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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The Internet was a buzz on Friday with the inevitable news that Universal Studios Orlando will be closing their classic Jaws themed ride come 2012. At the time, Universal would only comment by saying the ride was being closed to “make room for an exciting, NEW, experience.” Speculation immediately began running rampant among theme park enthusiasts as to what this new experience could be and most seemed to agree that closing the Jaws ride would allow Universal to spread the hit attraction The Wizarding World of Harry Potter into Universal itself. The expansion would be a London themed location including Diagon Alley, The Leaky Cauldron, Gringotts and King’s Cross complete with Platform 9 3/4.

Adding to the debate is a recent quote by a Comcast executive that called The Wizarding World of Harry Potter a “reset mechanism” for their parks. Read more about all of this after the break. Read More »

For years, Harry Potter fans dreamed of being able to enter his world. Then, in June 2010, that dream became a reality when Universal Studios Orlando opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a full themed land inside the park that features Hogwarts Castle, Hogsmeade, a few major rides and more. The park has been a massive success for Universal, helping to increase their attendance by millions.

Like anything that’s successful, Hollywood is now going to steal it. In this case, though, it’s an awesome theft. Universal will reportedly announce a second Wizarding World of Harry Potter at their flagship theme park, Universal Studios Hollywood, with doors opening as early as 2015. Read more about the deal, and how exactly this Potter-themed theme park will fit into Hollywood, after the jump. Read More »

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Two bits of non-movie Harry Potter news here. Recently there had been word that the massive Leavesden Studios in England, wherein much of the Harry Potter film series was filmed, would be turned into a Potter-themed museum and attraction.

Now Rupert Grint has confirmed that report, albeit without providing too many details of how the conversion would happen, and what sets and environments would be preserved and/or presented. But how would he know all those details? For now, it’s interesting enough that the studios could be open to the public at some point in the future; they house magnificent sets which would be a great destination for fans.

After the break, there’s a thin report that Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction may be growing. But not, sadly, via magic. Read More »

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It had to happen eventually. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will debut next spring at Universal’s “Islands of Adventure” park in Orlando, and the recent release of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on DVD and Blu-ray offers a sneak peek at the park’s offerings. Attractions Magazine has a full list of the details, and some of the more interesting ones can be found after the break.

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Early Look At The Harry Potter Themepark

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The Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince DVD has apparently streeted already in some countries though we’ll have to wait in the UK until December 7th, in the US until the 8th. Some industrious Potterheads have been hard at work scouring the special features, and booting up their screen capture software while they’re at it. One little video programme on the disc gives a preview of the upcoming Wizarding World of Harry Potter themepark attraction, which is still under construction in Orlando, Florida. We can reportedly expect the park to open next year around the time of the imminent 7th Potter film, the better to maximise publicity.

A lot of the images in the featurette show us little more than concept art or scale models, but even this confirms how Potter-y the architecture and layout will be. It really does look like the sets in the movies, for better or worse. I’ll share some of the images after the break.

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