In this edition of Theme Park Bits:
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Japan is getting visited by Death Eaters.
- Universal Studios announces a trio of original Halloween Horror Nights mazes.
- Disney patents a projector drone for potential nighttime shoes.
- Big Thunder Mountain closes for refurbishment.
- The Main Street Electrical Parade is ending very soon.
- A quick look at the new way to enter Disneyland.
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The grand opening of Universal Hollywood’s version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter happened last night at the Los Angeles theme park. It was an incredible night, filled with magic and wizardry. Hit the jump to hear more about the opening celebration and also learn about the new Wizarding World now open for everyone to enjoy in Universal Hollywood.
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Universal Studios Hollywood’s West Coast version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is set to have its grand opening in just a couple months (though if you’ve visited the park last week you might have caught one of their early soft openings). It’s no secret that Universal would like their theme parks around the world to mirror each other, thus providing the same “universal,” pun intended, experience.
And one of the worst kept secrets in the theme park world is that Universal Studios Hollywood is supposedly planning to expand their Wizarding World to include the Diagon Alley expansion that opened in summer 2014 in Universal Studios Orlando. But where will Diagon Alley Hollywood be located and what attractions will it include? Will guests be able to ride the Hogwarts Express in Hollywood?
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Posted on Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 by Angie Han
J.K. Rowling‘s original Harry Potter book series ended in 2007, and the Harry Potter film series followed not too long after in 2011. But the Harry Potter franchise is as robust and productive as ever. In fact, 2016 is already shaping up to be a huge year for Potterheads. Not only do we have a spinoff movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, coming this fall, we’ve also got the imminent opening of Universal Studios’ The Wizarding World of Harry Potter this spring and the West End debut of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child this summer.
Of course, all that magic tends to add up. And if your Gringotts vault isn’t exactly overflowing with Galleons, you’ll make sure you want to spend your money wisely. So today, we’ve got a closer look at the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park, and some news about the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book due to hit shelves. Yes, you read that right: we’re getting an eighth Harry Potter book. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 by Angie Han
West Coast Potterheads, the day you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived. Or rather: the day you’ve been waiting for won’t arrive for another four months, but at least we finally know when it is.
Universal Studios Hollywood has finally set a spring 2016 opening date for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. Watch the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood opening date announcement, and get more details, after the jump. Read More »
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Posted on Friday, November 20th, 2015 by Jacob Hall
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida is nothing short of amazing. It’s the kind of stunning, next-generation step forward theme park fans hope to see every decade or so. The sense of place, the small Wizarding community of Hogsmeade and the the nearby Hogwarts Castle, is astonishing. The rides, namely Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, do things we’ve never seen done before. It’s a triumph of design and execution.
It’s also increased attendance at Universal’s Florida parks enough to get Disney nervous, so it was inevitable that Universal would eventually bring their Harry Potter attractions to their California location. Why make mountains of gold Galleons on one coast when you can rake in the big bucks on both? Now, nearly four years after it was announced, a new video tour has been released, giving us our first look at the Universal Studios Hollywood version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter that isn’t a gallery of construction site photos.
Check out the new video for the Universal California Harry Potter attractions after the jump.
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I’m a Disneyland-fanatic but I’m not one of those hardcores that hates on Universal Studios at every turn. I actually like Universal, and specifically their Studio Tour in Hollywood (although it needs some updates), their 4D Transformers ride and the incredibly detailed immersive experience they have created with Harry Potter. Last month Disney fanatics were sent into a tizzy when the Mouse House announced that they were raising the prices of Annual Passes, including the top pass with no black out days being raised 35% to $1049.
And we expected Universal Studios to raise their prices, especially considering The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be making its way to the west coast in Spring 2016. But I don’t think anyone would have expected them to announce three new annual passes, none of which allow full 365 day access to the parks and free parking privileges. Weekends during the Summer are blocked out even on the most expensive passes. Find out the details on the 2016 Universal Studios Hollywood Annual Passes, after the jump.
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It’s been a while since the last Theme Park Bits, and I have a lot of bits saved up to discuss, including the following:
- Universal Studios Hollywood launches a virtual tour of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
- FastPass+-style tests being conducted at Space Mountain in Disneyland.
- Watch a multi-angle perspective video of Fast & Furious: Supercharged.
- Captain America will be leaving Disneyland next week.
- Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land permit maps reveal Disney Hollywood Studios changes.
- Could Disney World’s Star Wars Land open in time for Christmas 2018?
- Marvel teases a new Haunted Mansion comic book series.
- Disney World’s Hollywood Studios will launch a Disney villain-only dinner event called Club Villain.
- New details on Animal Kingdom’s upcoming “Rivers of Light” show.
All that and more, in today’s Theme Park Bits. Hit the jump to board the ride.
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Its been a while since we’re covered the short ends in the world of theme parks, so lets get to it. Here is what you can expect to see in today’s theme park bits:
- Beijing To build largest Universal Studios theme park
- See the first poster for Universal Studios Hollywood’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Watch a video and see photos to see how far along The Wizarding World of Harry Potter construction is.
- An Indiana Jones themed bar will open next week in Walt Disney World.
- Ariel photos of Avatar Land’s construction in Orlando.
- Star Wars themed shop “Watto’s Grotto” Opens At Hollywood Studios
- Walt’s Restaurant has been confirmed for Downtown Disney in Orlando
- See a video from rehearsals of Tangled: The Musical.
- Disneyland replaces their popcorn.
All that and more. Hit the jump to board the ride. (watch your step)
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