Rumor: Could a Studio Tour Attraction Be in the Works for Tokyo?
If we had a Galleon for every Harry Potter theme park rumor we came across, we would need another vault in Gringotts.
This rumor, however, is a little different. Rather than claiming that there will be expansions or additions to the Harry Potter property at Universal Studios Japan, it instead proposes that Japan will be getting a Harry Potter attraction, similar to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.
So where did this rumor come from?
The first instance of this rumor appears to come from the Japan News, one of Japan’s biggest-selling English-language newspapers.
Negotiations are underway for Warner Bros. to open a Harry Potter theme park in Tokyo in spring 2023.#Yomiuri #WarnerBros. #HarryPotter #ThemePark #Toshimaen #SeibuGroup #TokyoMetropolitanGovernment #WarnerBros.LondonStudio #UniversalStudios #USJhttps://t.co/8CgphuRyw5
— The Japan News (@The_Japan_News) February 3, 2020
Published at 2:43 p.m. JST on February 3, 2020, the article states that by spring 2023, Warner Bros. will have built the new park:
Warner Bros. plans to construct the park on part of [the] land that is currently occupied by the soon-to-be-closed Toshimaen Amusement Park in Nerima Ward, Tokyo.
The upcoming closure of Toshimaen Amuseument Park may have been the starting point for the rumor (or indeed negotiations). According to the Japan News, a portion of the land on which the park sits (20 hectares, or 49 acres) is set to be leased to Warner Bros. from Toshimaen Amuseument Park owners the Seibu Group, with the Tokyo metropolitan government purchasing the rest of the land to use as “part of its disaster-prevention measures.”
In fact, the Japan News also suggests that the previous negotiations between the Seibu Group and the Tokyo metropolitan government had come to a standstill but that the proposal from Warner Bros. has reenergized talks.
The rumored proposal is more in line with a Studio Tour than a theme park. This attraction is said to have sets that visitors can walk through and get an up-close look at props and costumes from the movies.
The story was picked up quickly by other news outlets, including the Japan Times and the Nikkei Asian Review.
‘Harry Potter’ theme park eyed to replace Tokyo’s Toshimaen https://t.co/ptaY7tn6Qb
— The Japan Times (@japantimes) February 3, 2020
Outside of Japan, Variety picked up the rumor on February 6.
Is Warner Planning a ‘Harry Potter’ Theme Park for Tokyo? https://t.co/rtR2muZ8Ke
— Variety (@Variety) February 6, 2020
The news outlet reported that Tokyo’s governor, Yuriko Koike, had stated that “negotiations are underway,” whereas a Warner Bros. spokesperson told Variety that they “are not likely to be commenting.”
If there is truth to the rumors, Variety is reporting that an official announcement can be expected in the spring. Until then, fans and news outlets are sure to be keeping an eye out for bits of information that could confirm or deny this story.