It’s pretty much official now that Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventue will be getting a Harry Potter “island.” It seems that Disney and Universal were in a bidding war to score the theme park rights to the characters/universe, with Universal winning.
According to leaked info from within Disney, that may not have been a bad thing…
J.K. allegedly wanted each & every guest who was experiencing the
theme park version of Harry Potter’s world to do so by first entering
the Leaky Cauldron pub. Where — by tapping on just the right brick (“Three up and two across … “) — they’d then gain access to Diagon Alley, that odd collection of Wizards-only shops & restaurants that’s hidden away in the heart of London.
The rest of the ideas (read them all at Jim Hill Media) sound really cool and I could see kids (and adults) swarming the park to take part in this type of thing.
We recently went to Disney World / Magic Kingdom and I was disappointed to find out the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride wasn’t there anymore. Reading the Jim Hill Media article, I did see a sketch that looked suspiciously like my former favorite ride. That sent me searching and of course Wikipedia had the answers.
The 20,000 Leagues Submarine ride was closed in 1994 and in 1996 Disney declared it would never re-open. The Winnie the Pooh play area now resides in the location. It does look like the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage will be opening soon and hopefully it can recreate some of the magic I remember as a kid.