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Wizarding World of Harry Potter construction update from above – Peek inside Diagon Alley

by Matt Roseboom

Wizarding-World-Diagon-Alley-expansion-aerial-photo

We went high above Universal Orlando this morning to bring you look at the ongoing construction of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion. The new area will include a London waterfront, Diagon Alley, The Leaky Cauldron, Gringotts Bank indoor roller coaster and more, including the ability to ride the Hogwarts Express train between the original Wizarding World in Islands of Adventure and the expansion in Universal Studios Florida. The new area is set to open in summer 2014.

While we were in the air, we also flew over Universal’s new hotel and the Orlando Eye. Scroll to the bottom for those.

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We’ll start our update with a video of our flyover:

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Wizarding World Diagon Alley expansion aerial photo

When you’re walking alongside the construction walls inside Universal Studios, the buildings seem like they’re right on the other side of the wall. But as you can see here, there’s quite a bit of space there.

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Wizarding World Diagon Alley expansion aerial photo

This view lets you see just how huge the show building for Gringotts Bank roller coaster is. It looks like it’s the size of the whole rest of the expansion area.

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Wizarding World Diagon Alley expansion aerial photo 12 Grimmauld Place

Scaffolding has come down on one portion of the London facade, revealing the Black family home, well sort of. In the Harry Potter movies, the building expands here to allow wizards to enter 12 Grimmauld Place.

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Wizarding World Diagon Alley expansion aerial photo streets

The blue circle on the left is the corner of Gringotts Bank. This is where a fire-breathing dragon will sit. Notice the wavy shape of the buildings down through Diagon Alley.

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Wizarding World Diagon Alley expansion aerial Flourish & Blotts

Notice the words painted on the closest building: Flourish & Blotts. You can also see it in the photo above this one.

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Wizarding World Diagon Alley expansion aerial side view

This is a look at the area from the side of the Fear Factor theater. Here you can see that Grimmauld Place is just a facade.

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Wizarding World Diagon Alley expansion aerial top down

Here’s a nearly top-down photo.

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Wizarding World Diagon Alley expansion aerial train station

In the back of the new land is the King’s Cross train station. This is where you’ll board Hogwarts Express to head to Hogsmeade, or arrive from there.

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Wizarding World Diagon Alley expansion aerial train

There are actually two Hogwarts Express trains on the elevated track right now, both facing the same way. Here’s train one.

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Wizarding World Diagon Alley expansion aerial

And here’s the second train. You’ll notice the trains go backstage at the parks. This won’t matter because it’s rumored that the passengers won’t actually see out. A London countryside will appear out the “windows”, along with some excitement, making this more than a normal train ride.

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Wizarding World Diagon Alley expansion aerial photo train close-up

Here’s a close-up view of the train. The other side of the train has a few more details, but this side doesn’t need them because the public won’t see this side from inside the parks.

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Wizarding World Diagon Alley expansion aerial Hogsmeade station

This is Hogsmead train station, which resides in Islands of Adventure.

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Wizarding World Diagon Alley expansion aerial  train station side view

A side view of the Hogsmeade station lets you see where the train will pull in. You can see how thin the building is from the side.

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Wizarding World Diagon Alley expansion aerial train entry

Here you can see the area where guests will leave Hogsmeade and head to the train station (not pictured, on the left).

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Wizarding World Diagon Alley expansion aerial hogshead

As you can see, the current Wizarding World area still packs in the guests.

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cabana bay beach resort construction pool

Now we’ll fly just outside the park, over to Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, which is set to open this coming spring. Looks like the pool is ready to go.

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cabana bay beach resort entry

This looks like the area you’ll pull up to when you arrive at the resort.

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cabana bay beach resort second pool

This side of the resort will be opening later than the rest. Notice the pool construction is just getting started here.

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Orlando Eye construction from above

For our last photo, we fly further down the road to International Drive and the construction of the 425-foot-tall Orlando Eye observation wheel. This area will also house Madame Tussauds, Sea Life Aquarium and many shops and restaurants. It’s expected to open by the end of 2014.

Photos by Daniel Andersson, Quinn Roseboom and Matt Roseboom. Video by Matt Roseboom

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4 comments

Shana December 23, 2013 - 1:23 pm

So, maybe I missed something, but those train cars are oddly shaped. Is it supposed to be more then just a train ride? I’m confused.

Reply
Shana December 23, 2013 - 1:25 pm

Never mind…I obviously only skimmed through the pictures…I finally actually read the captions. lol…sorry.

Reply
James Marshall December 25, 2013 - 12:49 am

Wow! I can’t wait to experience this! It looks so much like the movies.

Reply
Kalista Wooding January 16, 2014 - 9:55 pm

omigod! Is it just me or does anyone else fan over harry potter they know more then Emma Watson? I mean like, woah. Since when did Universal announce this? Because I totally just screamed and started crying when I read this.

Reply

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