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Wednesday, 16th July 2014
In Events In Japan,

Harry Potter theme park opens

Universal Studios Japan opened its Harry Potter-themed attraction today (July 15th), to great fanfare and excitement as enthusiasts of the boy wizard poured through the gates to witness the magic of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The company has been building up the hype in recent months, with day passes, express tickets, along with many travel and accommodation packages all sold out for the first few days of the park's operation.

Boasting an impressive nine acres of Harry Potter-related fun, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is an extraordinary investment for Universal Studios Japan, which is said to have ploughed more than 45 billion yen into the project.

However, its popularity is likely to be long-lasting, as JK Rowling's books have been universally enjoyed throughout the country. The first film in the franchise - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - remains the fourth-highest grossing film in Japan.

Annual admission to Universal's theme park is expected to rise from ten million to 12 million in the current financial year, which runs until March, as people rush to become part of the magic.

Visitors are able to wander Diagon Alley, explore the many secret passageways of the castle and even ride on the back of a fleeing Hippogriff. Others might be excited to try Butterbeer, purchase a wand or interact with the wizarding population.

Prominent among the park's attractions is a whole new story called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which takes participants on a thrilling flight above Hogwarts, with Daniel Radcliffe cleverly incorporated using 4K technology.

Japan has one of the largest theme park markets in the world, with millions flocking to attractions like this every year. There are even plans to expand the current crop with a new Legoland park to be situated in Nara.

Written by Graham McPherson