Universal Orlando Announces Diagon Alley Expansion for 2014
May 08, 2013, 10:40 AM
Long-rumored and all but confirmed, the Diagon Alley expansion to Universal Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been officially announced.
This expansion will make its home in the resort's Universal Studios park, connected to the Islands of Adventure area by a Hogwarts Express attraction. It will feature a Gringotts attraction, Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, and even the Leaky Cauldron, among other things.
It's scheduled to open in 2014, and while no official date has been released, we've already announced that LeakyCon 2014 will be there. (But don't miss 2013 in Portland; you can register right here!)
As with the first phase of WWoHP developments, details and announcements will continue to roll in over the next year, and we'll have all the information here! What are your expectations and wishes for Diagon Alley? Will we see you there in 2014?
Time to start saving my pennies, I guess! I would really like it if Ollivander’s could be retooled so that everyone could go through the wand-selection process, not just one person out of each group of 20 or so. But I can’t think how they would do it so that you didn’t have to stand in line for a week. And I would love it if there were more shops that you could really walk into and examine the wizarding merchandise, even if it isn’t actual souvenirs that you can buy. The storefront windows for nonexistent shops in Hogsmeade in Orlando are just such a tease.
Maybe Diagon Alley isn’t the place for it, but my dream HP attraction would be a ‘quest’ where your group actually has to solve some sort of puzzle to move from room to room, like the Trio did in pursuit of the Stone. And the puzzles would have to keep changing, since people would undoubtedly publish spoilers online.
Oh, and the Leaky Cauldron needs to have live wrock performers, and there need to be buskers in the streets singing songs of the Potterverse!
Just in general, I think that to engage the generation that has grown up on video and computer games, theme parks ought to be designing attractions that are more interactive, rather than passive ‘rides.’
Also, WWoHP devotes entirely too much space to merchandising rather than entertaining. Does there really need to be a place to buy wands every 50 feet?
In the article, the closeup of the artist’s rendering of the future ‘London’ and Diagon Alley looks fun. The dragon atop Gringott’s bank, breathing fire is a nice touch, as is the triple-decker bus and Nelson’s column in a mini-Trafalgar Square. I loved seeing the Hogwarts Express at the WWoHP, but I’d love to be able to ride it from London to Hogsmead. I do also wonder if Ollivander’s will be moved from Hogsmead to Diagon Alley. Zonko’s Joke shop was cute, but I’d much rather explore Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. The Three Broomsticks was a fun place to eat and drink Butterbeer, but to hangout in the Leaky Cauldron would, of course, be the ultimate experience!!!