Specialis Revelio! New Potter world unveiled
Universal Studios Hollywood may have an advantage over its theme park competitors next year when it unveils a new 3-D, f light-simulating ride based on the hugely popular books and films about Harry Potter.
The theme park announced Tuesday that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will open in spring 2016. It will include a signature attraction called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and will be similar to one at Universal’s theme park in Orlando, Fla. The attraction will be enhanced with 3-D technology — something not included in the Florida park.
Other details released at an international travel show in Orlando include the addition of Universal Studios Hollywood’s first outdoor roller coaster, called Flight of the Hippogriff.
The Harry Potter land will have a restaurant called Three Broomsticks, a pub called Hog’s Head and carts that sell “butterbeer” and fresh fruits.
It will also include eight shops selling souvenirs such as magic wands, Hogwarts robes and chocolate frogs.
The addition is expected to boost attendance and revenue at the park.
Since the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in 2010 at Islands of Adventure in Orlando and expanded to Universal Studios Florida in 2014, the park’s parent company has reported a jump in attendance and merchandise sales.
Last year, the company said, overall theme park revenue rose 17% to $2.6 billion.
“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood will be a game changer in the Los Angeles market,” said Larry Kurzweil, president of Universal Studios Hollywood. “We expect its arrival to set record-high attendance and will have a lasting impact on L.A. and California tourism for years to come.”
The signature ride puts visitors on “magic benches” that are attached to robotic arms. The benches lift and sway, synchronized to 3-D images projected on wraparound screens.
The technology gives guests the sensation that they are flying behind Harry, avoiding dragons, giant spiders and an enchanted tree.
The park’s biggest competitor in Southern California, Disneyland, on May 22 unveiled a new parade, fireworks show and water spectacular to celebrate its 60th anniversary.
The shows will continue for the rest of the year, but Disneyland has yet to announce any new attractions for 2016.
AN ARTIST’S rendering of Hogwarts Castle, part of the Harry Potter world coming to Universal Studios Hollywood. The park will also get a unique 3-D ride.