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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Japan's New 'Making of Harry Potter' Theme Park Will Open in 2023

It'll feature sets, costumes and props across a 30,000-square-metre space — and take around half a day to walk through.
By Sarah Ward
August 29, 2020
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Japan's New 'Making of Harry Potter' Theme Park Will Open in 2023

It'll feature sets, costumes and props across a 30,000-square-metre space — and take around half a day to walk through.
By Sarah Ward
August 29, 2020
  shares

If you're a wannabe wizard or witch looking for more Harry Potter magic in your life, the last few years have provided plenty of ways to accio up some enchanting fun. Harry Potter-themed potions bars have popped up across Australia and New Zealand, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child hit the stage in Melbourne, and screenings, parties, escape rooms, scavenger hunts and other HP-centric events have been common everywhere, really. You can also play Pokemon Go-style game Wizards Unite or browse your way through the online Harry Potter at Home portal whenever you like, too.

Soon, all of above will pale in comparison to the kind of space HP fans can really lose themselves in — and one that, hopefully, visitors will need a Marauder's Map to get around. That'd be a dedicated Harry Potter theme park, which is set to open in Japan in the first half of 2023. Fingers (or wands) crossed that international travel is back to normal by then.

As first reported earlier this year, the new park will take over part of the existing Toshimaen amusement park in Tokyo's Nerima ward. That site has been up and running for 94 years, but will close at the end of August 2020 — so Warner Bros Studio Tours, Warner Bros Japan, Seibu Railway Co Ltd, ITOCHU Corporation and Fuyo General Lease Co Ltd are teaming up, waving a few magic wands about and turning a section of it into a Harry Potter-theme park.

Toshimaen. Image: Rsa via Wikimedia Commons

Called Warner Bros Studio Tour Tokyo — The Making of Harry Potter, the new venture will take more than a few cues from the existing Harry Potter attraction in London, which spans costumes, props, exhibitions and special events. That means there'll be a focus on sets that fans can tour, rather than rides. If you were hoping to play quidditch, travel by portkey or ride the floo network, that doesn't seem to be on the agenda, sorry.

Instead, visitors will be taken "on a fascinating behind the scenes tour of the Wizarding World series," according to the statement officially announcing the Tokyo park. Over a space of about 30,000 square metres that'll include a soundstage and backlot area, there'll be movie sets that were designed and built by the creators of the Harry Potter series, as well as original outfits and items from the films. Overall, it's expected to take patrons about half a day to wander through it all.

Warner Bros Studio Tour London

Warner Bros Studio Tour Tokyo — The Making of Harry Potter will be ticketed, unsurprisingly, but outside the entrance it'll also feature a landscaped area filled with sculptures of Harry Potter figures — and that'll be accessible to both park visitors and local residents. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will be turning the rest of Toshimaen Amusement Park's grounds into a public park, with the Harry Potter tour and the rest of site coordinating their development plans.

Japan is already home to a Harry Potter theme park zone at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka — so diehard devotees just might have to visit two of the country's cities.

When it comes to fruition, add the dedicated Harry Potter theme park to Japan's hefty range of pop culture-themed attractions. A Super Nintendo amusement park zone is due to open at the aforementioned Universal Studios Japan in Osaka this year, a forthcoming Godzilla attraction will let you zipline into the monster's mouth, and a Studio Ghibli theme park is in the works — and Tokyo already boasts huge Godzilla and Gundam statues, as well as the Studio Ghibli Museum just outside the city.

Top image: Warner Bros Studio Tour London.

Published on August 29, 2020 by Sarah Ward

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