The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park

Aug 26, 2008

Posted by Melissa Anelli
Uncategorized

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park

In 2010, at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure theme park, WB will unveil the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a fully themed Harry Potter experience. Bookmark this page, because we’ll be bringing you the latest information about the park and its development!

Status: In Construction (began in February 2008.)
Opening Date: Early 2010
Official site: UniversalOrlando.com/harrypotter: contains FAQs about the park, concept art and a place to register for alerts.
Announcement: The announcement took place via Webcast on May 31, 2008. You can watch the full Webcast on Leaky’s YouTube channel: part one / part two. The transcript is here.

Info: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will comprise a virtual Hogsmeade, leading
up to a Hogwarts replica. It will be on the southwest border of the “Jurassic Park” section of
Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Pictures: Concept art and more here in Leaky’s galleries.

Additional Information and Formal Announcements: Due September 15, 2009 during webcast to media world wide

Attractions:
Hogwarts, with a ride contained inside the castle
Three Broomsticks, likely to be made out of the old “Enchanted Oaks”
Flying Ford Anglia ride (unconfirmed): May be a big-ticket attraction in which guests soar over the trees of the Forbidden Forest and above the grounds of Hogwarts inside the Anglia, all in the safety of a theater (possibly the currently-closed theater that used to house the “Eigthth Voyage of Sindbad.”)
Hagrid’s Cottage: Confirmed recently with photos of completed construction
Shrieking Shack, complete with death eaters and perhaps Voldemort scaring people (unconfirmed, probably for Halloween)
Gringotts cart ride: (unconfirmed, however is possible to be part of ride inside Hogwarts castle)
Stage show featuring the showdown with Voldemort at the end of book four (unconfirmed: the report said that there will be at least seven different actors rotating the part of Harry to perform this role)
Dueling wizards traveling through the park (unconfirmed: the report to TLC containing this rumor said
that casting was underway for all the main characters in the books, as well as a wand instructor for kids
and other dueling wizards. The wizards would duel at certain areas of the park, so that the scenery
can react ’ explosions, etc. ’ and stunts can be performed to simulate the effects of a magic duel).
Dragon battle (unconfirmed: reportedly a current racing-coaster ride will be re-imagined as part of the Tri-Wizard tournament. There may also be a real Goblet of Fire sitting on an ˜ornate pedestal with magical blue flames licking out of the top’)
Flying Hippogriff (unconfirmed: supposedly an old Flying Unicorn ride re-imagined; line will go
through the garden of Hagrid’s Hut)

Events:
Opening gala event (confirmed)

Actor Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) is first Harry Potter cast member to officially visit park under construction. Photos here from visit on January 4, 2009.

News:

1) Emma Watson confirms Trio have recorded a piece of film that will be shown to fans as part of an interactive ride at the Theme park.

2) Producer David Heyman confirms three rides to be included at Theme park including ride through the Hogwarts castle

3) Names registered by Universal Orlando match the many names rumored, including the Three Broomsticks (concept models here in galleries) Hogsmeade Village, and Flight of the Hippogriff

Rumors:

1. Ride through Hogwarts castle to feature ten scenes from Harry Potter films.

Multiple reports state the time frame for the park will be set on a Goblet of Fire era, with the ride through the castle to be on four-person seats on ‘Kuka robot arms,” and contain ten scenes from the films.

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2. J.K. Rowling has penned a mini-Harry Potter movie for the park, and it will star Dan Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint
Status: False.
WB denied this rumor in June, saying: “J.K. Rowling continues to be very supportive and involved with the plans [but] she has not written scripts for any films based on the Harry Potter ˜prequel’ (recently written and sold for charity) or otherwise¦”

Please note: While it has now been confirmed the Trio have in fact recorded pieces to be used with the rides at the Theme park, there is no evidence these were written by J.K. Rowling


3. There are plans for special Halloween and winter holiday festivities at the park.
Status: Unconfirmed.
In November 2007, Jim Hill media reported
that there may be plans for a yearly “Holidays at Hogwarts” event, with carolers in the streets and an
English Christmas feast prepared nightly at the Great Hall in Hogwarts Castle. There also may be plans for
a Halloween party that will counteract Disney’s “Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party” at DisneyWorld’
called “Halloween at Hogwarts.” Traditionally the adults go to Universal’s “Halloween Horror Nights” while the kids do Disney’s scream-free version: the Hogwarts incarnatio would be a “deliberately scare-free environment’ according to JimHillMedia.


4. The park will overlap into Universal Studios from Islands of Adventure.
Status: opening date sometime in 2010
An April
report suggested the possibility that the park could overlap into Universal Studios’ main site from
Islands of Adventure, possibly because the park is building a footbridge across part of the lagoon in an
area that is likely to be part of the new park. Right now the area is a backstage area behind the Mythos
Restaurant, and would bridge the area that’s under construction and the area that currently houses the
Jurassic Park Discovery Center and some of the Lost Continent attractions. Some of those attractions,
such as the Enchanted Oak Tavern, could be re-themed as Harryish areas for the park. You can
see current maps of the park below:


History: Jim Hill Media was
the first outlet to report the theme park rumors, back in October of 2006; at the time the site
reported that JKR had signed a “letter of intent” to work with Disney on the park, a fact her
representatives
denied.

Deadline Hollywood Daily revived
the rumor in April of 2007, reporting that Universal Orlando was finalizing plans for the theme park. This was the first report to say the park would be at Islands of
Adventure: it claimed the park would cost at leat $500 million to build.

The park was announced
on May 31, 2007. Construction is ongoing.

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