Harry Potter and the Diagon Alley Expansion set for Universal


Universal Orlando Resort

A fire breathing dragon tops Gringotts Bank in the latest attraction Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.

Universal Studios Florida will be expanding the Wizarding World of Harry Potter beyond their Islands of Adventure theme park.

A live online webcast on Thursday, Jan. 23 announced some of the details of their Diagon Alley expansion which include new shops, dining and a new attraction.

“The actual believability and authenticity [of Diagon Alley] is spot on.” says Matthew Lewis who played Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films.

The expansion will take place in the Universal Studios theme park portion of the resort. It will include both a modern day London and Diagon Alley.

Some of the new shops include Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, the famous joke shop, Madame Maulkin’s Robes for All Occasions, for character costumes, and the Magical Menagerie where you can find plush pets of all shapes and sizes.

Knockturn Alley will show Diagon Alley’s “darker side”, in which guests will be able to shop Borgin and Burkes for all their Dark Art needs.

“[It’s] very scary,” says James Phelps, who plays Fred Weasley in the films. “It shows that the Wizarding World isn’t all nice.”

Various dining will be added, such as Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour and The Leaky Cauldron.

“Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts” will be the latest attraction, said to be a “multi-century, multi-dimensional experience” by Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative.

The Hogwarts Express will tie together the Universal Studios side of the Wizarding World to the Islands of Adventure side which opened up in 2010. Guests will be able to travel between Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade via Hogwarts Express with a two-park pass. Thierry Coup, Senior Vice President of Creative Studio at Universal explains that “the train and the whole journey between those two places was essential again because it is like that in the stories and films.”

Various places in the already existing Hogsmeade will also be expanding, such as the Honeydukes Candy shop.

Guest can expect to see the expansion open to the public this summer. For more information, visit UniversalStudios.com/HarryPotter