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Harry Potter's wizardry coming to L.A. theme park

December 6, 2011 |  2:41 pm

Harrypotterthemepark
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.

Brady MacDonald reports:

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.

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Can Harry Potter's movie success send anyone back to the books?

-- 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

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