OK, so I’m the last to mention this bit of obviousness: there’s a Harry Potter theme park coming to Universal Studios Orlando in 2010. This isn’t red hot news.
What might be news is the progress being made on the project in recent months. After so much time batting around speculation, movement is finally starting to reveal itself at the future Potter home, inside the already cramped Islands of Adventure park.
Here’s a peek at what the whole shebang is supposed to resemble:
Now, we all know that concept art for theme parks is a total sham. The artists tend to overdose on the magical potential of an area, filling with pie-in-the-sky ideas that look like a billion bucks on a Mac laptop, but have a more difficult time feeling the enchantment baking outside in the hellacious Florida heat. What you see above is wonderful, but what will end up wedged between Jurassic Park and The Lost Continent is probably going to far more customary, though I have little doubt the Universal design team (pairing up with the “Harry Potter” movie franchise design squad) will have plenty of innovation and delight stuffed into the final project. They have to. Would you want a nation of unemployed Muggles coming after you through e-mails and YouTube videos?
Here’s the recent construction:
Hogwarts from Jurassic Park.
The Dino fantasy has now been broken by the white, white building.
The new Ministry Decree signs.
And some assorted signage.
Finally, the beloved, incredibly themed Enchanted Oak restaurant has been demolished to make room for something Pottery to come.
As a monster fan of the Universal Parks, it thrills me to see such a massive, anticipated project undertaken. It’s going to be a fascinating two years of construction on this towering theme park diversion.