A Harry Potter theme park is headed for California.
Universal Studios executives said yesterday that the company will spend several hundred million dollars to build a Harry Potter attraction inside its existing Hollywood theme park, mimicking the success of a similar park in Orlando, Florida.
At the same time, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando will get an expansion. Since the Harry Potter attraction opened in June of last year, attendance has jumped by about 50 per cent.
"It was a game changer for us and frankly for Orlando," Universal Studios president Ron Meyer told reporters after yesterday's event.
"The expansion in Orlando will make it that much more of a must-see, and we'll have the same experience here."
Executives did not immediately describe their plans for the Hollywood park, but Meyer said there was enough room to expand.
"We're not landlocked," Meyer said. "We're (on) 400 acres on this lot, and 200 of them are still not developed."
Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said the attraction would open around 2014, but officials did not give a date.
Comcast Corp bought a majority stake in NBCUniversal in January, in a US$13.5 billion deal.
It bought out its 50 per cent partner in the Universal Orlando theme park, The Blackstone Group, for US$1.03 billion in June.
In the nine months until September, its theme-park revenue rose 33 per cent from a year ago to US$1.49 billion, while operating cash flow jumped 61 per cent to US$644 million.