Friday, 20 June 2014

Universal Studios Florida - The Diagon Alley Expansion

If you are a lover of Harry Potter or Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida, you may be aware that they are holding press conferences all week for the opening of the new Diagon Alley expansion at Universal Studios.

A little bit of background to this - in 2010 The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in the Islands of Adventure theme park, adjacent to Universal Studios, with the amazing Hogwarts castle, the simulator and headliner ride Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey, Flight of the Hippograff ride for the young ones and the Dragon Challenge rollercoaster.



The amazing Hogwarts castle

We went in 2010 and my favourite part was Hogwarts castle. The atmosphere and attention to detail was amazing. It was as if they had taken a real castle and transported it to the land of sunshine and fun. As you walk through the castle paintings come to life, and in a stroke of genius snow falls on you as enter the main hall. I actually let out an audible gasp.
The snow on the rooftops adds an authentic touch

The headliner ride here, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey has you soaring on broomsticks, encountering fire breathing dragons and the evil Voldermort whilst being totally immersed in the experience from start to finish.


So it is with excitement that I have been following the Diagon Alley Expansion before my return trip to Universal Studios later this year.

The new Diagon Alley experience has you transported to London and Harry Potter fans will enjoy Knockturn Alley and the joke shop 
Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. The main restaurant will be The Leaky Cauldron, serving classic British pub food such as ploughman's lunch, pies and toad in the hole and you can wash it all down with Butterbeer and Gillywater.


The Hogwarts Express
The Hogwarts Express (Photo credit: Scott Smith (SRisonS))

One of the main attractions is Hogwarts Express, a train ride that will take you between the two main parks. Authentically created with even a replica of King's Cross Station, the windows of the train apparently show scenes from the UK, and don't forget to watch out for the Forbidden Forest and the Wealseys on their broomsticks!

The headliner ride is Harry Potter And The Escape from Gringotts. With some clever animatronics as you walk through the Gringotts bank the goblins come to life, and you take a lift down to the vaults. You then get onto a car for the ride experience. The combination of cutting edge technology, 3d effects and a part rollercoaster ride will surely be another of Universal Studios triumphs.

Diagon Alley officially opens on 8th of July this year, but Universtal Studios Orlando have a week of webcasts with previews of what to expect. I can't wait to go!

Tell me have you been to Universal Studios or visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? Are you a Harry Potter fan? 

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28 comments

  1. Haven't been to Universal in years. We're going to Florida this summer but my children aren't Harry Potter fans so we're just sticking with Disney this year instead.

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    1. Disney is brilliant especially for little ones. My favourite Disney park is Hollywood Studios, it is just amazing!

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  2. Never been but it looks amazing. I am a huge Harry Potter fan, I don't care what anyone has to say about that :)

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  3. I would love to visit it.
    It looks amazing and we love Harry Potter

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    1. Hopefully one day you will get a chance to visit.

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  4. We have been there last October and the Hogwarts castle was my very favorite bit too! Love the details, class room, fire places, talking paintings.
    We are going to Orlando again in October, which is I find the best time to go. Weather in October is just lovely and warm with no thunder storms, mosquito or humidity which is what you get in the summer. However this time we bought 2 week's Disney unlimited tickets, so not sure if we going to buy Universal Tickets too just to see the new Diagon Alley..

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    1. I love going in October too, it's brilliant when you can see the Halloween celebrations and of course the Halloween Horror Nights at Universal.

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  5. I'm a huge Harry Potter fan and think this sounds amazing! I have never been to universal studios but would absolutely love to go it sounds amazing

    AliceMegan

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    1. If you get the chance to go in the future, grab it, it is so worth it. Universal and Islands of Adventure are great parks.

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  6. Stunning , I so jealous could only ever dream of going to a place like this .x

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    1. Maybe one day you will get the chance.

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  7. WOW im not even a fan of Harry potter (its not that i dislike it just never read it lol) and even im impressed and amazed at this! x

    Jess
    http://owlcrazymummy.blogspoy.co.uk

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    1. I am not a huge fan myself of the books BUT this is just out of this world.

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  8. Am so jealous of you going! Am a huge HP fan!

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    1. Maybe you will get a chance to visit in the future.

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  9. I never really got into HP, still looks like a great place to visit tho

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    1. I think if you are not a huge fan you can still appreciate it.

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  10. My daughter is a massive Potter fan and is desperate to visit but I think we'll wait until the opening crowds have calmed down :)

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  11. looks great, we went to Universal Studio in England and it was great

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  12. We haven't been but would love to go...it looks like they've really captured the spirit of the place. Hope to go sometime soon!

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    1. They have totally captured the spirit of the Harry Potter books and films.

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  13. This looks amazing and I'm not even a huge Harry Potter fan!

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    1. I don't think you have to be a huge fan to appreciate the detail, the rides and the work they have put into it.

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  14. I would so love to go here when Wilf is a little older! x

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