Sources say Harry Potter attraction coming to Universal Studios Hollywood

Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011 8:46 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Universal Studios is planning to build a replica of its successful Florida Harry Potter theme park in Los Angeles, said people familiar with the matter but not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Read more from The LA Times.

Thursday, December 1, 2011 2:08 PM

Where would it go? Bye Bye Waterworld.........

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Thursday, December 1, 2011 2:41 PM

Mentioned elsewhere (by me, so not a reliable source):

Top pick: Goodbye, T2.
Second choice: Farewell, Gibson Amphitheater (which isn't even an amphitheater anyway)
Third choice: So long, Waterworld.

Of those I like the second the best because they could do construction there and the rest of the park would hardly notice, except for the last 45 seconds of the tram tour. Meanwhile, I think the T2 site is more likely.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011 8:20 PM

So will their "replica" include a non dueling dueling B&M invert also? ;)

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Thursday, December 1, 2011 9:47 PM

Zing!

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Friday, December 2, 2011 11:02 AM

I like the direction they're going finally. I've been in SoCal for almost 15 years and have had little reason to visit this park. All of a sudden with Mummy, Transformers, and now Potter, there's actually some stuff to do. I've long thought that Universal was complacent & content with what this park did. It's only because of the slow down in Asian economies & related decrease in travel to California that Universal is even opening their wallets. As much as I love coasters, that's not what this park is about or should be about. They are moving into a showcase of what they do best: big sets, storytelling, and immersive experience -- isn't that what movies are/should be about anyway?

/mike

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Friday, December 2, 2011 11:11 AM

Today's news out of Orlando (from UO Resort and Orlando Attractions Magazine): Jaws WILL be closing on 1/2/12 for an exciting new attraction - this is direct from Universal's FB page...and if you've been here on Buzz for a decade or so, you know I don't think it could happen to a better attraction. The shark had jumped the shark....

From OA Magazine, there's some pretty strong speculation that there's going to be another WWoHP going in, and that they'll build a Hogwart's Express to run between the two parks. If this all happens, it is HUGE... :)

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Friday, December 2, 2011 11:46 AM

I like Jaws. I just wish they kept better care of it. I hope whatever they replace it with fits with the boardwalk theme in some way.

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Friday, December 2, 2011 11:51 AM

Hey fans, we want you to be the first to know… JAWS! and the Amity area will officially close on January 2 to make room for an exciting, NEW, experience we’re planning for you.

It's the whole Amity area, not just Jaws. Wow.

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Friday, December 2, 2011 11:57 AM

From OA Magazine, there's some pretty strong speculation that there's going to be another WWoHP going in, and that they'll build a Hogwart's Express to run between the two parks.

Woah. That sounds totally insane.

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Friday, December 2, 2011 12:42 PM

eightdotthree said:
It's the whole Amity area, not just Jaws. Wow.

To be fair, there's really nothing to Amity other than shops, food, games, and jaws! We'd been waiting/wondering if there would maybe be an *attraction* added to the Amity area....this could (would?) be way bigger and better than that - and would really tie the two parks together.

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Friday, December 2, 2011 12:50 PM

I just don't see how a train would fit between the two areas or the two different parks. ...And how will the admission and ticketing work out? How would they keep IOA customers from walking into Universal when they are finished with the new attraction?

Maybe RFID?

A Hogwarts Express train ride was supposed to be part of the Harry Potter park. That I remember clearly. They were supposed to take out some of the buildings behind Dueling Dragons to make room for it. Having worked at the park, and having been behind the scenes, I don't know how they would extend a train ride all the way to Jaws without some major changes. They would have to demolish some pretty important buildings, like wardrobe, Dave School, Earthquake, Park operation offices, ect., to link the two areas with a train ride.

I'm not saying that it couldn't be done. I'm saying it would be more expensive than one would suspect.

...

There is a nice large area behind Jaws for even more expansion, unless this is the area that they built the housing.

Last edited by LostKause, Friday, December 2, 2011 12:52 PM
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Friday, December 2, 2011 1:28 PM

At first I'm all "Yeah right they're gonna put the rumored new WWoHP section in the Studios pshaw" but then I realized how genius this would be... if they did build "Diagon Alley" in the studios, linked by a backstage "Hogwarts Express" (Highly themed Train ride? LCD "windows" in every car showing an animated landscape outside?).. I mean, how cool would that be to enter the WWoHP through Diagon Alley and hop on a train that whisks you away to Hogwarts?? It would give the Studios park a much needed boost. As for ticketing for people going back and forth, they could just make a ticket booth part of the queue for the train where they make sure everyone has the proper admission media for the other park, and sell an 'upgrade' on the spot if they don't. While the idea of an immersive, non-ironic environment in the Studios park is a little less appealing than in the always immersive IOA, it makes total business sense.

Last edited by ThemeDesigner, Friday, December 2, 2011 1:30 PM
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Friday, December 2, 2011 1:34 PM

A Potter attraction at USF? Only if they are trying to get the Potterheads to visit both parks. A train ride between Hogsmeade and Amity? HIGHLY unlikely. What are you going to do, run it down Turkey Lake Rd. and through the employee parking lot? My guess is that Amity is going to become something else entirely.

I do wonder if they have a plan for integrating the two parks somehow. Universal sure seems to like to pretend that IOA doesn't exist until you go to buy tickets. It isn't mentioned in any of their advertising, and you can't buy any souvenirs with an IOA logo on them. Go figure...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Friday, December 2, 2011 1:35 PM

This is cool, when looking at google maps to see how the JAWS area is laid out, I noticed the photo shows the JAWS lagoon in a semi-drained state. At the bottom of the ride, just before the bridge, you can actually see several "Bruces" rising up out of the water.
http://tinyurl.com/7nuvzy2
Between the massive JAWS ride footprint and the poorly utilized Ampitheatre next door (Fear Factor Live venue) there would seem to be more than enough room to support a new WWoHP "Land"

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Friday, December 2, 2011 3:14 PM

^Yes. The backlot areas, and how to navigate a train through some of those buildings/areas would no doubt be tricky to say the least (well, expensive and time-consuming).

That being said, from Earthquake/Disaster down to Jaws, and then over to MiB, there's a LOT of land. Taking into account the Fear Factor amphitheater is almost always empty and unused, and that Disaster itself was a fairly-minimal retheme...I could easily see Hogwart's fitting in there. Again, the train ride would (is going to?) have to be REALLY shoe-horned into place if it would go from WWoHP all the way to...well, Disaster.

But, while moving stuff is costly, revenue$ from HP have been....staggering. ;)

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Friday, December 2, 2011 3:40 PM

rollergator said:
^Yes. The backlot areas, and how to navigate a train through some of those buildings/areas would no doubt be tricky to say the least (well, expensive and time-consuming).

That being said, from Earthquake/Disaster down to Jaws, and then over to MiB, there's a LOT of land. Taking into account the Fear Factor amphitheater is almost always empty and unused, and that Disaster itself was a fairly-minimal retheme...I could easily see Hogwart's fitting in there. Again, the train ride would (is going to?) have to be REALLY shoe-horned into place if it would go from WWoHP all the way to...well, Disaster.

But, while moving stuff is costly, revenue$ from HP have been....staggering. ;)

Actually, they wouldn't have to relocate a single building. As long as the train is in the very back of the area, it can go right down what is labeled as 5th Ave. between the buildings. It would likely be a real train only in outward appearances, and the backstage roads are decently wide (I've been back there, to do their survey thing they do with a few UCF classes). It doesn't have to be a complete loop, just one stretch of track. 5th Ave. conveniently dead-ends into the Sinbad theater.

Last edited by maXairMike, Friday, December 2, 2011 3:42 PM
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Friday, December 2, 2011 3:59 PM

Obligatory:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAAAmUKy67k

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Friday, December 2, 2011 4:10 PM

maXairMike said:
It would likely be a real train only in outward appearances, and the backstage roads are decently wide (I've been back there, to do their survey thing they do with a few UCF classes). It doesn't have to be a complete loop, just one stretch of track. 5th Ave. conveniently dead-ends into the Sinbad theater.

I'll go one further... it wouldn't even have to look like a train on the outside. Imagine if the station contained a train engine and the first passenger car, and the rest of the 'train' went back into a dark tunnel. You board the first passenger car and walk down into the trains in the 'tunnel', at this point you have actually entered the ride vehicles which look nothing like a train on the outside, and are basically trolleys or shuttles that move from one park to the other, back and forth all day. As I said before, they could have LCD screens for "windows" which show the outside world as the train moves to the other station, where a similar dummy engine and first car are set up. Use parallel tracks and/or some switch tracks and you can have as many ride vehicles on the track as you need to reach your desired capacity.
I'm not saying this is how they'll do it, I'm just saying it is technologically very feasible to pull off a train ride from Diagon Alley to Hogwarts that moves backstage at USF, that remains fully immersed in the HP world.

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Friday, December 2, 2011 4:11 PM

And of course on the train there would be a food cart selling chocolate frogs, Bertie Botts, etc. It would be a revenue generator!

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