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Harry Potter and the Hard Ticket

Robert Niles
Submitted by Robert Niles
Published: June 10, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Following the news that Diagon Alley will not be open for Halloween Horror Nights, let's ask this question:

What hard-ticket event could Universal Orlando devise that would showcase the two Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter, Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade? If DA won't be open for HHN, what could/should it be open for?

Let's assume that Universal wouldn't and shouldn't try this until at least a full year after Diagon Alley opens, meaning perhaps a 2016 start at the earliest. But at some point, Universal will have an "off" season for these two lands in which it could boost attendance with a special event.

But what would be unique -- not just a LeakyCon rehash -- and be something that would make thousands of visitors, not just hard-core Harry Potter fans, want to book an extra trip to Universal Orlando just to be part of it, as many now do for Halloween Horror Nights?

Let's hear your best suggestions!

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From Alec Vergara on June 11, 2014 at 10:30 AM

I say try put the christmas event like the flying ghost we saw in the first film in the dinning area. that was around christmas time that might just work. maybe even have a new attraction like the flying car that was in the chamber of secrets maybe that could be a ride like something simular to back in the future. they could defenitely eventually bring in the damentors for a halloween horror nights event

From Robert Niles on June 11, 2014 at 11:25 AM

I wonder if Universal could do a family-friendly, trick-or-treat-driven Halloween event to compete with Mickey's. It would have to take place at IOA, with USF hosting the adult-oriented HHN. But perhaps DA could be included in the IOA event, using Hogwarts Express for access and some barrier in place to exclude DA and London from HHN at USF. Harry Potter is an ideal fit for Halloween, though not in the style of HHN.

I second the use of the Potter lands in a Christmas event, too. Nighttime in December is one of the few times in Orlando when it might be comfortable to be walking in the parks in wizard robes and house scarves!

From Alec Vergara on June 12, 2014 at 6:08 AM

yes, you see when you think about it there many different things you can plan and create for DA or Hogsmeade in december time. Don't get me wrong I love Halloween Horror Nights I go because I actually want to go. It is a major event and sure who wouldn't love to be a part of it, but there are certainly people who go there just to be there.

I say Universal can take the next step and go even further because there is so much potential at Universal Orlando. Bring passion into what they are doing and bring passion into their new attractions that they build. Don't just do things because you know you'll make a billion dollars over it. Make people love it, make people want to come back more and more and feel the magic and love that was put into it. The goal should be to make it an experience they will never forget and hell to buy an annual pass for people to come back again and again.

Wizzarding World of Harry Potter did that. It set the landmark for bigger and even better things to come. It has become a major eye opener and now the sky is the limit i mean just recently Comcast gave the green light for 500 million dollars. Which basically means just KEEP BUILDING! they need to take of advantange of it to set the mark of all theme parks. I say there is even some improvments they can make in Hogsmeade, but before they touch that there are other things they can replace first.

From Melissa Donahue on June 27, 2014 at 11:18 AM

I think that adding a Halloween or Christmas-related event to Hogsmeade and/or DA would be a brilliant idea, but I'm wondering how much leeway Universal has in doing so. Robert, do you know if all future events must meet JKR's approval? It seems like she was extremely instrumental in developing/approving the existing WWOHP areas. I thought that all design for the parks had to be true to the novels. Any insights?

From Anon Mouse on June 27, 2014 at 7:29 PM

I recall the Harry Potter movies are often released in in the fall as a Christmas release despite its occult theme. Thus, it should have Halloween and Christmas events as that is appropriate. I agree with Robert that a family friendly Halloween could take advantage of Hogwarts and Dragon Alley, but which park should host it?

From Alec Vergara on July 2, 2014 at 5:22 AM

smart move to come up with a christmas event as well. they should start thinking of what can they do with that
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