Monday, July 14, 2014

Universal Studios Japan Opens The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The first theme park area outside the U.S. (or Florida for that matter) to feature Harry Potter has finally opened at Universal Studios Japan.  The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened to a massive crowd of fans, which is well, normal for Japan.

The official opening date for the land is July 15th, and while that is tomorrow the above photo makes it appear as though there was quite a production this evening - even though this evening was 13 hours ago in Japan.  Confused?  The bottom line is that a whole bunch of excited folks are ready for Mr. Potter to arrive in Japan!

Generally speaking the land is the same as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure.  The village is filled with shops and dining, and winds its way toward the Forbidden Journey attraction.  Just like in Orlando Hogwarts stands proudly over the entire section... though there is one slight change in the Japan version that allows for beauty shots like this:

The park has added "black lake" next to Hogwarts, a peaceful setting that makes for gorgeous views of the area.  In Islands of Adventure the central lagoon and pathway to Jurassic Park would be where black lake is in Japan.  It makes sense, as beyond the lake is a giant tree berm and then a parking lot.  The lake makes a nice buffer.

Universal Studios Japan's current park guide contains this special section focused on the Potter addition, which gives a great rundown of all that's included.

Now that we've officially got a Wizarding World outside the U.S., how long until a Diagon Alley?