Universal Studios Japan hosted an event today to celebrate the announcement of the grand opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which meticulously recreates some of the iconic locations from the world of Harry Potter. Universal Studios Japan revealed that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will open on July 15, 2014. The announcement culminated with the unveiling of the magnificent Hogwarts castle, the focal point of the land.
Universal Studios Japan welcomed special guests from Japan and around the globe: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan; Ms. Caroline Kennedy, Ambassador of the United States of America to Japan; Academy Award-winning art director and production designer for the Harry Potter films, Stuart Craig; actress Evanna Lynch, who played “Luna Lovegood” in the Harry Potter film series; world-renowned architect Tadao Ando; and Universal Studios Japan ambassadors and beloved musical act, SMAP, gathered for the celebration.
When Prime Minister Abe and Ambassador Kennedy announced the opening date, Hogwarts castle was illuminated with a spectacular show of lights and brilliant fireworks.
The evening’s celebration began with an “owl” delivering a letter from Hogwarts to President and CEO of Universal Studios Japan, Mr. Glenn Gumpel, who was revealed on stage with the letter in hand to introduce the honored guests.
Guests Evanna Lynch, Stuart Craig, Tadao Ando, and SMAP were greeted on stage with loud cheers, and the appearance of United States Ambassador Kennedy was met with thunderous applause. Following her remarks, she introduced special guest Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for the momentous occasion.
With distinguished guests from around the world gathered, Mr. Gumpel presented the letter from the wizarding world to Prime Minister Abe and Ambassador Kennedy, who together, reading from the letter, announced the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opening date. At that moment, Hogwarts castle was illuminated with a radiant light show with fireworks, which unveiled its towering scale and lit up the night sky.
Following additional remarks by Prime Minister Abe, Ms. Evanna Lynch led the guests in casting the Wand-Lighting Charm Lumos followed by more dazzling fireworks to the further the excitement and joy of the crowd.
A special website, where you can begin to explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter online, has now launched. Please visit www.usj.co.jp/harrypotter on the official Universal Studios Japan website.
Universal Studios Japan received an annual 10 million visitors for the second time this past March 19 (day 353 of fiscal year), which is the first time USJ has achieved this milestone since the park’s opening in 2001, and thanks to all, the park continues to perform strongly. With the much-anticipated opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, USJ looks to continue to attract more visitors from both Japan and worldwide.
Be sure to check out our new Wizarding World of Harry Potter “Theme Park” section RIGHT HERE!
There are now videos available from this special event, thanks to Japanese fansite Pottermania! Check them out for a glimpse of the festivities!