The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the largest success Universal’s Islands of Adventure has had since the park first opened. Now, this mystical world is being expanded in a big way with the addition of a brand new, highly-themed roller coaster. This photo report, with shots provided by our contributor, @bioreconstruct on Twitter, oversees the current construction going on at the Wizarding World.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is so big that it spans two parks at the Universal Orlando Resort! On the right is Universal’s Islands of Adventure, on the left, Universal Studios. These two parks are connected with the Hogwarts Express, a park-to-park train that allows guests to magically be transported from Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade, and vice versa.
Over in Hogsmeade, construction on this new highly-themed roller is well underway. Rumors suggest that it will open late fall of next year, around the same time as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The main area of focus is the new stone facade being put up in the center of the construction.
It now seems highly likely that this building will be fully enclosed, minus the entry and exit points of the coaster itself. Based off its current architecture, there has not been a definitively agreed-upon guess as to what this structure may be. If you think you may know what this structure is resembling from the Harry Potter films, please respond below in the comments.
The facade looks just as good from inside the park as it does from the sky. Whatever this building may be, it is our first clue into the level of theming we can expect from this upcoming attraction.
This look, from inside the park, is one of the only areas still visible to guests. Along with the secrecies of this coaster, Universal is doing a very good job hiding the construction from day guests. Thankfully we know a Bioreconstruct to get us in-the-air photos. Part of the track is covered here to protect it from possible falling debris from the construction above.
Elsewhere in the construction, we can see the attraction’s entrance. Not much has changed since the closing of Dragon Challenge. The facade itself seems in a rough shape, but surely we will see a new or updated exterior after more of the major coaster track construction is complete.
Our first two smaller arrows point towards workers focused on the main building expansion. On the right side, you can see the recently constructed maintenance building. This huge structure was put up fairly quickly. Best guesses would say that this will be finished first and will house the ride vehicles prior to track testing.
This angle shows a different look at the building expansion. Arrows are all pointing to relatively new areas of construction for the building’s expansion. The final turn, bottom arrow, will send ride vehicles into the maintenance building or the main load and unload area.
The arrow in the top right is pointing to a structure that has been of high interest since the coaster construction first began. It is rumored to house a large animatronic. Since this coaster’s theme was originally rumored to be about the Forbidden Forest, some referred to this round structure as Hagrid’s Hut. You can see the current version of Hagrid’s Hut at the arrow on the bottom left.
This closer image of the round structure shows that new walls are going up. Because of the close proximity to the Hogwarts Express exit and entrance, it is presumed this building will be highly themed. The two large rectangles in the center are most likely the “feet” of the animatronic(s). This could allow for a quick indoor scene that could set up the launch track afterward.
The two arrows here point to the dead end and elevation-change track areas. The bottom arrow points to the dead end. Other than minor concrete construction around the base, we see very little construction going on here. This could mean one of two things. Either this section of the track will be entirely outdoors, or construction has not yet caught up to build a properly covered roof for the first half of the track leading up to the dead end. It is highly unlikely that the dead-end section of the track would be covered entirely.
Looking at the elevator/drop track building we can see a complex amount of steelwork going on inside the building. The arrow points to the newest section of concrete construction. This may be extending the building out a little built, or could simply be a wall on one side of the track for a quick fly-by of theming.
The arrow at the bottom left points to small areas of new construction. With no track in the area, nor visibility from a guest area, this minor construction will probably just be technical or backstage construction and will not be part of the storyline of the attraction.
We still have a while before we can enjoy this next journey into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But, until then, keep an eye out for more articles like this! Please note, everything stated so far is theory and guesses. Until officially announced by the Universal Orlando Resort, nothing is official.
To learn more about this upcoming roller coaster, check out these articles.