Universal Orlando resort announced yesterday their plans to expand Harry Potter’s Wizarding World! I was fortunate enough to attend the live webcast, and can attest: it’s going to be spectacular! The expansion is being touted as 2014’s most anticipated theme park experience- and I agree. Harry Potter’s adventures literally come to life with the addition of Diagon Alley, Hogwart’s Express, shops and dining, and the new innovative ride- Escape from Gringotts! Not to mention, there will be a DRAGON!
Diagon Alley will include:
o Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, a vibrant shop featuring novelty items, magical jokes, and toys inspired by the books and films that will amaze the mischievous child in everyone
o Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, where guests will find a variety of wizardwear from Hogwarts school uniform ties, scarves and jumpers, to authentic wizard’s robes and character costumes
o Magical Menagerie, which features a collection of plush animals, such as owls and Hippogriffs
o Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, where guests can grab wizarding essentials such as telescopes, binoculars, armillary spheres, compasses, magnifying glasses and hourglasses
o Quality Quidditch Supplies, offering a wide assortment of apparel and equipment including Quidditch sweaters, brooms, Golden Snitches, Bludgers, Bludger bats, Quaffles and more
o Scribbulus, featuring authentic writing implements and products such as feather quills, ink and inkwells, bookmarks, journals, parchment paper, seals, stationery sets and postcards
You’ll also be able to enjoy traditional British fare that includes favorite dishes such as fish and chips, bangers and mash and more at the Leaky Cauldron and Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour for frozen treats!
Guests of all ages will be able to board the Hogwarts Express and journey between London’s King’s Cross Station (located in Universal Studios Florida) and Hogsmeade Station (located in Universal’s Islands of Adventure). The journey will be filled with views of London and the British countryside – as well as a few surprises. Park-to-park admission is required.
The brave will experience a groundbreaking new, multi-dimensional thrill ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, which will place riders in the middle of an incredible adventure as they navigate their way through the perils of the Gringotts vaults.
Fans of the darker side of magic in Knockturn Alley, the darkest of dark places that features Borgin and Burkes – a shop specializing in the Dark Arts that will offer a wide variety of Dark objects, such as Death Eater masks, skulls, and other sinister items!
More details about the unique experiences that can be found in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley will be released over time. For more information about the area, visit www.universalorlando.com/harrypotter.