Star Tours opening day header

The battle between Disney and Universal is at the forefront of this edition of Theme Park Bits. Below, read about the following:

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier is coming to Disneyland.
  • A new hint has surfaced at the closing of Captain EO.
  • Last week marked the 27th anniversary of Star Tours.
  • The CEO of Comcast, which owns Universal, says they’re really pushing theme parks.
  • Photos from the Diagon Alley expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as well as multiple upgrades at Universal Hollywood.
  • A new hotel is opening at Universal Studios Orlando.
  • Maleficent gets a new float in a Walt Disney World parade.

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Diagon Alley key

Construction, expansion and invention are all in this edition of Theme Park Bits. Below, read about the following.

  • Walt Disney Imagineers have invented reclining roller coaster seats.
  • Disney has purchased more land in Tokyo for possible theme park expansion; Plus Stitch takes over for Captain EO.
  • See photos of Despicable Me and Harry Potter construction at Universal Studios Hollywood.
  • Check out some early promotion for the Diagon Alley Harry Potter expansion at Universal Studios Orlando.
  • A milestone was achieved during the construction of Shanghai Disneyland.

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Real Jurassic Park

Until we find dinosaur DNA in tree sap, an Australian theme park has created something as close to Jurassic Park as is humanly possible. Read about that, and the following Theme Park Bits, below.

  • Twentieth Century Fox World is opening in Malaysia.
  • Check out an image of Harry Potter‘s Diagon Alley’s facade at Universal Studios Orlando.
  • Wreck-It Ralph hosts New Year’s Eve at Disneyland.

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Avengers Academy

This edition of Theme Park Bits has full of franchises: Harry Potter, The Avengers, Wizard of Oz and more. Below, read about the following:

  • Harry Potter‘s Hogwarts Express has been delivered to Universal Studios Orlando.
  • Thor: Treasures of Asgard opens at Disneyland on Friday
  • Marvel’s Avengers Academy is now open on the Disney Magic Cruise.
  • Check out images from a Wizard of Oz theme park that almost got built in the Nineties.
  • Watch a short film based on the Haunted Mansion

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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 »

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