Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wizarding World of Harry Potter Coming to Universal Studios Japan - Opening in 2014

Just like if Disney didn't had enough problems with the competition created by the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando - and in 2016 in L.A - one day after the Avengers ride announcement by Bob Iger Universal strikes back overseas and announced that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will come to Universal Studios Japan in Osaka in 2014!

From the L.A Times: "Universal Studios Japan on Thursday will unveil plans to build the first international version of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the blockbuster attraction that has drawn millions of fans to Universal’s Orlando resort and is coming to Los Angeles.

The Osaka destination - expected to begin construction in the next few weeks with a planned opening in late 2014 and an expected cost of about $500 million - brings Hogwarts Castle and rides including Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey to the boy wizard’s biggest market outside of the United States".

At Oriental Land - the company ruling Tokyo Disney Resort - they must be in "red alert mode" by now...That said, all this probably will end with everybody being happy. Universal Studios Japan of course, but also WDI as you can be sure that the smart guys of Oriental Land will understand instantly the danger. Even if Universal Studios Japan are in Osaka at hundred miles from Tokyo they are only at two and a half hours with the Shinkansen, Japan bullet train and TDL will probably plan a counter attack to be ready with major ride(s) for 2014. And all this at the end will make the happiness of TDL and japanese theme park fans! Okay, Oriental Land probably would have preferred to avoid this "counter attack" investment but i'm sure that with the help of WDI Imagineers they will find brilliant rides ideas to avoid the Potter curse.

May be that 2014 will be the perfect year to introduce some Marvel rides at Tokyo Disney Resort... Good news, since yesterday we know that WDI will have at least a major one available for TDL.

Picture: copyright Warner - Universal Studios


Marco Antonio Garcia said...

I wonder when this Harry Potter fever is going to end. I think that with no more new books or movies, by 2016 it won't be that popular anymore, as very probably there is going to be a new franchise for tweens and teens. Of course HP is going to have its fans for a very long time, but very probably it won't be that much of a fever in a few years.
Also, I think that Tokyo Disneyland Resort is so good that Potter won't be that much of a threat, and there is more than enough public in Japan for both Universal and Disney (it's crazy there, I went to both parks during the week, it was not a holiday or anything, and they were both crowded.
But new rides always helps anyway, I just don't think that Marvel would fit well in any of the Japanese parks. The best place would be in Tomorrowland for something related to Iron Man, but I would rather see something else there, and I'm a Marvel fan from much before the movies and the Disney purchase of the company.

Anonymous said...

Reading this... and seeing those pictures of Tokyo Disney Sea in your previous post... Hmmm...
I don't think Universal will ever succeed to bring as much emotion to the parks as Disney does.