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Mayor of London Wants Potter Fans to Lobby for London Theme Park

Posted by: Rosi
June 08, 2010, 06:19 AM

Yesterday, Mayor of London Boris Johnson wrote a column in the Daily Telegraph's Comment section about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction. Johnson was highly critical of the location of the theme park, asserting that whilst he has "nothing against Orlando," he "bitterly [resents] that Orlando is about to become the official place of pilgrimage for every Harry Potter fan on earth."

Voicing his frustration, the Mayor continues, "sometimes [the British] just don't seem to have the gumption to exploit our intellectual property." Johnson acknowledges that all behind The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will "do a magnificent job" but remains disillusioned by the prospect:

I know somewhere that's even better than Orlando at looking like London – and that is London. I want to know why this Kingdom of Potter is not being built in the UK, and I won't be fobbed off with any nonsense about the weather. They built Eurodisney in the Valley of the Marne, where it is at least as cold and drizzly as it is in London – and it has been a triumphant success.
Johnson goes on to talk about the longevity of the Harry Potter series, commenting that he has listened to his children "babble about the detail, the clues and suggestions that become ever richer with re-reading, the emotions evoked and the deep satisfaction that these books evidently give."

The Mayor ends with an appeal to  children and parents to write to Warner Bros., Universal and J.K. Rowling to "[bring] Harry home to Britain." You can read the article in its entirety via this link.

Thanks to Maryam for emailing in!

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140 Points

From someone who does not live in the UK or the US, I would have to agree entirely with the London Mayor.

I have absolutely no intention of visting Florida, ever. If I were to go to America it would only be to New York. And if I were to visit somewhere Harry Potter related, I would not go to Orlando over London. (I’m from Australia, international flights are NOT cheap!!!)

But, money talks. America has the money, America gets the park.

Still, rocking up to a park and being greeted with a strong American accent instead of a British one would completely throw me off and possibly turn me off.

Posted by WickedLoz on June 09, 2010, 11:52 PM report to moderator
398 Points

Wait, maybe he didn’t get the memo that the studio from where they filmed HP is actually going to open its doors to the public. Is he kidding me? I can’t believe that he is more worried about a theme park when he needs to be working on his Olympic dream. Let’s get one dream working at a time.

Posted by sidnandragin on June 10, 2010, 12:00 AM report to moderator
398 Points

I agree with one of the readers. If the UK really wanted something like a theme park for HP they would have done it. Instead, they wait til it is all said and done here in the U.S. to complain about why they need to come to the U.S. to visit the park. Um, maybe you should of thought of that, instead you waited. Don’t wait, just do it!

Posted by sidnandragin on June 10, 2010, 12:06 AM report to moderator

First I just want to say to the person on the first or second page that said that there are more fans in the us than in England, you are forgetting that England is a part of Europe and Europe is much bigger than North America. Europe also includes Asia if the retort to that fact was going to be about population of fans, don’t even get Asia started on population and fandom of things. I know Amercians think that they are the focus of everyone’s universe, however those of us in Europe find ourselves often kindly reminding them that we exist and deserve a place to enjoy our Harry Potter fandom without taking a 12-36 hour flight. I just wish the they were not planning on continuing the use of Leavesden Studios as a filming studio (although I understand the importance of having a large successful studio for the economy as well) and just kept all of the sets up for us to explore and enjoy. I for one can do without the rides. If I never go on another roller coaster I will be more than happy. In fact if I do go to Universal to see the HP section I will do the Hogwarts tour leading up to the ride and then simply take the exit. But that is just me, I find the setting itself the thrilling part.

That being said, to those who gripe over the Florida humidity and heat, visit Orlando in January and February. It often feels like early fall in England minus the rain. If you really want the feel imagine you are Harry heading to Hogwarts for the start of school. Just ignore the fake painted on snow in the Hogsmeade part. Cheers!

Posted by PenelopeW on June 10, 2010, 12:17 AM report to moderator

To be clear, I am aware that Leavesden is leaving up the Hogsmeade set (and that the snow is fake there too), however what I meant was that I wish that they would also leave (or re-install) all HP sets for us to explore, rather than using the rest of the studio for other movies. I do however understand that Leavesden is a rather large studio and in our economy that might be wasteful in the long run.

Perhaps set up a train ride to Scotland from Leavesden/London and put up a museum that may not look like Hogwarts on the outside but feel like it on the inside? Take all of the props when they are done being on tour and much of the now used up sets and make them into interactive exhibits? Like Griffindor’s common room, where we can all sit on the cushy bean bag seats? Go upstairs and sit on the four poster beds? A great hall to have communal feasts and taste the Butterbeer and Pumpkin Juice. Places to feel like we’re taking Trelawney’s class or Snape’s. Perhaps what England/Scotland needs and should want is some place to go as our own place of fan-like worship. Does it need a roller coaster? I don’t think it does.

Posted by PenelopeW on June 10, 2010, 12:39 AM report to moderator
6013 Points

Harry Potter is a universal thing people. Living in England doesn’t make you more of a fan. But I understand WHY you want it in England. The main reason we got it (I’m just guessing) is Warner Bros. owns the movie rights!
But who say’s London isn’t gonna get a theme park? They will!

Also, America has no money at the time(WickedLoz) Really, lots of people are out of a job, we are $13,062,240,630,212.21 in debt (and rising an average $4.12 billion per day). Our economy is failing. Bush screwed us all!

Posted by blob on June 10, 2010, 01:11 AM report to moderator
2866 Points

This would have been really amazing…London is my dream city in the world and it would become twise more magical for me with Harry Potter theme park.!!!! When I told my parents where is the park they kind of get really surprised that it’s not in GB ….GB is the birthplace of Harry Potter books and movies and it should have been the birthplace of Theme Park!
Those fans who are in England should support this idea!

Posted by ~ Asi ~ on June 10, 2010, 02:02 AM report to moderator
1985 Points

Well isn’t it a bit too late now?!

Posted by jhangelgurl (ITC!) on June 10, 2010, 09:23 AM report to moderator
3987 Points

I would love the theme park here in Britain, but what will make it even more special for me is that it being in Orlando means it’s a lot more effort to go, a lot more expensive and hard to get there, so I’ll probably appreciate the ‘pilgrimage’ even more.
Stil, I want one here too.

Posted by BewareoftheNargles {WBM} on June 10, 2010, 01:37 PM report to moderator

Well its really nice the butterbeer is really good and so is the pumpkin juice…the Beaubatons and the Durmstrang presentation is excellet. Im glad its here :)

Posted by Draigfire on June 11, 2010, 01:38 AM report to moderator
77 Points

Well, I live in Arizona… which is across the country from Florida and the park. Its going to be hard enough to afford going there… much less if it was actully in England. I’m glad they built a park in the states… but I hope that the fans in the UK might be able to get their own park as well.

Posted by EchoLynnetteB on June 11, 2010, 03:46 AM report to moderator
29 Points

I support him. England and Harry Potter are the same and all that in the future will focus Potter should be only in Great Britain

Posted by ODeBra on June 11, 2010, 06:12 PM report to moderator
212 Points

Boris Johnson is a legend haha

Posted by JoRowlingRocks on June 11, 2010, 07:56 PM report to moderator
62 Points

Yeah, I’d love for there to be a HP theme park in California (where I live), but I don’t go lobbying about it.

Although I do see his point, it’s a bit late, isn’t it?

Warner Bros is a corporation. They exist to make money. Considering that there are already several theme parks in Orlando, and already thousands of people travel there each year to visit these places, I think that they would make the most money in Orlando.

People already travel to London to see King’s Cross and the like. If the mayor of London wants to make more money off of tourism, then that’s his problem, not WB’s. Maybe you could get WB to build a (probably smaller) park in the UK. Maybe WB was planning to make enough money off of the park at Universal to build others in Europe anyway. Who knows?

Posted by Bellatricksthestrange on June 12, 2010, 04:38 PM report to moderator
4452 Points

I love good ol’ Boris anyway but I love him even more!

It is all very true :)

And all those people who are against it being in the UK, you’re just bitter :) But seriously, there may be a HUGE HP fanbase in the US, because of population, but why shouldn’t there be one in the UK? Plane tickets are cheaper now and lots of people DO go to America anyway but why can’t there be one in England? Or even Scotland! It makes it a LOT easier for all of Europe to get to it, short plane trip, train, ferry and car rather than a very long plane journey.

The US one is obviously better for America, because it’s so big and they won’t have to fly as far to the UK, but it would be very convenient for us! We don’t have as many conventions and Leaky so it would be rather awesome XD

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