Harry Potter goes Hollywood as Universal plans new Wizarding World in California for 2016

by Tom Anstey | 04 Jun 2015

Hogwarts is on its way to California after Universal announced plans for its hugely successful Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction to feature in its Hollywood theme park.

Anchored by signature attraction Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the new Harry Potter attraction will aim to offer the same authenticity and attention detail as its counterparts at Universal Orlando and Universal Japan.

With Hogwarts Castle serving as a focal point for the new Potter attraction, visitors will be offered an immersive world, faithfully recreated as JK Rowling imagined it. Guests will also be able to visit classic locations such as the Three Broomsticks and Hogs Head pubs, as well as Honeydukes, Ollivanders, Owl Post, Zonko’s Joke Shop, Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment, Dervish and Banges, Gladrags Wizardwear and Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods.

The 3D ride in the multi-million dollar attraction will take guests on a journey into many memorable scenes alongside main characters Harry, Ron and Hermione. Travelling by Floo powder, guests will seemingly soar high above Hogwarts, partake in a Quidditch match, narrowly escape a dragon attack and have a close encounter with the Whomping Willow. Using Quidditch-themed 3D glasses, riders will be sent along an elevated ride track, with cars pivoting and twisting as it moves along. Also planned for the attraction is family rollercoaster Flight of the Hippogriff, which will make its debut as Universal Studios Hollywood’s first outdoor coaster.

Set to debut in Q1 2016, the attraction has been around five years in the making and is likely to not be the last. In December 2014, Attractions Management reported that after the runaway success of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction at Universal Orlando, the theme park operator was planning to replicate the winning formula across its other sites. Attractions Management quoted a high-placed source who had revealed that Universal was looking at new Potter concepts for Universal Studios Hollywood (now to be realised), as well as its counterparts in Singapore and Osaka, Japan.

"The momentum behind JK Rowling’s wizarding world is as strong as ever and we are incredibly excited to bring Hogwarts to Hollywood," said Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products. "Fans around the world have experienced the magic at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando and Osaka and we look forward to continued success with our partners at Universal Studios Hollywood as we offer more fans a chance to step into this immersive environment."

Potter-related attractions have proved to be hugely successful for Universal. Wizarding World of Harry Potter has doubled attendances at Universal's Islands of Adventure, from 4.2m at opening in 2009 to 8.1m in 2013. Numbers for Universal Studios Florida – also saw an increase – from 5.1 million to 7.1 million – via sales of the multi-site Universal/Seaworld pass.

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Hogwarts is on its way to California after Universal announced plans for its hugely successful Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction to feature in its Hollywood theme park. Anchored by signature attraction Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the new Harry Potter attraction will aim to offer the same authenticity and attention detail as its counterparts at Universal Orlando and Universal Japan. With Hogwarts Castle serving as a focal point
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With Hogwarts Castle serving as a focal point for the new Potter attraction, visitors will be offered an immersive world, faithfully recreated as JK Rowling imagined it
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