Spe­cialis Reve­lio! New Pot­ter world un­veiled

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS BEAT - By Hugo Martin hugo.martin@la­times.com Twit­ter: @hugo­martin

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.

Uni­ver­sal Cre­ative

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.

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