It’s been more than a year since Universal Studios Hollywood announced they would be building their own version of the highly-successful Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a phenomenon since its Universal Orlando grand opening in 2010.
NBC Universal finally announced today plans to begin construction of the Wizarding World in late summer of this year, part of the first projects of its 25-year Evolution Plan. “After nearly a decade of work on the Evolution Plan, today’s vote sets the stage for our next 100 years in Los Angeles,” said Ron Meyer, president and COO of Universal Studios. The Evolution Plan represents a $1.6 billion investment in tourism and production.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter themed land at Universal Studios Hollywood theme park, as well as new and upgraded television production facilities, office space and infrastructure on the Universal Studios lot. These projects represent a nearly $500 million investment in the Los Angeles economy and the creation of more than 2,000 construction jobs.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood will be similar, but not identical, to that of the Universal Orlando Resort, including Hogwarts castle that will serve as the centerpiece of the themed environment.
With limited space available at Universal Studios Hollywood, it’s been confirmed that two existing areas will be closed. According to a Universal spokesperson both the Gibson Amphitheatre and the park’s Curious George attraction will be closing to make way for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Beyond Potter, NBC Universal Evolution Plan forms a blueprint for the 391-acre Universal City property, including upgrades and improvements to production and post production facilities, a revitalized entertainment destination and modern office space.
Meanwhile, Universal Orlando is working on an expansion to their Wizarding World of Harry Potter, currently under construction in the Universal Studios Florida theme park – though not yet officially announced there.