Universal has confirmed that it will build a version of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, although it has yet to confirm an opening date.
The widely-rumored addition was officially announced by Universal executives on Tuesday, December 6, 2011, at a press conference at the park. Few details of the planned Potter land were given, although it was confirmed that several key elements from the existing Wizarding World at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure will be recreated at the Hollywood version.
Universal Studios Hollywood's Wizarding World of Harry Potter will include a version of the groundbreaking Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey dark ride, which will be housed in a large-scale recreation of Hogwarts Castle as seen in the Harry Potter movies. It is not yet known whether other elements from the Florida original, such as its recreation of Hogsmeade Village, will make the transition.
Where the Wizarding World will be situated within Universal Studios Hollywood is another unknown. The company will need to find room for the new land on the site, either by removing existing attractions or by expanding into the studio's backlot area.
California Governor Jerry Brown was in attendance at the announcement, with officials from his office revealing to the press that the Universal Studios Hollywood deal would "bring hundreds of millions of dollars into California's economy, help create jobs and support our tourism industry".
Harry Potter's creator J.K. Rowling, who will have final approval of the designs for the new land, said of the deal: "I am delighted that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been so popular with fans since the opening in Orlando last year and I am sure that the teams at Universal and Warner Bros. will bring their expertise and attention to detail to Hollywood to make this new experience equally as exciting.”
Ron Meyer, Universal Studios' President, said: "This is an incredible moment for Universal Studios and the millions of guests who visit our theme parks. The Harry Potter stories are some of the most powerful of our time and we are honored to expand our Orlando experience and bring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Hollywood, forever changing family tourism in Los Angeles."
In addition to adding the new land to Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal will also expand the existing Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure. Few details have been revealed of the expansion, although it is strongly rumored that it will replace the closed Jaws ride at Universal Studios Florida.
Universal Parks & Resorts has continued to benefit from the popularity of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which opened at Islands of Adventure in 2010. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the unit's revenues climbed by 9.1 percent in 2011's third quarter, to $531 million. Profits rose to $285 million from $252 million in the same period last year.
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