Harry Potter, Billy Graham Get Theme Parks

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  05.31.07 | 11:43 AM ET

imageEvery day brings news of more amusement parks in the works, on themes ranging from the sacred to the profane. In Charlotte, North Carolina today, 88-year-old evangelist Billy Graham celebrates the dedication of the Billy Graham Library, which, according to some observers and Graham fans, is more like a corny theme park than a dignified museum. “Their concerns start just inside the enormous glass cross that forms the door to the 40,000-square-foot museum,” according to the Los Angeles Times, which headlined its story, Billy Graham, tourist attraction. “The lobby is set up like a barn to evoke Graham’s boyhood on a North Carolina dairy farm. Hens cluck on a soundtrack. A stuffed cat heaves a battery-powered sigh. And amid bales of hay, a cow that looks uncannily lifelike begins to sing.”

Graham’s wife reportedly called the place a “circus,” but based on that description, it sounds more like a zoo, or The Enchanted Tiki Room.

Meanwhile, developers announced plans to open a Harry Potter theme park in Orlando, Florida in 2009, according to the BBC.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will feature attractions and rides. Author J.K. Rowling has given the park her blessing.

“The plans I’ve seen look incredibly exciting, and I don’t think fans of the books or films will be disappointed,” she said.

No word yet on whether the Harry Potter park will also feature a singing cow. Somehow, we doubt it.

Related on World Hum:
* Roswell, New Mexico Unveils Plans for UFO Theme Park
* Charles Dickens, Led Zeppelin Get Theme Park Treatment
* Mexican Migrant Theme Park: Homage or Crass Attraction?
* Beijing Park: ‘Disney Is Too Far, So Please Come to Shijingshan’

2 Comments for Harry Potter, Billy Graham Get Theme Parks

Tom 05.31.07 | 9:51 PM ET

Such a completely uninformed commentary on the Billy Graham Library. I saw it today. The “corny theme park” idea in your blog sounds ridiculous after seeing the actual museum. There is an animated cow in one corner of the entrance lobby to entertain children. It’s off to the side, not a prominent or key part of the museum; I didn’t even see it until someone pointed it out. 98% of the facility is a sophisticated, quality museum.

Jennyfer 07.26.08 | 6:29 PM ET

So many people, so many points of view!

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