Rumor has it that Universal Studios is planning a Tolkien Middle-Earth theme park much like the Warner BrothersThe Wizarding World of Harry Potter. At this stage the word is that Universal, Warner Brothers and the Tolkien estate are in the beginning stages of talks. /Film reports:
Hypable picked up a post on the Orlando United forum from a reputable user, who claims that Universal Studios asked Warner Bros. to raise the topic with the Tolkien estate.
The Tolkien estate has always carefully guarded the LOTR rights and it is interesting that it is also being reported that the Tolkien estate representatives spoke with J.K. Rowling herself about the Warner Brothers theme park creation and her experiences protecting her vision for the project, and apparently liked what they heard. Universal then got in contact with the Tolkiens to discuss their ideas.
That’s pretty exciting news if accurate. Fans wouldn’t have to travel half way across the world to get that Tolkien itch scratched. What do you think, would a LOTR themed park work? Is it just a much more expensive Medieval Times Diner theater?
Those of us who are Harry Potter nerds through and through have often fantasized about kicking back after a fuckin’ long day with a Butterbeer, the drink of choice of many witches and wizards of our general age. It is especially difficult for those of us who have yet to visitThe Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida.
Now, thanks to Feast of Fiction, there’s no need to don pants and we can make our own Butterbeer right at home! There have been fan-made Butterbeer recipes for ages, but this actually looks really good.
Earlier in today, we mentioned that Universal Studios would possibly replace the dated Jaws ride with more Harry Potter shit. We can now confirm that the expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be a reality. In addition to adding new HP stuff to the Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Universe will also bring the magic to it’s west coast theme park. Read the full press release from Universal after the jump:
Universal Studios will be a bit less “Wet and wild” after news surfaced that they will be shutting down the long running Jaws attraction (blasphemy, I know). The ride will close January 2, 2012 for the construction of an upcoming new attraction. Most people, ourselves included, are speculating that with the removal of the iconic sharks comes the expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter into Universal.
There may be a bit of truth to the rumors, as a recent quote from Comcast CFO Mike Angelakis that called The Wizarding World of Harry Potter a “reset mechanism” for their parks. Here’s a sample:
If my various sources are correct, the Amity / Jaws area will be replaced by the proposed Phase 2 expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Now, before you flip out… lets go over it all, because for starters this really isn’t going to be the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at all. Instead, from what I’ve been able to gather, the new land to be build in Universal Studios Florida will actually represent the “London” side of the PotterVerse… including an entrance to the infamous Diagon Alley.
Diagon Alley, as seen in the movies, is home to infamous locations such as The Leaky Cauldron, Gringott’s Wizarding Bank and the true Ollivanders wand shop location, as seen in the films. The London location is also said to be home to King’s Cross station, where students would board the Hogwarts Express train from Platform 9 ¾.
Many of these locations have been mentioned in the rumored development plans for Phase 2 of the Wizarding World for months now, including an innovative indoor dark coaster ride said to take place inside Gringott’s Wizarding Bank. It’s no secret that the Wizarding World has been popular…so much so that it needed to be expanded to spread out the crowds, and come up with a way to provide new locations for guests to buy Butterbeer, Ollivanders wands and more. But it seems that Universal Creative really decided to try a new idea… and think really outside the box this time. Literally… because this new expansion is going to allow for guests in both parks to get a taste of the PotterVerse… but to get the ENTIRE experience, you’d going to have to have a 2-park ticket.
So this is where their going to get you. Instead of paying one ticket, for a day full of wand fiddling, you have to pay what will probably be double the admission for half the enjoyment. Now that’s some true magic Universal.
Of course, fans of the J.K. Rowlings franchise will pay out the magic hole to experience Harry’s world, even if it’s filled with hipsters dressed in a Hogwarts uniform. With a rumored 2014 opening date for this potential area, expect an official announcement soon. Shark looked fake anyway.