Everything We Know About the Harry Potter Land Coming to Universal Epic Universe

Epic Universe, Universal’s high tech new theme park, is scheduled to open as part of the Universal Orlando Resort complex. While very little is confirmed about the new park other than the fact that it will feature a version of the Super Nintendo World land featured in Japan and California, many details have leaked about the park’s lands and attractions, including that it will feature lands based on IPs including Universal’s Monsters, the How to Train Your Dragon franchise , and our subject today, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Construction of Epic Universe

It’s fitting that Epic Universe, which will be Universal’s first new U.S. park in over 25 years once it opens, will feature the Wizarding World, as a strong case can be made that the Harry Potter franchise saved Universal.

It’s no secret that Universal was struggling in the early-to-mid 2000s. Despite strong reviews from theme park press and fans alike, the opening of Islands of Adventure in 1999 had been a bit of a mess, mainly thanks to the somewhat confusing “Universal Escape” advertising campaign which failed to get the message across that IOA was a whole new park as opposed to an expansion of the original Universal Studios Florida park. From there, the parks dealt with corporate upheaval, the unpopular closings of classic attractions, and tourism downturn post-9/11. It was at this moment, when things seemed bleakest, that “The Boy Who Lived” fell into Universal’s lap… almost gift-wrapped by their competition.

JK Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise first launched with the publication of the first book in the series in 1997. Over the next decade, Potter became a pop culture juggernaut, with each book — and then the corresponding film adaptations — permeating the zeitgeist. During this period, the Walt Disney Company began pursuing the theme park rights to the property.

©Warner Bros.

In fact, as we’ve detailed previously, Disney had the inside-track on landing them. However, the Mouse House’s unwillingness to allow Rowling and her team creative control of the lands, combined with their somewhat… unimpressive plans for the land (which mainly consisted of a light retheme of an area of Fantasyland and a slow-moving shooter-style dark ride) led to the deal fizzling.

Once Disney was out of the picture, Universal swept in with the speed of Professor Dumbledore’s phoenix Fawkes and snapped up the property. They gave Rowling and her team the creative control they desired and vowed to build a high budget land from scratch, faithful to the descriptions in the books and set design of the films.


The first Universal Potter land, now called The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade, opened at Islands of Adventure to massive success in 2010. The land shattered attendance and merchandise records, and was widely lauded by critics and fans alike thanks to its theming and groundbreaking Forbidden Journey attraction. A second land — Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley headlined by the Escape from Gringotts attraction and featuring a facade of Muggle London — opened at Universal Studios Florida in 2014.

Inside Escape from Gringott’s

The land was another rollicking success, and the Hogwarts Express that connected the two lands — and two parks — was a game-changer for the industry. In the near-decade since, Universal has continued to go all-in on Potter, opening versions of the original Hogsmeade land at their Japan and Hollywood, while adding the revolutionary Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure to the original.

Hagrid’s Motorbike

With all these expansions in mind, it’s probably a no-brainer that Universal’s new Epic Universe park will open with a new Wizarding World land. However, based on everything we know, this land will be wildly different.

While the Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley lands are both based on specific locations from within the original Harry Potter books and films, the Epic Universe land will be somewhat more abstract, loosely based on the city of Paris as presented in the prequel Fantastic Beasts film franchise. Guests will enter the land through a recreation of the Porte Saint-Denis arch, and find wizarding stores including shopping, sweets, and wands similar to those featured in the other lands, but with Parisian twists.


The land is also scheduled to feature a large theater show with a circus tent facade similar to the one seen in the Fantastic Beasts films, rumored to include wand duels and perhaps some audience interaction. Speaking of beasts, further rumors suggest magical creatures will be sprinkled around the land, and will interact with guests’ interactive wands.

Interestingly, despite all the aforementioned Fantastic Beasts elements of the land, its main attraction is all-but-confirmed to be based specifically on the original Potter series, likely due to the box office under performance of the new series. The E-Ticket attraction — which will not only be the land’s headliner, but also one of the park’s overall main attractions — is set to take place inside the British Ministry of Magic as seen in the original Potter books and films.

Allegedly, guests will be transported from Paris to London through the magical Floo Network transportation system. Once they arrive, they’ll be whisked onto magic “elevators” — actually the next generation of the Scoop vehicle system seen on The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man and Transformers rides — on an adventure featuring the loathsome Potter villain Professor Dolores Umbridge as its primary antagonist.

©Universal — Epic Universe concept art

The land was also reportedly planned to feature a large virtual reality attraction revolving around flying broomsticks, set within a facade of the French Ministry of Magic. While the facade is reportedly still going to be part of the land, the VR attraction has been dropped, and the area originally set aside for its show building will serve as a future expansion pad.


Are you excited for the upcoming Wizarding World land at Epic Universe? Do you think it will be the peak of Universal’s Wizarding World lands? Or, on the flip side, are you all Potter’d out, and maybe wishing a different IP had gotten its slot? Let us know in the comments below, and keep following All Ears for the latest on Epic Universe!

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3 Replies to “Everything We Know About the Harry Potter Land Coming to Universal Epic Universe”

  1. I mean the Potter Lands are great and successful, but I think its enough Potter for the parks. Maybe they could have build a kind of throwback land together with classic monsters. So Jaws, Back to the Future and other moved out IPs could get back their places. Maybe they could also move Jurassic Park there and transform the IOA version into Jurassic World, fitting in with Velocicoaster.

    1. Pretty sure they have confirmed several times there will be a Universal classic monsters space. I also can’t see them moving Jurassic Park given they just built velocicoaster. I’m an annual passholder and happy for more magic in the parks. It’s the reason I go.