Erika Rivera Managing Editor
News broke a few months ago that Universal Studios: Islands of Adventure was planning to expand the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to include more fan favorites of the franchise. The buzz at the time was that the centerpiece of the attraction was going to be the infamous Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter Universe. The park, as it stands, does include some of the shops but on a much smaller scale. Theme Park Insider was given a closer look at the renovation, and from what they have reported back, we Muggles are in a for treat!
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was already mind-blowing but it is set to raise the bar for themed entertainment much higher with its expansion. For starters, Diagon Alley will not visible to the rest of the park; as it is the Potter universe, the infamous shopping avenue will be hidden behind an entrance located next to the Leaky Cauldron. Diagon Alley will be hidden behind many of London’s famous West End landmarks like Wyndham’s Theatre and Grimmauld Place.
As for the Leaky Cauldron, it will become the newest restaurant in the theme park. As for the rest of Diagon Alley, it will be rich in the details as the books and movies have given us. It said to have multiple levels, with elevated train trestles, stairways and multi-story facades. If the Leaky Cauldron does not strike your fancy, you can always head on down to, make a left and find yourself indulging in Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour, a favorite of Harry and his pals in their youth.
Some other shops that will be featured and expanded on for our enjoyment will be Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions and Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, the latter of which will be the gift shop at the end of the upcoming Gringotts Wizarding Bank ride. For all you Weasley twin fans, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes is also in the works with its location being planned towards the land’s exit.
If you Slytherins are feeling a bit left out in all the fun, Knockturn Alley is coming too. The plans for it are that it will take up about one-third of the park with the infamous Borgin and Burkes as its main attraction.
The Gringotts Wizarding Bank ride that I mentioned earlier is actually going to be a coaster and the main attraction of the new park area. There will an area for lockers so visitors should expect the same boarding rules as Revenge of the Mummy and the original Forbidden Journey Ride. The other ride to be featured in the new expansion will be the legendary Hogwarts Express that will connect Diagon Alley with Hogsmeade and to the original Wizarding World. There is expected to be a ticketing station where visitors may upgrade their park to park ticket to be able to board the train and go into both Worlds.
Be prepared for many photo ops as there will other shops featured in the new expansion along with the others mentioned above. As for when this all is expected to be opened: sources say that Universal is aiming for a July 2014 opening date, exactly one year after Universal Studios Florida is set to open Transformers.
Best start saving up for this trip to Diagon Alley and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Muggles, because from the looks of it, it will be worth more than all the galleons in Gringotts!
Check out some of the photos of the construction, courtesy of Theme Park Insider.
Looks like it is going to be epic with all the land they are planning to take up to construct this!
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