Details leaked about expansion of Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Mar 26, 2013
Rumored details about Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion have been shared by Theme Park Insider. The site says they have seen detailed plans for the expansion and are now sharing what they've seen. Most of the information seems to be on par with rumors that have been circulating since word of the expansion came out. According to the site, here's what we can expect in this new land.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is located at Universal's Islands of Adventure, but the plan for the expansion is to open the second area in Universal Studios and then connect the two with a train, the Hogwarts Express. Because the train would take you to the other park, a ticket location will be set up in the train station, allowing guests to upgrade to a park-to-park ticket before boarding the train. The new area will be themed like Diagon Alley, the street where Hogwarts students purchase their wizarding supplies. Diagon Alley will be hidden from the rest of the park behind facades of London landmarks; in the books, the street is located behind a pub, The Leaky Cauldron, with a secret entrance known only to wizards. The Leaky Cauldron will function as the area's restaurant; the secret entrance will be in a train station next to the eatery. Snacks can also be found at Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour.
Diagon Alley will feature multiple levels for guests to explore, with train tracks rising above the area, stairways and tall buildings.
The main attraction in Diagon Alley will be a Gringotts roller coaster, which will end in a gift shop, Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions and Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment. The coaster will have 12-person ride vehicles that will move on a track very similar to the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction. Another store planned for the area is Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, a joke shop operated by the Weasley twins. A larger version of the popular Ollivander's Wand Shop was also mentioned, but it is unclear if this would replace the version in Hogsmeade or simply be a second location of the shop.
Knockturn Alley and its store, Borgin and Burkes, were also mentioned in the plans. Knockturn Alley features shops devoted to the Dark Arts.
The rumored date for Diagon Alley to open is July 2014, though until this information is officially released by Universal, this is all just speculation.