With the Harry Potter film franchise coming to an end, anybody who’s been profiting off the property wants to keep that stream of income flowing. According to the NYTimes, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park will open in the Spring of 2010 as an obvious spin-off to the popular films and books. Universal Orlando has unveiled their plans for how Harry Potter will live on in their newly created world.
According to art director Alan Gilmore, the Harry Potter Theme park will have a little bit of everything from all the books. Within the park there are three major rides that cost Universal a pretty penny. The largest out of the bunch is a castle called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, that features the likeness of Potter and his friends. A feat that was made possible by Warner Bros licensing the character and his wizard crew to Universal.
Another major ride is Flight of the Hippogriff. It’s described as a family coaster that simulates a Hippogriff (the half-horse, half-eagle beast from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) training flight over Hogwarts castle. Then you have Dragon Challenge, which is a twin high-speed coaster that will feature elements from the Triwizard Tournament.
“We had free range to be as grand and as excessive as we could be,” Gilmore added. “It’s only money that holds us back in the end.”
As you can easily see, their initial vision for the theme park is larger than life, but in this economy even the executives realize you can’t go overboard. This is an interesting move on both Warner Bros and Universal’s part. With the recent merger of Disney and Marvel, this could be Universal’s way of becoming less dependent on their Marvel based attractions.
They have the entire Super Hero Island which features the comic characters Spider-Man, Hulk, Storm, Captain America, Cyclops, Green Goblin, Rogue, Storm, and of course Wolverine. They may have to start loosening their grip on that piece of property, Disney might kidnap them all and stuff them inside the Magic Kingdom.
Are you interested in visiting the Harry Potter Theme Park?