Construction Update: Wizarding World’s Hogwarts Express track and Diagon Alley expansion from above
We’ve been following the expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios since even before it was officially announced. With the recent official announcement, and a few more details found through a Universal survey, we figured we’d give you a look at what’s happening behind the construction walls and backstage. (Click on any of the photos to see larger versions.)
Our top photo shows an overview of the whole new area, which replaces the former Jaws ride and Amity area. At the bottom you can see what will be the London waterfront. We believe on the left will be King’s Cross train station, and the rounded building at the top of the photo will be where you board the train. Not pictured here is the huge building on the right which will be hidden while in the area. It houses the Gringotts Bank ride.
This is a close-up of what will be the entrance to Gringotts Bank. A dragon is supposed to eventually be added to the top of the column in the middle.
This photo clearly shows the path the Hogwarts Express train will take backstage between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. You can see the current Wizzarding World of Harry Potter area at the top of the photo, some of the train track in the top middle, and the expansion construction in Universal Studios at the bottom of the photo.
Here’s a closer look at the track. You can see where it splits, allowing two trains to pass.
You can see how the track currently looks backstage in this photo sent to us anonymously. Since the train will run backstage, guests won’t be able to see out. Instead, they’ll look at simulated windows showing the U.K. countryside as a story plays out during the trip.
This is a look at the Hogsmeade train station, which is being built in the current Wizarding World area, just beside the Dragon Challenge roller coaster (bottom) in Islands of Adventure.
Here’s a video of our flight above the area, courtesy of Air Force Fun helicopter tours.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, is set to open in the summer of 2014.
Here’s a look at more construction happening at Universal Orlando. This is the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, opening in spring 2014.