Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Harry Potter Family Theme Park Unveiled. Universal Orlando Wins Secret Prize!

September 15, 2009, 11:04 am

Harry Potter Theme Park to Open in Spring

By Brooks Barnes

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the hotly anticipated new Florida theme park, will open in the spring and allow visitors to explore Hogwarts Castle, buy Quidditch equipment and drink Butterbeer.

Universal Orlando unveiled details of the park, a 20-acre addition to its Islands of Adventure property, on Tuesday in a video presentation on the Web. The resort, owned by NBC Universal, secured the theme park rights to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books in May 2007 but has been silent about specific plans until now.

The so-called “theme park within a theme park” will be faithful to the visual landscapes of the Harry Potter films produced by Warner Brothers, which licensed the rights to Universal after a flirtation with the Walt Disney Company. “We’ve tried to include something from every book,” said Alan Gilmore, an art director for the films who is helping to oversee the theme park design.

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Universal offers some details on secretive Harry Potter theme park

Who needs Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk when you have Harry Potter?

Amid speculation as to what Disney's announced $4-billion purchase of Marvel could mean to existing theme-park licenses, Universal Orlando today unveiled details for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a 20-acre addition to its Islands of Adventure.

The rights to the $265-million "theme park within a theme park" were secured from author J.K. Rowling in 2007, but NBC Universal has managed to keep information about the project a secret.

Wizarding World, set to open next spring, is expected to give Islands of Adventure a much-needed boost. Despite popular theme rides like Jurassic Park and the Spider-Man and Hulk roller coasters, attendance has suffered, Media Decoder reports. About 5.3 million people visited the park in 2008, compared to 17 million at the nearby Magic Kingdom.

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