New “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” Theme Park Announced for Universal Studios

112

May 31, 2007

Posted by SueTLC
Uncategorized

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There is an exciting turn of events tonight as Universal Studios and the people behind Harry Potter announced that there will in fact be a Hogwarts type theme park at Universal Studios (Islands of Adventure) in Orlando, Florida called “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.” You can now see some gorgeous high res concept art for this new theme park, including an overview of the theme park, Hogsmeade village square and the very cool Hogwarts castle. This announcement confirms the rumors that have persisted for some time; now this is to be fact with the park due to open in early 2010. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling said ““The plans I’ve seen look incredibly exciting, and I don’t think fans of the books or films will be disappointed.â€

Hosted by Harry Potter movie production designer Stuart Craig in a special webcast from Dumbledore’s Office set at Leavesden Studios in England for various sites including TLC, you can now see video of this announcement on our YouTube channel. Part 1 is here, Part 2 via this link, and now Part 3 (where they answer our questions), here.

Among the details revealed were:

  • This new theme park will include facets such as a Hogsmeade section, the Forbidden Forest, and even Hogwarts Castle where you will actually be able to walk inside a replication of the beloved castle.
  • J.K. Rowling is described as having been “very involved” in the creating and planning of this park since the begining, and is very supportive of this new park.
  • Mr. Craig has been actively designing the project starting in January of this year, while Universal has been planning for two years previously.
  • There will be many types of rides some “intense”, shopping, and more, as well as a brand new state of the art attraction.
  • A “British” environment is to be maintained, including the food served, and mannerisms of the staff.
  • The park is aimed at fans of both the movies and books, geared for fans of all ages or as they said ” 7 to 67″
  • Will incorporate elements of all the Harry Potter novels, books one through seven.
  • A more expansive and complete look of the total environment of Hogsmeade is likely.
  • The public can register for email alerts via this link.

In a press release about this new theme park, many executives reveal their enthusiasm for this project

“We have a profound sense of responsibility for the Harry Potter franchise at Warner Bros. Bringing the magic of J.K. Rowling’s written word to the motion picture screen was the first step in expanding this amazing and imaginative world. Working with Universal Orlando Resort to bring it to life in a physical environment that you can walk through, relax in and ride on is the natural next step for fans to experience and enjoy,†said Alan Horn, president and COO, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.





199 Responses to New “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” Theme Park Announced for Universal Studios

Avatar Image says: jele, fair point about the books making sure that HP never dies. I totally agree. I think I was just very excited (finally) about the park. I was skeptical at first too, but there's nothing I can do about it and I know I won't be able to stay away from it. So, I may as well embrace it. I'm sure Jo thought it through. I would like to get a note about it on her site, though. beansprout, I truly hope you are around for it. I hope you can go to opening day and you are very healthy so you can enjoy your time there. Also, on AOL they're saying it opens in 2009. So, is it 2009 or 2010? I'm going with the latter since that's what Leaky said.Avatar Image says: I must plainly admit - I just do not care if they do this or not. I will keep loving the books and films, no theme park will get me away from that. If I happen to be nearby once, I'll go there certainly, and I might enjoy the Hogwarts castle. (And I'll hope they'll have Snape running around somewhere ;) Avatar Image says: personally I'm very skeptical, It seems too much commercialism of harry potter. There's already a large group that are just about the movies. I so much prefer that people actually read some novels and use their imagination. Another concern is also how much will the books be respected. There are rather huge differences between the books and movies and the movies, while fun, are not, imo, particularly respectful of many of the themes and characters in the books. Then there is the "britishness" of it. An Americanized-britishness thing would be kinda sad. I know they said they will try to respect it, but I'm not holding my breath. mollywobbles23, about your comment that now HP will never truly die, I would argue that the theme park is rather irrelevant to this. Truly great works of literature have survived for hundreds, and in some cases, thousands upon thousands of years. Avatar Image says: I can't believe people are being critical of JK Rowling for yet again sharing her incredible world with us. She is such an unselfish and thoughtful person I'm sure she just wants even more for us fans that she has already given so much to. I believe she wants, for those of us who dream of "being" in Hogwarts, to be able to experience it. I want to thank her for allowing this to happen. She didn't have to, she doesn't need the money, and if she makes more money, good for her. For one, she deserves it and secondly, she is incredibly generous with her fortune. I HOPE I get to go. I'm currently battling cancer and my doctor's prognosis does not put me in Florida or anywhere else in 2010 but I'm darn well going to try and prove my doctor wrong and hopefully walk into Hogwarts in 2010. Harry Potter fans are so lucky, it's going to be magical.Avatar Image says: How very sad!!!My respect for you Ms Rowling fell at this announcement! I supose it is all in the name of money ! What a shame!!Avatar Image says: You know, the longer I think about it, the more I like it. Now HP will truly never die! Asides from that, I'm really excited about going now. It also gives an excuse for a friend of mine, who will still be in Japan at the time (she leaves this July,after the book comes out, thank God, and plans on being over there for at least three years), will have more incintive to meet up with us there on the opening. I'm talking to her now about it. As soon as I can, I'm saving up for it. Suveniors will be insane. It would also be cool if my friends and I can chip in to stay in a suite...for at least one night, anyway. I wonder if Jo will be there. I wonder if Rupert will be there....Avatar Image says: I bet they'll do Diagon Alley like the main street in the Magic Kingdom... and Hogsmeade. I am so freaking SOTOKED!!!Avatar Image says: Personally, I think this is stupid. Way too much commercializing. I don't care if JKR came up with the idea herself, I think this is ridiculous and way too much. I can deal with movies (I like the movies), but this is just awful. The pictures are gorgeous, yes, and I imagine I'll visit it at some point, but I still think it's going too far. It really takes away a lot of the imagination that was necessary in reading the books.Avatar Image says: Ah, man, this is a bit of a money-churner. Too commercial for my liking. Merchandise and movies is one thing ... but a themed-world? And in Florida? What made me fall in love with Harry's world were the BOOKS. I'd argue that it's enough to have a personal, imaginary world to dive into everytime one reads the books. Making some of that world concrete, and in line with someone else's vision, feels like an intrusion.Avatar Image says: YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Avatar Image says: I would bet dollars to doughnuts that all major locations will be included in the park. If they leave out Diagon Alley or The Leaky Cauldron or other places it would be a major mistake and it sounds like they want to be true to all of the books and films. I'm hoping they have a Gryffindor Common room so I can sit in one of the squashy armchairs by the fireplace. wwAvatar Image says: I agree with you Tara! I've never liked the idea of a theme park, although there is a small part of me that would like to visit it >_< But they had better mean it when they say they're keeping it British! My nightmare would be to walk into this theme park and find they've Americanised Harry Potter, that's about the only thing Britons have to be proud of XD Avatar Image says: This is sure to get interesting...indeed. I'd go, for my birthday or something.Avatar Image says: Whoa...they finally did it! I would love to go if I ever make it down to Florida.Avatar Image says: Wow!! Finally a confirmation on something that's been rumored for such a long time. I'd definatly go down for that.Avatar Image says: AHHHH oh man oh man oh man. My dream home? Oh I think so! lol can't wait for more info!Avatar Image says: OMG OMG OMG OMG. I agree with Ashley, my dream home! One more thing to add to my list of places to go before i die...Avatar Image says: YES!!!!! This is awesome!!!!!! Just in time for movie 7!!!! I've been generally bored with the whole Orlando/Disney scene for a while now, but this really gets me excited to go back down there again.Avatar Image says: Wow, so its official! That's awesome! Harry Potter theme-park, I like the sound of it! :DAvatar Image says: I will be waiting in line for it to open! SQUEE!! I can't wait til 2010!Avatar Image says: wow, sounds like they are recreating the whole hogwarts area + hogsmeadeAvatar Image says: Wow, this is really exciting! I'm looking foreward to it. I wonder what the rides will be like. Probably something about quidditch or riding a hipogriff or thestral or a flying Ford Anglia that crashes into the womping willow and runs away from acromantula. There could be a merry-go-round with fantastic beasts. Maybe a Hogwarts Express to go around the park.Avatar Image says: Whoa! AwesomeAvatar Image says: This is so awesome! By 2010, I will have at least 1 child. I'll take them there, and get them hooked on Harry early!Avatar Image says: YEESSSSS!Avatar Image says: OMG! Im squeeeeeeing!!!! This is wonderful news! Oh, I hope they have the small details that make the HP world so individual, for example: Moving portraits, ghosts, the whomping willow tree, a Rosemerta character at the Three Broomsticks. Oh I hope someday I'll be able to go again! Do you see now, Ms Malory how much of a positive impact HP has on our society?Avatar Image says: I don't know if I like this. And JK was "very involved"? I really don't like that. Not because she wouldn't do a fabulous job, but because that means she gave her consent. I guess WB can do anything they want with it and she just got involved to make sure they didn't ruin it. I don't know how I feel about this. I was really hoping that this was just heresay. I'll still go though, because HP owns me.Avatar Image says: This is awesome times Spaghetti! All I need is a recreation of hogwarts as a hotel, with a little offshoot with hogsmeade and I'm in heaven.Avatar Image says: COOOOLLLL!!!Avatar Image says: Think of it... a gringotts rollercoaster just like the book describes.... the maze from GoF..... diagon alley... we may all one day walk onto a real quidditch pitch.. we may drink butterbeer... or play giant wizard chess...Avatar Image says: Screw the savings for a new laptop, I'm saving for THIS! Kidding, b/c I really need a new laptop. But I will be planning and saving for this!Avatar Image says: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! My dad lives literally a couple of miles from Universal!!!! i.e. I live there in the summers! i.e. MY SUMMER 2010 job WILL BE to work the Harry Potter section of Universal! Once again AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH, oooohhhh this better look good. I knew all those rumors couldn't be for nothing...Avatar Image says: WOW!!! When I read that headline, I just about "SQUEEED my pants" (thanks for that one, Sue). I definitely need to start saving up for that now. I'm very much looking forward to the rides, the experience, and the "intense" shopping. On a side note, I can just picture Leaky staffers creating a countdown widget for the opening day of the park.Avatar Image says: By golly I guess they weren't kidding all those other times. That is snazzy! And I'm happy it'll be Universal. Man! A Harry Potter theme park! I actually want to go to it when it opens in 2010. Avatar Image says: OH MY FREAKING GOD! I HAVE NEVER BEEN ANY MORE GLAD FOR LIVING IN HOT AND DUMB FLORIDA! CAN I GET A "SQUEEEE!!!!!!" (Ok don't kill me but I had to go capslocky here, I'm just too darn excited!!)Avatar Image says: Here's a blurb, from the Orlando Sentinel, quoting the President of Universal Orlando. It's sounds like they get the picture that they better not screw around with Harry Potter. "Davis agreed, noting that the large, dedicated fan base that Universal hopes to capture could turn on the resort if fans conclude Universal cheapened the Harry Potter concept. 'We do have a responsibility to all the fans that are out there in the world that have followed the Harry Potter saga through the films and the books,' Davis said. 'We're taking that very, very seriously. We're going to be true to the books and the films, and make sure that when people come here they're going to be very, very happy with what they see.'"Avatar Image says: WOW, this was unexpected. How long have these rumors been about? At least since around the release of OotP, I'm pretty certain I can recall up to that point... Um. I don't know if I like it or not. I agree with mollywobbles23 in that I don't know if I like the concept of a Harry Potter theme park. I mean, I like the concept of the park, I just don't like the fact that Jo seems to have given in at last to the hugest of all money-makers. It doesn't seem too long ago that she was denying that there was ANY sort of Harry Potter theme park in the works, and yet Stuart Craig's release says Jo has been involved "from the beginning." So I don't know. I also don't like that it's to be located several states away and that it will likely be on my own expense for me to visit on its opening day. XD Nobody really had to read all that, it was really just me ranting incomprehensibly. That's what I get for checking Leaky at 1:23 AM. :-P But you can be sure I'll apply for tickets to be in Orlando, Florida on opening day! ^o^Avatar Image says: I don't think I've ever wanted to go to Universal Studios until now...Avatar Image says: I am glad we have three year until this happens because that is about how long it is going to take me to save up enough money for this trip so I can be there opening day. I do have to say that I am not that surprised that the rumors were ture because of how many times it was said, for how long it was rumored, by who it was said, and what was these people actually said. I don't really like amusement parks (only been to a few in my life) and usually only go because my friends and/or family wants me to but this time I am going to be dragging as many people as I can with me. I also have to say that I am happy that us fan have something else to look forward to other than the last two movies in next couple of years. Avatar Image says: Hmm,part of me likes the idea if they do it well,pat of me thinks they are cheapening the name of HP,we`ll have to wait and see. Shame it`s in the US thought,don`t think the four of us will ever be able to afford a holiday in Florida.Maybe we`ll get one in the UK if this one does well.Avatar Image says: Woo! Woo again!Avatar Image says: Awesome! Now if only there was a hope in the world of me actually being able to go there...Avatar Image says: WOW I have to go! But I live in Spain! NOOOOOOOOOAvatar Image says: I really really really hope they do this right and not make it some chinsy, cheap playground...though I'm confident that with Jo being so involved she won't let that happen. :)Avatar Image says: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! (sorry but *SQUEE TO THE MAX* Almost as excited as like....wow!!!! Golly gosh....This is brill!!! I'v only got 3 years to save up for it....GOSH!!! OMG I'm excited!!!!n *puts money in new savings account* America here i come!!! hahaha ^^ I SOOOOO Wish i could go over and live there...I wonder how many security guards it will take to get us all to leave LOL I WANNA WALK THROUGH HOGWARTS!!! And i think they still will have a leaky cauldron....it will be like the entrance to the park haha! *SSSSSSSSSSSSQQQQQQQUUUUUUUUUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE* ..>Sorry...Avatar Image says: My hubby says he's not going with me on opening day because he's "not sure if he can handle all those wizarding folk" But we'll be going anyway!! I have three years to talk him into it. For years I haven't been sure if I liked the idea of an HP theme park, but seeing the photos and hearing that Jo has been so involved gives me comfort. I'm excited!!!Avatar Image says: Wow!!! I feel like this news couldn't have come at a better time. Just when I was starting to feel some mixed feelings about the end of the series, this news. It's a whole new thing to look forward to and something I've always hoped would happen. I guess after DH instead of anticipating the next book I can anticipate my pilgrimage to see the theme park. Yay!Avatar Image says: I don't see why Hogsmeade has to be snow-covered. That'll be incongruous with Florida weather. Why not a summer Hogsmeade?Avatar Image says: Florida here I come!!! Going to Universal was one of my options for my trip later this year - now I'm really glad I decided on something else. I'll be heading over from Australia just as soon as they give the word Hey Leaky - how about someone running an international comp (for adults) to be some of the first to "test run" everything before it opens?? (That's a hint y'all) Maureen from Aus :)Avatar Image says: I'm trying to be excited about this, but my skepticism is really really strong.....Avatar Image says: Um, i know i'm just a dumb aussie, (oh, crap i hate being the devils advocate...) but isn't Florida (being on the edge of the gulf, and at the start of the Atlantic Gulf Strem) just a TAD prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes?? i would actually like to be corrected on this one. but it seems that building a park planned for 2010 on a low-lying area which could easily be engulfed by a rising ocean might clash horribly with the predicted effects of climate change?? unless Florida has some nice high ground i am unaware of (high possibility)?? please note that this should be read in a tone of timid uncertainty and not a hint of sarcasm - i truly don't know and would like answers. i'd just really love to see the park, but would hate it to get half way through construction and drop into the sea. it'd crush all our hopes....Avatar Image says: Hmmm...will I go? At some point in my life, most likely not on opening day. It sounds great and like they are really putting thought into this, after all, it is just a theme park. I am also glad JK Rowling had some input. It is a great way to physically step into a world you have been imagining for years! Sure HP doesn't seem so "grassroots" anymore but HP left that identity a long time ago. If done properly and with respect, I think it can be awesome and something kids could experience for the first time for years to come. Avatar Image says: I was not sure when I read this but GMTV have also announced it on there news about the new Harry Potter theme park so it looks like its going ahead. 2010 sounds like a wonderful year. Better get saving then.Avatar Image says: I am pumped, not gonna lie. I just graduated high school and, after buying HPADH and my movie ticket to OOTP I was going to begin saving for a new car. However, it looks like that idea is out due to this new announcemet. I never really knew whether to believe the rumors or not. I always assumed a theme park would evolve sooner or later. How blessed we are to have it sooner! Well I must depart now and go call all my HP fan friends to let them know. Too bad for them I check leaky at 2:45 in the morning!! P.S. I totally trust JK to not let this be a bad rendition. I totally trust JK with every aspect of HP and if I knew her personally I would probably trust her with every aspect of my life, seeing as she is my idol.Avatar Image says: I'm really, really not keen on this. It just seems to cheapen the whole experience of the books (or give ammunition to those that say it's a silly fad).Avatar Image says: What excellent news! I hope I'll get to visit someday...Avatar Image says: erm, why isn't it going to be in the uk? that is after all where the books are set and plenty of people would still visit...:SAvatar Image says: They used to have one at Warner Bros Movie World in Queensland (Australia). Nothing quite as grand as this, obviously, but they had a Diagon Alley etc. I always wanted to go, but never got that chance, and then they closed down the HP part, so I guess it didn't work for them here. :~( I really hope this one is a success!Avatar Image says: According to both the BBC TV news this morning and the Bookseller website it's scheduled for opening in 2009, which would be the year following the HBP film and would fit nicely in the gap between that and DH film to keep the non-book fans interested.Avatar Image says: 2010?? Wow! Maybe I could convince my mum to take us to America by then.But I'll nearly be 18 myself-I'll just go with my other HP mad friend on our own!Avatar Image says: One word..... WOW!!!!!!!!!Avatar Image says: "erm, why isn't it going to be in the uk?" Because there isn't a theme park in the UK that isn't strewn with litter and run by sulky teenagers? In addition, they wouldn't get as many visitors. The UK isn't as theme park oriented as the US.Avatar Image says: I just read a few comments and it's cute to see so many people who're really looking foward to it. But I'm also happy about the fact, that I'm not the only one who thinks that this isn't the best news I read about a Harry Potter-thing.It wouldn't be anything special anymore,if there is a ThemePark. In my opinion this would spoil the whole HP-atmosphere (although I'd love to walk through Hogwarts...). ps.sorry for this bad english ;-)Avatar Image says: There are some sceptics in these comments. i wonder if those of you who are sceptical have actually been to Florida Universal Studios/Island of Adventure and Disney World. Do not mistake these parks for California's Universal and Disney Island and Eurodisney etc. These other parks pale in comparison by 100:1. Florida Universal Studios/ Island of Adventures and Disneyworld are like nothing else on earth. I live in UK and have gone to Florida 4 times to experience and escape to pure bliss/excitement and always feel a sense of awe at the attention to detail of the park. As for the attractions/rides themselves - the astonishing thing about them is you are not just on a ride as such - you are immersed in a story with staff acting out their roles approprialtely. Example Jaws. As you queue up in line, you are greeted with videos and advertising for staying at Amsoething beach (the beach in jaws) - with stories about how a great white cased mayham years ago. As you queue you are led to believe you are waiting for the next boat cruise around the island with the staff acting out the roles of tour guides. you get in the boat and its a lovely cruise around the massive lake. Suddenly shots are heard from another boat and our boat goes to see whats going on and then with some incredible hydraulic technology we are attacked by the shark and I tell you its thrilling as we try to escape and then try kill the shark and so the adventure continues. These guys spare no expense to give us the ultimate experience of "being there". With T2 attraction, you are lead to believe you are a VIP guest at Cyberdyne's demonstration of their new product the - T800. Then things go "wrong" and you are lunged into a great high tech dramatic story and ride with actors playing Arnie, Sarah conors and John connors realistically. Then spiderman 3d demonstrates the fusion of 3D/hydraulics and rollercoaster ride to the most astonishing and thrilling effect. These are just some examples. What I am trying to say, is that trust these guys to make A harry Potter World theme park. We know that WB treats HP with utmost respect. We know the standard of attractions are second to none in the world. AND I Know that I am going to be in heaven when I walk into the Harry Potter Wizarding World. Man, I sound like a Universal and Disney promotion officer. I should get paid for this!Avatar Image says: It seems nice, but I'm a little worried... you know how throngs of tourists tend to ruin special moments? I hope to not associate my memories of a Great Hall replica with a thousand screaming children and irate parents crammed inside.Avatar Image says: I'd absoutely love to go! It's kinda unlikely to happen in 2010 but still. I so want to go to Florida! And correct me if I'm wrong, but isnt there some 'Harry's World Of Magic' thing in the UK? That'd do for me for now (well at least until 2010).Avatar Image says: My family and I took our first trip to Disney World (and Florida) just this past January; had an incredible time. I'm hoping Universal is as clean and well run as DW, because it now looks as though we'll be heading back to Florida sometime after 2010. Better start saving those knuts!Avatar Image says: Amyy, LOL, like having to score at least an "A" on an OWL? I like it! : ) I like the way you think! I'm so excited about this even though I will now have to get back on a plane, something I have avoided for 15 years. *sigh* I'm totally confident that they are taking the fandom and the HP world seriously, especially with Jo being "involved from the beginning" so i think it will be beyond amazing. No more family vacations from now 'til then, we'll be saving up! But the best thing to me (as I already posted on the poll but I have to say it again) is I think this news must be proof that our hero LIVES. I can't see them shelling out the big bucks for an "amusement" park in Harry's name where everyone spends the whole day (week, month, decade) bawling their eyes out at a memorial wall instead of shopping, eating, playing games, riding rides, etc., etc. I hope, I hope, I hope!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Avatar Image says: :-)Avatar Image says: SPRING BREAK '10!!! hahahaha. aaaaaah this place looks too cute and too fun. where are the RIDES, though? I wanna know more about them. the fake snow is gonna be a little offputting in the summer though, no? Avatar Image says: Can't wait!!!!Avatar Image says: hmmm... ok for the little ones I suppose... I'd much rather they recreated the original HP sets somewhere after the films are finished, as a kind of museum, so we can see the wonderful work the set designers put into it. I'd definitely visit those. Maybe they will... as it sounds like they keep everything. Avatar Image says: Thas pretty cool! I've been to Islands of Adventure; I really can't wait for this...Avatar Image says: Wow, I would love to go to it. Avatar Image says: OMG!! This looks AWESOME!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to go!!!!Avatar Image says: I certainly won't be going....Avatar Image says: I was so hoping the rumours are true...now just the task of getting there from Aus. Hmm... not an easy feat...but no doubt i will definitely visit, it's a once in a life time chance for something totally Harry Potter. I'm sure we've all dreamed about living in Harry's world, i guess this will be the closest thing to it. Cheers!Avatar Image says: Florida does know how to do proper theme parks.Avatar Image says: So glad it is NOT at Di$ney.Avatar Image says: You have no clue how excited I am right now.....*begs mom to take me* I'll kill to go! :-DAvatar Image says: I don't like the idea. The appeal of Harry Potter for me is that it is real when I read the books. I have my own vision of Hogwarts, I have walked through Hogsmeade... Imagination is where it belongs to me. I'm not going to say they shouldn't make it, because I don't have the right to say to people who are excited about going that they can't go. But I won't be going. I'm not sure I like the concept of making theme parks out of books. Recently they made one about Dickens and my reaction was exactly the same. I always felt the act of reading was something intensely personal and powerful, but the idea of trying to replicate for a completely different type of entertainment leaves me rather sad. This theme park would likely be stunning, getting the various elements of the books and creating a feel for them. But, personally, it would be a poor comparison to the real thing. Avatar Image says: Fake snow in Florida? They'd be much better off without... Also, I know theme parks have rides. But what sort of rides could they possibly create from the HP series? A kiddie ride where you fly on a broom in circles for about 3 minutes? sounds...fun... I am sure I will go just for the experience and photo opportunites. I agree with Teetor 100% If Disney were involved I would never step foot inside the park. DIE DISNEY WORLD/LAND!Avatar Image says: EEEKKK!!! i think i've never been so excited...ok so maybe when the books come out im just as excited!! at first i was all lik 2010...damn we r going on the family holiday there next yr..but then i realised i'm planning on getting married in oct 2009, so could hold of on the honeymoon, or if hubby-2-b doesn't like that(and he wont) i'm set to graduate in 2010, so me and all my harry potter mates could go as a graduation pressie!! i LOVE universal and am sooo happy it's being there and not disney. Have been to universal twice now and still love all the rides and marvel at the details!! I can't wait to see what rides they come up with, gringots would be good, but its in diagon alley not hogsmead...maybe the will do all the twiwizard tasks!? I gotta start saving again!!!Avatar Image says: Great idea but too bad that it's in the US ! It should be in UK !Avatar Image says: "Go to York instead, Jenny. The Shambles looks exactly like Diagon Alley, and it's real!" Starling you are so right!!! :D When I first saw Diagon Alley I said "It's the Shambles! - then I thought, or Petergate" I bet they modelled it on York! I've also long been convinced that platform 9 3/4 is filmed at York station not King's Cross. The bridge looks exactly like York's- mind you I'm not that familiar with KX... I don't go for them myself but I don't mind the idea of a theme park. Disney's based on films so why not. As long as they create a proper museum from the real sets as well (in the UK!).Avatar Image says: it says "resort" --does that mean there will be hotels specifically for the park? because that would be tooo cool. think about it, you could get a room at The Leaky Cauldron, or in a House's Dormitory. Avatar Image says: WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE this must be most exciting moment of my life!!! I-must-stay-alive-until-2010 !!!! Avatar Image says: @ Linda: "Why wouldn't you be going Jenny?" Well, Gringa has said it very nicely: "I have my own vision of Hogwarts, I have walked through Hogsmeade... Imagination is where it belongs to me." I'd prefer not to taint my mental image of this magical world.Avatar Image says: Awesome! I'm so glad this news is finally out! I used to work for Disney and I knew that they had turned it down and Universal had picked up the concept phase of planning, but it was never a formal deal. I know where I'm going on vacay in 2010!!!Avatar Image says: Sweet! The kids are already begging to go opening week! The rides will be wild! I'm hoping to shoot down into the Chamber of Secrets and encounter a basilisk. That way I'll have a good excuse for squeezing my eyes shut in fear! Still, nothing will replace my imagination and seeing the castles, lakes and railways in the United Kingdom.Avatar Image says: WOOO! This is fricken GREAT! I'm so excited for 2010!Avatar Image says: would make sense though if they open one in the UK. Really hope so!!Avatar Image says: "Florida does know how to do proper theme parks." What a joke! The best theme parks in the world are in Florida. While I'm a bigger fan of Disney than Universal, Islands of Adventure is a terrific park, and I'm sure they'll do a great job recreating this world. It will be fun to see what they come up with. I'm also glad all the lies... erm, "denials" are over from JKR. All she had to do all along was say that she would be doing a theme park project, but the plans haven't been finalized. Sheesh! Maybe now she'll consider donating more than autographed copies of a book to be auctioned off for charity. Guess not having money for so long makes it hard for her to open her pocket book.Avatar Image says: This looks awesome! I'm not usually much for traveling, but I think I will have to check this out. I haven't been to Orlando in years, but Universal does create amazing theme parks. To actually tour a Hogwarts...I wonder if Peeves and Sir Nick will be flying around.Avatar Image says: As I posted in the thread about this on the forums... I live in Florida!! Just three-four measly hours away from Orlando! Please, anyone who would like to is more than welcome to come and stay with me to avoid costly hotel rooms! I have plenty of room and I just recently acquired a loveseat exactly like those in Gryffindor 's common room. My whole house is a lovely mixture of Harry Potter and LOTR!! So please...if you plan to visit and are on a budget, come and stay! I am a straight shot up the turnpike to Orlando! I've been to Islands of Adventure ( and all my kids too) and it is great! I am sure they will do a fantastic job. I just want to be able to taste real British food, and be able to GO INSIDE the Great Hall!! Anyone who is interested can e-mail me or send a message through the forums. *goes to check profile to make sure info is there* This will be great!Avatar Image says: I'm very excited! I live in Orlando and not to far from Universal and/or Disney as well. I wont say which of the two companies I work for. This is HUGE for Universal and the Orlando area, but must of all for all of us who are fans of HP world, books and movies. I'm going to be going over very frequently to get pictures of the progress. If someone from Leaky would like to get in contact with me that would be fine.Avatar Image says: Before everyone gets overly excited. I see lots of comments about I hope they have Hogwarts Express and this and that around the park. Keep in mind that we are only talking about 20 acres here. Thats not a lot of room to squeeze all these grand ideas and plans into. I think we will end up with a few shops, places to eat and maybe a kids attraction and an adult attraction(long rumored to be the flying car sequence from chamber of secrets) This will not be a whole day experince instead maybe an hour or 2. I stil lthink it would be better to build an entire theme park along the lines of the size of IOA as a whole or the Magic Kingdom at DIsney for Happr Potter something on that size would get me excited...this announcement today doesn't quite cut it. Avatar Image says: YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is so GREAT!!! I live here in Florida! Only an hour away from Orlando. I am so going to be inline to work there! And will be so thrilled to see and talk with all the Harry fans from all over the world. What a wonderful coming together this is going to be guys! WEEEEE!!! We didn't even get to have the knightbus down here, but now we will have the whole world! WOO HOO! And just think, everything in Harry will be here. From pumpkin juice in the restaurant, all the food, british theme! They are assurring us they will keep faithful to the books. And we will get to see Jo I'm sure! WAHOO!!! Can't wait to meet you all! Come over you are so welcome! Ok, I will try to calm down now, haha. WEEEE!! :)Avatar Image says: Eve123 I said "Florida does know how to do proper theme parks." NOT "doesn't" I was agreeing that Florida was a good place to do a theme park. Avatar Image says: There was disney world, and now this park, that I'll never go to T_T it looks awesome...Avatar Image says: "hmmm... ok for the little ones I suppose..." Um, and those of us who are young at heart and don't take ourselves too seriously to enjoy a theme park!Avatar Image says: I'm feel better now after reading all the comments and seeing that I'm not the only one, who doesn't feel that comfortable with this idea, I agree with Gringa, this world, world of the books belongs to me, it's deep in my heart, and it's mine, I don't want to see screaming children in Dumbledor's office, for example. I agree, museum, I would be there in an instant moment, park, not so thrilled about. But that's just me.Avatar Image says: Well..I think it's pretty incredible actually. Avatar Image says: there's really only one word for this... Amazing. That's really all that comes to mind. This is some really exciting news guys!!! AHHH! I Could just die with happiness! ... After having gone there of course.... hahaha oh and btw... my letter/number thing has three sixes in a row in it... Yikes! ... is that a bad sign? .....Avatar Image says: **Will be moving to Florida by 2010 whether the family likes it or not.** Talk about a dream job! Florida, look out, crazy redhead on the way!Avatar Image says: WOW... I never thought that would actually happen! Looks like come 2010 i wont be able to avoid visiting Florida anymore. :PAvatar Image says: Okay, First I'm glad I live in Florida! Second, I haven't seen anyone mention it, but I think this confirms that Harry (probably the Trio) will live! I cannot see a huge theme park devoted to Harry if the character DIES in DH. That would be kind of a downer don't you think? I have always said that if Harry dies in DH it would taint the entire book series forever. Same thing here. In my opinion a theme park devoted to Harry says to me that there has to be a Harry alive in the minds of readers at the end of DH or no-one will want to go to a theme park.Avatar Image says: I'm so exited. Finally a good reason to stay living in Florida!! I live in Orlando like 30 minutes from Universal parks!!! This looks AMAZING!! I really think it will be awesome!! They should try to have JK Rowling the opening day!! I'll be there for sure at least once a month for the first year!! YAY!Avatar Image says: I am so excited! My husband and I wanted to go to Orlando for our anniversary, so now I know what year, and that gives us time to save money for it.Avatar Image says: As a Disney person, I was hoping this would end up at MGM, as once rumored. But I guess this gives me a good excuse to leave Disney property and see what Universal has to offer. I'm sure my family will be there as soon as possible. Can't wait to find out more details on the rides. If this is done right, it could be incredible, even for non-Potter fans.Avatar Image says: Yes, I wanted to move out of this state but now I must stay so I can get my florida residents pass and go as many times as I want. I am only an hour away in the Tampa area so getting there will a piece of cake. For those of you worried about hurricanes, Orlando sits in a part of Florida that does not get direct hits because it is not on a coast line and for some reason when the worst of the storm cross over the state they seem to go under or over that area. We have the same thing here in Tampa we sit in a cove like area that luckly escapes direct hits evey year(knokes on eood for god luck). I believe the news has said Disney and Universal have only closed a couple of times due to storms usually they stay open.Avatar Image says: OMG OMG OMG!!! This is so huge, I will so be there soon after it opens...say about a week to take it all in. All I can say is if Jo approves of it then it is okey dokey with me. I had a wonderful vision of Laura Mallory watching the TODAY show and choking on her Cornflakes when the announcement was made. ROTFLOL WWAvatar Image says: Omg! Omg! Omg!!!!!!!!!! This is going to be so completely awsome! Omg! I can't wait. I mean it'll be like going to visit the movie sets except better!!!!!!!! yay!!!!!!!Avatar Image says: woooop! they sure know how to squeeze every last dime out of fans, huh? I'll still go. Avatar Image says: I had a wonderful vision of Laura Mallory watching the TODAY show and choking on her Cornflakes when the announcement was made. ROTFLOL *spits tea all over monitor* That is too too funny!!! LOL!Avatar Image says: Yes! Now to win the lottery and book a two month stay in Orlando, just to go to all the theme parks, but especially the Potter World!Avatar Image says: There was a huge article in the Orlando Sentinel the Central Florida newspaper waiting for me when I woke up this morning! It said it would be opening in 2009..I cant wait!!!Avatar Image says: "Second, I haven't seen anyone mention it, but I think this confirms that Harry (probably the Trio) will live! I cannot see a huge theme park devoted to Harry if the character DIES in DH." They could always have a graveyard with Harry's gravestone or the veil with a board next to it declaring "Potter's just gone through". Take lots of Kleenex.Avatar Image says: Very glad to see I'm not the only one going "... meh?" at this. I like to think I'm not a book snob - and seriously, if it was JUST a theme park, or JUST the movies, I'd be fine. But we've got movies, merchaandise, video games, and now a theme park. Why are older kids and teens of 2010 going to NEED the books? :/ I already know people who are in it for the movies.Avatar Image says: Sorry, Orlando just isn't soggy enough for me. The books have cold, wet weather in them - I think I'd just as soon spend the time in the Scotland/England border and skip the rides.Avatar Image says: Holy crap. My biggest fantasy is to shop in Hogsmeade (and to read the 7th book in an Irish castle on a rainy day with Jason Isaacs while drinking some really expensive bordeaux... but that's for another post) But really- this is very exciting. With the last book on its way, It's nice to know there's more to look forward to even when its over.Avatar Image says: "I had a wonderful vision of Laura Mallory watching the TODAY show and choking on her Cornflakes when the announcement was made. ROTFLOL" Hee Hee- something like that crossed my mind too!Avatar Image says: "Second, I haven't seen anyone mention it, but I think this confirms that Harry (probably the Trio) will live! I cannot see a huge theme park devoted to Harry if the character DIES in DH. That would be kind of a downer don't you think? I have always said that if Harry dies in DH it would taint the entire book series forever. Same thing here. In my opinion a theme park devoted to Harry says to me that there has to be a Harry alive in the minds of readers at the end of DH or no-one will want to go to a theme park." Glenn, I agree with you totally! I posted the same thought, see earlier, and for the same reason. This gives me great hope!!! It makes the next 50 days of waiting to find out 100% for sure a (VERY LITTLE) bit more tolerable. LONG LIVE HARRY!Avatar Image says: i'm not that excited about this them park... I mean, above all, Harry Potter is about imagination, reading a book force you to use your imagination to create a whole new world..; I think that my personnal vision of Hogsmeade would be completly destroyed if I had to go to that theme park... the movies have already made so much damage to the people's imagination ! why do they have to make HP become such a big business ? being excited about the book isn't enough ?Avatar Image says: Elliot - If you don't want your imagination to be tainted, then just read the books and be done with it. No movies no fan art (no book art). On the other hand - speaking as someone who started by watching the movies and moved to the books - I believe you can have all three. The written word, the movie interpretation and your own mental (not that I'm saying that you're mental) vision.Avatar Image says: I'm confident that this theme park will be done right and we won't be disappointed. All Potter fans who go there will be evaluating it closely. We did that with the movies (didn't we?)and yet most of us were satisfied with the movie versions of Harry's World and couldn't wait for the next movie to be released. Let's not pre-judge, but trust those involved with creating this amusement park and experience the magic when it opens. The only thing that could take away from the experience for me would be crowds of people milling about and in line for the attractions (typical for other theme parkes) -- I THINK THERE SHOULD BE A DAILY LIMIT OF TICKET SALES to control the number of people in the park at one time. Cheers!Avatar Image says: Can you imagine the desserts they'll be selling? How 'bout Butterbeer Sno-Cones and Spotted Dick-on-a-stick?Avatar Image says: Finally! i've been thinking of possible rides and attractions since i heard this news earlier today, roll on 2010 :)Avatar Image says: HOLY CRAP. It's going to be MASSIVE...An actual HOGWARTS. and HOGSMEADE. HOLY CRAP. *dumbstruck* I'm definitely going the year it opens. This doesn't ruin the imagination for me, as I will always view the characters and places a certain way- it only heightens my experience as a Potter fan! And anyway, I mean, it's HOGSMEADE... visiting HOGWARTS JKR-designed!!!! Books AND movies. OMG.... IMAGINE SPENDING HALLOWEEN THERE! OMG. *completely flabberghasted*Avatar Image says: AHHHH! I'm so excited!! I'm shaking like crazy! This is so awesome and I really do believe that it's going to be true to the books. The "British atmosphere" will be soo great too! It's just too much time away! I'll be in college by then(eek!) Ok, well, anyway, I'm EXCITED!!!!!! :)Avatar Image says: 'Holy cow' is right, this is awesome!! And I'm relocating to Florida for the next couple years, so I'll be there when it opens (which means I am SO planning a vacation around this when the fam visits in 2010!!).Avatar Image says: I think all the information's a bit misleading. There won't be an entire HP theme park with a separate admission to get in, but instead it's planned to be an island at Islands of Adventure. IOA is one of Universal Studio's two parks; it's centered around a lake and has several different sections, called islands (these include Seuss Landing, Jurassic Park, Toon Lagoon, and so on). So it's more of a heavily and amazingly-themed section of an overall (excellent) theme park.Avatar Image says: I don't see how a theme park centered around rides and shopping is going to encourage reading and developing your own imagination. OMG, I can hear the sales clerks now: "Step right up folks and get your genuine replica horcruxes! Collect all six! With real soul fragments inside! (from overseas child labour) Take them home and destroy He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, then come back and buy more, more, more!" Avatar Image says: While I am excited about this, "I confess myself ... diappointed." I was hoping Disney would take this on. Disney might have a "too nice" image in some people's mind, but one thing they are great at is DETAILS. My biggest concern with Universal is that those tiny things that make HP great. Will they get those right?Avatar Image says: I can't either, phoenixquills. Am I the only one actually heartbroken at these news?Avatar Image says: you're really not Gringa. I think i'll pass. For all the reasons other's have stated, I'd much prefer if HP had stayed as it was. Avatar Image says: Quibbler: "NOT "doesn't"..." oops! I stand corrected - sorry!Avatar Image says: that's the stupidest thing i have ever heard, honestly. Why would I want to go to a commercialized hell to stand in line to get Grawp's autograph. seeing someone else's vision of the wizarding world will totally universalize everything and be really bad. Avatar Image says: My thoughts... At first I thought the rumours of a theme park would be tacky, just another way to milk some money from the franchise. HOWEVER... After looking at the concept art, as well as learning that Potter set designer Stuart Craig (who deserves an Oscar for his work) is behind it, I am actually looking forward to visiting it... it truly looks remarkable, especially the Hogsmeade scene. I hope they also have Diagon Alley!Avatar Image says: Totally wicked I’ll defiantly have to go down to Florida and go. Wonder if they have a The Leaky Cauldron, probably not if their just doing Hogwarts, Forbidden Forest and Hogsmead Village, well there should be a 3 broomsticks and maybe The Hogshead here’s to a fire whiskey cheers. Too bad they wouldn’t be doing Diagon Alley they could do a rollercoaster type ride at Gringots to get to the vaulets. Avatar Image says: "While I am excited about this, "I confess myself ... diappointed." I was hoping Disney would take this on. Disney might have a "too nice" image in some people's mind, but one thing they are great at is DETAILS. My biggest concern with Universal is that those tiny things that make HP great. Will they get those right?" Actually, in my experience Universal is just as detail oriented as Disney if not more. Even in the lines for the rides they have tons of details. There is a Spiderman 3D ride at Islands of Adventure that comes to mind. While in line for the ride you go into several rooms that are part of Spiderman. There is a room set up like a newsroom with tons of details. Universal puts a ton of detail in each ride from the time you step in line til you leave the ride. I'm totally excited about this news and can't wait to go back.Avatar Image says: Ok, throw tomatoes at me if you must... but all you folks complaining that this is an infringement upon our imagination, or tacky, or dissappointing, or that it will deter people from reading the books... you need to lighten up. Look at the big pic- JKR's imagination is what's being brought to life, whether its in the form of a book, movie, or a simulated game of quidditch- it makes me want to write and will no doubt inspire a few young authors.Avatar Image says: I think this is great news. I can't wait to see more details about what exactly the theme park will have. I'd love to see a Quidditch-themed ride or a ride simulating Harry and the Order's flight through London from OOTP. And to just visit the actual sets replicated from the movies. It'll be fantastic and I can't wait to see it. I can see why some people don't like the news of this theme park... but come on, once the last book is released (and the final 2 movies are completed) there will be a nice reminder that the Potter legacy will live on. And I bet this will be the main topic of the next PotterCast... I wonder if John will ask some Dawlish-related questions, like "Can I meet him in person? Will there be an exhibit devoted to him?"Avatar Image says: OMGZ OMGZ OMGZ OMGZ OMGZ!!!! I ALMOST SQUEED MY PANTS!Avatar Image says: It looks promising. :)Avatar Image says: I have to agree with pickypickyhenry. As a Brit, that is what I am expecting 'British atmosphere' to mean. And I can tell you that no one over here speaks like that anymore, not since around about Charles Dickens's time.Avatar Image says: I just checked the youtube vids and they're cool! though I saw that leaky posted a 4-hr. video of the release that has 'been removed by the user' what is this?Avatar Image says: DIAGON ALLEY. PLEASE. *pants* And a Gringotts cart roller coaster. But mostly DIAGON ALLEY. (!!!)Avatar Image says: JK is my hero and I love her to death, but I'm afraid I feel like she's selling out on this one. Don't get me wrong, it sounds very cool, and I'll be there :) But it's really pushing it a little...Avatar Image says: Well now I have a reason to go to flordia in 2010. I can't wait!Avatar Image says: Yes, this was such awesome news today for us in Fla. It made front page of the Orlando paper! SO EXCITED!!!!! Avatar Image says: This is going to be awesome. I can't wait! I wonder if they are going to serve butter beer!Avatar Image says: Oh wow...This is amazing. I have been wanting to go back to Universal Studios for a while now...and now I definitely know when I will be going!!!! I can't wait. For years I have dreamed of walking through Hogsmead or Diagon Alley and wandering through the halls of Hogwarts. And I would have to say that if Jo was involved in designing it...it has to be awesome. We all know how much she cares about her fans and I believe that she will do everything possible to make us happy. And if this is going to be opening around the time of the final movie release...there is a good chance that stuff straight from the movies will be there, as they won't be needing it. Although I do think I would prefer Diagon Alley to Hogsmead. I want to buy a wand from Olivander, a robe from Madam Mailkins and ride the carts in Gringotts. And could you imagine it if they had the Leaky Cauldron?!?!?! I don't think Mellisa, John, and Sue would ever leave!!! That would be the most amazing live podcast ever!!!! I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!Avatar Image says: Nothing could change my love of the books, so I'm not terribly concerned that this park is a "sell-out" or will supress imagination. And, since I'm a huge theme park fan, I'm pretty happy about this development. However, all of you who are planning on going "opening day"? Just a thought from a veteran theme-park tourer - DON'T. One good way to guarantee your own misery is to try and squeeze into the same areas everyone else is squeezing into in Florida heat. Wait, and enjoy it at a less busy time!Avatar Image says: Wow. Big news from "the franchise." On one hand, I can't deny that part of me wants to catch the first bus to Harry land. Uh ... on the other hand, no matter what Rowling or anyone else says, I can't help seeing visions of papier-mache castles and Goofy and Mickey on broomsticks with pointy hats. I know it's Universal, not Disney, but the point remains that over-licensing can dilute and cheapen an otherwise brilliant concept to the point where you can't think about it without also thinking about souvenir Tinkerbell collector plates and Pooh-and-Piglet telephones. Avatar Image says: right, no overmarketing. what i'm really goonna love is the sets. EXPLORING HOGWARTS CASTLE!!!! and i don't think you can make a real butterbeer. and how can they have a joke shop?! everything should just be REALAvatar Image says: Now DisneyWorld's not the only magic kingdom...tehehe. I live in Miami, so I can get a resident discount, and I live about a 6 hour drive away! Go Florida! We have killer hurricanes AND killer theme parks! ;) Avatar Image says: Am I the only one NOT happy with this? This makes me want to cry :( It's almost like this mass-merchandised Warner Bros. machineis going to take over the world we know and love, replacing the books. I respect JK's decision to give the go-ahead for this - with all respect, it's a pretty cool idea, and she's always kept the books/films separate. But I'm one of kids who grew up with Harry, who lay awake on Christmas 1998 reading the a first-edition copy of the first book, back when no one had really heard of Harry Potter. For me, it's always been about the books: the magic about them has been that you can escape to this whole new world with your imagination. Now, when people think of Harry Potter in future generations, they're going to think of a theme park with cute little kids (and not a few adults) running around, rather than well-written, witty, wonderful books that changed peoples' lives. Already, people get the films and books mixed up too much - now it's just going to get worse. *tear*Avatar Image says: "If you don't want your imagination to be tainted, then just read the books and be done with it. No movies no fan art (no book art). On the other hand - speaking as someone who started by watching the movies and moved to the books - I believe you can have all three. The written word, the movie interpretation and your own mental (not that I'm saying that you're mental) vision. Posted by Glenn on May 31, 2007 at 2:17 PM" MY EXACT THOUGHTS! I WAS JUST GOING TO POST THIS... Don't say you don't want your mental picture of the HP world changed or modified, because the movies would've done that (or not, and if the movies didn't, then the park won't either...) Now, for my well-thought-out opinion, since I have cooled down from my hype yesternight. I know that this is done for the money, so what? I know I will enjoy it just for what it is. I bet I'll see replicas of the sets and that will be like the amazing set visit I'll never have. I love roller coasters and thrill rides and that is what I like about Universal. I've been to Universal Studios and Island of Adventure and a thing that they both have is great roller coasters and thrill rides (especially IoA) so I know that these will be a part of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and this is further emphasized by their announcement of a new state-of-the art ride like no other ride ever made, or however they described it... point being a new cool ride! Now, I am disappointed that they don't SEEM to include Diagon Alley; it would be amazing to enter this world like we first entered the wizarding world in the Sorcerer's Stone book and movie, and having a Leaky Cauldron and all the Diagon Alley places would be tremendous fun. Still, I think that no matter how much we get, I’m happy we get a place that replicates this magic world in some way and that I can go to it! I think that we can not make any judgments just yet because we only have 3 concept art images and no other information. We can’t say it will only be for kids, we can’t say either it’s geared for adults too much; we can’t say this and that will not be there. We don’t know what OR HOW BIG it will be or if they’ll take off part of the existing part and remodel it HP style… I’ve heard many things but we can’t just say anything for certain yet. We need to wait for more info and then scrutinize the info like the good fans that we are, but stop criticizing what we haven’t even seen! That’s all. Sorry for the HUMONGOUS post. Avatar Image says: This is so amazing!! I'd been hoping they'd do it in Islands of Adventure. Now I'm definitely moving to Orlando.Avatar Image says: There are rumors that the new, major attraction will use the KUKA robotic arm. From what I can tell, it's a ride vehicle that can rotate and spin mounted on an arm which is connected to a coaster track. There's an article about all of this here: http://thatoneguy.wordpress.com/2007/04/17/introducing-kuka-the-future-of-theme-parks/ Watch the video, look at the picture, and imagine the ride car as a Ford Anglia...oh, the possibilities.Avatar Image says: This makes me re-think the next three years of college I have left. I was planning on getting into some kind of foreign exchange program or whatever and going to England or France. I've already started looking into it. But now, I finally have ONE reason to stay in Florida. That is, I live in Miami (4 hours away from Orlando) and well, like many other residents put it, we get discounts. Ah...what's better, education or Harry Potter? Heh, education of course. But I think I'll stay, maybe transfer to UCF (my number one pick once I graduated high school last May but never applied to cause I wanted to stay with my friends) and finish up my years there. And, it'll be closer to Orlando, a lot closer. I wouldn't have to drive 4 hours and waste all the money I have on gas instead of shopping at Hogsmeade =). I've been seeing a lot of the comments of people thinking a snow-covered Hogsmeade doesn't seem like a good idea because of the weather; I don't think it's a bad idea. If you've been to Islands of Adventures during the Christmas Season, you'd know that they've had fake snow before in Seuss Land, even having the snow falling to the ground from fans or something, I can't remember. It wasn't completely covered in snow mind you, but it wasn't bad since the weather in Orlando during the Winter season is pretty chilly. I remember my mom (I was 12 at the time) covered me in the "thickest" sweaters you could ever find in Miami. Which was more like 3 sweaters bunched together, since Miami has no use in selling winter clothing. Now to the Hurricanes issue. Like someone pointed out, Central Florida has been hit by many hurricanes before and the Disney Parks and the Universal Parks are still standing. I believe these parks will be able to stand catergory 4 storms, I don't know about cat. 5s but let's knock on wood for that one. Not many cat 5s have hit the area that I know of. I mean, the only cat 5 that I know has ever fit Florida in my life time, was Hurricane Andrew and it hit S. Florida. But to end this long post, I'm sorry for that, I'm extremely excited. I can see Grad Nite (those who've graduated from a high school in Florida will know what I'm talking about, maybe even those in other states too) being held in Islands in 2010 instead of Magic Kingdom, like it has been held for past years. I can see the class of 2010, my cousin being one of them, wanting to head on out to Harry Potter World instead of Cinderella's Castle. Well, now I'm ending this. Avatar Image says: It would nice if they included diagon alley, and there, they could have shops just like in the movie and sell real british treats and hp merchandise. And the people that work in the shop would be dressed as wizards. that would be so cool I think. :)Avatar Image says: wait i read this in the newspaper and it said 2009 not 2010!Avatar Image says: Yeah, that's what Harry Potter is becoming. The Harry Potter franchise, the Harry Potter brand. An endless cash machine. Let's make money with thousand of fans' dear love for the wizard boy. Seriously. How dod you think the amazing Hogwarts castle will look under the sunny sky of Florida? Nothing like the romantic foggy sky of the picture.Avatar Image says: I, for one, am excited. I think it will be fun to see this come to life and walk through it ourselves. And I'm not worried about it tainting my ideas of the books because I know the books, moves and now the park are entirely different entities. So far the movies haven't tainted my vision of the books in...most ways. I won't lie, some of it is taken from the movies, but most of it is still how I personally picture it. I just think it will be fun. I can separate them all, its really not that hard. And those of you who are poo-pooing it, there is one simple solution. Don't go. I mean really, did you honestly think when HP became popular the corporations and studios and whatnot wouldn't leap on it and milk it for all its worth? If you honestly thought that, you are delusional. This was inevitable. If you don't want your personal vision tainted, or you think it's "selling out", or you don't want to go for whatever reason, then don't and simply pretend it doesn't exist. But you aren't going to stop the commercialization of Harry. I hate to use that word but it is commercialization whether we like to admit that or not. Its merchandising. They are going to milk Harry for all its worth because they know they can and they will make big bucks doing it. I doubt that is Jo's motivation behind it, but it certainly is WB's, Universal's, and all the other corporations in on this. But you know the joy of it? After all of this is said and done and the masses who are only in it for the movies and haven't truly enjoyed it like us book fans do have dropped to the wayside, we will still be here. So what if there are people who only watch the movies and don't give a rip about the books? They will drop away eventually but you and the millions of others who love the books will still be able to read them and enjoy them just as you always have. What skin is it off your nose? You know something they don't. You know how truly great works the books are. So keep reading them, share them when you can find someone who actually likes reading them (trust me, there are more than some of these posts make it sound like), and don't let the rest of the people even be a bother to you.Avatar Image says: I personally can't wait for this. I actually don't see any problem with Harry Potter being exposed to people that aren't fans. I mean what's wrong with that? Maybe that will get them to actually read the books. Most importantly, by the time it opens all the books and almost all (but DH) the movies will be out. If there was no theme park, Harry Potter may die out into the background a bit (not from it's true fans, but from media). This will keep it alive. Sure it will be VERY crowded opening day, and probably a little annoying to be there with everyone pushing and shoving (there are some rude people in amusment parks) but I think we should give Jo and Stuart Craig the benefit of the doubt here. If they weren't involved I would be upset, but since they are I couldn't be happier. Can't wait until 2010!!Avatar Image says: Oh wow!! I actually got really excited when my husband told me the news that Universal Orlando was going to open this Potter Spectacular. I'm from England and me, my husband and 2 children are going to Orlando in just under 2 weeks time - we have been once - two years ago and I love the place so much!! I am def. going there in 2010, but a good 6 months after opening for the first time! But one thing that really is niggling me - Why, oh why can they not have this attraction in England, where it belongs -the UK ? -i can not help feeling that it wouldn't feel British being there in the usa, ok I know we don't have the brilliant weather over here, but look at Disney in Paris, their weather is the same as ours in England and it is still a popular place for Disney lovers to visit. We would have loads of tourists and it could be as big as Disneyworld, instead of it being crammed into a corner of boiling hot and humid Universal studios. I love the books, and I like the films and I que up at midnight everytime there's a new HP book going on sale in the uk and i think Hp world will be excellent, even if it is in FL. FL is wonderful! But the castle, a main attraction, should be really really really special. I would visit it any day rather than Disney- Mickey and Minnie, the Little Mermaid, Cinderella - really don't do it for me :)Avatar Image says: Imagine the commercials for this theme park. :OAvatar Image says: In the announcement Stuart Craig was talking about the specifics of JKR's writing that so totally brings HP to life. Her details are what makes it possible for us all to relate and be so excited about it. He seemed surprised by how taken Americans are with something so European. I think it is not only because of the so thoroughly described world, but also the universal concepts in the series. We all know people who behave as the characters do. We all wish we could come up with the antics of Fred and George ourselves. I'm not crazy about theme parks, but if they stick to her details it will be amazing and worth experiencing once-to be able to actually be in the world we have enjoyed for years. I agree it probably should have been in the UK, but they can have British people consulting on the details to make it real.Avatar Image says:

YEYUH!!! I live in Orlando (2 Blocks from Universal), and i currently work at Universal. I went to the presentation they gave to Universal employees, we will not be disapointed!!!

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FYI: For a peak at what the new theme park might look like, you might want to check out the virtual Theme Park website I constructed years ago and which was briefly featured on the official Warner Bros. Harry Potter website back in 2001. Much of what Universal Studios has mentioned in their plans for the Wizard World of Harry Potter sounds like they were inspired by my very detailed theme park designs. You’ll find the website here:

http://www.angelfire.com/tx5/worldofmagic

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I carnt wait till the wizarding world opens at universal studios but! i still think it should be in the uk! as many people i know love harry potter novelties but arnt able to go to america in 2010 to visit the fabulous theme park and this is a disadvantage for many people in the uk.

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Bring Harry Potter to the uk! wot else do we have?

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You haven’t said anything about this, so I didn’t think you had seen it. This says that it will open in 2010. I would love to go there with you and Sonny, since you read Harry Potter to me. Hope it’s okay to send this on to you.

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universal just keeps getting better!

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I think this is very exciting news !!!! As an adult, I simply love the idea of being able to visit such a land of fantasy and imagination. It is great that J K Rowling is involved in helping to design and create her imagination and bring it to life. HOWEVER, I would love it if universal studios created accommodation that tourist could actually live in the settings for their vacation. Perhaps a recreation of the ability to stay in the castle and dine in the great hall OR to stay in the village on top of the shops in self-catering apartments or studios, while still maintaining the funtion of the shops below. Also, perhaps the shops could incorporate elements from London, where tourist could purchase items to remember their visiting occasion whilst at Hogsmede; or purchase a nice hot drink of buttercup milk that everyone would love. I did intend to go to disney land this year for a holiday, however, i think i will wait for the opening day and book my holiday for this time when the park is fully completed.

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Something to absolutely look forward to!!!

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Personally im looking forward to the theme park, i think its a good addition. ive read the books, seen the movies and quite frank i want to see howarts with my own eyes now. One can only imagen for so long, but i do agree i hope that it does stay true to the movies and JK Rowlings views! She is talented i dont think i will be let down, as a matter of fact i know i wont…. on that note im out

Avatar Image says: hi phbhcnp5lzalho20 good luckAvatar Image says: hi phbhcnp5lzalho20 good luck

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