The global expansion of the Harry Potter experience continues, as Universal Studios Japan, in partnership with Warner Bros. and Universal Parks and Resorts have announced that the incredibly popular ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ is to open in Osaka, Japan by the end of 2014.
The Harry Potter experience started nearly two years ago at Universal Orlando and has proved to be an enormous success ever since. Today’s announcement was made by Glenn Gumpel, President and CEO, Universal Studios Japan; Brad Globe, President, Warner Bros. Consumer Products; and Michael Silver, President, Global Business Development, Universal Parks & Resorts.
James and Oliver Phelps, who play mischievous twins Fred and George Weasley in the films, were also present at the announcement, as well as Ichiro Matsui, Governor of Osaka and hundreds of excited fans, all dressed up in Harry Potter gear, who screamed with excitement when the news was announced.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter brings J.K Rowling’s stories to life in an impressive attraction and the Japan version is expected to equal both the success and magnificence of that at the Universal Orlando Resort. The attraction is faithful to the stories immortalised on screen and books and is the result of the collaborative efforts of the creative team at Universal Studios Japan and Warner Bros., which produced and distributed the Harry Potter films.
The success of the attraction in Orlando has benefitted the entire community as increases in tourism has meant more jobs and an economic benefit to the entire central Florida economy. This is expected to be echoed on an even larger scale in Japan and it’s thought that the themed attraction will create thousands of new jobs, increase tourism for the whole of the Osaka and Kansai region and indeed throughout the whole country, bring economic benefits to Japan for decades to come.
“I was delighted to experience and enjoy the attention to detail, creativity and superb craft that went into the first Wizarding World in Orlando. I am equally delighted that the same level of expertise and enjoyment will translate to the new park in Japan, ” said J.K. Rowling.
The attraction will be centred around a magnificent Hogwarts castle and the visual landscape of the films will be retained, ensuring a “fully immersive environment” suitable for the whole family to enjoy.
“Harry Potter, the most wonderful and amazing story of our time, is coming to Universal Studios Japan. USJ is thrilled to be chosen to make the Harry Potter experience come alive for the people of Japan. USJ is committed to being the world’s best Theme Park and by bringing this brilliant story to Japan and creating a fantastic experience is yet another validation of that commitment, ” said Glenn Gumpel, President and CEO of USJ Co., Ltd.
He went on to say that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be created to the “highest level of authenticity” in order to fully bring the wonderful stories to life.
“Harry Potter continues to captivate generations of fans around the world and we are delighted to announce this partnership with Universal Studios Japan that will allow us to bring the magic of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Asia, ” said Brad Globe, President, Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter allows fans to step into the magical world created in the books and witnessed in the films. We think this is the perfectly timed next step in bringing the magical world of Harry Potter to life for even more fans.”
It’s thought that the Japan attraction will be similar to its Orlando counterpart and will include multiple themed attractions, along with the aforementioned castle and Hogsmeade village. The efforts of the talented creative team have been further helped by Stuart Craig, the Production Designer for the entire Harry Potter film series.
Michael Silver, President of Global Business Development, Universal Parks and Resorts, said that the attraction will change tourism in the area forever. He went on to say that they are confident that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will have guests returning again and again in order to make the most of the “most powerful themed entertainment experiences of our time.”