Harry Potter Theme Park
Hey Lou and WDW Radio listeners,
I think I may be a little outdated with this thread but, I just heard that the Harry Potter park is slated to go in Orlando, FL. They are hoping that it will be finished late in 2009.
Post what you think of the idea and let us know because this would be another park of magic in the Central Florida area. Not something that I personally am looking forward to as I am a WDW enthusist and purist.
i think i just posted a thread on this and it has an article
(I should have put this in the first post but I forgot.)
I first heard about this way back in 2003 when I was on the College Program at Disney. I asked if we were going to get a 5th park. They said no because they want to improve our current 4 parks before adding a 5th one to the lineup. It will happen, just not anytime in the near future. They also said that because of the Harry Potter phenom, plans were being made for a themed park based on this so they are thinking of how to "combat" this. Now Disney has always strived to provide the magic to our guests and the boys down the road have been talking about how to "get away from the magic" and into thrills. I find it interesting that they would decide to add this "magician's park" to their lineup as they have always bashed the magic of Disney. I know one thing, I want to be at WDW on the day that theme park opens because from the responses from the other posts, I have a feeling that people are going to flock to that area like seagulls on a piece of bread and WDW parks will be empty. (I really don't want that to happen, I'm just seeing a lot of Disney purists wanting to go there) It does add a little boost to Disney in one aspect...rooms. The Disney Resorts will be flooded with people for a long time after this park opens. If you think that booking is hard now, you'll need 180 days advance notice, and that's just for DVC members! (kidding) Even with a competitor park opening, Disney is probably not concerned because they have been at the top of the charts for years and will continue to be so.
I'm probably going to get slammed for this but, I don't see this new park lasting very long after the books and movies are over because when something is based on a movie, no matter how popular, it will eventually fade. That's one reason Walt wanted Disneyland. He wanted to toy with it and change it. This could be the same reason that they are building this park to begin with. They want the phenom to continue long after the books go on the bargain buy shelf and the movies end up in the 2 for $11 bin. Who knows how long it will last. There are attractions at WDW that are long gone because the phenom just wore off. I hope that the orginal Pirates will invade WDW again after Jack Sparrow is marooned from lack of sales. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the POTC movies. I just know that the future has a way of eradicating the past with progress. Something else always comes along and takes center stage.
In short, I'm not a Harry Potter fan. I'm a Disney purist.
i'm a huge harry fan.. and would love to go to such a park.. but.. i agree with you after the books and movies i believe it would be a bust in time
Yeah, what's going to happen to the park's attendance when the craze is over?
The original readers of Harry Potter will fade, but each year more kids begin reading the books for themselves; kids that were too young to read them when they first came out. The amusement park will have to sustain itself after a while and time will tell if it's able to do so.
""The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" is set to open at Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park in late 2009, complete with the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the Forbidden Forest and Hogsmeade village."
Sounds like a new PART of a park... I'm sure IoA will have no problems with attendance.
Yeah . . . attendance at IoA will soar with this addition. I'm curious to see how and where it is all added. Will that drive up the price at Universal? As for its popularity fading or it being a bust, I'm not sure you all grasp the magnitude of Harry Potter. It isn't a fad. The books have sold more copies than anything but the bible and the movies have grossed over 3.5 Billion dollars even though some of them were pretty bad (and that is just the first 4 movies) The fan base for this is enormous. People still attend Disney to ride things like Peter Pan and Snow White. When was the last time an episode of the Twilight Zone was filmed, yet it still served as a theme for the Tower of Terror. Heck, Disney just brought back characters from the late 1940's or early 50's (the three caballeros) because they thought it would boost attendance on an attraction. These things have staying power. Whether you are a fan or not, Harry Potter is this generations most significant contribution to literature and pop culture.
I'm not saying that Harry Potter isn't popular, it's just that Universal has a problem that Disney does not...land. There is not enough space to expand if the new park does well, which it will. They will have to cap off attendences for a long time because they will not be able to get it to the size that they would like to have it at. WDW is 42 square miles in size, about twice the size of Manhattan. Even Walt said himself there would be enough space to fill all the dreams and ideas that we would ever have, and he was right. The pressing issue is not that the Harry Potter park will do bad, it's the problem of expansion for future generations.
Wizarding World is being built as a "land" inside Islands of Adventure. There will never be any expansion past what is already planned. I have to agree with JustinM, Harry Potter will be around for quite some time. The books are based on a fundamental theme of good vs. evil and there is a message in the books of tenacity, honesty, and doing the right thing even in the face of great temptation to do otherwise. I would have to think that Walt Disney himself would have appreciated the message in these books. I would be willing to bet his books will be popular with at least the next two or three generations. My daughter can't even read yet, and she loves Harry Potter just as much as she loves Mickey, Tinker Bell, Peter Pan, and Mowgli. She'd be very excited to be able to see all and do all her favorite attractions and WDW and then spend a day in Wizarding World.
Originally Posted by The 5ive O
Not only that, but think about it... this Wizarding World almost guarantees that Harry survives in this final book. Who would have the heart to go to Wizarding World knowing Harry is "dead".
As someone who has worked in a bookstore for the entire Harry Potter craze, I have to say that there is no way to really predict its ultimate longevity. So much of the intensity of popularity right now is due to the ongoing anticipation of "what's going to happen next" and how the saga will ultimately play out. Once the story is concluded and the movies play out, interest will begin to diminish. The books will no doubt remain popular indefinitely, but that alone will not sustain it as the pop culture phenom it currently is.
A lot also depends on what Rowling herself is going to do beyond the books themselves. If she follows the George Lucas/Star Wars model by continuing to produce product/entertainment featuring Harry and company, it could well be a franchise that sustains itself for quite some time.
It's interesting to note that the contract with Universal runs 10 years with 2 five-year renewal options. Even Universal is hedging their bets.
I don't think it will fade. I think Harry Potter has the staying power of a franchise like Star Wars. I think what you will see is a huge marketing plan by Universal and Rowlings to make this work for YEARS. Yo have to think, all of those Potter fans will grow up and have kids, who they will turn into Potter fans. I just don't think there is any way Universal would invest the kind of money it takes to build this and not expect it to last for a long time. I feel in time you may see some of the attractions change but I can also see Hogwart's Castle becoming an icon of the park.
Originally Posted by mini-V
With all of the discussion going on about the new Harry Potter land in Universal's Islands of adventure I thought I would let you all know that on this week's episode of All About the Mouse I did a discussion with Jonathan Dichter (since we're both big Harry Potter fans) about what some neat ideas would have been if Harry Potter would have come to Disney as it was rumored.
There were some interesting ideas that came up and it really shows how much Disney could have done with this concept.
But sadly, we have to visit another theme park if we want to experience it.
You can find the show on iTunes under All About the Mouse or over at All About the Mouse Disney podcast.
Just thought I would throw that out there for anyone who might want to check it out.
Host of the All About the Mouse Disney podcast
and owner of All About the Mouse Disney podcast
Is this an entire theme park seprate from Universal?