Breaking: Universal Orlando announces Harry Potter Diagon Alley on Facebook

Posted Wednesday, May 8, 2013 11:51 AM | Contributed by Jeff

From Universal Orlando's Facebook post:


Building on the global phenomenon that is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. Entertainment today announced an expansion of historic proportion with the entirely new themed environment, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.

Scheduled to open in 2014, the world’s first centrally themed, multi-park experience expands The Wizarding World of Harry Potter across both Universal Orlando theme parks and allows Universal’s creative team to bring an unparalleled vision to this unique project. The new area will bring to life some of the experiences and places found in and around London in the Harry Potter books and films, offering brand-new adventures for fans and theme park guests from around the world.

Diagon Alley and ‘London’ will be located within the Universal Studios Florida theme park, which is adjacent to Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park, where guests now experience Hogwarts and Hogsmeade. The new area within Universal Studios will be just as expansive, immersive and authentic as the existing themed environment.”

See the post on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 11:53 AM

Everyone knew it was coming but now that they've confirmed it the timing seems awfully strange.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 12:00 PM

What's strange about it?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 12:02 PM

When does the new Seven Dwarfs coaster open? The timing may be perfect to compete with that, or at least get Orlando visitors to add a few more days to their vacations to visit Harry Potter.

All of these Florida parks are going to have to step up and add something new next year. It's not everyday that a Disney World park gets a new coaster.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 1:27 PM

Jeff said:
What's strange about it?

It's strange that Transformers is just about to launch for the summer season, the new Simpsons area is getting close to being finished and hasn't even been teased yet, and on top of that it was sent out with a Facebook post.

I would find it just as odd if Cedar Point announced a new coaster for 2014 before Gatekeeper had its first public riders.

Last edited by eightdotthree, Wednesday, May 8, 2013 1:30 PM
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 1:49 PM

Not only that, but one of the busiest seasons is summer for vacation. I would think they would have waited until after summer so as to prevent people from saying, "well, if all of that is coming, let's not go to USO until next year". Timing seems weird to me as well.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 2:01 PM

Tend to agree with 8.3 about the timing vs. the Transformers grand opening...just got the invite for that a couple days ago.

Thursday, May 9, 2013 7:04 AM

The timing suggests they want to get all the visitors to the park this summer to come away saying "I have to go back next year" Most visitors plans are already locked in for this summer.I doubt there will be many who say
"Let me cancel reservations this year so I can go next year instead"

There maybe a few who reschedule Christmas trips.But they are overcrowded at that time anyway.HHN diehards will still go in Oct.Plus they should get a good bump from Transformers

Being that most of the vertical steel is up continuing to deny what it is risks many being misinformed. Especially the Disney faithful who are going just for Wizarding World Hogsmead.They plan their week in Orlando with a day or two at Universal Orlando.

Friday, May 10, 2013 6:11 PM

I still wanna know who's making the darn Gringott's coaster. Looks like Premier track, but I can't really tell.

Friday, May 10, 2013 6:24 PM

Given just the experiences with Mummy and Rock'it....I'd say Premier is a pretty good guess....and that Maurer Söhne is ultimately unlikely.

Friday, May 10, 2013 10:23 PM

Regardless of who makes the track, I will be shocked if there isn't some major 'gimmick' to the coaster, such as a motion platform of some kind. After the absolutely groundbreaking, brain melting innovations they made with Forbidden Journey, this expansion will be disappointing if the centerpiece attraction is 'just' a highly themed roller coaster.

Friday, May 10, 2013 10:51 PM

I'm pretty sure Rockit was Maurer-Sohne.

Saturday, May 11, 2013 10:56 AM

It is.

Saturday, May 11, 2013 11:10 AM

Wait, just got it. That's gotta be a record for slowness.

Saturday, May 11, 2013 5:59 PM

"the world's first centrally themed multi-park experience." Someone thought long and hard about that one. It's a mouthful, but an apt description.

And information will be released along the way. So we still don't know much, like the signature attraction or that there will be a train ride. I suppose it's hinted in the rendering, but it looks kind of loosely interpreted. And doesn't the park look ungodly busy there? Sheesh.

So, how will it work? Will guests have to buy a multi park ticket to experience Hogwart's Express? Or will a single park ticket for either park allow guests to go from one to the other but go no further than Harryland? Or will every Universal ticket include both parks and go to 200 bucks? It will be interesting to see, and how they'll market and promote the multi park aspect of it.

Last edited by RCMAC, Saturday, May 11, 2013 5:59 PM
Saturday, May 11, 2013 6:26 PM

Those awful, non-functional finger scanners would be a total buzzkill going park to park on the train.

Saturday, May 11, 2013 6:31 PM

As of about 9-12 months ago, the speculation was that a one-park ticket would get you in the park of your choice and give you access to the train ride. Both parks would have some sort of gate at the train entrance/exit to prevent one-park ticket-holders from going into the other park (or, presumably, to offer an upgrade to a 2-park ticket).

If that is still the thinking, it makes the most sense to me (getting additional "mileage" out of the train).

Saturday, May 11, 2013 7:54 PM

No way in hell do they allow people to get to the other Potter area in the other park on a one park ticket. That completely negates the point of having it spread out over two parks. I imagine that they will have the ticket gate before the queue for the train, as opposed to the exit because that way you solve two problems:

1. No one waits in line only to find out they cant get on the ride at the end

2. No bull rush of people when each train dumps a full load of passengers in the station.

Saturday, May 11, 2013 8:11 PM

I guess that would mean you'd need a two-park ticket or pass to get on the train. Or that they might be thinking of going to a single admission....

Saturday, May 11, 2013 8:49 PM

The whole idea about spreading it out over the two parks is to make sure that every guest buys a hopper. Right now there are a lot of people who simply go to IOA for the day and leave, the goal is to convert those people into duel park guests at the least, but hopefully turn them into multi day visitors (staying in a Universal hotel.)


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