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Wizarding World

NEWS
December 6, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
With frosty mugs of Butterbeer raised in a toast, Universal Studios Hollywood officials announced plans Tuesday to bring the wildly popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the California theme park. Details were limited but officials did say the California park would see a Hogwarts Castle and visitors would ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the marquee attraction at the Florida park. Wizarding World will be built within the existing California theme park, but it was unclear if the new land might be located at least partially on the studio's back lot. > Photos: Top 10 Wizarding World of Harry Potter rides and attractions Wizarding World proved an instant hit when it opened in June 2010 at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure theme park.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 19, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times
Universal Studios Orlando on Thursday announced plans to retheme its Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast attraction with a new " Despicable Me " story line, and to digitally refresh the Amazing Adventures ofSpider-Man motion-simulator ride for 2012. With no new attractions set for 2011, Universal continues to ride the "Wizarding World" wave of Pottermania, which has helped drive up attendance at the tandemFlorida theme parks by an astonishing 68% so far this year.
NEWS
January 18, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Walt Disney World has gone back to the drawing board for its ambitious Fantasyland expansion plan after weathering the arrival of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter . Back in September 2009, Disney Imagineering rushed out plans for a girl-centric makeover of Fantasyland in a hasty effort to counterprogram the Boy Wizard's imminent takeover of Orlando, Fla. Photo gallery : View concept art...
NEWS
January 20, 2011 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
I was honored and thrilled to be a guest on the most recent edition of the Season Pass Podcast , a weekly discussion about theme parks and roller coasters. I spoke with co-hosts Doug Barnes and Brent Young for more than an hour about past, present and future rides and attractions at theme parks in Southern California, Florida and around the world. You can listen to the podcast using the player above, at the Season Pass website or by visiting iTunes . It was a wide-ranging conversation that focused on the virtues of Disneyland , the sins of Disney California Adventure , the rise of Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the ongoing coaster war between Six Flags Magic Mountain and Ohio's Cedar Point . Along the way, we also touched upon what's new and what's next at Legoland Florida , Disney World and Hong Kong Disneyland . Toward the end of the podcast, I ran through my Top 10 new theme park attractions for 2011 (and threw in my new No. 1)
BUSINESS
April 8, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Universal Studios Hollywood is putting the pedal to the metal on a new attraction based on the popular "Fast and Furious" movie series. The theme park announced Tuesday plans to add a high-definition, 3-D feature to the park's long-running Studio Tour tram ride by the summer of 2015. The addition is part of a larger $1.6-billion, 25-year expansion that will include a highly anticipated Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction in the next two years and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, set to open Saturday.
NEWS
May 20, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
A unique new haunted attraction opening this summer at a small United Kingdom theme park will combine a walk-through horror maze featuring live actors with a dark ride journey inside an abandoned mine shaft. The Hobs Pit maze and ride is set to open June 2 at Pleasurewood Hills theme park in Lowestoft, England, located about 100 miles northeast of London on the North Sea coast. Theme Parks: What may come to Wizarding World of Harry Potter 2.0 at Universal Orlando The 30-year-old amusement park has been promoting the new attraction with a clever viral marketing campaign that hints at the ride's paranormal back story.
NEWS
March 31, 2012 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Hard-core Harry Potter fans who devoured the books, camped out for the movies and trekked through the theme park now have a new way to relive the boy wizard's adventures. PHOTOS: Making of Harry Potter studio tour Debuting Saturday, the Making of Harry Potter behind-the-scenes tour at theWarner Bros.studios in England will let wizards, mudbloods and muggles pull back the curtain on the movie-making secrets of the most successful film series of all time. Located 20 miles outside of London, the three-hour self-guided tour will take visitors past sets, props, costumes, models and special effects exhibits from the eight "Harry Potter" movies.
NEWS
November 5, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
During a recent visit to Paris I made my first pilgrimage to a Disney theme park outside the United States.  For years I have been reading about the majestic beauty of the Magic Kingdom-style park at Disneyland Paris, the dysfunctional violation of all things Disney that is Walt Disney Studios next door and the promise of what the future holds for both parks. TOP 10: Disneyland Paris | Walt Disney Studios So let's step back for a moment and take a long, hard look at what's right, wrong and next at the two theme parks serving as Disney's European outpost in France.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2014 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
The new Despicable Me Minion Mayhem motion simulator attraction coming to Universal Studios Hollywood puts riders through a relentless and chaotic minion training course full of slapstick humor. PHOTOS: Despicable Me Minion Mayhem at Universal Studios Hollywood Set to open in April, the 3-D attraction follows a story based on the "Despicable Me" animated films that starred Steve Carell as the super-villain Gru. The first two installments in the movie franchise grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide with a third installment planned for 2017.
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