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  1. #1

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    Post The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: At Universal's Islands of Adventure in 2010

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    ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Universal Orlando Resort are partnering to create the world's first fully immersive Harry Potter themed environment based on the bestselling books by J.K. Rowling and blockbuster feature films from Warner Bros. Envisioned as a "theme park within a theme park" and titled "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter," the new environment will become part of the experience within Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park at the Universal Orlando Resort.
    Source: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

    "Over the years we've received thousands of letters from fans around the world wishing they could visit Hogwarts and the wonderful locations described in each of J.K. Rowling's beloved stories," said Barry Meyer, chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. Entertainment. "Working with Universal Orlando Resort, we are confident that we'll be able to provide Harry Potter fans with an incredible experience that upholds the richness of J.K. Rowling's books and delivers on the authentic detail portrayed in our films."

    "We will rely on our company's rich movie heritage and expertise in transforming film concepts into theme park entertainment experiences," said Ron Meyer, president and COO, Universal Studios. "The Harry Potter stories are among the most compelling of our time. The millions of people who have read the books and seen the movies will now be able to experience the world of Harry Potter in person."

    Inspired by J.K. Rowling's compelling stories and characters - and faithful to the visual landscapes of the films - "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" will provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience the magical world of Harry and his friends. The fully immersive, themed land will enable guests to visit some of the most iconic locations found in the books and the films including the village of Hogsmeade, the mysterious Forbidden Forest, and even Hogwarts castle itself.

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    "The plans I've seen look incredibly exciting, and I don't think fans of the books or films will be disappointed," said J.K. Rowling.

    "We have a profound sense of responsibility for the Harry Potter franchise at Warner Bros. Bringing the magic of J.K. Rowling's written word to the motion picture screen was the first step in expanding this amazing and imaginative world. Working with Universal Orlando Resort to bring it to life in a physical environment that you can walk through, relax in and ride on is the natural next step for fans to experience and enjoy," said Alan Horn, president and COO, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

    Expected to open in late 2009, the new environment will feature immersive rides and interactive attractions, as well as experiential shops and restaurants that will enable guests to sample fare from the wizarding world's best known establishments. Also debuting will be a state-of-the-art attraction that will bring the magic, characters and stories of Harry Potter to life in an exciting way that guests have never before experienced.

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    "We are going to devote more time, more money, more expertise and more executive talent from throughout our entire organization and creative team - as well as from Warner Bros., our partners - to ensure that this entire environment is second-to-none," said Tom Williams, chairman and CEO, Universal Parks and Resorts.

    Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Worldwide Consumer Products, added: "In Universal, we found the right partner whose unparalleled commitment will ensure that this is a world class destination. Their track record of success and the consistently high level of entertainment at all of their parks gave us the confidence to know that they will meet -- or exceed -- the extremely high expectations we all have for this project."

    The Academy Award-winning production designer Stuart Craig, who has worked to bring the world of Harry Potter to life in all of the feature films to date, leads the creative design for the area to ensure it remains faithful to the look and feel of the films.

    "Our primary goal is to make sure this experience is an authentic extension of Harry Potter's world as it is portrayed in the books and films," said Craig. "I am very excited to be working closely with the Universal Orlando team to bring the area to life."

    The Universal Orlando resort destination (www.universalorlando.com) includes two dramatically distinct and adjacent theme parks, the Universal Studios motion picture and television theme park and Universal's Islands of Adventure, Orlando's most thrilling and exhilarating theme park. Universal Orlando also includes CityWalk, a 30-acre dining, shopping, club and live-entertainment venue as well as premier on-site Loews hotels and world-class film and television production facilities.

    Harry Potter continues to be a global phenomenon. The series of books by author J.K. Rowling has been translated into 65 languages with more than 325 million copies sold in over 200 territories around the world. The films, produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, have grossed more than $3.5 billion at the box office worldwide. Each of the four Harry Potter films produced to date has the distinction of making it into the all time top 20 grossing films worldwide. The fifth film in the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix(TM), will be released in theatres on July 11, 2007.

    Full article and more: http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/070531/20070530006346.html?.v=1
    Last edited by NeverNeverland; 05-31-2007 at 04:51 PM. Reason: Hotlinked images removed.
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    Re: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: At Universal's Islands of Adventure in 2010

    oh wow, IOA is finally getting something new. I'm actually excited to se what they come up with for the new ride and the land as a whole.
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    Re: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: At Universal's Islands of Adventure in 2010

    A 20-acre Potter 'Island'

    Universal plans a 20-acre "Wizarding World," a little bigger than the average size of its themed "islands" at Islands of Adventure. Part would be carved away from what is now "The Lost Continent" island, and the rest would be land now used for employee parking and park support, outside the back fence.

    The new, "seventh island" would feature reconstructed and rethemed attractions, and all-new ones, Scott Trowbridge, vice president of Universal's Creative Studios, said in an interview. The Hogwarts castle and locations from Rowling's Forbidden Forest and Hogsmeade village will be created as backdrops to attractions, shops and restaurants.

    Three-time Academy Award-winning production designer Stuart Craig, who designed sets for all the Harry Potter movies, leads the "Wizarding World" design team.

    Much of "The Lost Continent" island, including Universal's award-winning Mythos Restaurant, will be retained as a separate themed area, just smaller. The island would remain open during construction as well.

    Some current "The Lost Continent" attractions such as The Dueling Dragons roller coasters and The Flying Unicorn coaster ride likely would be adapted to fit the Harry Potter story. Trowbridge would not discuss specific attractions, but did say that Universal intended to "leverage some existing infrastructure." He said that would have to include far more than a new paint job and a new sign, because too much is at stake.

    Davis agreed, noting that the large, dedicated fan base that Universal hopes to capture could turn on the resort if fans conclude Universal cheapened the Harry Potter concept.

    "We do have a responsibility to all the fans that are out there in the world that have followed the Harry Potter saga through the films and the books," Davis said. "We're taking that very, very seriously. We're going to be true to the books and the films, and make sure that when people come here they're going to be very, very happy with what they see."

    Also see... http://media.universalorlando.com/harrypotter/
    -Bill

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    Re: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: At Universal's Islands of Adventure in 2010

    Aw man. I hate to see them mess up Lost Continent. it is so well themed already. Ah well. Ican;t wait to see what they do.

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    Re: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: At Universal's Islands of Adventure in 2010

    I'm so glad to read that they're pulling out all the stops for this. Universal has for a long time cheapened the experience or cut corners... especially in the Hollywood park making it very difficult for me to return.

    Looking at the concept art is inspiring. It's like if Epcot was opening a new World's Showcase. I only hope the finished product looks as good as those paintings!

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    Re: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: At Universal's Islands of Adventure in 2010

    This looks great. And Universal will actually be putting more effort into this. Perhaps pushed a little by JK herself. But this sounds and looks great so far.

    Reading how "Dueling Dragons" was to be adapted to fit the Harry Potter theme reminded me of Quidditch. Now how awesome would THAT be?! Guests walk through the wonderfully themed queue that may need a tweaking or two like more Quidditch equipment and read about the game. Instead of splitting up into Fire or Ice, split into Slytherin or Gryffindor. Then ride your broomsticks through the air chasing the Golden Snitch while also dogding your opponents.

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    Re: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: At Universal's Islands of Adventure in 2010

    Wow, Orlando's most themed theme park gets even better. I now forgive Universal for not bringing in any new atrractions since the park opened...it seems they where just looking for something great.

    The plans look great, I am heading down to Orlando this September and I hope to get one last ride on the old dragons ride before it get's potterised. I can't wait to hear more about this project. The biggest theme park news this decade? Yep, I think so!

    Also nice to see that Disney dont get their own way all the time. Will be interesting to see how Disney reacts to this!

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    Re: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: At Universal's Islands of Adventure in 2010

    Now I have a reason to go to Universal Studios. ROCK ON! and shame on Disney for not getting it first!

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    Re: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: At Universal's Islands of Adventure in 2010

    That looks great! I hope they can pull it off.

    I also can't wait to see what Disney comes up with in response.

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    Re: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: At Universal's Islands of Adventure in 2010

    Cool new ride concept! Seems that it will become several attractions rolled into one. Can't wait tio get my hands on my broom for a simulated game of quidich.

    One wonder if we will be able to use our wizarding skills to terminate J.K. Rowling fo killing off one of our beloved characters in her next - possibly the last Pothead film.
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    Re: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: At Universal's Islands of Adventure in 2010

    Another reason why this is very clever for Uni is becuase it will gaurentee that UK visitors will keep coming to the resort. UK visitors are the biggest international guests to Orlando and Uni has been loosing allot of them to Disney over the past few year. Everyone knows Potter is a British born entity and is stupidly popular in the UK, JK must of said yes to Uni Florida since the place is already a fave for UK familes.

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    Re: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: At Universal's Islands of Adventure in 2010

    I can't think of a single bad thing about this. My favorite non-Disney park gets better, Disney gets a stern wake up call, and themepark design in general makes another step forward.
    I agree with Kevin Yee; it's time Disney gives Star Wars or Indiana Jones some real real estate.
    If a more immersive, expansive and detailed Star Wars 2.0 isn't in the cards yet, it better be after this.
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    Re: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: At Universal's Islands of Adventure in 2010

    As much as we would all like to see Harry Potter at Disney, if for nothing else, for convenience, imho I don't think HP belongs there. HP is it's own entity and a better fit at Universal. Disney should focus on Disney and to that end there is more than enough talent and imagination available for Disney (and Pixar) to produce outstanding entertainment opportunities of their own (ie; Pirates, Expedition Everest, Nemo Subs, etc.)

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    Re: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: At Universal's Islands of Adventure in 2010

    I am very excited about this, I just hope it meets all of our expectations as Harry Potter fans. I think that the Universal Florida Resort is awesome, but after going there twice in the past 4 years I saw no reason to return a third time on my last Orlando trip. This will definitely create motivation again!

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    Re: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: At Universal's Islands of Adventure in 2010

    At this point Disney has no choice but to step it up. Minor refurbishments, more shops, and a couple of pixar rides just ain't going to cut it when you have Harry Potter's fantasy kingdom over at Universal (In addition to Jurassic Park and The Simpsons and rumor has it soon HALO, Lord of the Rings, and Hellboy as well).

    My recommendation get Joe Rohde on the phone and allow him to build his fantasy area for Animal Kingdom, get Lucas on the phone and start updating Star Tours and build the indiana jones ride out here in florida...how about a Lucasland with various Star Wars and Indy attractions? What about Narnia?

    Disney is going to need to get some big e-tickets greenlit unless they want to loose a big chunk of their audiance to Universal Studios.

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