Live from the Universal Harry Potter Park Announcement in California
Dec 06, 2011
Posted by Melissa Anelli
Good morning! We are live from Universal Studios in Southern California where everyone is wearing house scarves under a baking sun. Guess it’s time to hear about a new JAWS ride!
Wait.. no, that’s not right. No, this is about Harry Potter. Bet your butterbeer we are going to have details about the soon to be revealed plans for the next Harry Potter theme park. We are updating our Twitter @leaky, and will be updating this post with all the info.
Updates (via Twitter) — most recent first:
- Trays of butterbeer coming out now.
- There’s a lot of focus of the effects of this on LA commerce. Taped message from LA and Orlando mayors now.
- Commissioner: “I’ve never seen the Harry Potter film [sic], my staff conspired to get me a DVD of the first movie. [They said] “the least you should do is see the movie”. I’m not a big fiction movie person. There are some public policy connections. First of all the wand. I see the wand being used to create $13B for the state budget, Governor. As far as the broomsticks are concerned is there a better way to navigate the 405 during rush hour? Today’s announcement marks an important new investment [for the economy].”
- Governor: “Great day when we see investment in California and investment in the imagination”
- Barry Meyer: “There are now eight films behind us and the future of Harry Potter is looking brighter today than ever with this announcement. We are now truly entering the next phase of what Harry Potter will mean to its loyal and committed audience. The Harry Potter fan is a unique individual – committed/dedicated/unbelievably demanding.” Says Universal is as “committed” to quality and excellence as WB has been. “The best gift we can give over the holidays to every Harry Potter fan in the world is an announcement like the one today”.
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey will be recreated here in California. Plan to invest several hundred million dollars and create more than a thousand jobs here. Generate tax revenue for city and county.
- Barry Meyer: “The books/films are among the most powerful stories of our time. We’re honoured to creating destinations where these come to life”
- Phelps twins: “When we’re making a movie, everything is fake…I wandered off to tap the wall. When it’s a set it’s hollow but this is real.”
- Will be “in the existing theme park” and “every bit as spectacular” as Orlando. Orlando WWoHP will be “greatly expanded” (Internet rumours about Orlando include Diagon Alley, Gringotts etc)
- Showing a video of the park, mostly of kids enjoying butterbeer and wands
- James and Oliver Phelps are here to help make the announcement. “Hogwarts is coming to Hollywood,” they said as one.
- Talking up the economic benefit – jobs it has brought to Florida, etc.
- Park in Cali will include a castle – “fully immersive environment for the entire family”
- The WWoHP IS coming to Los Angeles – and a big expansion is planned for Orlando.
- Press event has just started – LA commissioner as well as California Governor Jerry Brown are here as well.