Universal Studios Japan is expected to announce tomorrow that they will be bringing the magic of the Harry Potter universe overseas by building their own version of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Scheduled to open in 2014, this incarnation of the Potter-themed area will feature many of the same elements as the original in Orlando, including Hogwarts Castle and the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride within.
The Osaka theme park will open its Wizarding World a couple years in advance of the recently-announced version in the works for Universal Studios Hollywood in California, where Transformers: The Ride 3D is gearing up for official launch in just a couple weeks. The small footprint of the Hollywood park requires some areas to be demolished to make way for Potter and pals, preventing pushing back completion of the project until some time around 2016. But Universal Studios Japan expects to begin construction almost immediately, wrapping up in roughly two years’ time.
Meanwhile at the Islands of Adventure theme park at Universal Orlando in Florida, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is consistently drawing big crowds as it nears its 2-year anniversary. And a confirmed Harry Potter expansion is on the way for Universal Orlando, though details for that have yet to be revealed.
The Los Angeles times offers more information about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter addition to Universal Studios Japan and the surrounding culture of the country.