Thierry Coup Says Universal “Not Done” with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in New Interview
It seems that there will be even more adventures in the Wizarding World at Universal parks.
Universal Creative’s chief creative officer and senior vice president, Thierry Coup, claimed that they were “not done” with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in a recent interview with People marking the theme park land’s tenth anniversary at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Coup specifically discussed what has happened in the decade since, saying, “You think about what has happened with Harry Potter in the past 10 years beyond our theme parks — The Cursed Child, the eight movies, Fantastic Beasts, the mobile game Wizards Unite. The Wizarding World is not resting. It keeps building.”
Coup looked back on the creation of the project, including the pitch to Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling: “The pressure started when we went to pitch the project to her in Scotland. Putting together a concept that would stand up to her expectations. When she finally said yes, we were so excited and then we realized we were faced with this huge challenge of bringing this story to life. It was like a giant wave of, ‘Oh my God, we get to do this.’”
Then came the development, which was unlike any project the creative team had done before. In order to maintain Rowling’s vision for the world, the team “broke a few rules” customary for theme parks, as he added, “from the size of the shops to the signage to the entrances, everything was scaled appropriately to what people saw in the books and movies.”
The centerpiece of the land was the groundbreaking attraction Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which Coup is still proud about, saying, “The whole idea of creating a flying experience was the holy grail being able to achieve that sensation, to fly along with Harry Potter and his friends, that was an achievement. We had to create new technology for that. Bringing our magic to the tech side of it was a major achievement in 2010.”
Coup also recalled the impact the highly detailed land had on those who had helped bring the movies to life. “I remember people coming to hug me and tearing up. When I had the chance to take the cast through, even they were moved. For so many years, they had been on the set and they had seen parts and pieces of that world — and now, being there, they were touching the actual walls. It was really so magical for them.”
Since opening in June 2010, copies of the Hogsmeade section of the land have opened at Universal Studios Japan and Hollywood, while a sister land themed to Diagon Alley debuted at Universal Studios Florida. But just last year, Coup was able to finally achieve a personal goal he had since the beginning by bringing the Forbidden Forest to the parks in Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, saying “That attraction puts a big smile on everyone’s face.”
It’s been rumored that a Wizarding World expansion may be part of the upcoming Universal’s Epic Universe park at Universal Orlando Resort, though no attractions have been announced yet. Development on the park has been officially delayed until “the future becomes more certain” as Universal Parks & Resorts continues to recover from the economic turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coup concluded by stating that the positive feedback on the lands has continued to inspire their work: “That keeps fueling our creativity and our desire to do more. When you see the guests’ reactions, it just creates so many wonderful memories for them. People are even inspired to read the books for the first time! They take their children and they discover the world of Harry Potter. That’s huge for us. This is a business of emotion, bringing fun and smiles to everyone.”
Keep reading WDWNT and Universal Parks News Today for more on what’s new at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!