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Confirmed: Wizarding World of Harry Potter to open at Universal Studios Japan in 2014

Hogwarts Castle at night

Universal Studios Japan has confirmed that it will open a version of the hugely popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2014.

The original Wizarding World at the Universal Orlando Resort's Islands of Adventure has drawn millions of visitors since its 2010 debut, with the Japanese version set to replicate many of its most popular features. This will include a version of the ground-breaking Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey dark ride, as well as a recreation of Hogsmeade Village as seen in the Harry Potter movies.

The LA Times reports that Universal Studios Japan will spend around $500 million on installing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It is expected to attract large crowds in a country in which the Harry Potter books and films are enormously successful.

Little is known about the location or precise details of Universal Studios Japan's Wizarding World. For instance, it is not known whether it will include elements from the Diagon Alley area that is expected to be installed at Universal Studios Florida as part of an extension to Universal Orlando's Potter offering.

Japan's version of the Wizarding World will open in advance of Universal Studios Hollywood's version, which was announced last year. No opening date has been confirmed for the Harry Potter attraction in Hollywood, although rumors point to a debut in 2015 or 2016.

Commenting on the announcement of a third Wizarding World of Harry Potter, creator J.K. Rowling said: "I was delighted to experience and enjoy the attention to detail, creativity and superb craft that went into the first Wizarding World in Orlando. I am equally delighted that the same level of expertise and enjoyment will translate to the new park in Japan.”

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