Universal announces Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion



ORLANDO, Fla. - Universal Studios announced Wednesday the expansion of 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 – Diagon Alley across both Universal Orlando theme parks.

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.

And just like in the books and films, guests will be able to travel between “London” and Hogsmeade aboard the Hogwarts Express.

The expansion is expected to bring about 1,500 new jobs to Universal Resorts.  It will be located in place of the old Jaws ride, officials said.

Because the new expansion is in a different park, guests will need to buy a park-to-park ticket to visit them both.

Work on the new area is already under way. 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.

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

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 also soar above Hogwarts with Harry, be chosen by a wand at Ollivanders, sample Butterbeer and much more.

"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.