Universal Orlando reveals details from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley
In a media event webcast from Universal Studios Florida, Universal Orlando today revealed details about its new Harry Potter land.
Universal Creative President Mark Woodbury welcomed Senior VP Thierry Coup and Harry Potter actors James Phelps (Fred Weasley), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom), and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) for the webcast, which confirmed the names of the attractions, restaurants and shops in the new land.
Matthew Lewis, James Phelps, and Mark Woodbury
Concept art of the Gringotts exterior, complete with fire-breathing dragon
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts — Woodbury revealed the name for this roller coaster-like dark ride through the caverns and vaults underneath Gringotts Bank. We first revealed the details of this ride back in December 2011.
Concept art of the Gringotts interior
Hogwarts Express — A train ride that will connect Diagon Alley with the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade, in Universal's Islands of Adventure. Riders will board the Hogwarts Express in Universal Studios Florida through the Kings Cross station adjacent to Diagon Alley.
Evanna Lynch with Thierry Coup on the Hogwarts Express
Ollivander's — Diagon Alley's version of the wand shop show in Hogsmeade will include more "wand chooses the wizard" theater rooms, to reduce the long waits often found over in Islands of Adventure.
The Leaky Cauldron — Diagon Alley's main restaurant will serve a variety of English-inspired fare, though Universal did not reveal any specific menu items today. (Got any menu suggestions?)
Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour — Located near the entrance to Gringotts.
Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes — Zonko's at Hogsmeade will close and its merchandise will instead come to this expanded joke shop in Diagon Alley.
Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions — "where guests will find a variety of wizardwear from Hogwarts school uniform ties, scarves and jumpers, to authentic wizard’s robes and character costumes"
Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment — Located at the exit of the Gringotts ride.
Scribbulus — "featuring authentic writing implements and products such as feather quills, ink and inkwells, bookmarks, journals, parchment paper, seals, stationery sets and postcards"
Magical Menagerie — "features a collection of plush animals, such as owls and Hippogriffs"
Quality Quidditch Supplies — "offering a wide assortment of apparel and equipment including Quidditch sweaters, brooms, Golden Snitches, Bludgers, Bludger bats, Quaffles and more"
Borgin and Burkes — the centerpiece of Diagon Alley's Knockturn Alley section. "A shop specializing in the Dark Arts that will offer a wide variety of Dark objects, such as Death Eater masks, skulls, and other sinister items"
Woodbury did not provide a specific opening date for the expansion, simply offering "summer" as the opening. He also said that more details about the new land will be revealed later. Universal also today revamped its Harry Potter website to include the new information about Diagon Alley: universalorlando.com/harrypotter.
Is there a link available to watch the webcast live?
I watched that whole webcast hoping and praying for something that, as a loyal reader of this site, I didn't already know or figured would be a part. However, as soon as I saw that they "brought people in from the park" I knew it was a rouse. It was nice seeing a bit of the inside of the Hogwarts Express but besides that, did we really learn anything we didn't already know or assumed? I'm extremely disappointed, being a universal guy, that nothing was brought forth. I feel like universal owes me 30 minutes.
So does the Gringotts name confirm that Daniel Radcliffe will return as Harry? I remember last year he said that wasn't going to participate in filming footage for the new land.
Multiple sources are publicly and privately reporting that Daniel will, indeed, be in the ride.
I haven't learned anything new really. Oh well.
It does not seem like there was anything talked about that was not already know. I guess they want to keep the buzz going for as long as possible.
Yeah but Disney would have to dye the gray out of Daniel Radcliffe's hair to film the scenes for the ride since this would be open sometime around 2025..haha
I'm surprised they didn't mention Horizont Alley and Carkett Market in the webcast, these are two new areas inside as well that were mentioned in some of the printed stuff that I was unaware of.
Theme Park Insider: Ruining Universal Orlando's webcasts since, what, 2010 or so? ;^)
That this is going to be an amazing addition to the theme park cannon is not in doubt.
True there was no shocking news but it is nice to get confirmation.
For the anonymous commenter above, Carkitt Market is the covered plaza outside the exit of Gringotts, between the Gringotts building and the building housing Ollivander's. There's an O'Corke's Cooling Beverages stand in the middle of the market. I suspect that's Diagon Alley's version of the Butterbeer cart.
I also should note that while Woodbury promised a "summer" opening in today's webcast, NBCUniversal CEO
Robert wrote: Theme Park Insider: Ruining Universal Orlando's webcasts since, what, 2010 or so?
The A-List actors don't show up until the opening. That's what usually happens. They don't show up to the announcements.
Ahhhh!! I was the anonymous commenter about Toon Lagoon above. I forgot to log in...anyway...I agree that saying summer is playing it safe. My thought is that it will be late June some time. Very early summer. My wife is a team member there so she has been keep an eye out for when the employee preview will be. The pre soft open if you will.
This might be a stupid question, but do you have to have a park hopper ticket in order to ride the train ride? I would assume they aren't going to let you ride from Universal Studios to Islands of Adventure and get off on the other side if you only purchased a one park pass?
Anon, why? Is there a rule somewhere that says the A-list HP actors can't show up for HUGE web announcements? It's not like any of the Big Three are all that busy making other movies these days, is it?
Park to Park access is required to ride the Hogwarts Express, this has been revealed several times already. Word has it that there'll be ticketing space within the confines of the station to help folks upgrade.
To be fair James, it's not like Disney always books A actors for their attractions. Didn't you ever wonder why Larry the Cable Guy (if you can call him an A actor) was the only one who showed up to Cars Land and not Owen Wilson? Heck, Wilson didn't even participate in the ride and Lightning McQueen was voiced by Keith Ferguson. And I think Disney's just flat out given up on trying to get Tom Hanks to do Woody inside the parks and just calls brother Jim to do the job.
@James, I wasn't comparing Universal to Disney, so let's not turn the conversation a direction none of us wants to go. I was just curious why Daniel Radcliffe, who is barely working these days (does playing Igor in another Frankenstein remake really count?), couldn't be involved? Seems like a fair question to me.
This is a request for Robert Niles to do an analysis of Universal's Potter merchandise for the new land, Diagon Alley. I'd love to see his opinion on how he thinks sales will be for all the "magical items"...and how Universal's strategy is different from Disney's merchandising decisions.
@James Rao --
yeah it was reported early last year in a uk paper that ralph fiennes and helena bonham carter have also filmed scenes
Well, excuuuuuuuuuuuse me, Annette! I only keep track of the major productions, not local theater and Syfy-channel caliber flicks. ;)
Hey now, I wasn't trying to steer us into the dark abyss. I was just trying to point out that it doesn't seem fair to penalize Universal for their celebrity bookings when Disney and other companies are guilty of the same sin.
It was just a question. Not really a critique, even. Curiosity is all. But if the answer is that Universal isn't bringing in the big names (I use the term "big" loosely in this case) because Disney's CarsLand opening didn't have Owen Wilson, well that answer is just sad.
Brent, you are correct... "Park-to-park admission is required for the train ride" is mentioned on several reports about today's webcast. I can't verify it is on Universal's website, though, since it is down for maintenance right now.
If this doesn't get Uni (or all theme park) fans excited, I don't know what will.
N B, theme park fans have been excited about this "news" for a couple of years! ;)
@James Rao -- You consider a starring role on Broadway in NYC to be "local theater"? My goodness, that's pretty ridiculous. Daniel Radcliffe starts on Broadway on April 12th, 2014. You must have missed that in the "research" you did.
P.S. Universal Orlando's site is in "maintenance" mode right now. Not sure if it's just high traffic or they are updating.
@Annette, Like I said, there are probably plenty of Danny Radcliffe fan sites I missed in my quick research. But come on, the dude is not that busy. A limited run at the Cort Theater of a show he performed in the West End and a role as Igor in a movie coming out in 2015 do not a busy bee make.
I see Screamscape is all about keeping their fans informed... crickets on the Potter news.
I will be so happy to see some AA Goblins, thrilled to see an AA Dragon breathing fire on the roof, I will pass out if they give us an AA Voldemort! I am hoping they sell action figures around the 3 .50 inches size. The POPCO company produced a wonderful line of action figures, but they were not sold in the US. I have imported many from the UK at a hefty price. I have created a 4 foot model of Hogwarts and I want more action figures! ( oh, I mean my kids want the action figures) lol Super excited and so happy to be a Universal annual pass holder ( Universal actually cares about their locals and treats them right)
Thanks, Brent. And there's no way you are crazy, since you get your NEWS here on TPI first! ;)
Haha... sorry James the s is by the a and I have fat fingers. lol
My Gosh!!! Annette Forrest made a post where she isn't fawning over someone's post??!! What's next, my Mets winning the World Series???
Any inkling what the height requirement might be for the Gringotts ride?
Gosh, I must be a wimp, but I am disturbed by the bickering back and forth. I find one post and one response pretty sufficient myself.
@James Rao -- I saw that Daniel Radcliffe is in rehearsals for his latest Broadway show (this is his third, after Equs and How to Succeed in Business) because I read it in Entertainment Weekly's website. It was also on Yahoo news and the Today Show mentioned it too. Those are hardly "Daniel Radcliffe fansites".
We've heard that the height requirement for Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts will be 40 inches.
@Annette You take me far too seriously if you really think I was out exploring websites for Danny R. I wasn't. But a quick check of highly reputable sites like People.com, Wikipedia, and IMDB shows he has one limited engagement play opening later this year, the role of Igor in Frankenstein coming out in 2015 (yay, another adaption of Mary Shelly's tired work), and a part in something called Tokyo Vice in preproduction. Now, I may not be a Rip Ride Rockit scientist, but one play this year and two films next year does not seem like a TON of work to me.
James, I've just heard that the part of Thierry Coup was played today by... Daniel Radcliffe. Great makeup job. Who knew?
LOL... loved the French accent too. Best performance Radcliffe has given since... well best performance he's ever given, really.
@James Rao --- I really hope you feel that "the great Harrison Ford" should appear on command whenever anything to do with Indiana Jones is done in the Disney parks. Or that the voice cast featured in the Simpsons cartoons all should have been there for announcements made about Springfield at Universal. Just because someone is in a movie doesn't mean that person is required for the rest of his or her life to appear when an announcement is made about something happening with that project.
Annette, I've watched Harrison Ford movies for many years. Harrison Ford is a favorite of mine. Even my wife knows who Harrison Ford is. Danny Radcliffe is no Harrison Ford. Your comparison is laughable at best.
Two things here...I saw a previous comment still wondering about needing a park to park ticket and it not being mentioned in the webcast. You will. I know someone who works in pass sales and they are hiring for that right now. There will be a dedicated pass sales section in Kings Cross.
Couple of things-
A Richard Harris appearance
^You would think he'd be dying to be part of the festivities. It's a grave matter. We should dig into it.
Although I'm following this project closely I even got some new stuff out of it. Like seeing the inside of the train was very exciting and I was very impressed by it.
Mummy has a 48" height requirement so this new coaster will be much less fierce. Gringott's will probably be more along the lines of a Big Thunder Mt Railroad which also has a 40" height requirement.
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