Has Disney finally cornered Harry Potter?

It’s amazing the coincidences in life that chance can bring. For instance, assume you’re a Disney fan flying on a plane from London to Orlando. Then assume you’re sitting next to a licensing representative from a book publishing firm based in London. You’d probably be interested in why that person was making such a business trip.

Well that’s the scenario that just happened to one writer on Mousevine. Using deduction, and a little bit of divination, the author has guessed that it looks like Disney has taken the big prize back from Universal and will now be the only company licensed to put Harry Potter themed attractions in their parks.

Now there is another possible interpretation of this rumor. It could be that the publisher’s representative never got around to telling Disney that they had been outbid by Universal and that this was a trip to iron out the legal mess. But I don’t see NBC/Universal opening up the deep pockets right now, considering that GE is busy selling of parts of itself like a plastic surgeon addict in a pawn shop (I know, that’s a mental image).

So it remains to be seen exactly where Wizard Boy will end up. We’ll probably not know for sure until both parties are ready to make some sort of public announcement. Also, should Harry survive book seven, look for the winning studio here to also get rights to a television animation show set in the same universe. If Harry dies, I don’t think there will be much interest remaining in the franchise.

Where would you rather see Harry Potter end up? Disney or Universal? Who do you think would treat the franchise better and why?

11 thoughts on “Has Disney finally cornered Harry Potter?”

  1. I think it’d be great to see Harry Potter at MGM, but personally I’ve been hoping the Disney-Pixar Studios would get the Lord of the Rings as a property.

  2. I would take Lord of the Rings and Potter. What a lift to Fantasyland.

    I think that Universal does a really good job on the few attractions that it bothers to theme, but obviously I wouldn’t be much of a Disney fan if I hoped a different company landed the deal,

  3. As much as I love Disney and what it has done for theming all there is to be themed, I think Harry Potter would be a much better fit for Universal.
    There is a certain grittiness to the Harry Potter series that I just don’t think Disney would be up for; whimsical as it may be.
    Remember a Stitch ride in Tomorrowland, formerly known as Alien Encounter? Does Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride ring any bells? These rides just didn’t “fit” into the family of feel good Disney rides.
    Now Universal could do this license some justice. Three rides…Spiderman, The Mummy, and Men in Black. The queue for Dueling Dragons? Its awesome. Long but most fun to go through.
    As much as I love Disney and I really do, I think the best theme/ride/area? could come from Universal. What about a Hogwarts Land added to Islands of Adventure?

  4. Disney, simply because Universal is one of the worst studios in the world right now in terms of film product – they create big, annoying, unimaginative sequels and they do them until the franchise has been run into the ground. Direct to video Harry Potter sequels? Universal’s biggest moneymaker in recent months has been the direct to DVD “American Pie” sequels. Not like Disney is much better, but at least they’d do a respectable TV series and a probably rather lavish theme park attraction. Universal would open a stunt show.

    Harry Potter is, incidentally, pretty tame stuff in the world of fantasy novels, so “grit” really isn’t an issue here.

  5. Um… you might want to double check the date that that article was posted. Call it a hunch, but I don’t think it’s a real deal.

  6. Regardless of rumor, Fool’s Day, or whatnot…I really hope that Potter DOESN’T end up at Disney. Not everyone out here is a Potter fan–and frankly I don’t see the connection between Potter and Disney. Sure it could fit at MGM, but we all know it would end up at other parks (especially in CA)….and I just don’t see the fit. The fit is much more natural at Universal.

  7. I haven’t asked John, but I’m assuming that since he had already posted an obvious April Fool’s Day post and later marked it as such, that this post is valid.

    I could be wrong of course, but that doesn’t change the fact that I would love to see Harry in mouse ears

  8. I agree, potter and lotr are far to rich and gritty for Disney. They would fit much better into IOA.

  9. I agree that while I love disney, it really wouldn’t fit into Disney as well as Universal….besides, isn’t Warner Bros. part (or was part) of Universal? Personally, I think someone could make a whole themepark just out of HP…anyone thought of that? I’ve actually thought of all sorts of attractions and “lands” that could be in it (email me if you’re interested in any of these). The only question then is which company would build it….

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