Today Universal Orlando held a webcast live at the park revealing more details about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter expasnion, Diagon Alley. Mark Woodbury, who is the Universal Orlando’s Creative Director, lead the webcast alongside celebrities from the Potter films giving details about the new expansion.
The first attraction showed was a view from inside the Hogwarts Express with actor Evanna Lynch, or better known as Luna Lovegood in the Potter films. The Hogwarts Express is an exact replica from the ones you see in the film, both inside and out. Guests will be able to board Hogwarts Express from both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure with a 2-park ticket.
Diagon Alley will be a merchandise mecca for the Potter fans. Guests will be able to shop and dine from locations such as Magical Menagerie, Madam Malkins, Olivander’s, Scriblus, Wizeacres Wizarding Equipment, Weezely’s Joke Shop and Quality Quidditch Supplies. The centerpiece dining attraction will be of course, The Leaky Cauldron.
Knockturn Alley was also mentioned during the webcast. This area of the new expansion will explore the darker side of Diagon Alley and the Wizarding World. Inside Knockturn Alley, guests will be able to shop at Borgin and Burkes, where you will be able to purchase your very own Death Eater mask and other “darker” merchandise.
The main attraction in the new Diagon Alley expansion, will be the Gringotts Bank attraction, which now has an official name, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. Mark Woodbury described the ride as “multi-sensory, multi-dimensional experience.” And yes, the dragon will be atop the entrance of Gringotts Bank for those of you wondering.
I have a feeling that Universal only scratched the surface of what Diagon Alley will have to offer guests when it opens later this summer.
Stay tuned after the break for the official press release from Universal Orlando
ORLANDO, Fla. (January 23, 2014) – Never before has a theme park created a guest experience like this: you climb aboard the Hogwarts Express in Hogsmeade and moments later arrive at King’s Cross Station – where the wonders of London and Diagon Alley unfold before you. And it is all real.
With this summer’s opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. Entertainment will bring even more of Harry Potter’s adventures to life inside a new, magnificently themed area that includes a revolutionary attraction experience, as well as all-new themed shops and dining.
The two companies today revealed first-ever details about the new area and the one-of-a-kind adventures it will offer the whole family. The spectacularly themed environment will double the size of the sweeping area already dedicated to Harry Potter’s adventures at Universal Orlando, expanding it across both Universal theme parks.
And – just like in the books and films – guests will be able to travel between the two areas aboard the iconic Hogwarts Express.
Universal Orlando launched a global phenomenon when it opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at its Islands of Adventure theme park in 2010. That area includes the iconic Hogwarts castle – which houses the groundbreaking Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction – and the village of Hogsmeade. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley will be located within Universal Orlando’s second theme park, Universal Studios, and will create new experiences based on the signature areas of London, Diagon Alley and Knockturn Alley.
Universal’s creative team has been working closely with Stuart Craig and the production team from the Harry Potter films to make the new area as authentic and spectacular as possible – just as it did with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade.
The vision for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley is unprecedented, with Universal Orlando creating the world’s first centrally themed, multi-park experience.
After arriving at King’s Cross Station aboard the Hogwarts Express, guests will pass through London and the iconic brick wall archway from the films into Diagon Alley – a bustling, wizarding hub within a Muggle city. There will be shops, dining experiences, and a new ride called Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts – a multi-sensory, multi-dimensional journey that will take theme park attractions to a new level.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley will give visitors the exciting opportunity 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.
- 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
- Witness the magical experience of a wand choosing a wizard at Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC, one of the wizarding world’s premier wand shops
- Discover 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
- Explore some of Diagon Alley’s famous shops, including:
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
- 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
- And more!
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/
About the Harry Potter Series
Harry Potter continues to be a global phenomenon. Each of the seven books by author J.K. Rowling has broken sales records, with the series to date having sold over 450 million copies worldwide and translated into 77 languages. The Harry Potter films, produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, have grossed more than $7.7 billion to date worldwide at the box office, making Harry Potter the largest-grossing film franchise in history.
About Universal Orlando Resort
Vacation like you mean it at Universal Orlando Resort – where every heart pounding, jaw-dropping, goose-bumping second counts. With two incredible theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, three magnificently themed on-site hotels and a nighttime entertainment complex, Universal Orlando is the only place where you can turn spending time with your family into spending time as a family. Together, you can soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing above the streets with Spider-Man, become a Minion in the hilarious and heartwarming Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride, and join Optimus Prime in the fight to save mankind on the new mega-attraction, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D.
About Warner Bros. Entertainment
Warner Bros. Entertainment is a global leader in all forms of entertainment and their related businesses across all current and emerging media and platforms. A Time Warner Company, the fully integrated, broad-based studio is home to one of the most successful collections of brands in the world and stands at the forefront of every aspect of the entertainment industry from feature film, television and home entertainment production and worldwide distribution to DVD, digital distribution, animation, comic books, video games, product and brand licensing, international cinemas and broadcasting.
HARRY POTTER, characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR.