Today Universal Orlando officially announced their well known secret, Diagon Alley is coming to Universal Studios Florida.
From Universal Orlando’s Facebook page:
Scheduled to open in 2014, the world’s first centrally themed, multi-park experience expands The Wizarding World of Harry Potter across both Universal Orlando theme parks and allows Universal’s creative team to bring an unparalleled vision to this unique project. The new area will bring to life some of the experiences and places found in and around London in the Harry Potter books and films, offering brand-new adventures for fans and theme park guests from around the world.
Diagon Alley and ‘London’ will be located within the Universal Studios Florida theme park, which is adjacent to Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park, where guests now experience Hogwarts and Hogsmeade. The new area within Universal Studios will be just as expansive, immersive and authentic as the existing themed environment.”
To bring Diagon Alley and ‘London’ to life, Universal’s creative team is working closely with Warner Bros. and the production design team from the Harry Potter films – just as it did for Hogwarts and Hogsmeade.
“I’m so pleased that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has proved so popular to date, and I’m sure that the attention to detail in creating the new Diagon Alley area will make this an even better experience,” said J.K. Rowling.
“We are continuing the journey and adding an entirely new level of adventure,” said Tom Williams, Chairman of Universal Parks & Resorts. “And we are bringing the same drive, commitment, enthusiasm and innovation to this project as we did to the first.”
“We are thrilled to offer the legions of fans the opportunity to embark on this new journey and experience Diagon Alley as it was brought to life in the books and films,” said Brad Globe, president, Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
“Our vision is to create two amazing theme park experiences that combine into one, complete, magical journey,” said Alice Norsworthy, executive vice president, marketing and sales for Universal Orlando Resort.
The new area is expected to include a Gringotts Bank indoor roller coaster, a themed restaurant, shops and the Hogwarts Express will transport multi-park ticket holders between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure where the current Wizarding World of Harry Potter is located. The train will run backstage, but guests will be looking at video displays of the U.K. countryside and scenes from the Harry Potter movies instead of windows. Click Here to view a detailed look at the concept art for the new area.
UPDATE: Nov. 5, 2013 – The Travel Daily UK has reported that the restaurant in Diagon Alley will be based on The Leaky Cauldron. “Speaking at World Travel Market, Mike West, executive producer at Universal Creative revealed the new London-themed area will include a Leaky Cauldron restaurant as well as a main attraction based on Gringotts Bank.”
Here’s our current construction update for May, which includes a look at the concept art:
Grand opening of the original Wizarding World back in 2010: