Wednesday, May 8, 2013
The big news today is the official announcement by Universal Studios Orlando that The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Diagon Alley is coming to the park and will open ...in 2014! Disney and more has all the renderings and infos for you, including the official press release. No need to say that there is a new big battle coming in 2014 between WDW and Universal Studios Orlando with the opening the same year of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at WDW Magic Kingdom and at Universal this new Diagon Alley with the new Gringotts Bank coaster ride plus the Hogwarts Express ride to Islands of Adventure!
ORLANDO, Fla. (May 8, 2013) – 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.
Below, what should be probably the Hogwarts Express train station entrance.
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.
Above, the entrance of the Gringotts bank attraction. And, yes, there will be a giant dragon breathing fire at the top of the building. My guess is that part of it - probably head and neck - will be audio-animatronic.
Below, the London street with iconic shops, and more.
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.
Above the London waterfront, located near Universal Orlando lagoon... including the famous double decker bus which was part of Harry Potter adventures and apparently a copy of Picadilly circus famous "Eros" statue.
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".
Pictures: copyright Universal Orlando