Friday, December 9, 2011

Wizarding World II-news update

Well, it’s official. The Wizarding World is moving into Universal Hollywood. I’m not sure what attractions it will replace, but I do remember Universal saying that they would demolish anything to install it. That’s devotion!

Also, we Floridians are lucky to get an expansion of the Wizarding World at IoA. However, for the first time in theme park history, this will be a land spread out over TWO parks. Universal knows how to rake more money back into the Studio park, and that’s to charge separate admission to half of the world of Harry Potter. Smart move, guys. Check and mate.

What has not yet been announced is the attraction line-up for this new area. (And myself and others still assume it is taking the place of Amity Island.) The rumors from inside officials tell us that this will be the London side, and the Hogwarts Express will take guests over to the original land that opened last year. So, basically one Muggle side, and one Wizard side.

I’ve heard rumors that guests will enter The Leaky Cauldron to enter Diagon Alley. No doubt Universal will provide some kind of interactive entryway to re-create the effect of a moving brick wall. If Diagon Alley is re-created, then we can assume that Gringotts Bank will be there. Seems most people claim a mine train coaster will go here, but I think that sounds like a fantasy some fans cooked up at the moment. Then again, I could be wrong.

There are many ways this area could be re-created. Obviously, it has to look and feel different than Hogsmeade over in IoA so that the same experience isn’t repeated twice. This is why I’m guessing that there will be no snow or wintery themes here if we are under the assumption that it is always winter in Hogsmeade. The authenticity of the products sold in the original area were so well done, so it’s obvious this level of placemanship will return. Expect spell books, wands, cauldrons, and other authentic props. I’d personally like to see the Monster Book of Monsters as a battery-operated toy that would snap its fangs at customers.

If Hogsmeade had the Owlery, maybe this new street will have a pet shop, even if it’s just for show. I doubt we’ll be seeing Knockturn Alley, though. Maybe there will be some signage promoting it, but I don’t think Universal Studios would care for dark wizards wandering around the premises.

Now, no one knows anything for sure. These are just my own speculations and personal preferences based on what I’ve heard and seen so far. One thing I can predict that I know WILL be a big issue is that Universal is doing this partially to spite Disney. With its Fantasyland rehab in Magic Kingdom, and its Carsland and Buena Vista Street installation over at California Adventure, Disney is really trying to catch up financially to the success their rival has received on the first Harry Potter area. The announcement of an Avatar-themed land for Animal Kingdom is also due to this. But, unless these new attractions prove to give Disney a complete 180 degree turn, it seems Universal will still be number one destination in Orange County, at least for now.

What do you think? Discuss in the comments below.


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