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Theme Park Insider Podcast, Episode 3: Universal takes Harry Potter around the world

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Published: August 13, 2013 at 1:08 PM

We're talking Harry Potter on the Theme Park Insider Podcast this week.

Diagon Alley concept art
Concept art courtesy Universal

Thank you to everyone who submitted questions via our Facebook page — I answered several of them during the podcast, which details plans for Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida's new version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, opening next summer in Orlando. We also talk a bit about the two other new Wizarding Worlds under construction, at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Japan.

You can download our Harry Potter episode directly, or you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes. We're posting fresh episodes every Tuesday. Please give us a listen!

Readers' Opinions

From TH Creative on August 13, 2013 at 6:29 PM
FAN-TAS-TIC!
From Rob Pastor on August 13, 2013 at 7:27 PM
Good interesting chat. Your voice is very concise so it's easy listening. I especially enjoyed the Gringotts scene by scene account.
From Freddy Cruz on August 14, 2013 at 9:37 AM
Kudos Mr. Niles on an excellent episode. Only gripe...I wish it was longer :)
From Robert Niles on August 14, 2013 at 9:45 AM
I've been aiming for half-hour episodes, because that's about all I can crank out on a weekly basis with everything else I do, and it seemed like a reasonable episode length to me. But if more people would prefer me to shoot for hour-long episodes, I'll see what I can arrange. :^)
From Melissa Donahue on August 14, 2013 at 12:29 PM
Robert Niles: "I love me some Butterbeer!" Best. Quote. Ever.

Thanks for a very enlightening & entertaining podcast, Robert! I especially enjoyed the details about the Gringotts coaster attraction and Knockturn Alley.

From Dan McNeely on August 14, 2013 at 1:12 PM
@Robert

Thanks for the Hogwarts info. I thought of some questions after it was over.

Harry Potter @ IOA is incredible. Its my favorite themed area out of every theme park I've been to. (I haven't been to Disney Sea yet so it could change) I have no doubt that Diagon Alley will be even better than Hogsmead/Hogwarts. As a Theme Park fan, I'm always wanting MORE :)

Questions
-Is there any talk of a 'Phase 3' for Orlando?
-Do you think they'll ever expand the original land inside IOA?
-Where does Universal go from here to continue the Harry Potter story in Orlando?
-Do you think we'd ever see Universal re-theme 'wet n wild' to their IP? I'd love to go to a Harry Potter water park or slide down a Jurassic Park theme flume.

From Robert Niles on August 14, 2013 at 1:34 PM
Dan,

1. Talk? Yes.

2. Someday. First (and probably relatively soon), we'll see additional retail. Long-term, I think there are better uses for the space under Dueling Dragons than a no-longer-dueling coaster, don't you?

3. Who knows?

4. Eventually, Wet n' Wild will transform into something with more of Universal's stamp on it. But, at this point, I have no idea what that might be. Maybe Orlando needs a Super Silly Fun Land?

From Dan McNeely on August 14, 2013 at 2:19 PM
Thanks for the answers!

Agreed on DD. Its a fun Coaster but much of the appeal was lost when they stopped dueling.

From Anon Mouse on August 14, 2013 at 2:25 PM
Good podcast. 30 minutes is enough, but if the material is good, you can certainly lengthen the discussion.

The Universal news is very newsworthy. I can't wait for more info on Disney's Carsland, Star Wars, and Avatar expansion news. I guess the Dwarf's coaster is old news.

From Robert Niles on August 14, 2013 at 4:45 PM
I tried to look inside the orange crates and into the backpack at D23 to see the plans for Stars Wars Land and Avatar Land, and maybe, if the effects of the Disney Police subsequently tasering me ever wear off and my memory comes back, I can report on those... ;^)

(I am kidding, BTW. Just for the record. About the tasering, at least.)

From TH Creative on August 14, 2013 at 5:07 PM
Record a TPI roundtable (conference call) with TPI regulars.

I dare ya!

From O T on August 14, 2013 at 11:57 PM
Great podcast but I still don't get the ride. It's a coaster but it's not and it has huge scene's so where are they going to put the coaster parts. And all that with 3D glasses on?
I hope the coaster part only is used minimally during transition from scene to scene because it limits the crowd a lot when it's a real coaster. Even the mummy is to intense for a lot of people.
I wish Universal would also include some Potter rides for the little kids.
In the latest pictures we also see some stairs going up behind the London façade in front of the ride building. Is there going to be an upstairs part in restaurant's, shop etc.?

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Previous article: A visit to Universal Studios Japan: Part One



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