Harry Potter Expansion Announced at Universal Studios Orlando: Diagon Alley and Hogwarts Express will be added
The success of the Harry Potter series of books and movies has been felt throughout the theme park industry at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. The park opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2010 and today the park announced the long speculated expansion. According to cfnews13, Universal and Warner Brothers has announced The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley as the official name of the expansion. The park says that it will open in 2014.
The major breakthrough for this expansion is the fact that it will span two different theme parks and connect them unlike any parks has ever been connected. Guests who will attend the parks may travel on board the Hogwarts Express train. The train will take them from the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter on the Islands of Adventure to the new Diagon Alley addition that is actually inside of Universal Studios. According to the article, the expansion will include the dark and grim Diagon Alley and even Gringotts Bank. The Harry Potter expansion is being constructed where the Jaws attraction once stood. The park is taking great pride in having the first immersive multi-park attraction.
According to the park release, guests will be immersed in a “London” themed area and they will get to travel between there and the magic world just like they do in the movies and books. Construction is already under way on the new area and when it is complete, there will be new shops, a restaurant, and even the famous Gringotts Bank known for the goblins who are the caretakers. Universal’s design team has been working with Warner Brothers to make sure that things are exactly right and that the park will flow with the already build park in Islands of Adventure. This expansion comes right after Universal Studios Hollywood announced that they would be building their own Harry Potter themed area there.
One of the most important critics for a project like this would be the author of the books that it was designed around. JK Rowling has been positive of the experience so far and cannot wait for the expansion. "I'm so pleased that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has proved so popular to date, and I'm sure that the attention to detail in creating the new Diagon Alley area will make this an even better experience.” “Our vision is to create two amazing theme park experiences that combine into one, complete, magical journey,” said Alice Norsworthy, executive vice president, marketing and sales for Universal Orlando Resort. With the popularity of the park already through the roof, this seems like only a formality.