Here's What's Coming to Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Orlando
Even if you're a pro at hiding your collection of erotic fan fiction starring Luna Lovegood, your dedication to the local Quidditch league and your Gryffindor 4 Life tattoo -- you won't be able to fool anyone once Diagon Alley opens at Universal Studios this summer. Harry Potter is inevitable.
Universal Studios First look at Diagon Alley. Get excited!
Even the most closeted fans will don spectacles, fake scars and Hogwarts robes for the crazy stuff Universal's got planned. To get you all revved up for summer 2014, here's a roundup of what's coming.
First off, the Diagon Alley addition will double what they've got now, Harry Potter-wise. While Hogsmeade is in Islands of Adventure, Diagon Alley will set up shop in Universal Studios. (To visit both, you'll need a park-hopping ticket, FYI, because they're smart like that.)
How will parkgoers get from one to the other (besides, well, walking): the Hogwarts Express, of course!
This will include a mysterious platform 9 3/4 experience, presumably being some kind of trippy, wall-morphing stuff. The train ride will reportedly be super-interactive, full of adventures and various visual, showcasing London and the British countryside. Plus, the rides to and from Diagon Alley will be totally different - no reruns.
Once you arrive, there'll be a new "multi-sensory, multi-dimensional" ride dubbed Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.
Because everyone's a sucker for buying fake magical crap, on-site stores will include Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions, Magical Menagerie, Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment, Quality Quidditch Supplies and Scribbulus. Plus, for the Slytherins in your crew, there'll be Knockturn Alley, including Borgin and Burkes selling up Dark objects -- Death Eater masks, skulls and such. The Leaky Cauldron will serve up traditional British fare, and Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream Parlour will offer frozen treats.
Universal Studios All aboard the Hogwarts Express!
Better than our words is this video that sums up the entirely awesome experience, including appearances by secondary stars from Harry Potter. (WE LOVE YOU RON WEASLEY!)
As of now, the opening date is scheduled for Summer 2014, but nothing more specific. Let's hope that's sooner than later. We need more magic in our lives, stat.
You can keep tabs on updates via a pretty badass microsite from Universal, and we'll keep you clued in about all things Potter-verse.