Thursday, January 23, 2014

Webcast Reveals Details About Universal's 'The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley'

Concept art courtesy Universal

Opening this summer at Universal Orlando is something truly magical. A new experience, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley, is being added and the Hogwarts Express will take you on the journey!

A recent press release revealed that patrons of the park will get to board the Hogwarts Express in Hogmeade. It will take you on the "incredible" journey and arrive at King's Cross Station and you'll enjoy the wonders of Diagon Alley and London. Guests with a park to park ticket will be able to travel between the two lands in a “seamless adventure.”A half-hour webcast that aired today revealed the key highlights of the new attraction and you can check that out after the jump.

Here are some tidbits from the and the press release:

The first thing you’ll see at Diagon Alley is the Knight Bus. You’ll pass through the brick wall then walk down Diagon Alley which is “filled” with things to explore. The press release provides details on the brand new stores...

1) Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, a vibrant shop featuring novelty items, magical jokes, and toys inspired by the books and films that will amaze the mischievous child in everyone
2) Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, where guests will find a variety of wizardwear from Hogwarts school uniform ties, scarves and jumpers, to authentic wizard’s robes and character costumes
3) Magical Menagerie, which features a collection of plush animals, such as owls and Hippogriffs
4) Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, where guests can grab wizarding essentials such as telescopes, binoculars, armillary spheres, compasses, magnifying glasses and hourglasses
5) Quality Quidditch Supplies, offering a wide assortment of apparel and equipment including Quidditch sweaters, brooms, Golden Snitches, Bludgers, Bludger bats, Quaffles and more
6) Scribbulus, featuring authentic writing implements and products such as feather quills, ink and inkwells, bookmarks, journals, parchment paper, seals, stationery sets and postcards
7) Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour for frozen treats in a variety of tantalizing and unique flavors such as strawberry-and-peanut-butter ice-cream and many others

The big thrill will be “Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts" which will “bring the movies to life.” It’s described as “multi sensory, multi dimensional experience.” One Universal rep describes the ride as suitable for the whole family. The press release says riders will “navigate their way through the perils of the Gringotts vaults.”

Then there's Knockturn Alley, which is described as “very scary,” by Fred Weasley himself, James Phelps. “It shows that the Wizarding World isn’t all nice. It shows the darker side to it.” Neville (Matt Lewis) explains, “it shows that contrast between good and evil.” According to the release, the area “features Borgin and Burkes – a shop specializing in the Dark Arts that will offer a wide variety of Dark objects, such as Death Eater masks, skulls, and other sinister items.”

There is no opening date scheduled yet but we'll keep you posted. Be sure to check out the webcast for complete details on the expansion and head to the web site for extras such as concept art and a message from Hagrid.

-Larissa Mrykalo