Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Universal Studios Hollywood : Harry Potter Diagon Alley Construction to Start Soon, Hogwarts Express Envisioned, More Wizarding World Soft Openings...
Soft openings have already started for Universal Hollywood Wizarding World of Harry Potter as you can see in the Mice Age pictorial report HERE. During March more soft openings - or technical rehearsals - will happen both for both USH guests and cast-members as well as families of the ones who built it.
Now, a few weeks ago in a post related to the Star Wars land coming to DL - and WDW of course - i was saying that now Universal Hollywood and Disneyland were rushing to be the first to open the big one. Some were surprised as they were thinking about USH Potter Wizarding World which open in six weeks and Star Wars land won't open before at least two years - no official opening date was announced yet. But i was NOT referring to Wizarding World but about Universal Hollywood next move, i.e Harry Potter Diagon Alley.
Yes, Diagon Alley is coming for sure to Universal Studios Hollywood, and even sooner than you may expect as not only they've already cleared the land where it will be built but apparently the construction will begin anytime soon, may be even before Wizarding World open on April 7. If not, it will be soon after as they'll need also two years to build it, and that's where the "rush" is between USH and Disney to open "the big one".
You can expect exactly the same Diagon Alley than in Florida with the same amount of details and of course the fantastic and award winning Escape from Gringotts ride but the big question is: will they build too the Hogwarts Express? In Florida, it was not only that they wanted to built it but they needed to build the Hogwarts Express to transport guests from Universal Studios to Islands of Adventure, the two lands being in two different parks. Now, and although Wizarding World and Diagon Alley won't be stuck one to each other at Universal Hollywood they don't really need it as much as in Florida, but they know that guests will expect the Hogwarts Express and would be disappointed if it was not there.
A few weeks ago, Lance on Screamscape said that the Hogwarts Express may "not move anywhere this time around" but could be a "simulated Hogwarts Express ride" meaning that the train will be built but not really "move". Well, from what i've heard this shouldn't be the case and Universal is thinking to add a moving Hogwarts Express although the track length might be less long than in Florida. As we know, the ride in the Hogwarts Express is an attraction in itself thanks to the movie and others visual effects happening during the ride and all the question is to know if they will reduce the length of the movie - or only the speed of the train so the length of the ride can match the one of the original movie.
Anyway, South Cal Harry Potter fans and USH guests will be happy to learn they won't have to go to Florida to experience the two Harry Potter lands and basically everyone will be happy about this news... except probably Disney which will see with more worries the opening of Diagon Alley - with one of the best ride in the world - at the same time than Star Wars land. A titanic battle is coming and we wouldn't miss it for anything in the world, would we?
Pictures: copyright Universal Studios