Rumors Swirled Around Universal Orlando’s New Wizarding World’s Theme, But Not So Fast

Hogwarts Castle at Universal Orlando Resort
(Image credit: CinemaBlend)

Universal Orlando is hard at work constructing a brand new theme park, Epic Universe. While the park is expected to have a lot of new things that Universal’s other parks are lacking, it is all but certain that it will include something that can already be found at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Initial indications were that the new land would take its structure from the more recent Fantastic Beasts franchise, and while the franchise’s less-than-stellar box office spawned rumors that may change, it does not appear to be the case.

Orlando ParkStop recently published images of the under-construction Epic Universe park, specifically the area where the new Wizarding World is expected to be located. Among the images are what appear to be very clear indications of the Porte Saint-Denis arch at the entrance to the land, as well as a few other indications that what is being built is a representation of the Wizarding World of Paris, as seen in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

When Epic Universe was first announced and the rumors of what would be in it began, a Wizarding World dedicated to Fantastic Beasts was among the most popular ideas. However, since that time, the film franchise fell on hard times. Each new entry in the series made less money than the one before it, and what was originally announced to be a five-film Fantastic Beasts series has only seen three movies, and is largely expected to be over.  Rather than continue with Fantastic Beasts 4, the current plan seems to be to focus on rebooting the Harry Potter franchise as a series

When that writing was on the wall, rumors then began to circulate that we might see a transition, and the Epic Universe version of Wizarding World might be shifted to something more in line with the main Harry Potter series. That may still happen to some degree, as the major attraction in the land has been rumored to be Harry Potter-themed rather than Fantastic Beasts-themed, but the rest of the land, including a secondary attraction that looks to be inspired by the Circus Arcanus, is clearly using Fantastic Beasts as a basis.

It will certainly be interesting to see what happens when a land that is mostly inspired by Fantastic Beasts opens in a couple of years, more than a few years after the end of the franchise on the big screen. One has to wonder if it will resonate as well if the movies were bigger hits. But this is part of the risk that comes with theming a land after a single franchise. These things take so long to put together that by the time you’re done, the entertainment landscape may have moved on. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.