'Harry Potter' Stars Open 'Wizarding World' Attraction in Universal Studios Japan
TOKYO – Thousands of fans poured into the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction today at Universal Studios Japan (USJ) in Osaka following an opening ceremony attended by actors Evanna Lynch and Tom Felton from the movie franchise.
Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood, and Felton, who played Harry's rival Draco Malfoy, joined USJ CEO Glenn Gumpel in chanting a Lumos! spell to declare the 9-acre, $445 million attraction open.
"Thank you for sharing your passion and your enthusiasm for the films and books with us as all, because it means so much after all these years to still have that love," said Lynch to hundreds of expectant fans, many of them in costume, lined up to be among the first to experience the new Harry Potter world. "And thank you for welcoming us to this part of your celebration."
On Monday evening, a pre-opening event was attended by 1,000 invited guests, and featured fireworks and appearances by Lynch and Felton.
The attraction, expected to contribute billions of dollars to the regional economy over the next decade, features a huge re-creation of Hogwarts Castle, a Hogwarts Express train, a Flight of the Hippogriff roller-coaster, and a Hogsmeade Village full of themed shops, restaurants and a pub.