$500m Harry Potter theme park project in Japan
Construction on theme park to begin in the next few weeks in Osaka
Construction on a new Harry Potter theme park in Japan is slated to begin in the next few weeks.
Universal Studios Japan, in partnership with Warner Bros. and Universal Parks & Resorts, announced it will bring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park to Japan.
Based in Osaka, the project is said to cost an estimated $500m, according to Harry Potter website Mugglenet. It is scheduled to open in 2014.
This marks the global expansion of the entertainment experience that started at Universal Orlando Resort nearly two years ago.
The Japanese theme park is said to be similar to the one in USA, and will include the Hogwarts castle, Hogsmeade and multiple themed attractions.
The production designer for the entire Harry Potter film series, Stuart Craig, will be creative lead on the project.
"I was delighted to experience and enjoy the attention to detail, creativity and superb craft that went into the first Wizarding World in Orlando. I am equally delighted that the same level of expertise and enjoyment will translate to the new park in Japan," said J.K. Rowling, author of the best-selling series.
This move is predicted to bring increases in tourism, jobs and economic growth to the Osaka/Kansai region, as it did for Florida.
"It will forever change tourism, not only in Kansai but throughout Japan," said Michael Silver, president, global business development, Universal Parks & Resorts.