Harry Potter coming to Universal Studios Hollywood?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 11:13 PM

The Wall Street Journal is saying that a Harry Potter attraction/area will be announced soon for Universal Studios Hollywood. Any thoughts on where it might go? The park is relatively small so it might require some significant rearranging.


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Wednesday, November 30, 2011 11:44 PM
rollergator's avatar

Incorporating WWoHP required some fairly significant rearranging for the FL park....and they haven't stopped taking baths in money yet. As far as "where", I'm thinking a sizeable portion of the "downhill" property on the tram tour seems the most likely location.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011 11:48 PM
Jeff's avatar

The themed area not including Forbidden Journey (or the coasters) is not big at all. That's probably on purpose because I can't think of any theme park attraction with sight lines that tight. I haven't been to the Hollywood park, but I can't imagine it would be that hard to figure out.


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Wednesday, November 30, 2011 11:58 PM

The Lower Lot might be limited by the sound stages surrounding the attractions. The Upper Lot is fairly light on major attractions so it is possible that a good portion of that part of the park will be used for the new area.

Does this mean that an expansion of the Wizarding World in Orlando won't happen anytime soon?


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Thursday, December 1, 2011 12:19 AM

Hmmm...

The spot that is the most wide-open and the most overdue for a refresh could also be about the worst possible place in the park to remodel in that way: the Frankenstein garage roof and the present T2:3D attraction. It would be a bad spot because that corner features a fantastic view off the top of the park. The T2:3D theater is fairly large, and the adjacent water play plaza yields quite a lot of space. Even better, there are two special event venues that flank that area, the Globe Theatre and the plaza I last saw used for the Whoville Christmas tree and snowball fight zone. Separating those two spaces are the London and Paris streets, though, and I am not sure if they would want to eliminate those two areas. First, the building in the middle is a major food service facility, and second, both "streets" are frequently used for actual production.

Two other large areas exist in the upper lot. One is the Waterworld shed, but that is an amazingly popular show, and I think it recently got an award of some kind. The other appears to be a very large space, and it has an additional advantage in that they could do major construction over there and most people wouldn't even notice. That would be the "Gibson Amphitheatre", a large indoor concert venue. Looking at the schedule, it has 10 shows scheduled for the month of December, but only one in January, and in general I don't know how busy it is. But I question whether it is the "highest and best use" for that patch of ground. Of course, any of these locations probably precludes the installation of a major coaster (or even a minor one) but would be enough space for the village. Cramming in a dark ride on the scale of the one in Orlando would be tough...although looking at the map, it appears that the Gibson site is set on the back of the cliff, which makes me wonder how much space is available below the midway there.

There is a nice chunk of ground adjacent to the lower lot that could accommodate a large show building, but it's 80+ feet below the upper lot, and separated from the lower lot by the Jurassic Park show building and the tram road and a bit of inconveniently hilly ground, so while it's a nice piece of disused ground, there isn't a good way to get to it from inside the adjacent park. I'm referring, of course, to the apparently-abandoned Chinese restaurant. On a map, it looks like it is directly adjacent that first plaza I identified, but in fact it's well below.

The lower lot is pretty badly hemmed in, and that's where the new Transformers attraction is already under construction. Unless they give up a couple more production sound stages, I really don't see any expansion down there. And of course, that's the other big question I have: do we know anything about the Transformers ride system? I know it's a dark ride, and I know it is replacing the Special Effects and Backdraft attractions, but that's about all I know about it.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011 12:23 AM
LostKause's avatar

I would think that unless overcrowding is an issue (and it might be), we wont see the Harry Potter expansion in Orlando until it begins to show a significant decline in attendance.

I did hear, from someone who appeared genuine, that a Harry Potter theme park has been designed and will be added somewhere in the Eastern Hemisphere very soon. Was this announced already?

I knew Harry Potter was going to be a big money maker for Universal, but I never expected it to be this popular. :D


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Thursday, December 1, 2011 12:34 AM

RideMan said:
And of course, that's the other big question I have: do we know anything about the Transformers ride system? I know it's a dark ride, and I know it is replacing the Special Effects and Backdraft attractions, but that's about all I know about it.

Assuming it is the same as the one that just opened in Singapore the ride system is essentially identical to the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man (complete with 3D glasses) with the addition of a couple elevators.


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