A Harry Potter themed attraction at a Universal Studios park or a Disney park was rumored in 2003. However, the rights to the Harry Potter franchise had been acquired by Warner Bros., who denied all rumors. In January 2007, About.com reported a rumor from a "highly credible source" that the Islands of Adventure park's Lost Continent area at Universal Orlando Resort was going to be re-themed "to the stories and characters of one of the most popular children's franchises". Other sources followed up in the next few days with unofficial confirmation that the new area would involve Harry Potter. On May 31, 2007, Universal, in partnership with Warner Bros., officially announced The Wizarding World of Harry Potter would be added to Islands of Adventure. After a two-and-a-half year construction period, the area officially opened to the public on June 18, 2010. This resulted in attendance at the park jumping approximately 50% in its first year of operation. On July 8, 2014, Universal opened an expansion to The Wizarding World at Universal Studios Florida. A week later, on July 15, 2014, Universal opened The Wizarding World at Universal Studios Japan.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey facade under construction at Universal Studios Hollywood 3/17/15
On April 23, 2013, NBCUniversal made the final step by receiving a unanimous vote in approval of the 25-year expansion by the county Board of Supervisors. This $1.6 billion expansion is expected to greatly boost tourism and the local entertainment industry. It will also create 30,000 jobs during the time of construction.