Wizarding World of Harry Potter Expands at Universal Orlando in 2014

Today, Universal Orlando Resort finally announced the official expansion of the incredibly popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Long rumored, but never officially announced, Universal Orlando will build London’s Diagon Alley in the Universal Studios Florida theme park.  The new Diagon Alley area of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is scheduled to open in 2014.  Continue reading for more information from Universal Orlando’s press release, and we’ll continue to update as more details become available.

Update January 23, 2014

Universal Orlando shares details of the attractions for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley including Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, the Leaky Cauldron Restaurant, the Knight Bus and an expanded Olivanders Wand Shop.  Follow this link for all the concept drawings, images, and renderings.

London Embankment - Diagon Alley

Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. HARRY POTTER, characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s14) © 2014 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.

 

Update January 22, 2014

Fourth (and final) “teaser trailer” released for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley with lots of emphasis on Gringotts, including… a dragon.

Update January 16, 2014

Latest teaser trailer released for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.  Think you’ve seen it all?

Update December 20, 2013

Universal Orlando launches the first and second in a video series promoting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.  I see Gringotts Wizarding Bank!

Update December 17, 2013

More details forthcoming on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley in a webcast hosted by James Phelps (Fred Weasley in the Harry Potter films) on January 23, 2014.

Update December 12, 2013

Mark Woodbury, President of Universal Creative, confirmed THE LEAKY CAULDRON restaurant is coming to Diagon Alley, and shared additional details on The Hogwarts Express experience.

Update October 24, 2013

The Hogwarts Express arrived at Universal Orlando Resort.  Universal Orlando placed the iconic locomotive and train tender on the tracks between the two theme parks.  Just like in the books and films – guests will be able to board the Hogwarts Express and travel between The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, which opened in June 2010 at Islands of Adventure, and ‘London’ when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley opens at Universal Studios Florida in 2014.

Hogwarts Express at Universal Orlando

HARRY POTTER, characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s13)
© 2013 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.

 

Original post from May 8 follows below…

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley Rendering

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley HARRY POTTER, characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s13) © 2013 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.

 

From Universal Orlando’s Press Release:

The Adventure Continues: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley is coming to Universal Orlando Resort

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.

And – just like in the books and films – guests will be able to travel between ‘London’ and Hogsmeade aboard the Hogwarts Express.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogwarts Express

Work on the new area is already underway.  When complete, it will feature shops, a restaurant and an innovative, marquee attraction based on Gringotts bank – all directly inspired by the fiction and films.

More details on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley will be released over time.

To bring Diagon Alley and ‘London’ to life, Universal’s creative team is working closely with Warner Bros. and the production design team from the Harry Potter films – just as it did for Hogwarts and Hogsmeade.

“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,” said J.K. Rowling.

“We are continuing the journey and adding an entirely new level of adventure,” said Tom Williams, Chairman of Universal Parks & Resorts.  “And we are bringing the same drive, commitment, enthusiasm and innovation to this project as we did to the first.”

“We are thrilled to offer the legions of fans the opportunity to embark on this new journey and experience Diagon Alley as it was brought to life in the books and films,” said Brad Globe, president, Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

“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.

Hogwarts Castle at Universal Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade opened at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in June 2010 as a fully immersive Harry Potter themed environment – bringing to life the bestselling books by J.K. Rowling and the blockbuster feature films from Warner Bros.  Since that time, it has become a global phenomenon, entertaining millions of people from around the world.

Visitors to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter are swept into the adventures of Harry Potter.  They can tour Hogwarts castle, shop in Hogsmeade and dine at the Three Broomsticks.  They can soar above Hogwarts with Harry, be chosen by a wand at Ollivanders, sample Butterbeer and much more.

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About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.