Despite the underwhelming Fantastic Beasts movies, the Harry Potter brand is still strong around the world. In fact, it’s so strong that Warner Bros. is currently in negotiations to open a Harry Potter-themed experience in Tokyo, Japan. Get the details below.
Harry Potter Tokyo Experience
According to Variety, WB is in talks with the Tokyo metropolitan government and Japan’s Seibu Holdings to replace an existing amusement park with what the outlet calls “a theme park dedicated to Harry Potter.” But it won’t be a traditional park with the same types of rides and attractions that can currently be found at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter lands at Universal Studios. Instead, this Harry Potter Tokyo experience is intended to be more like the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London, where guests can visit sets from the movies but won’t be able to ride things like Flight of the Hippogriff, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, or Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. It’s unclear if any of those London sets will be shipped out to this Tokyo location, but the report indicates that there will be no rides there at all.
Negotiations are underway for this new Potter experience to replace the Toshimaen amusement park in Nerima, Tokyo. That park has been around since the mid-1920s, but since it’s suffered a significant downturn in attendees over the past three decades, the plan is to transition it over to a Harry Potter experience, while the remainder of the park’s 200,000 square meter property will have a slightly more grim functionality: Variety says “the Tokyo government will reportedly use most of Toshimaen’s land as a public park that can also double as an evacuation site in the event of a major disaster.”
Universal Studios Japan got its own Wizarding World expansion back in 2014 (two years before that land came to Universal Studios Hollywood) at the cost of around $415 million. That park is 315 miles from Toshimaen, so once this new experience opens, it sounds like Japan will become a sort of one-stop shop for huge Harry Potter fans who want an immersive, interactive experience with their favorite franchise.
The mayor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, evidently told reporters that “negotiations are underway,” but Warner Bros. is not commenting at the moment. Variety says a formal announcement of these plans is expected to be made sometime this spring, so we’ll update this post as soon as we learn more.
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