Wizarding World of Harry Potter Park to be Built at Universal Studios Hollywood

It’s official. Wizarding World of Harry Potter is coming to Universal Studios Orlando. The success of Wizarding World in Orlando has been beyond even the imagination of any theme park executive, so it is not surprising that they are aiming to replicate the success of the Florida park in Hollywood.

There is no such thing as a sure thing but it seems a safe bet that Wiazarding World in Los Angeles will be a huge commercial success. Universal Studios Orlando Resort reported that attendance at the parks leapt 41 percent from last June 2010 to June 2011.
The increase in visitors is exceptional with nearly 3.6 million people visiting Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in the second quarter of 2011. Wizarding World Orlando has welcomed more than 10 million visitors since it opened.

It seems that the $265 million spent on Wizarding World was a very wise investment. Universal’s president, Ron Meyer said his company would spend “several hundred million dollars” to create the Hollywood Wizarding World attraction. He also added that it would be built within the confines of the current park.

There is now of course speculation that existing rides will have to be demolished as there really isn’t that much room for expansion. But some have suggested that the Gibson Amphitheater will be demolished. Anything at the moment is just speculation but it does appear that although this amphitheater is still used it is under consideration for a possible site.

Other very welcome news is that around 1,000 jobs will be created as a result of the Wizarding project.

When will the new Wizarding World open in Los Angeles? It is likely that it will be around 2015.

What will the new Wizarding World theme park feature? Not many details have yet been revealed but it was confirmed that there will be a Hogwarts (couldn’t really be left out could it)?. Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey will be inside Hogwarts but it is not yet known if it will be a complete copy of the original.

No other attractions were specifically mentioned at the announcement. Learning from the experience in Orlando the new World should most definitely have more space in the shops. Whilst the shops in Orlando are authentically detailed they are incredibly small. It will be interesting to see how this design and function dilemma is solved – how do they make it seem like Hogsmead but make the attractions large enough to be able to deal with the crowds.

There was no official announcement on the cost of building Wizarding World but there are rumors that the budget is $200 million. Whilst this is of course a huge amount, it is considerably less than the $265 million cost of Wizarding World in Orlando. Does this mean that some attractions will be scaled down?

Another very exciting announcement made yesterday is that Wizarding World in Orlando is definitely going to expand. Really this is no surprise but it is very welcome news to Harry Potter fans visiting Orlando. The one down side of Wizarding World is the crowds and the lines. The expansion will hopefully bring even more magic to Harry Potter fans.

What do you want to see in Wizarding World Hollywood? Leave me a comment below.

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