ORLANDO, Fla., May 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
and Universal Orlando Resort are partnering to create the world's first
fully immersive Harry Potter themed environment based on the bestselling
books by J.K. Rowling and blockbuster feature films from Warner Bros.
Envisioned as a "theme park within a theme park" and titled "The Wizarding
World of Harry Potter," the new environment will become part of the
experience within Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park at the
Universal Orlando Resort.
"Over the years we've received thousands of letters from fans around
the world wishing they could visit Hogwarts and the wonderful locations
described in each of J.K. Rowling's beloved stories," said Barry Meyer,
chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. Entertainment. "Working with Universal
Orlando Resort, we are confident that we'll be able to provide Harry Potter
fans with an incredible experience that upholds the richness of J.K.
Rowling's books and delivers on the authentic detail portrayed in our
"We will rely on our company's rich movie heritage and expertise in
transforming film concepts into theme park entertainment experiences," said
Ron Meyer, president and COO, Universal Studios. "The Harry Potter stories
are among the most compelling of our time. The millions of people who have
read the books and seen the movies will now be able to experience the world
of Harry Potter in person."
Inspired by J.K. Rowling's compelling stories and characters -- and
faithful to the visual landscapes of the films -- "The Wizarding World of
Harry Potter" will provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience the
magical world of Harry and his friends. The fully immersive, themed land
will enable guests to visit some of the most iconic locations found in the
books and the films including the village of Hogsmeade, the mysterious
Forbidden Forest, and even Hogwarts castle itself.
"The plans I've seen look incredibly exciting, and I don't think fans
of the books or films will be disappointed," said J.K. Rowling.
"We have a profound sense of responsibility for the Harry Potter
franchise at Warner Bros. Bringing the magic of J.K. Rowling's written word
to the motion picture screen was the first step in expanding this amazing
and imaginative world. Working with Universal Orlando Resort to bring it to
life in a physical environment that you can walk through, relax in and ride
on is the natural next step for fans to experience and enjoy," said Alan
Horn, president and COO, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Expected to open in late 2009, the new environment will feature
immersive rides and interactive attractions, as well as experiential shops
and restaurants that will enable guests to sample fare from the wizarding
world's best known establishments. Also debuting will be a state-of-the-art
attraction that will bring the magic, characters and stories of Harry
Potter to life in an exciting way that guests have never before
"We are going to devote more time, more money, more expertise and more
executive talent from throughout our entire organization and creative team
- as well as from Warner Bros., our partners - to ensure that this entire
environment is second-to-none," said Tom Williams, chairman and CEO,
Universal Parks and Resorts.
Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Worldwide Consumer Products,
added: "In Universal, we found the right partner whose unparalleled
commitment will ensure that this is a world class destination. Their track
record of success and the consistently high level of entertainment at all
of their parks gave us the confidence to know that they will meet-or
exceed- the extremely high expectations we all have for this project."
The Academy Award-winning production designer Stuart Craig, who has
worked to bring the world of Harry Potter to life in all of the feature
films to date, leads the creative design for the area to ensure it remains
faithful to the look and feel of the films.
"Our primary goal is to make sure this experience is an authentic
extension of Harry Potter's world as it is portrayed in the books and
films," said Craig. "I am very excited to be working closely with the
Universal Orlando team to bring the area to life."
The Universal Orlando resort destination (www.universalorlando.com)
includes two dramatically distinct and adjacent theme parks, the Universal
Studios motion picture and television theme park and Universal's Islands of
Adventure, Orlando's most thrilling and exhilarating theme park. Universal
Orlando also includes CityWalk, a 30-acre dining, shopping, club and live-
entertainment venue as well as premier on-site Loews hotels and world-class
film and television production facilities.
Harry Potter continues to be a global phenomenon. The series of books
by author J.K. Rowling has been translated into 65 languages with more than
325 million copies sold in over 200 territories around the world. The
films, produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, have grossed more than $3.5
billion at the box office worldwide. Each of the four Harry Potter films
produced to date has the distinction of making it into the all time top 20
grossing films worldwide. The fifth film in the series, Harry Potter and
the Order of the Phoenix(TM), will be released in theatres on July 11,
HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of
and (C) Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights (C)
SOURCE Universal Orlando Resort