12:30 pm EDT, December 2, 2011

‘Jaws’ ride at Universal Orlando to close – and be replaced by ‘Potter’ expansion?

Today Universal Orlando announced that their classic (and really fun, in our opinion) Jaws ride will be closing to make room for a new ride.

Rumors suggest a Harry Potter expansion will be the replacement despite the fact that The Wizarding World is not located in the same park as Jaws.

Our friends at Inside The Magic report:

Universal Orlando announced this morning their classic Jaws attraction and its surrounding Amity area will close permanently on Jan. 2, 2011 “to make room for an exciting, NEW, experience” – and rumors point to more Harry Potter attractions moving in to the area.

Jaws has been a staple of the Universal Studios park for 20 years and Universal promises they won’t forget it, with a “couple things planned to ensure we always remember and honor it.” But for its replacement, they are staying silent at the moment, promising only a “new, innovative & amazing experience” to come.

But with a second version of Universal Orlando’s popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter all but announced for Universal Studios Hollywood in California, a long-rumored expansion of Orlando’s Wizarding World is now rumored to take over the space currently occupied by Jaws.

The existing Wizarding World is located in Universal Orlando’s other theme park, Islands of Adventure. Rumor suggests guests will board the Hogwarts Express train to reach a new Harry Potter-themed area, connecting the two parks.

A map on Inside the Magic illustrated how far Jaws is from the existing Wizarding World, so the train connecting the two parks would be necessary.

As we reported Wednesday night, Universal and Warner are close to signing a deal for a new Potter theme park at Universal Hollywood, but rumors have persisted that a Wizarding World expansion in Orlando is in the works.

(Pictured above: an original ad for Jaws’ opening in the Summer of 1993)

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