The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

It’s been six years since the last Harry Potter book came out, and two years since the last Harry Potter movie hit theaters. But the Harry Potter fandom remains as devoted as ever, and Warner Bros. and Universal Orlando Resort want to do their part to keep it that way.

The studio will host A Celebration of Harry Potter at the theme park next year, a three-day convention similar to the Star Wars Celebration that Star Wars enthusiasts have been enjoying for years. Hit the jump to get all the details.

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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 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 »

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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J.K. Rowling may have envisioned Hogwarts as a Scottish institution, but the school of witchcraft and wizardry is traveling all over the world these days. Warner Bros. and Universal Parks and Resorts have just revealed plans to open a Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Osaka, at Universal Studios Japan.

The Osaka park is the third Wizarding World of Harry Potter to be announced, and would be the first location outside of the U.S. The first Wizarding World opened to wild success at Universal Orland’s Islands of Adventure park back in 2010. More details after the jump.

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The title of this post is “Theme Park Bits,” but it should really be called “Universal Studios Theme Park Bits.” While most of us have been spent the past week alternating between lounging about in our PJs and bickering with our families, the international amusement park division was apparently busy getting new attractions for its Orlando, Hollywood, and Singapore parks on track. After the jump:

  • Details revealed on the new Harry Potter expansion in Universal Studios Florida
  • A video allows you to revisit Universal Studio Florida’s recently closed Jaws ride
  • Universal Studios Hollywood sets an opening date for Transformers The Ride
  • Universal Studios Singapore unveils its brand-new Hollywood Dreams parade

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Earlier this month, word leaked out that Universal was planning to build a second Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park world in the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. Days later, we confirmed that the Jaws attraction would be closing in Universal Orlando to make way for a new attraction. And yesterday we reported a rumor from a usually good source that Amity would be replaced with an expansion of the Wizarding World which would involve Harry Potter’s London, Diagon Alley, and a Hogwarts Express train that would transport guests in between the two parks (Universal Orlando and Islands of Adventure) into “the wizarding world.” While details have still not been revealed, Universal held a press conference today to announce that Harry Potter would be coming to the Hollywood park, and that the Wizarding World would expand in Orlando. Still no details on what the expansion will entail, and what rides (new or old) the Hollywood Potter area might include — although I expect it will combine some of what is already in the Wizarding World in Orlando (definitely the Forbidden Journey ride) as well as some elements of the announced expansion (Diagon Alley? A new ride?) Read the press release after the jump.

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