An old Japanese theme park is set to close just outside of Tokyo, Japan, and a brand new Harry Potter theme park might take its place.
Here’s the situation:
- The 94-year-old theme park, Toshimaen, is being shut down by its parent company Seibu Holdings Inc.
- Sources say Seibu is in talks with Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. to use the land just outside Tokyo to build a theme park based on the novel and movie franchise created by British author J.K. Rowling.
- The new park is reported to be similar to “Warner Bros. Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry Potter,” allowing guests an immersive tour through recreated sets and props from the films.
- Sources say a formal decision could be reached as early as Spring 2020.
The Japanese theme park Toshimaen
Toshimaen opened in 1926 and remains one of the largest theme parks in and around Japan’s capital city. Along with 30 different rides and attractions, the park also plays host to a series of swimming pools, including a 350-meter pool, the world’s first flowing pool, and a hot-spring spa. The plan would be to begin closing the park gradually, section by section before starting construction of the Harry Potter park.
The Japanese government has also shown interest in the land. They plan to buy 22 hectares (~54.36 acres) to use as an evacuation area in the event of future earthquakes. So, if the plan goes through, Warner Bros. will only be building on the part of the property. Seibu Holdings Inc. will also retain ownership of the land requiring Warner Bros. to pay rent.
There’s already a Harry Potter-themed land in Japan
But the Wizarding World of Harry Potter already has a place in Japan. Universal Studios Japan already added a Potter-themed land to their park in Osaka. At the cost of ~$414 Million, the area includes a virtual-reality ride and a themed roller coaster. The land opened in 2014 and will remain open despite the plans for the new park. So, if you can’t wait for 2023, you have an outlet for your Harry Potter fix already waiting.
What do you think about an entirely Harry Potter themed park in Japan? Would you make the trip to see it? Have you been to the Harry Potter-themed land at Universal Studios Japan? Let us know in the comments!