Word around Hogwarts is that a Harry Potter ‘Theme Park’ coming to Tokyo. That’s right, Universal Studios Japan, there is a new ‘wizarding world’ in town!

Toshimaen Closes Its Gates

On June 12th, Kyodo News reported that the Seibu Railway company had formally announced that it would close the 94-year-old amusement park, Toshimaen, in Nerima, which consists of a water park, an array of rides and a few petting zoos.

Toshimaen will officially close on August 31, 2020, and construction for the new park will commence immediately.

While construction is always a moving target, an expected completion date has been set for the first half of 2023.

A portion of the land will be converted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to a park/emergency disaster shelter and may feature an evacuation facility in the case of earthquakes. Conversations of the location being used as an evacuation base began back in 2011 when the earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan but lapsed into a halt until Warner Bros. joined negotiations.

Witches, Wands, Wizards, and More!

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. will be taking up residency with a Harry Potter ‘theme park’ with its lease under Itochu Corp.

However, unlike Universal Studios Japan, the new park will not contain any rides or traditional theme park attractions. Rather, it will be more akin to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London.

Guests will get a gander at movie-making magic as they gaze upon production sets, props, costumes, potions, and wands. They will even be invited to stroll down the shopping street of Diagon Alley.

While fans of the ‘boy who lived’ may revel in the news, the closure of Toshimaen is a little bittersweet for fans of those with fond memories. After all, the park has been in operation since 1926, making it one of the oldest amusement parks in Tokyo. But, even the biggest Toshimaen devotee can’t ignore the magical allure of the “Harry Potter effect,” as seen over at Universal Studios Japan.

Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan suffered a decline in ticket sales after its preliminary success. However, once the awe-inspiring Wizarding World hit the parks, ticket sales immediately skyrocketed, reaching a record high. Ever since it has been noted as one of the top-tier tourism traps in the Kansai region in Western Japan.

The “Harry Potter effect,” as it has been deemed, is considered to have been a significant factor in the recovery of Universal Studios Japan’s business operations.

One may wonder if the new Warner Bros project will pull customers away from Universal Studios Japan. However, speaking as a Jedi who is married to a Potterhead, they will be so vastly different in what they bring to the table, true fans will just have to make adequate time for both!