Dragon Inn set into a working pub. Read more and check out some photos and video after the jump.

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida (and soon Hollywood, CA) has upped the ante for what a movie themed theme park can be and they’re not stopping there. According to reports, actors from the Harry Potter franchise have been asked to reprise their roles from the films to shoot new footage for the currently under construction Wizarding World expansion in Florida.

Not to be outdone, Walt Disney World has begun work on Avatar Land, based on the James Cameron film. Not only did some blueprints leak in the last few weeks, now an image has surfaced showing the filmmaker working with Disney Imagineers. Check out info on both these theme part bits below. Read More »

This Cyber Monday, one of the best deals out there is still incredibly expensive. A brand new, limited edition Harry Potter box set called From Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey, will be released next week at the retail cost of $1000. However, it’s currently on sale for 40% off which means it’s only… $600.

What do you get for that huge chunk of change? Seven never-before-published books chronicling the creation of the eight Harry Potter films, a limited edition version of an eighth book, all bound in a gorgeous package. Only 3000 will ever be made so check out some images and a trailer after the jump. Read More »

The following is a special report from /Film’s theme park correspondent Reza Lackey who was in Orlando for the official announcement last night:

The Autobots will soon be rolling out to Universal Orlando for a summer 2013 opening of Transformers: The Ride 3D. Last night, Universal Orlando announced the coming attraction during a small pre-show segment to their fairly new water show, Cinematic Spectacular. Video, photos and more information, after the jump.

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