Harry Potter may have defeated the Dark Lord Voldemort and completed his adventures on the page and on screen, but his future as a tourist attraction is just getting started. It began when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was introduced at Universal Studios' theme park in Orlando, Florida. The attraction gave Potter fans the chance to explore Hogwarts, wander the streets of Hogsmeade, and ride various Potter-themed rides. Now the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is coming to the west coast, with Warner Bros. and Universal Parks and Resorts announcing by press release that they'll be opening a new version of the attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood. The new deal will also include a significant expansion for the existing Wizarding World at the Orlando resort.
The press release is full of excited sound bites from various executives, and even Potter creator J.K. Rowling herself chimed in:
I am delighted that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been so popular with fans since the opening in Orlando last year and I am sure that the teams at Universal and Warner Bros. will bring their expertise and attention to detail to Hollywood to make this new experience equally as exciting.
What the press release doesn't provide, however, are many details about what specifically fans can expect from the new Wizarding World and the Orlando expansion. Hogworts Castle and the village of Hogsmeade are probably a given since they're both included in the Orlando version, but what else might the Wizarding World have to offer? The theme-park fansite Screamscape has a few details, including news of what classic attraction is being swept aside to make room for Potter's new digs.
According to the site, the Orlando expansion will be taking over the Jaws and Amity-themed areas of the part, which will be closing permanently on January 2nd. They claim that this area will be turned into the "real-world London" part of the Wizarding World, and will include an entrance to Diagon Alley. The Alley could include recreations of famous Potter locations such as The Leaky Cauldron, Gringott’s Wizarding Bank, and King’s Cross station. If tourists purchase a two-park ticket, they'll actually be able to board the Hogworts Express and take a ride over to the Wizarding World proper at the Islands of Adventure park.
Screamscape's story also includes a few other rumored but not confirmed attractions, such as an indoor roller coaster whipping tourists through the bowels of Gringott's.
While many of these details are just rumors at this point, it's clear Warner Bros. and Universal have big plans for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.