Big News this morning for Harry Potter fans, fools and their money.
Universal Studios is set to open a Harry Potter theme park by 2009.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Universal Orlando Resort plan to open The Wizarding World of Harry Potter within Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park in 2009, Tom Williams, chairman and CEO of Universal Parks and Resorts, announced Thursday on TODAY. The “theme park within a theme park” is the first fully immersive Harry Potter-themed environment based on the best-selling books by J.K. Rowling and the blockbuster feature films.
Can you imagine how this would go over if Harry were to die in the last book? Not very well, I’m sure. Death does not sell roller-coaster tickets.
Will this finally get me into the Universal Studios themepark, and away from Disney World for even one precious day? I doubt it, but we’ll see.
The good news for us Disney fans is that this announcement, coupled with the fanatical success of Expedition Everest, may finally get the much-rumoured Bald Mountain coaster off the drawing board. Disney World is not a coaster-park destination per se, but they do pride themselves in having a very popular roller coaster “Mountain Range.” Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad are the flakes of hot pepper on the Magic Kingdom Pizza. Disney Cast Members, fanatics and hopefuls have been tossing around rumours of a fourth “mountain” for awhile now. The Night on Bald Mountain coaster takes its name from that segment in the original Fantasia, and is said to be a villain-themed coaster. We’ve heard this rumour kicked around for at least 10 years now. I’ve personally heard it from at least four cast members at the parks and more than a dozen on-line Disneyphiles who claim to be current or former cast members.
So the news today looks as though the rumours of death for Harry Potter AND the Bald Mountain coaster were greatly exaggerated.