Mayor of London Wants Potter Fans to Lobby for London Theme Park

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Jun 08, 2010

Posted by John Admin

Yesterday, Mayor of London Boris Johnson wrote a column in the Daily Telegraph‘s Comment section about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction. Johnson was highly critical of the location of the theme park, asserting that whilst he has “nothing against Orlando,” he “bitterly [resents] that Orlando is about to become the official place of pilgrimage for every Harry Potter fan on earth.”

Voicing his frustration, the Mayor continues, “sometimes [the British] just don’t seem to have the gumption to exploit our intellectual property.” Johnson acknowledges that all behind The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will “do a magnificent job” but remains disillusioned by the prospect:

I know somewhere that’s even better than Orlando at looking like London ’ and that is London. I want to know why this Kingdom of Potter is not being built in the UK, and I won’t be fobbed off with any nonsense about the weather. They built Eurodisney in the Valley of the Marne, where it is at least as cold and drizzly as it is in London ’ and it has been a triumphant success.

Johnson goes on to talk about the longevity of the Harry Potter series, commenting that he has listened to his children “babble about the detail, the clues and suggestions that become ever richer with re-reading, the emotions evoked and the deep satisfaction that these books evidently give.”

The Mayor ends with an appeal to children and parents to write to Warner Bros., Universal and J.K. Rowling to “[bring] Harry home to Britain.” You can read the article in its entirety via this link.

Thanks to Maryam for emailing in!





154 Responses to Mayor of London Wants Potter Fans to Lobby for London Theme Park

Avatar ImageHP United says: Although I think Boris Johnson is a bit of an idiot, I kind of agree.Avatar ImageBlack_wind says: I totally agree with him,actually...Avatar ImageLeo_Lovegood says: Cry moar London.Avatar Imageminerva-rules-uk says: Since there is going to be a permanent set at Leavesden Studio with the Diagon Alley set being preserved, it could be the centre of a really big attraction. It doesn't need to have rides to be worth visiting.Avatar ImageKourtis says: Why not? Maybe after the success of the one in Orlando they ll built one in London as well! Europeans wont have to fly to the USA!Avatar Imagesiena says: I am just puzzled why he has never talked about his concerns earlier on while the location was still to be discussed ? Now it seems a bit late ??Avatar ImageBech7Raven says: I agree with him entirely, but it's a bit late now isn't it? He should have expressed his opinion earlier, because they can't really take the theme park down now and simply move it to London.Avatar ImageCrazedMuggle says: I agree completely!Avatar Imageginnyshiel says: Yes, he's right, but I for my part, travel to England next week to l look at the film sets outside the studios like the Colleges in Oxford (Great hall, library ...) and visited a lot in Scotland lile the viaduct (flying ford anglia in CoS), Alnwick castle (flying lessons, arrival of the Ford anglia...), Glen Coe and Glen Nevis (background for Quidditch and dragon flight in GoF) and so on. This is something you can't transport to america... And when they open Leavsden studios they will have their own attraction!!!Avatar ImageHarryRichardsPotter says: i totally agree. With it being in london you can get the proper experience. every staff member will be british. More of a chance of getting the off visit from one of the Harry Potter foalk. It could SNOW!! even the rain would be beautiful :( i have done nothing but support the attraction in orlando, but their should be one in england too.Avatar ImageEvagirl says: Great idea! Then I'll get a chance to visit too :)Avatar ImageGiant Squid says: He does have a point!Avatar ImageJessBlogsBooks says: I see his point, but then again despite my living in the United States and having tickets to the park already, I've also been to England recently and seen everything there as well. To me, it's the best of both worlds. I get the theme park experience (which is totally different from actually seeing real shooting locations, inspirations, etc) and also got to see the "real thing." I'll definitely go back to England to visit Leavesden when it's open, too.Avatar Imagebluishorbs says: When I first heard it was being built there I really did wonder why they decided not to do it here in the UK. They should make one here as well, I really have no idea why it's in the US, maybe there's not much space to do one here? Avatar ImageFrogki says: While I agree that it's set in the UK, guess who approved all of this in Orlando? The film people and JK Rowling herself. To HaryRichardsPotter, every staff member in the section is British. They didn't hire anyone who didn't have a British accent. I don't like the way he said this. He doesn't have a say over this... While it would be authentic in England, it will attract more Harry Potter fans here than it would in England. Everyone knows that there are more fans in America than England. It's not a matter of rivalry, it's a matter of population. Ours is much bigger, and therefore, more people are fans here. The only reason he wants it in London is because he wants a money maker for their economy. The fact is that many people will fly here to Florida for this, and he knows it. They are getting the Leavesdan set, aren't they? I'm just annoyed with him. I know that I wouldn't be looking for some fowl to yell out about to move the park to America if it was built in England... It'll feel like the UK and I really hope that noone does what the Mayor is saying, because it just annoys JK Rowling and the film producers. It just annoys me... Oh well, they can't very well take down the attraction, it'll be amazing to visit, I hope the Mayor realizes why it was built in America...Avatar Imagedangflabbit says: what a bufoon, seriously do we have any space for such an attraction in london! should have been somewhere like Scotland but i guess they'll make more money in orlando as its sun all year round! but boris just wants money!!Avatar ImageCarol Carvalho says: I love the idea of having another theme park in London, it would be perfect... I would love to go to Hogsmead during the winter, my children would actually be able to wear their robes!!! :P I always though it was odd to have it in Florida but that is where Universal has its parks... Too bad. Avatar Imagealexzander64lubin says: I can under stand why he's upset, but the park will obviously make more money in Orlando, and it is better to be in a warm setting. He talks about Eurodisney, but what came before Eurodisney? Disney Land and DIsney World in California and Orlando. If it becomes extremely popular, Britain is probably where they would consider most to build a second one. Also, it is a little late to complain. This park has been in the works for like 5 yearsAvatar ImageMarcus175 says: hmm, i admit i wondered the same thing but the truth is that Theme Park enthusiasts have always flocked to Orlando. Furthermore the idea of the theme parks there is to take visitors to exciting otherworldly places, it wouldn't be too exciting if they stuck only to American stories and locations! Hence Jurrassic Park and Indiana Jones themed rides. It's a chance to experience something different in your own back yard.Avatar ImagePrincess Leia says: As someone who has actually lived in both countries, I feel somewhat qualified to answer that as far as I can see, it is better in Orlando for 2 reasons: the first is that America does theme parks better than Europe. Hands down. Side note about Euro Disney: it was NOT a "triumphant success" it operated at a loss for several years and is used as the common case study in international marketing classes on what not to do when expanding into a foreign market. They managed to get it to a profitable place, but it was initially deemed a huge scale failure. And this brings me to my second point: the Harry Potter World is housed in Universal Studios. The success of the park is not dependent on this world- ie., when people lose interest in HP (and they will- 5, 10, 20, 30 years from now) there is still the rest of the park there to support it. Warner Bros. made the smart choice by having in Universal-- a site in London would have to build a whole park system (hotels, security, admissions, advertising), whereas at Universal that all existed already, they just plugged in the HP info and did a little extra marketing. That being said, I do agree that it is sad that London didn't create its own major attraction... but I feel like Johnson is discounting all of the Potter fans who ALREADY made a pilgrimage to London. Some of us went for an event, or to go to Platform 9 3/4, or for a premiere. We understand completely that HP is owned and beloved by the British. Although, in my opinion, he shouldn't be campaigning for a duplicate park there; he should be trying to make the Leavensden site as magical (pun intended!) as possible! Why aren't his efforts put into making that place worth crossing an ocean for? Seems to me he has good intentions (I would LOVE London to have a major HP attraction). But like Sirius said, "once again you've put your keen and penetrating mind to the task and as usual, come to the wrong conclusion."Avatar Imagewiltabone says: I agree ! Why do we have to cross the world to see the potter theme park. Just grab a plane, take 4 hours flight and you'll he in Hethrow. Not 12 Hours for Florida !!! Avatar Imagewiltabone says: Ok i have nothing against the US, I actually am a fan of US. But anyways. WHY? Why is every Harry Potter related thing being set up in USA? When Harry Potter was created in Europe ! (UK). I don't live in the UK, so I'm not going into any UK resident fever or anything. But Please ! Does Europe Exist anymore ? Or is The New World [West] taking over?Avatar ImageSnapesSilverDoe says: Wow I love the idea of a UK HP themed zone. Maybe they could turn one of the London side streets into Diagon Alley -- that would be amazing. Of course Hogwarts itself would have to be in Scotland!Avatar Imagewiltabone says: The Solution: Build one in Europe ... at least a replica. Leave the US one alone ! ;P (leave that for US residents) , build one here for Europeans !Avatar ImageJessBlogsBooks says: Now that I've thought more about this, why is he not focusing more on making the ACTUAL film sets, shooting locations, inspirational sites, etc more appealing to toursists? Leavesden is going to be a huge draw, but even in London itself there are so many opportunities to really reach out to people who want to see a piece of the HP world. I went on a two hour Harry Potter walking tour when I was there, but it was thrown together by a company, and I know there's the taxi tour thing, too. I really think the city would benefit by working with these companies and locations to create a legitimate Harry Potter experience, instead of complaining about loss of income, intellectual property (which really belongs to JKR no matter how he tries to play it), and the like all because of a theme park. When we were on our tour, we managed to pick up over a dozen random people along the way because they heard what we were on about, and wanted to see these things for themselves. I'm totally excited for the theme park, and I can't wait to go later this year, but there is nothing like seeing all those original elements in person. There's really a missed opportunity to do it MUCH better (even though I still loved every second of it). I wish they would focus on that.Avatar ImageHagrid 713 says: I tend to agree with him but it is what it is and their efforts now should be in emphasizing the studio and the settings - England/Scotland is on my list and you can bet these are areas that I'll be seeing so perhaps all in all it's a win - win.Avatar Imagedobby_rocks says: WB obviously put a lot of thought and consideration into where they would build the park. UK still has a ton of Harry Potter related items, the places where it was shot, as someone said they are preserving much of the sets and having them tourable. Plus Hogwarts is located somewhere in Scotland. Really this park is the only HP related thing big thing that is in the states. Avatar ImageRavenclawGirl13 says: I understand how he is complaining, but honestly it's who creates the park gets to decide where it is built. Another contributing factor is it's in another park, so there will be other rides to go on as well, and attract more regular tourists as well. In Florida, there tend to be a lot of tourists in the summertime. I state this as a fact. Therefore, it makes sense that it was built there.Avatar ImageHagrid 713 says: Just read Princess Leia's response - as Harry likes to say "Brillant!"Avatar ImageRavenclawGirl13 says: Another thing is, they are just now adding finishing touches to this park. My guess is that before they create an entire new one, they will end up planning a new attraction for the park. After all, the Wizarding World has a lot going on.Avatar ImageTassana Burrfoot says: Um... Uh... ~Actually~ Hogsmeade, which is where this park is set, is in Scotland, not London. And, um... Yes, grant it, they might have done most of the filming and such in London, but if they were truly to put the park in it's true place, it would be in Scotland. Also, I would like to point out this. Warner Bros. is doing the movies, correct? And doesn't Warner Bros. own Universal, including Islands of Adventure? With all this said, it makes sense. And since J. K. approved...Avatar ImageRavenclawGirl13 says: FIrst!Avatar ImageFrogki says: @Tassana Burfoot No, Warner Bros. Doesn't own Universal... However, JK Rowling did approve and Universal has been working with Warner Bros and JK Rowling...Avatar Imageakcorr says: I agree with him but it seems like no one approached JK Rowling on the whole idea of having a Harry Potter theme park in London. If they had I'm sure Jo would have gave it great consideration!Avatar Imagecheeserpleaser says: I believe that he has advanced a good argument and that all the parties involved in the construction of the theme park deserve to give it good consideration. As many Europeans do find the trip to Orlando to visit the park expensive, having a location in Europe would alleviate this concern.Avatar ImagePoisonXLilly says: And what would take make almost more than half of the Amarican Potter-fandom population? Very, very upset. I don't think you've noticed, but there is a little something flying around and makes all of our money dissaparate. People don't have the money to fly almost halfway across the world to some Potter park for a few days. I myself and very very happy and grateful they have it in America, 'specially Florida. I would be a very very unhappy Potterfan if they had it anywhere else, 'specially in the UK. I also totally aggree with Frogki. I think they explained this *very* well. =^.^=Avatar ImageLeper says: I certainly wouldn't object to it. It seems like a bit of a case of sour grapes, but it would be nice. Still, it's a bit late to bring this up.Avatar ImagePetra says: yes definitely should be in London... what's amazing about going through Hogsmeadge covered with snow when it's sunny and hot...Avatar ImagePhoenix1946 says: Remember, Johnson is the Mayor of "London". He is, therefore, advocating things for London. I think that Leavesdon Studios is an excellent hub for a unique Harry Potter Experience. They already have the sets from the movies and it could become a hub for tours to filming locations. Why not replicate Universal's WWoHP at Leavsden? Along with the studios and sets it would be a uniquely British themepark.Avatar Imagenealiezealbie says: i agree, but i am glad that they built it in orlando...its closer to me! (still...that'd be another great excuse to visit london...) they have plenty of material from jo to make an equally awesome park in london...likeeee diagon alley perhaps? :DAvatar ImageOddRavenclaw222 says: So much for being unique with the only Potter theme park. The park's not even open yet and people are trying to steal our thunder! lol :PAvatar ImageHerminee says: As if the Olympics aren't enough. Shouldn't a Harry Potter theme park be located farther north?Avatar Imagekbicprez says: It’s in Orlando because WB and Universal Studios feel they can make more $$$$ there than anywhere else. Orlando would like to become the theme park kingdom of the world. In another 50 years, no real people will be living there. It’ll just be Mickey Mouse, Harry, and the hottest characters from the next big thing.Avatar ImageChreechree says: It's not like he's saying to tear down the one in Orlando. He just wants something there, too, which is reasonable. Personally, I'd rather see Leavesdon and the various locales around the U.K. than go to a theme park. And, yes, a U.K. attraction really should be in Scotland, not in London, anyway, if you're going for authenticity. Plus, it's not a Harry Potter theme park. It's an attraction at an already existing theme park, which makes it much more economically viable. Avatar Imageazaadpotter says: He's got a point but it just happened like that isnt it?Avatar ImagelittleL says: I agree with him 100%Avatar Imagekraamerxmich says: Boris Johnson sounds like a blubbering idiot. "intellectual property" ? Are you kidding me? Because the writer is from the UK and its set in the UK, it makes it their "property"? Seriously, dude, your making yourself look incredibly idiotic. I hate to put it this way (like you own them) but, you have the writer, the setting of the books, the studios, the actors, the directors, the props, and the world wide attention...and you want to whine about this piece that Orlando made for themselves? *NEWSFLASH* Warner Brothers is an AMERICAN company. Further more, that AMERICAN company (along with the fricken writer of the books) can decide where to put a theme park. Sorry to be blunt, but screw you and your "intellectual property".Avatar Imagegirlatty1 says: Fine -- no problem. But our park will be better than his.Avatar ImagePotter_Puella says: I understand how he feels! So....they should make another park in England! :D Just like there are Disney parks all over the world.Avatar ImagePotter_Puella says: I understand how he feels! So....they should make another park in England! :D Just like there are Disney parks all over the world.Avatar ImagePotter_Puella says: I meant they "definitely" should. I know the article was hinting at it already. :)Avatar Imageiris lily says: I agree that it should have been built in britain, i would find it far more accessible. however, the very idea of BORIS JOHNSON caring about harry potter? it's unbelievable. finally the mayor of london is showing Some common sense (not much, but it is a start)Avatar ImageErinTheStampede says: He wants Harry Potter fans to lobby because he wants the tourism dollars, not because he truly believes that Harry Potter is Britain's "intellectual property." And it's not Britain's intellectual property, anyways. It's JK Rowling's. After that, it doesn't immediately go to Britain. The most watched movie in the world, The Wizard of Oz, isn't the intellectual property of Kansas. It's watched and studied by the entire world. The same goes for Harry Potter. Sorry Mayor Johnson, that's bull.Avatar ImagelittleL says: "He wants Harry Potter fans to lobby because he wants the tourism dollars," but of course! The same reason they want it in US. I do agree with him, however perhaps instead of using "intellectual property" he should have said "national treasure". It really deserves to be here in my opinion. At least as well as.Avatar Imagegoldish_red says: Of course it would be brilliant for the theme park to be in London or anywhere in England instead, but he's a tad bit too late...Avatar Images.snape2000 says: Ok.Hold on!In London, they have all of the filming sites and stuff, so we should be able to have a theme park!Avatar Images.snape2000 says: But it would have been pretty cool if it were built in London.Avatar ImageSeidenschnabel says: My theory: He is just mad because now his kids want to visit the park and he doesn't want to go to Florida.Avatar Imagegcw07 says: There is a pretty simple reason it was built where it was. Universal Studios only has 2 theme park locations that I know of, Florida and California. The Florida one is more centrally located for Europeans to come to so that was the one they chose. If Universal had a theme park already in England that would have been one thing, but they don't as far as I know. Second does anybody know if Warner Brothers actually paid part of the costs to build the attraction or did Universal Studios pay for it all? I'm guessing Universal paid the majority of the costs to build it and is actually paying WB and JK to use the HP theme. Don't get me wrong, I've been to London and hit all the real locations and nothing on earth will compare to that, but this is a fantasy location and really could have been built to whoever was the highest bidder.Avatar ImageSeidenschnabel says: Slightly off topic, but does anyone know if they will be selling U-No-Poo at the park?Avatar ImageXyra44 says: Rather interesting that he should be complaining now. Perhaps he did not hold office at the time of the park's inseption. It is a bit late to complain now - arguments should have been presented to Warner Brothers during planning not at the opening. Yes, there should be something in England as well. And as others have stated when the studio opens the sets to Harry Potter fans it will draw lots of people. Perhaps he should work with the studio to work out a map of shooting scenes so travelers can move about the entire country not just London. Like the map sellers in LA with their maps of stars houses. :) Avatar ImageTotal-Eclipse014 says: I totally agree, actually me and my friends/family have said that it should have been built in the UK many times. To me it makes sense to build it there since the books are British. Although it does give me a reason to go to America (which I would LOVE to do) I think building a theme park in London would be positively AMAZING! Avatar Imagesiena says: PrincessLeia, where did Sirius say that ? Just curious ...Avatar Imagebabycakes_014 says: I totally agree! Harry Potter is English, and it's just not practical for all us British Potter fans to go all the way to Orlando!! We can have a park in both countries after all, and that way Potter fans from Europe have less distance to travel, but people can still go to Orlando if that's closer for them. I love Harry Potter so much, and this would be so perfect! Me and my best friend are desperate to go to the park, so building one in London would be the best thing ever!!! I really hope this idea is approved and we get our park! Fingers crossed guys. Avatar Imagehrslvr529 says: That's fair. And why not? Go for it!Avatar ImageAbbyWeasley says: This is so cool!!!Avatar ImageEmmaline10248 says: i can see his point on wonting it to be in britian but people in the us donot have tons of hp things the movies are in britian, the actors are in britian every thing is in britian. haveing it in the us could also give families from different countries a new place to travle to. they would get to see the world of harry potter and a new place that would not have been seen. and one more question that i know someone ask before hand. why is his bring this up now and not before they started to build the park let alone finish and is about to be opend?Avatar ImageMirabellaDent06 says: YES! Harry Potter is written and filmed and acted by british people - almost - but true, we do have horrible weather here(;Avatar ImageYodatheHobbit says: If a park was built in London wouldn't someone then just complain is was built where Hogwarts is supposed to be, in Scotland? Doesn't really matter to me since in all likelihood I'll never travel to Florida or England, but I hear there are more America Harry Potter fans than English Harry Potter fans so it makes since for them to have built it there.Avatar Imageapril_showers says: They've been working on the theme park for YEARS. As pro-Britain as JK Rowling has always been, I find it hard to believe that she would have turned down a reasonable British alternative had it been presented. Sounds to me like the mayor doesn't want a London-based theme park as much as he doesn't want the US to have one. This is just sour grapes. But I really don't think a London based theme park would be feasible. I mean, Universal Studios is already there with tourists. They didn't have to build it, and many of the rides are converted from old ones. (I love that he mentions that you are "far more likely to be shot or robbed" in Orlando than in London. What?) Having said all this, I would TOTALLY VISIT a London HP Park did it exist. Avatar Imageapril_showers says: They've been working on the theme park for YEARS. As pro-Britain as JK Rowling has always been, I find it hard to believe that she would have turned down a reasonable British alternative had it been presented. Sounds to me like the mayor doesn't want a London-based theme park as much as he doesn't want the US to have one. This is just sour grapes. But I really don't think a London based theme park would be feasible. I mean, Universal Studios is already there with tourists. They didn't have to build it, and many of the rides are converted from old ones. (I love that he mentions that you are "far more likely to be shot or robbed" in Orlando than in London. What?) Having said all this, I would TOTALLY VISIT a London HP Park did it exist. Avatar Imageapril_showers says: They've been working on the theme park for YEARS. As pro-Britain as JK Rowling has always been, I find it hard to believe that she would have turned down a reasonable British alternative had it been presented. Sounds to me like the mayor doesn't want a London-based theme park as much as he doesn't want the US to have one. This is just sour grapes. But I really don't think a London based theme park would be feasible. I mean, Universal Studios is already there with tourists. They didn't have to build it, and many of the rides are converted from old ones. (I love that he mentions that you are "far more likely to be shot or robbed" in Orlando than in London. What?) Having said all this, I would TOTALLY VISIT a London HP Park did it exist. Avatar ImageHermione Elizabeth says: I do agree that you would think that London would be the perfect place to have a HP theme park but I do have to agree with @Frogki that all-in-all JK Rowling and Warner Brother's agreed to have the park in the US. To me the mayor seems like a little arrogant. It would be great for them to have a park though so I'm not against it. However they do have the Leavesden sets that actually would be a 'park' kinda since that is the original Hogwarts. To me if the park was originally built in the UK I wouldn't be crying about how they should have one in the US but that's just me.....Avatar ImageSiriusGirl19 says: Wow, could he be any more bitter and insulting toward the US? It will get more business in Orlando, so it makes more sense to build it there. I don't think he's so much concerned about london fans having their park come home as much as the amount of money it would put in His wallet. Avatar ImageravenclawChyna says: Though I am curious to see it, I just can't get as into it in the Florida setting. Just wouldn't seem right on a humid 100 degree day.Avatar Imagepeaceforall says: I agree! And it would be a lot easier for me to get there.. :)Avatar Imagecoolgirl224 says: Wow, a little to dramatic dude! Just let it be in Orlando, because it is a popular vaction spot, so they will get more people in Orlando!Avatar Imagebellaohbella says: i see this pointAvatar Imageronweasleylovesme says: I kind of agree. I am an American, and I'm pretty pleased that it's being built in my country, but Harry Potter does take place in London, and was written by a British author. I think it would be nice having one in London and Orlando.. Though it would have made more sense for the park to have been built in London first. I think having a park in both locations would be fantastic!Avatar ImageJackMeggers says: "sometimes [the British] just don't seem to have the gumption to exploit our intellectual property." my favourite quote of the day :)Avatar ImagePotions_TA says: Because then I couldn't go to the theme park, that's why!Avatar ImageNumeroUnoFan says: dang son i would love to see a potter park in london for when i go check the scottish sights tooAvatar ImageCatherine says: i dont know what to say....i see his point, but isnt it a little late? shouldnt he have said something 5 years ago? i have been getting email up dates for five years!!! and its finally open! i see his point but i also like having a bit of Potter close to home...there is so much Potter going on in the UK (and i wish i lived there)...so maybe there could be two! like they have 3 disney lands/worlds, but he's a little late, and Jo herself approved everything, along side a British team. So even though i thought he had some-what of a point, i felt like he was whining and complaining, or jealous. Build another one if he wants to, it coasts a lot, but i would visit both!Avatar ImageIloveDobby says: I kind of agree but I guess its kind of biased because I'm from Ireland and if it was in the UK i could definitly go I am not able to go cause of the distance to Orlando though.But I guess America is a better place for it there are proberbly more fans in america and more land to build a theme park as wellAvatar Imageharrypotterfreak101 says: I just think that he's just jealous. While London is the birthplace of Harry Potter I think other countries should be given a chance to show their love for Harry Potter. Afterall it's an international phenomenon not just a UK phenomenom.Avatar ImageToonist26 says: I think Wizarding World of Harry Potter looks incredible, but I do agree that we should have one in London too. I've created a Facebook group for people who would like to see a park in London, and will contact Boris Johnson and Universal once it has enough members. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=129988247020753 Thanks!Avatar Imagematt_toeller420 says: I agree 100%Avatar Imagespacegirl92 says: While it is a little late, I must say I do agree with him. Even as an American fan, I feel like the park would be more exciting were it actually in London.Avatar ImageDespina says: Well, there are some amazing filming locations in Britain AND in London: I've seen all of them, except for Alnwick Castle, Durham Cathedral and Goathland, BUT I'm going to visit them this summer! I love touring Britain! And why should they build a theme park it they have the real thing??? Avatar ImageBookworm_Weasley says: I agree with him in theory, but where exactly in London would he suggest they put it? There isn't room enough to build something even half the size as the one they've built in Orlando. I don't think it has anything to do with the weather at all. On top of that, it would take forever to complete. Look how long it took them to build Wembley!Avatar Imagefloridianhp says: i agree with him. but orlando is full of theme parks. thats were the main point is.Avatar Imageccking says: London doesn't need a theme park in order for Potter fans to visit. I get where he's coming from completely but he needs to realize how much London should already be greatful for.Avatar Imagefloridianhp says: i think the mayors making a bit to much of a big deal. i mean if it was built in in London i ould complain a bit but i wouldnt do something this big. they could make on in London. n im an American.Avatar Imagevicki_the_house_elf says: I completely agree with him. The people who say that a Harry Potter theme park in England wouldn't be a success because of the rainy weather obviously don't know us HP fans very well! Who cares if its rainy, its Harry Potter!!!. I would love a HP theme park in England and would probably spend every weekend there. And even though i'm not well at the moment and probably won't get much better for a long time i fully intend to visit the Leavesden Studios when they open in 2012, i've even been on Google maps to see how long it would take me to get there (about an hour and a half :D). I would definitely go to a HP theme park in England if they built one, but i can't afford to go to the American one, and i'm terrified of flying. I think its very unfair for America to get the only theme park (which sounds immense!) when England is Harrys home.Avatar Imagejacket says: I agree with him completely! It doesn't feel right having a Harry Potter theme park in Florida! It really should be in London! Avatar ImageMakasoul says: I feel that they shouldn't be upset about it because if they had wanted the park there they would have made it long before own. I think the real problem is they didn't know how popular it was going to be and now they want the all the profits or some of them going to the UK which i can understand. Thing is they should have said some thing way before now. Also if it is so popular here maybe as others above have said expand to the UK as well. Also harry potter fans will want to go to this park because it brings the world to life. But many of them will also want to see the real life places talked about many times in the books example being kings cross station. So if the UK wants a harry potter land then make one! I'm sure Harry Potter fans will go to both parks and enjoy the experience you get from each. Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: Put it in Bognor!Avatar Imagelongbrkk says: Sorry, but put up or shut up. The Harry Potter World was built where it would make the most money for its creators. It was not built to disrespect London but to capitalize on the year round vacation weather of Central Florida and the already created Vacation Based enterprises and super structure needed to support such a venture for years to come. Dear Mr. Mayor of London, you have more than enough to worry about with your upcoming Olympics without out trying to bankrupt your city. Sorry, it just comes across as nothing more than sour grapes on his part and really does not make sense no matter how fanciful it might seem in the minds of those who do not have to lay out the hundreds of Millions of Dollars a venture like this will ultimately cost to build and run. Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda.Avatar ImageAvanelleWood says: I, for one, would like to see one built at Universal Studios, Hollywood. Then I could visit any time that I like ;)Avatar Imagekitkat211 says: First off this guy looks like one of the Dursely's. Secondly, why didn't he say something before? Two weeks before opening, he decides to flap his gums. Thridly, I don't know what they tell you guys in the UK but it's agreed in the US that Eurodisney was a failure. One of the reason was because of the weather. Sorry, UK but this guy sounds like a piece of work. Avatar Imagemagicmaniac says: kewl Avatar Imagebcfgrg says: he should have said something earlier. i mean this thing has taken years to create...in any case, the harry potter fandom is huge in the u.s. so he can hardly begrudge us having the park, especially since it is a u.s. company that produces the films. and it's not like they couldn't make one in the u.k. either....and i would so go to a park in the u.k.! i go where harry potter goes! :)Avatar Imagesgreeter8888 says: It is not Britain's intellectual property. It is JKR's and she can allow whoever she wants to build a Harry Potter world. He shouldn't be complaining. Avatar Imagecrikeyhunter says: I say they build one there exactly like here, then the park won't be as crowded here....everybody wins....I think a Sweeney Todd Park would work as well too...your shaving razor can choose you........Avatar Imagecrikeyhunter says: and Jurrasic Park should move to Costa Rica, Jaws to Amityville, The Mummy to Egypt.........Avatar ImageDawna says: London seems perfect...or somewhere in the UK, makes more sense than Florida to me.Avatar ImageAveryfan says: As consolation, you can win over us in the World Cup.Avatar Imagelatsyrhc says: Well, I for one will enjoy it being only a 2 hour drive. Now if they want their own, look at what is here, find someone to foot the bill, and go for it. The time for speaking up was long ago when it was first being considered. It wasn't a secret. We all know about it. Kind of late to start crying now.Avatar Imagedeadtree says: lol, day late and a dollar short, dude.Avatar Imageginnyshiel says: Someone said that Britain has less inhabitants than America but what about the total of Europe? The distances are the same, but Germany, France, Spain, Italy ... have more inhabitants in total than America an from Rome to London it's less far than from L.A. to Orlando!Avatar Imagetgfoy says: Would be good to have a park in Uk for european market in addition to the one in U.s.a. Perhaps attach it to an existing theme park which has the other infrastructure in the same way they have in Orlando.Avatar Imageluvuna says: First of all, I thought that was hilarious to read. Second, while I would LOVE to have a theme park in London (I live in Denmark, it's VERY expensive to just fly to Orlando), I think it's a bit too late ... And as a Harry Potter fan, I wouldn't be content with just visiting the one in London, I'd want to see both, and that would just be much more expensive. Eh, I don't know. If they want to built it, I won't stop them (not much I can do, anyway :P), but while I can see how it would me much more Potterish to build it in London what with King's Cross and Leavesden all that, I really don't think it's necessary. London's big enough as it is, for Potter fans.Avatar ImageThio says: Yeah! It's a little too late now. Should have said something when the park was first announced. And of course, this is business. It wouldn't be that easy to just build the park in London. Orlando has it's merits when it comes to tourists wanting to spend all their money on theme parks. Maybe in the future, Mr. Mayor.Avatar Imageinomniaparatus says: Surely there could be two? Disney has many parks around the world and the success of Harry Potter is easily rising to that of Disney. (Without becoming a corporate driven cash cow) I would appreciate your support in signing this petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/bring-harry-potter-back-homeAvatar ImagePollytomat says: GOT IT??? :) Well, he is absolutely right in one thing: plane tickets will be cheaper for a half of fans coming from Europe, but people who comment are right too - in the USA there are more fans due to population differences. However, it's true that they can make a great place for fans in Leavesden Studios, not necessarily ridings, maybe some new and extreaordinary experience...Avatar Imagewandmastercalum says: I agree with him fully!! I love this guy :DAvatar ImageHermioneandthehouseelves says: i want one in london :) but as well as the one in florida! :)Avatar Imagecritterfur says: I gotta say, this guy comes off as extremely bitter towards the U.S. in this article (his little snide remarks about crime rates and such). You guys want to know a very simple reason why it's more feasible to build a Harry Potter theme park in America? We have a bigger population than Great Britain. My home state of Minnesota alone is as big (bigger I think) than all of England. I've seen numerous statistics in terms of the fan base in both countries, and the U.S. simply has a larger number, not because we're more dedicated or anything like that, it's just a bigger population. Also, Euro Disneyland was seen as a huge joke for years and years (if you don't believe me, watch the Simpsons episode where they go to Itchy and Scratchy Land...at the end, they feature Euro Itchy and Scratchy Land, where a lone Frenchman tries to sell tickets to a barren landscape, claiming "Who are you to say no? My children need wine!" :) Seriously, though...My impression of this whole deal is that it just makes more financial sense to make the park in America. When they decided to make films of Rowling's books, was she approached by some small-scale British film company, or was she approached by multi-million dollar American company with international clout? And that same American company gave Rowling almost complete creative control, allowing her to insist on a completely British cast and setting, script approval, etc. They spent millions of dollars ensuring her vision got to the big screen. This all just sounds like extremely sour grapes to me. I understand the concern many Europeans would have with making a trip to America, but if the theme park had been built in Britain, there would have been an outcry from the more numerous American fans, having to fly all the way there. Anyway, when it comes right down to it, J.K. Rowling agreed to have the park here in the States, and put her full support behind it. There's so much more I want to say about this, but this post is already so long, so I'll just leave it at that. Avatar Imagejedisakora says: I don't see why they can't just build two theme parks. Why cry fowl over Orlando instead of wanting one there. Avatar ImageLily_Phoenix says: It's in America because most of the fandom in in America. America has wizard rock, and most of the HP conventions. And Warner Bros is an American studio. It make economic sense to put in where the most rabid fans are. While I'm fine with the prospect of a second park (the more HP the better, I say), the way he worded his argument, and the points he made, are obnoxious. Avatar Imagenellythemarrow says: Aww that's out Boris. Anyone else dreading the Olympics? But anyway, surely Scotland should be a better candidate. I'm not that interested in Leavesdan so maybe a UK theme park would be nice, but far too late now and I'm not that fussed to be honest. Harry Potter has a worldwide fanbase so wherever it's set it'll cause inconveniance to some.Avatar ImageIwishIwas@Hogwarts says: Even though it would be alot harder for me to visit UK rather than Orlando, I think it would be amazing to have a theme park in London. And rather than London itself it would be great to have it set in a remote part of England or Scotland that would fit the hogwarts and hogsmead setting. As awesome as the themepark in Orlando is, it can take away the fantasy when you look around and see palm trees and other attractions of Universal as the landscape. I really hope they do decide to build a themepark in England, because im sure any of us diehard potter can agree we wouldnt care about the weather, in fact i think it would make it more real. It would definitely be successful! No doubt!Avatar ImageRosie016 says: I have never heard of this guy before, but seems like a weird thing to be complaining about! I will always connect Harry Potter more to London than the theme park in Orlando because that is where it was born in my eyes. I would still like to visit London to see the sites where Harry Potter was filmed etc....Avatar ImageHarrypotterultrafan says: i totally agreee!!!! they should build exactly the same one here too !! that way people who live in britain can go too (it's rather expensive to go to orlando!) and also the makers wanted it to be an all british movie with british actors and set in BRITAIN so why build it in america and not in BRITAIN!!!! america always seem to get EVERYHTING !!! they should build one exactly the same in Britain; even if they don't... im still gonna go even if i have to walk it and swim it there!!!!!Avatar Imagebeallgood01 says: I hope they do. I think it would be a more natural feel for the weather and story. Not to mention all the fans in costume won't pass out from heat stroke.Avatar ImageThe-Marauders says: I think he is defently right.Avatar ImageHP United says: 'Everyone knows that there are more fans in America than England'. I'd change that 'Everyone knows that there are more PEOPLE in America than England'. Having it built in America has absolutely nothing to do with which country has the more fans. America just have more money and more room. Having thousands of Americans flock here at once would be bad for the UK. So despite the earlier comment I made, we do have Leavesden Studios where it all began, and to me, that's worth shouting about just as much as the America having the WWoHP. P.S. I still think Boris Johnson is a bit of an idiot :)Avatar ImageCyrillus Van Helmont says: For crying out loud: they built The Dome and that place ain't sacred to ANY tourist visiting London! Then again: the US is devoid of any magickal place (except for Salem perhaps and all of the Holy Natice American land they so delicately pillaged) so this will be it: a bought-in franchise! Off course HP has to come to London! But what would even be more fantastic is to have different places dispersed all over the UK: bare with me. You arrive in London and check into a hotel not unlike the one in the Azkhaban movie. While in London you can visit Diagon Alley and the Leaky Cauldron (perhaps vanish underground while being on the phone). If you have a big family, you could drive up to Surrey and stay in a Dursley-like residence. After that, by all means, platform 9 3/4 will gladly get you on a train to Edinburgh to stay in the BIG themepark, but with the travelling you'd already have done, it'd be like the real thing. Well, if you have the money for that kind of thing anyway. Flying to Orlando with a family of four, including the whole bit... I don't know. Cranky jetlagged Belgians cueing for 5 1/2 hours, temperatures of 6000°? (Here's a quote from a colleague of mine who's on the same magicians forum: "I was at one of the 'soft' openings this weekend, and I have to say they have done a fantastic job! The new ride through Hogwarts is fantastic, but be warned - the ride line is designed to accomodate a 5 1/2 hour wait according to Universal cast members. The ride technology is incredible, like nothing you've experienced. I won't spoil it but I will say that you feel like you are actually in the film during some portions of the ride."). What kind of magical experience is that? 80.000 people cueing everywhere? Lukewarm Butterbeer? No, let London be next, please. Avatar ImageFresca says: There is certainly no good reason not to have a Harry Potter World in England. It would be much easier for people in Europe get to than Florida. Why not have two HP Worlds?Avatar Imagebeckyrw says: Yeah, Boris Johnson is a bit of an idiot, but I have to say I sort of agree with him here. I can see why it was built in America - I mean Warner Bros. is American obviously, and these sort of massive theme parks are really American. In some ways I don't know if we could pull it off as well over here. There's more space as well I guess, although to be honest I say just knock down Alton Towers and put it there. Or like, the Olympic stadium. Do we REALLY need to host the Olympics? Haha, I'm joking...kinda. :P But yeah, I think it's a shame because Harry Potter is one of the best cultural things to come out of Britain and one of the few massive global successes that we can claim. It's a shame that we'd have to make a huge trip to visit this place, although I'm sure it'd be worth it. I can't begin to explain how terrified of flying I am, but going to a life-size Harry Potter world would be like all my childhood dreams come true. If I'm ever as rich as J.K. Rowling I'm going to buy it and live there. :D Anyway, while I can see where he's coming from and I wish we could have this in Britain, I think it's pretty ridiculous to expect them to dismantle the park and bring it to England...I mean come on Boris. It is where it is and I guess we'll all just have to save up and overcome our fears of flying/heavily sedate ourselves before flying in order to go there. In the mean time I live in the Westcountry (where Harry Potter is originally from after all :P) and apparently Diagon Alley is based on a street in the city where I go to college. So I'll just hang out there. Or we can go to the Lake District or that cathedral place they use to film some of Hogwarts. Oh yeahhh. Just use your imaginations a bit. :)Avatar ImageTheLostPotter says: Boris Johnson was probably just mentioning this in passing, people are going into way too much of a rant over what he's said. To be brutally honest, he's both right and wrong. I feel that the park being in its native environment would have been a lot more fitting, in good ol' Bonny Scotland. It's unfair to say how the UK has the sets and such like because these obviously haven't been exploited as much and aren't as exciting as the park. But, on the other hand, there will be a significantly higher revenue from the park being in Orlando than London, let alone Scotland.Avatar Imagecritterfur says: Okay, I find it so funny that someone on here made the somewhat childish quote of "America gets EVERYTHING!" As if some great Santa Claus-like figure was handing out parcels to each country, and America was the spoiled child. America has the park because America built the park...end of story. It's true that J.K. Rowling had to give her blessing in order for the park to be created in the first place, but beyond that, an American company was willing to make a risky and costly investment. The park was built in an area which was already conducive to tourism, where the weather is fairly stable all year around (in other words, even though it might be more realistic and dramatically satisfying to base Hogwarts or Hogsmeade in a British setting, I have a hard time figuring out in my head how they would operate things like roller-coasters in the dead of winter...I live in Minnesota, where the main theme park, Valleyfair, is pretty much only open for 3 or 4 months in the summer, because come winter we get snow and blizzards aplenty). As I already stated, I totally understand the reluctance of someone to cross an entire ocean in order to go to a theme park, and maybe (in fact, almost certainly) there should be one constructed in Britain. However, the British people would have to foot the bill, and they would have to accept the fact that they would be receiving international visitors (including all of us "ugly" Americans). I guess I just didn't know so many Britons were ultra-patriotic about Harry Potter. Most of the talk on here sounds more like jealous Ron in Goblet of Fire, complaining of "fraternizing with the enemy", rather than Hermione, talking about "magical international cooperation...to make friends." Avatar Imagestella8h8chang says: Yeah, it'd be more "authentic" if it were built in England... But there's something happening at Leavesden, right? The thing is, if they just built it in London, some fans would miss out, and if they stuck to Orlando, then other fans would miss out. The only solution is to have both, given that HP is such a worldwide phenomenon :P P.S. Australia would like a park too, while you're at it. Land is cheap around here!Avatar ImagePotterChocolate says: alright so i LOVE london but, this really seems quite stupid! I mean, I don't really think it matters where the heck WWoHP is placed! come on, britain got to have ALL the HP fame with the whole SERIES and everything- the movies- let america have a little half! it's not like it has to be ENTIRELY british. i don't think he should be fussing over it like that. at the same time I think people in london do deserve more access to stuff like WWoHP. so i guess i half agree :)Avatar ImagePotterChocolate says: alright so i LOVE london but, this really seems quite stupid! I mean, I don't really think it matters where the heck WWoHP is placed! come on, britain got to have ALL the HP fame with the whole SERIES and everything- the movies- let america have a little half! it's not like it has to be ENTIRELY british. i don't think he should be fussing over it like that. at the same time I think people in london do deserve more access to stuff like WWoHP. so i guess i half agree :)Avatar ImageNot Slytherin says: I totally get his point ... and I think it would be great to have a UK park, too! But, let's not argue about why the first park is in America, Mr. Mayor. You're too late. It's already here, and JKR approved it, and it's going to be totally awesome. And a park in England would be awesome, too, so stop whining, sir, and make it happen! I'll visit! :o)Avatar Imagehewy says: Agree with him but as they say in politics "follow the money" and it leads straight to Orlando and the deep pockets of Universal and WB. That being said why doesn't the mayor or who ever make the most of what they already have. Leavesden studios, Kings Cross and other sites where shooting occured and set up somethin totally different then a theme park with rides. They have all the costumes, accessories and backdrops - use the darn things to do some different and awesome.Avatar ImageWickedLoz says: From someone who does not live in the UK or the US, I would have to agree entirely with the London Mayor. I have absolutely no intention of visting Florida, ever. If I were to go to America it would only be to New York. And if I were to visit somewhere Harry Potter related, I would not go to Orlando over London. (I'm from Australia, international flights are NOT cheap!!!) But, money talks. America has the money, America gets the park. Still, rocking up to a park and being greeted with a strong American accent instead of a British one would completely throw me off and possibly turn me off. Avatar Imagesidnandragin says: Wait, maybe he didn't get the memo that the studio from where they filmed HP is actually going to open its doors to the public. Is he kidding me? I can't believe that he is more worried about a theme park when he needs to be working on his Olympic dream. Let's get one dream working at a time. Avatar Imagesidnandragin says: I agree with one of the readers. If the UK really wanted something like a theme park for HP they would have done it. Instead, they wait til it is all said and done here in the U.S. to complain about why they need to come to the U.S. to visit the park. Um, maybe you should of thought of that, instead you waited. Don't wait, just do it!Avatar ImagePenelopeW says: First I just want to say to the person on the first or second page that said that there are more fans in the us than in England, you are forgetting that England is a part of Europe and Europe is much bigger than North America. Europe also includes Asia if the retort to that fact was going to be about population of fans, don't even get Asia started on population and fandom of things. I know Amercians think that they are the focus of everyone's universe, however those of us in Europe find ourselves often kindly reminding them that we exist and deserve a place to enjoy our Harry Potter fandom without taking a 12-36 hour flight. I just wish the they were not planning on continuing the use of Leavesden Studios as a filming studio (although I understand the importance of having a large successful studio for the economy as well) and just kept all of the sets up for us to explore and enjoy. I for one can do without the rides. If I never go on another roller coaster I will be more than happy. In fact if I do go to Universal to see the HP section I will do the Hogwarts tour leading up to the ride and then simply take the exit. But that is just me, I find the setting itself the thrilling part. That being said, to those who gripe over the Florida humidity and heat, visit Orlando in January and February. It often feels like early fall in England minus the rain. If you really want the feel imagine you are Harry heading to Hogwarts for the start of school. Just ignore the fake painted on snow in the Hogsmeade part. Cheers!Avatar ImagePenelopeW says: To be clear, I am aware that Leavesden is leaving up the Hogsmeade set (and that the snow is fake there too), however what I meant was that I wish that they would also leave (or re-install) all HP sets for us to explore, rather than using the rest of the studio for other movies. I do however understand that Leavesden is a rather large studio and in our economy that might be wasteful in the long run. Perhaps set up a train ride to Scotland from Leavesden/London and put up a museum that may not look like Hogwarts on the outside but feel like it on the inside? Take all of the props when they are done being on tour and much of the now used up sets and make them into interactive exhibits? Like Griffindor's common room, where we can all sit on the cushy bean bag seats? Go upstairs and sit on the four poster beds? A great hall to have communal feasts and taste the Butterbeer and Pumpkin Juice. Places to feel like we're taking Trelawney's class or Snape's. Perhaps what England/Scotland needs and should want is some place to go as our own place of fan-like worship. Does it need a roller coaster? I don't think it does.Avatar Imageblob says: Harry Potter is a universal thing people. Living in England doesn't make you more of a fan. But I understand WHY you want it in England. The main reason we got it (I'm just guessing) is Warner Bros. owns the movie rights! But who say's London isn't gonna get a theme park? They will! Also, America has no money at the time(WickedLoz) Really, lots of people are out of a job, we are $13,062,240,630,212.21 in debt (and rising an average $4.12 billion per day). Our economy is failing. Bush screwed us all! Avatar ImageAsi says: This would have been really amazing...London is my dream city in the world and it would become twise more magical for me with Harry Potter theme park.!!!! When I told my parents where is the park they kind of get really surprised that it's not in GB ....GB is the birthplace of Harry Potter books and movies and it should have been the birthplace of Theme Park! Those fans who are in England should support this idea!Avatar Imagejhangelgurl says: Well isn't it a bit too late now?!Avatar ImageBewareoftheNargles says: I would love the theme park here in Britain, but what will make it even more special for me is that it being in Orlando means it's a lot more effort to go, a lot more expensive and hard to get there, so I'll probably appreciate the 'pilgrimage' even more. Stil, I want one here too.Avatar ImageDraigfire says: Well its really nice the butterbeer is really good and so is the pumpkin juice...the Beaubatons and the Durmstrang presentation is excellet. Im glad its here :)Avatar ImageEchoLynnetteB says: Well, I live in Arizona... which is across the country from Florida and the park. Its going to be hard enough to afford going there... much less if it was actully in England. I'm glad they built a park in the states... but I hope that the fans in the UK might be able to get their own park as well. Avatar ImageODeBra says: I support him. England and Harry Potter are the same and all that in the future will focus Potter should be only in Great BritainAvatar ImageJoRowlingRocks says: Boris Johnson is a legend hahaAvatar ImageBellatricksthestrange says: Yeah, *I'd* love for there to be a HP theme park in California (where I live), but I don't go lobbying about it. Although I do see his point, it's a bit late, isn't it? Warner Bros is a corporation. They exist to make money. Considering that there are already several theme parks in Orlando, and already thousands of people travel there each year to visit these places, I think that they would make the most money in Orlando. People already travel to London to see King's Cross and the like. If the mayor of London wants to make more money off of tourism, then that's his problem, not WB's. *Maybe* you could get WB to build a (probably smaller) park in the UK. *Maybe* WB was planning to make enough money off of the park at Universal to build others in Europe anyway. Who knows? Avatar ImageMidnightSun321 says: I love good ol' Boris anyway but I love him even more! It is all very true :) And all those people who are against it being in the UK, you're just bitter :) But seriously, there may be a HUGE HP fanbase in the US, because of population, but why shouldn't there be one in the UK? Plane tickets are cheaper now and lots of people DO go to America anyway but why can't there be one in England? Or even Scotland! It makes it a LOT easier for all of Europe to get to it, short plane trip, train, ferry and car rather than a very long plane journey. The US one is obviously better for America, because it's so big and they won't have to fly as far to the UK, but it would be very convenient for us! We don't have as many conventions and Leaky so it would be rather awesome XDAvatar ImageJillxoxo says: Universal is always looking for films that capture the imagination and translate well into their Islands of Adventure setting. It's what their theme park is based upon and the HP series is so rich in detail and ideas, how could they not want to take on the challenge of creating such a magical place! But, the fact that Universal added it to their collection doesn't mean London can't "one up" Orlando. After all, they do have the home court advantage. They just have to want to do it. Avatar ImageDelilah3136 says: I'm glad the theme park is in Orlando, b/c Universal Studios did an amazing job. By the way, this guy is the mayor, doesn't he have more important things to do than complain about where the HP theme park is located?? I do not agree with this guy >:(

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