The Wizarding World of Harry Potter goes Hollywood…and expands in Orlando

Major updates for Harry Potter fans. Universal Studios Hollywood is expected to announce a major Harry Potter attraction/expansion similar to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida. They are holding a media event tomorrow to officially announce the project. In addition, we also hear of the possible expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. Read on for details.

First, the Universal Studios Hollywood News from the Los Angeles Times:

“Harry Potter is making his Los Angeles debut on Tuesday. Executives from Universal Studios and Warner Bros. will unveil and for the first time publicly discuss their plans to build the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood at a late-morning news conference.Universal announced the event, stating in an email that it would be “hosting a Butterbeer toast to celebrate a very special announcement.” People close to the matter but not authorized to discuss the event beforehand confirmed it would be the unveiling of plans to duplicate the massively successful Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction from Universal Studios Orlando at the L.A. theme park. Top executives from Warner Bros., which made the “Potter” films and controls licensing rights to author J.K. Rowling’s books about the boy wizard, will be in attendance along with those from Universal. They will include the leaders of both companies: Warner Chairman Barry Meyer and Universal President Ron Meyer (no relation). In addition, demonstrating the significance of what will likely be a huge investment in building the Potter-themed rides and shops, along with the longer-term boost to tourism, California Gov. Jerry Brown will be in attendance.The Orlando Wizarding World of Harry Potter has brought in more than 7 million people in its first year and was the main driver in a 36% increase at Universal’s park there in the first three months of 2011. The attraction isn’t expected to open at Universal’s Los Angeles location — right next to its film and television studio in Universal City — until 2015 at the earliest.”

The Hogwarts Express Station

Now to the juicy Orlando details:

The second item of Harry Potter news are the rumours about the expansion for the original Wizarding World at Universal Orlando which is located in Islands of Adventure. We’ve heard from multiple reliable sources that the reason the JAWS Ride and entire Amity section of Universal Studios Florida is being closed is to prepare for a Phase 2 expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The concept here will be that you can visit London, Diagon Alley, Gringott’s Bank and The original Ollivanders Wand Shop before boarding the Hogwarts Express to the existing themed side of Islands of Adventure. These are wild rumours, but with the sucess the park has seen with the first Phase, we’re sure they are rusing to get the expansion built and ready to open as soon as possible. We’ll keep you posted as we find out more!

What do you think about possible copycat attractions in Hollwood? And how do you feel about JAWS being replaced with more magic from the realm of Harry Potter?

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