During today’s (January 23, 2014) webcast, Universal Orlando unveiled some new details about the Diagon Alley expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter which will open in the summer of 2014 and will allow you, for the first time, to climb aboard the iconic Hogwarts Express in Hogsmeade (located inside Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure) and after a short train ride experience, arrive at King’s Cross Station at Universal Orlando’s other theme park, Universal Studios. This is the first time that two theme parks have ever been joined by a ride experience, and with the importance of the Hogwarts Express to the “Harry Potter” series, is certain to be a huge hit for fans of all ages.
Diagon Alley looks to be a complete reproduction with all the magic of London and will create new experiences based on some of your favorite areas including Knockturn Alley. During the webcast, Universal announced that their creative team has been working closely with Stuart Craig and the production team from the “Harry Potter” films to make the new environments, down to the smallest details, as authentic as they did with the original The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade. That is definitely a huge statement. If you have ever been to the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter you are already aware that the details inside locations like Hogwarts were amazing.
Once you arrive at King’s Cross Station, you will find some new and unique dining and shopping experiences highlighted by a new attraction called “Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.” In the description for the ride it says that it is “a multi-sensory, multi-dimensional journey that will take theme park attractions to a new level.” We’re definitely looking forward to trying that first-hand.
Here are some of the amazing things you will have the ability to do in the new expansion:
- Ride the Hogwarts Express and travel 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. I’m sure there will be a few surprises on the trek as well. You will need park-to-park admission to ride the train as you will be leaving one park and entering the other.
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts will recreate the incredible scene from the film as you make your way through Gringotts vaults. Universal has a great track record with thrill rides like Spiderman and Transformers so this is sure to be a great attraction.
- At Ollivanders you can experience a “wand choosing a wizard” at one of the wizarding world’s premier wand shops.
- Discover the darker side of magic in Diagon Ally in Knockturn Alley which includes Borgin and Burkes, the infamous shop that specializing in the Dark Arts. It will offer a wide variety of Dark objects, such as Death Eater masks and skulls.
Diagon Alley Shopping:
- Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes will be the place to obtain novelty items, magical jokes, and toys inspired by the books and films.
- Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions is the shop to go for when looking for wizard wear like Hogwarts school uniform ties, scarves and jumpers all the way to authentic wizard’s robes and character costumes.
- Magical Menagerie features a collection of plush animals, such as owls and Hippogriffs.
- Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment is a location to get telescopes, binoculars, armillary spheres, compasses, magnifying glasses and hourglasses
- Quality Quidditch Supplies offers a wide assortment of apparel and equipment including Quidditch sweaters, brooms, Golden Snitches, Bludgers, Bludger bats, Quaffles and more
- Scribbulus has authentic writing implements and products such as feather quills, ink and inkwells, bookmarks, journals, parchment paper, seals, stationery sets and postcards
Diagon Alley Dining:
- Enjoy traditional British fare that includes favorite dishes such as fish and chips, bangers and mash and more at the Leaky Cauldron
- Visit Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour for frozen treats in a variety of tantalizing and unique flavors such as strawberry-and-peanut-butter ice-cream and many others
Check back often for more details about the unique experiences that can be found in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley as we will cover them as they are available. For more information about the area, you can visit the Universal Orlando website that was created specifically for the new expansion: www.universalorlando.com/harrypotter.
Take a peek at the webcast: