The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan celebrated their grand opening this week with J.K. Rowling, Tom Felton, and Evanna Lynch all in attendance. Tom and Evanna played Draco Malfoy and Luna Lovegood, respectively, in the Harry Potter films.
As planned, on Tuesday, July 15 the park was opened by Tom and Evanna with Glen Gumpel, the President and CEO of Universal Studios Japan. According to the press release, “Mr. Felton and Ms. Lynch led the guests with the Revelio spell as the archway was filled with smoke, which slowly lifted to reveal Hogsmeade village prompting cheers from waiting park guests. Then so many guests stepped into Hogsmeade village with excitement and were welcomed by Hogsmeade villagers.”
On Monday, J.K. Rowling enjoyed a private visit to the park with her family. She commented on the experience in a statement that was included in the press release:
“The craft and attention to detail across The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan is incredible and I will take away the memory of Hogwarts castle reflected on the Black Lake in particular. I’m delighted that Harry fans in Japan and around Asia can experience a physical incarnation that is so close to what I imagined when writing the books,” said J.K. Rowling.
Check out these pictures of her visiting the park:
In comparison, the WWoHP in Japan features most of what the Orlando location has to offer, with the exception of the Dueling Dragons ride. However, Japan includes aspects that aren’t at Orlando, including the Black Lake and the Forbidden Forest. The new park cost 45 billion yen ($442.2 million) to construct.
With the Japan park and Orlando expansion now open, there’s one more Wizarding World still being built. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood is set to open in 2016.