Universal Conjures Harry Potter Deal

In an epic battle between Disney and Universal, the smart money would be on Disney. But lo and behold, Universal seems to have come out on top in the struggle to land the rights to turn the boy wizard’s fantastical world ionto a theme park attraction. Or should that be attractions?

According to reports surfacing here and there, this looks like a done deal.

No word on when or exactly where (let alone what shape) the new attraction will take, but one interesting note is Nikki Finke’s contention that “the themed area would be at a previously unused portion of the amusement park.”

That would seem to quash all the rumors that Lost Continent would be become Potterville. But what “unused portion” could we be talking about here? If we’re talking a single ride, then there’s some vacant real estate at the original Studios park (over in the corner of World Expo).

But it seems to me that Harry cries out for something bigger than that, if only because it must have cost a very big bundle to snatch the rights from Disney’s grasp. I wonder if that vast open space between IOA and I-4, once set aside for a fourth and fifth hotel could become a whole new theme park? Probably not, but nice to contemplate.

Jim Hill has more (and more realistic sounding) speculation about a ride based on Harry’s flying Ford Anglia. But wouldn’t that be an obvious replacement for Back to the Future’s DeLoreans?

What then about the much ballyhooed Simpsons ride that’s supposed to go there?

BTW, Hill’s article, linked above, is also worth reading for info on the hi-tech Kuka robotic arm technology that Universal is said to now have exclusive rights to.

Exciting times ahead.

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