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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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49 Points

Well, I for one will enjoy it being only a 2 hour drive. Now if they want their own, look at what is here, find someone to foot the bill, and go for it. The time for speaking up was long ago when it was first being considered. It wasn’t a secret. We all know about it. Kind of late to start crying now.

Posted by DodgeRules on June 09, 2010, 01:17 AM report to moderator
879 Points

lol, day late and a dollar short, dude.

Posted by deadtree ♥WBM♥ on June 09, 2010, 02:59 AM report to moderator
121 Points

Someone said that Britain has less inhabitants than America but what about the total of Europe? The distances are the same, but Germany, France, Spain, Italy … have more inhabitants in total than America an from Rome to London it’s less far than from L.A. to Orlando!

Posted by ginnyshiel on June 09, 2010, 04:08 AM report to moderator
2984 Points

Would be good to have a park in Uk for european market in addition to the one in U.s.a. Perhaps attach it to an existing theme park which has the other infrastructure in the same way they have in Orlando.

Posted by tgfoy (ROAR) on June 09, 2010, 05:55 AM report to moderator
32 Points

First of all, I thought that was hilarious to read.
Second, while I would LOVE to have a theme park in London (I live in Denmark, it’s VERY expensive to just fly to Orlando), I think it’s a bit too late … And as a Harry Potter fan, I wouldn’t be content with just visiting the one in London, I’d want to see both, and that would just be much more expensive. Eh, I don’t know. If they want to built it, I won’t stop them (not much I can do, anyway :P), but while I can see how it would me much more Potterish to build it in London what with King’s Cross and Leavesden all that, I really don’t think it’s necessary. London’s big enough as it is, for Potter fans.

Posted by luvuna on June 09, 2010, 06:35 AM report to moderator
261 Points

Yeah! It’s a little too late now. Should have said something when the park was first announced.

And of course, this is business. It wouldn’t be that easy to just build the park in London. Orlando has it’s merits when it comes to tourists wanting to spend all their money on theme parks.

Maybe in the future, Mr. Mayor.

Posted by Thio on June 09, 2010, 07:14 AM report to moderator
30 Points

Surely there could be two?
Disney has many parks around the world and the success of Harry Potter is easily rising to that of Disney. (Without becoming a corporate driven cash cow) I would appreciate your support in signing this petition:

Posted by inomniaparatus on June 09, 2010, 07:24 AM report to moderator
1373 Points

GOT IT??? :) Well, he is absolutely right in one thing: plane tickets will be cheaper for a half of fans coming from Europe, but people who comment are right too – in the USA there are more fans due to population differences. However, it’s true that they can make a great place for fans in Leavesden Studios, not necessarily ridings, maybe some new and extreaordinary experience…

Posted by Pollytomat on June 09, 2010, 08:35 AM report to moderator
4138 Points

I agree with him fully!! I love this guy :D

Posted by Calum Wilson (RuneDream54) on June 09, 2010, 08:48 AM report to moderator

i want one in london :) but as well as the one in florida! :)

Posted by Hermione and the House Elves on June 09, 2010, 08:52 AM report to moderator

I gotta say, this guy comes off as extremely bitter towards the U.S. in this article (his little snide remarks about crime rates and such). You guys want to know a very simple reason why it’s more feasible to build a Harry Potter theme park in America? We have a bigger population than Great Britain. My home state of Minnesota alone is as big (bigger I think) than all of England. I’ve seen numerous statistics in terms of the fan base in both countries, and the U.S. simply has a larger number, not because we’re more dedicated or anything like that, it’s just a bigger population. Also, Euro Disneyland was seen as a huge joke for years and years (if you don’t believe me, watch the Simpsons episode where they go to Itchy and Scratchy Land…at the end, they feature Euro Itchy and Scratchy Land, where a lone Frenchman tries to sell tickets to a barren landscape, claiming “Who are you to say no? My children need wine!” :)

Seriously, though…My impression of this whole deal is that it just makes more financial sense to make the park in America. When they decided to make films of Rowling’s books, was she approached by some small-scale British film company, or was she approached by multi-million dollar American company with international clout? And that same American company gave Rowling almost complete creative control, allowing her to insist on a completely British cast and setting, script approval, etc. They spent millions of dollars ensuring her vision got to the big screen. This all just sounds like extremely sour grapes to me. I understand the concern many Europeans would have with making a trip to America, but if the theme park had been built in Britain, there would have been an outcry from the more numerous American fans, having to fly all the way there. Anyway, when it comes right down to it, J.K. Rowling agreed to have the park here in the States, and put her full support behind it. There’s so much more I want to say about this, but this post is already so long, so I’ll just leave it at that.

Posted by critterfur on June 09, 2010, 09:19 AM report to moderator
147 Points

I don’t see why they can’t just build two theme parks. Why cry fowl over Orlando instead of wanting one there.

Posted by jedisakora on June 09, 2010, 10:19 AM report to moderator
349 Points

It’s in America because most of the fandom in in America. America has wizard rock, and most of the HP conventions. And Warner Bros is an American studio. It make economic sense to put in where the most rabid fans are. While I’m fine with the prospect of a second park (the more HP the better, I say), the way he worded his argument, and the points he made, are obnoxious.

Posted by Lily Phoenix on June 09, 2010, 10:24 AM report to moderator
1830 Points

Aww that’s out Boris. Anyone else dreading the Olympics? But anyway, surely Scotland should be a better candidate. I’m not that interested in Leavesdan so maybe a UK theme park would be nice, but far too late now and I’m not that fussed to be honest. Harry Potter has a worldwide fanbase so wherever it’s set it’ll cause inconveniance to some.

Posted by nellythemarrow on June 09, 2010, 10:54 AM report to moderator
348 Points

Even though it would be alot harder for me to visit UK rather than Orlando, I think it would be amazing to have a theme park in London. And rather than London itself it would be great to have it set in a remote part of England or Scotland that would fit the hogwarts and hogsmead setting. As awesome as the themepark in Orlando is, it can take away the fantasy when you look around and see palm trees and other attractions of Universal as the landscape. I really hope they do decide to build a themepark in England, because im sure any of us diehard potter can agree we wouldnt care about the weather, in fact i think it would make it more real. It would definitely be successful! No doubt!

Posted by IwishIwas@Hogwarts on June 09, 2010, 12:10 PM report to moderator
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