Dubailand may be vying to become the world's largest and most spectacular theme park. But the developers are chasing a moving target as Orlando, Florida, fights back to maintain its world-beating reputation.
The latest announcement from the sunshine state is the creation of a Harry Potter theme park by Warner Bros. Entertainment and Orlando Resort.
The billion dollar park, which will be known as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, will be opened in 2009 within the Universal Orlando Resort.
"The Harry Potter stories are among the most compelling of our time. The millions of people who have read the books and seen the movies will now be able to experience the world of Harry Potter in person," said Ron Meyer, president and COO, Universal Studios.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will provide an opportunity to experience the magical world of Harry and his friends - visiting some of the most iconic locations found in the books and the films including the village of Hogsmeade, the mysterious Forbidden Forest, and even Hogwarts castle itself.
"The plans I've seen look incredibly exciting, and I don't think fans of the books or films will be disappointed," said J.K. Rowling.
Warner Bros. holds the franchise for the Harry Potter series of films, and will be using that experience to create a unique experience for visitors to the theme park.
"Bringing the magic of J.K. Rowling's written word to the motion picture screen was the first step in expanding this amazing and imaginative world. Working with Universal Orlando Resort to bring it to life in a physical environment that you can walk through, relax in and ride on is the natural next step for fans to experience and enjoy," said Alan Horn, president and COO, Warner Bros. Entertainment.
Harry Potter continues to be a global phenomenon. The series of books by author J.K. Rowling has been translated into 65 languages with more than 325 million copies sold in over 200 territories around the world. Bookshops expect to sell two million copies of the final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Harrows, within 24 hours of it going on sale on 21 July.
The films, produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, have grossed more than $3.5 billion at the box office worldwide. Each of the four Harry Potter films produced to date has the distinction of making it into the all time top 20 grossing films worldwide. The fifth film in the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, will be released in theatres on July 11, 2007.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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