Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Wizarding World of Harry Potter is coming to Universal Studios Hollywood. (Universal)

It won't be 2014, with the Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem simulator ride scheduled to replace the Terminator 2 attraction next year. That pushes Potter and his pals back to 2015 or 2016.

The Florida construction took 2 1/2 years, with the original 2009 opening delayed until June 2010.

What's the status of the other Wizarding World projects?

Construction is underway on a Potter clone at Universal Studios Japan, with a 2014 opening expected.

Work has begun in Florida on a second Potter project at Universal Studios Orlando that is expected to include a replica of Diagon Alley with a Leaky Cauldron restaurant and a Gringotts Wizarding Bank indoor roller coaster. Universal has been equally secretive about these details, including an opening date.

Is there room to grow in California?

It's not inconceivable to imagine the powers that be at Universal wondering where they would put a Diagon Alley sequel in Hollywood should Wizarding World prove as popular on the West Coast as it has on the East Coast.

While space is tight at the Hollywood park, Potter II could take over part of the CityWalk parking lot, move into the WaterWorld space with an action-adventure show or find space in the studio back lot.

What's with all the secrecy and gamesmanship?

One word: Disney. Universal is anxious to keep Mickey Mouse guessing.

The instant success of Wizarding World in Florida forced Disney World to unveil two massive counterattacks: a reinvention of Fantasyland for 2012 and the creation of Avatar Land for 2016.

Universal played the same game back in December 2011, announcing the westward expansion of Harry Potter as a way to distract attention from the upcoming opening of Cars Land at Disney California Adventure this past summer.

Expect the Boy Wizard to steal second-day visitors away from Disney California Adventure and force Disney to respond with some new magic of its own. Regional parks like SeaWorld San Diego, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Knott's Berry Farm will have to step up the competition.

Will it be worth the wait?

In a word, yes.

The level of detail at Wizarding World set a new standard by which all theme park attractions are now judged and Forbidden Journey is generally considered to be the best ride in the amusement industry.

The line to get into the new land wound outside the front gates of the park and took up to eight hours to navigate on opening day. Crowds still often grow so thick in the land that visitors are slowed to a shoulder-to-shoulder crawl.

> Follow the Los Angeles Times Funland theme park blog on Twitter, Facebook and Google+