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Harry Potter attraction won't arrive in L.A. until at least 2016

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Before Harry Potter establishes a new home base in Los Angeles, Hogwarts Castle will need to pass environmental review.

While young fans dressed in full wizard regalia were already hoisting their butter beer in excitement at the official unveiling of plans to build a Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood, they may be teenagers by the time it opens for business.

The 20-acre Wizarding World attraction at Universal Studios Orlando took four-and-a-half years to build and the similar one planned for Universal Hollywood will take about the same amount of time, Universal Parks & Resorts Chairman Tom Williams said in an interview.

That would suggest a late-2016 opening, but even that date could prove optimistic. The Wizarding World attraction is part of a planned $3-billion overhaul of Universal's theme park and film and television studio lot. Universal is seeking approval from planning officials for the overhaul's effect on the environment and the surrounding community.

Universal can't break ground on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter until that regulatory process is complete.

Williams added that Harry Potter rides and shops will be built in the current confines of the theme park. That will likely mean some existing attractions will need to be torn down or refitted to be more appropriate for muggles.

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-- Ben Fritz

Photo: Confetti falls at the end of an event announcing that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

 
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