Harry Potter's wizardry coming to L.A. theme park
Harry Potter has already made the move from books to screens to amusements -- the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been wildly -- magically -- successful at Universal's Orlando Islands of Adventure theme park. On Tuesday, officials toasted with Butterbeer when announcing that Harry Potter would be coming to Universal Studios Hollywood.
Conventional wisdom holds that the California park will feature a replica of the Hogsmeade village and Hogwarts castle found in Florida. Forbidden Journey is generally considered to be the best ride in the amusement industry and a likely addition. Hogwarts was purposely built a few feet taller than the castle down the road at the Magic Kingdom. Expect a similar nose-thumbing in the general direction of Anaheim....
It's possible the California Wizarding World could be completely different from the Florida version. One possibility: an authentic re-creation of Diagon Alley complete with a Leaky Cauldron restaurant, a Gringotts Wizarding Bank indoor roller coaster and an Ollivander's wand shop (misplaced in Hogsmeade village at the Florida park).
Although Harry Potter is family-friendly enough to be turned into a popular theme park attraction, the books by J.K. Rowling remain among the most frequently challenged in schools and libraries.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photo: Actors James, left, and Oliver Phelps (who play Fred and George Weasely) toast with Butterbeer following the announcement of the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Credit: Phil McCarten/ Reuters