Saturday, April 19, 2014

Universal Studios Japan Announces Potter Opening Date

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan will open on July 15th, the theme park has announced.  The much anticipated addition will be the second Harry Potter themed area to open, following the original at Orlando's Islands of Adventure theme park.

Along with the official opening date, the park has launched a new interactive website for the addition, similar to the ones created for the U.S. Potter lands.

The website has given us our first look at the layout of the Wizarding World in Japan, which closely follows that of the Orlando version.  There are some notable differences, however, given that in Japan the area was built on a former parking lot with plenty of open space.

One change I noticed is that Ollivanders is located on the left side of the main throughway, a change probably done to help capacity.  The Orlando version suffers from major crowding in its current location, and hopefully the Japan wand shop will have a indoor queue or possibly even more than one performance room.

The Wizarding World will also include the Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster and the Forbidden Journey dark ride.  The new website features a virtual walk through of the land, so those more familiar than I will be able to spot other changes as well.