The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the keenly anticipated Florida theme park, will open in the spring and allow visitors to tour Hogwarts, buy quidditch gear and drink butterbeer.
Universal Orlando unveiled some details about the park, a 20-acre addition to its Islands of Adventure property, on Tuesday in a Web presentation. The resort, co-owned by NBC Universal and the Blackstone Group, secured the theme park rights to J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter books in May 2007, but has been silent about specific plans until now.
The so-called theme park within a theme park will be faithful to the visual landscapes of the Harry Potter films produced by Warner Brothers, which licensed the rights to Universal after a flirtation with the Walt Disney Company.
Universal and Warner would not discuss financial details, but analysts estimate Wizarding World will cost about $265 million, a relative drop in the bucket compared with what Universal's bigger rival spends on expansions. Disney is putting $1 billion into its California Adventure park, for instance, and just outlined hundreds of millions in expansion and refurbishment plans for other properties.
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