With less than two week to go before the Grand Opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park at Univesal Orlando, the Mayor of London is wondering why the park wasn't built in London - a little closer to where the books were originally set. He wrote a lengthy piece in The Telegraph explaining his reasoning:
Because the fact is that Harry Potter is not American. He is British. Where is Diagon Alley, where they buy wands and stuff? It is in London, and if you want to get into the Ministry of Magic you disappear down a London telephone box. The train for Hogwarts goes from King's Cross, not Grand Central Station, and what is Harry Potter all about? It is about the ritual and intrigue and dorm-feast excitement of a British boarding school of a kind that you just don't find in America. Hogwarts is a place where children occasionally get cross with each other – not "mad" – and where the situation is usually saved by a good old British sense of HUMOUR. WITH A U. RIGHT? NOT HUMOR. GOTTIT?
I know that Thierry and everyone at Warner Bros and Universal will do a magnificent job of making it look and feel authentic and faithful to the stories. But 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.
Hey Boris - we certainly wouldn't complain about a SECOND Harry Potter theme park in London as well!
By the way... we don't think Boris was too serious about the 'more likely to be shot in Orlando' comment. We think he was joking a bit.