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Soon, Universal will announce that their Los Angeles theme park will play home to the second Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

We had expected Universal was looking to build another park since the Wizarding World in Orlando was a huge success. But now many questions have arisen that we’d like to take stabs at answering.

- It will have a Hogwarts castle. While some argue that there should only be ONE Hogwarts castle in the real world to make it as special as possible, the reality is that you can’t build multiple Harry Potter theme parks without the crown jewel. It’d be like a Disneyland/Magic Kingdom without a castle. It’d be like a McDonalds without cheeseburgers. You just can’t leave it out.

- It will probably be better than Universal Orlando’s park. Despite the lower projected cost, Universal Hollywood will be able to look at Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World and determine what did or did not work for them. This is Universal Hollywood’s chance to have a good shot at competing with Disneyland (just like Orlando did with Disney World).

The only issue with this is that Universal Orlando is rumored to be expanding their Wizarding World, so the two parks may never be similarly sized.

- It will have at least one unique ride not found in Orlando. Universal Hollywood needs to have something very unique in their Potter park that helps sell a potential park-goer from either A) Visiting Orlando a second/third time or B) Deciding between Orlando or Hollywood for the first time. They need a great ride – ideally based on Deathly Hallows – Part 2 that can convince first-time Potter park goers that they need to pick Hollywood over Orlando.

- Universal needs to remove several rides from their existing park to make room for Potter. As we showed you when this news was first reported, Universal Hollywood is very low on space at their park. Viewing one of their park maps, it’s hard to figure out where exactly they’ll place the Potter world. The park is divided into two areas: Upper Lot and Lower Lot. The issue with building in the Lower Lot is that it could look silly for entering visitors to be looking DOWN onto Hogwarts castle since the land is physically lower.

In the image below I’ve highlighted the area that needs to be wiped out. This area doesn’t play home to any existing rides – the only attractions that exist here are shops and restaurants. It’s not ideal that the Harry Potter area be so close to the entrance, but other areas are either too cramped in space or host new rides that Universal surely won’t be ditching this soon.

Click for full size…

- Alternative option: Universal removes at least part of their Studio Tour. The Studio Tour is a huge sell to tourists, and locals believe it’s one of the better tours in Hollywood. But this attraction does indeed take up a large chunk of land, and if removed it could offer much more land and flexible building options.

- Wizarding World Orlando and Wizarding World Los Angeles will be equally magical. When news broke last week, fans thought that Orlando would lose its magic. I disagree wholeheartedly. You may believe that until you step foot into Wizarding World Los Angeles and see how happy it makes fans, and that’s really what it’s all about for the fandom.

Whenever Universal Hollywood makes their announcement, not all of the questions fans have will be answered. The park is expected to open in 2015 at the earliest, so plans are likely still very much in the brainstorm/planning phase.

  • Macy

    I completely agree with everything you said!!

  • Anonymous

    I’m thinking an exact replica. Maybe the ride in te castle will fly over te final battle. That would be epic!

  • Tom

    If I’m ever in the position where I’m able to make the trip over to America to go to the HP theme park, I don’t want to have to decide between the two Wizarding Worlds. Therefore, I’m hoping the new park is on a much smaller scale than the original. That way, my choice won’t be difficult to make and I won’t feel like I’m missing out or wasting my money if I go to Orlando.

  • Kelli Chavez

    Andrew, I think they should just tear down one of the Hotels and build on that side. They could then utilize that whole area.

  • Tomas

    Please, one in Belgium FINGER’S CROSSED FOR ONE NEAR BELGIUM!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I, for one, hope your predictions are correct. But the fact of the matter is that for yeras Universal Hollywood has really got the short end of the stick when it comes to Universal Orlando. You can’t blame Universal for investing tons more money on their Orlando property, but between Islands of Adventure and more elaborate rides, Universal Hollywood pales in comparison. 

    My prediction is that the Hogwarts castle is certainly the centerpiece of the land, supplemented with the vastly popular shops that I am looking forward to visiting/spending all of my money in. Ultimately, I hope I’m wrong but I am happy to just get a Harry Potter land at Universal! 

  • Ahilden

    they might also follow the disneyland expansion model: build on existing parking and move parking offsite (providing shuttles to get guests into the park).

  • Eoin

    I agree with you about the are that should be torn down but I do think the Coke Soak is pretty cool and that they might not be able to tear that down because they must have a partnership with Coke. Maybe they will make the Gringotts ride their like the one you speculated on Mugglecast.

  • Belac889

    How about making the park into two parks whiten walking distance but still in a place with more area

  • http://twitter.com/TSSD TSSD

    Andrew, you have some great theories in this, but I disagree with some of your other ones.

    1. I doubt it will be better than the one in Orlando. I’m betting it will be either the same, or a little smaller than Orlando.

    2. I agree with your original ride idea, but, to add on to it, I doubt it will be too big or extravagant a ride. I’m predicting FJ will definitely be there, as well as one or two smaller rides, definitely one original one, maybe either another original one, DC, or FoH.

    3. Your map, in my opinion, is a little off. I’d predict that they’ll get rid of Animal Actors, Sound Effects Stage, and the Flintstones Carnival area for this. I’d also guess that they’ll get rid of a little bit of the area around that, maybe into the top of your prediction. Those attractions aren’t that popular, and I’m sure they’d get rid of them for a Wizarding World. I highly doubt that they’d get rid of even part of the Studio Tour. If they did, most theme park fans would throw a fit.
    Still, a great article, full of good theories.

  • http://twitter.com/when_she_smiles lindsay

    “like McDonalds without cheeseburgers”

    I love you Andrew. XD 

  • Gateskp

    I have an idea!  BUILD THE GRINGOTTS VAULT AS A RIDE!  You know, the part of DH 2 that made us all go, “Holy hell that looks AWESOME!”

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