Insider's Update: Details on Universal Orlando's fifth hotel, plus first public access to Diagon Alley
Written by Robert Niles
The public gets its first in-person look at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley on Sunday, when Universal Orlando hotel guests who've bought the Diagon Alley vacation package get into the new land. According to emails being sent to those visitors, they will have assigned access times to Diagon Alley. Will other visitors be able to get in? We don't know yet, however, experience suggests that Universal won't let day guests into Diagon Alley until it is certain that it can accommodate its hotel guests first. Diagon Alley opens officially to all on July 8.Tweet
For everyone else, NBCUniversal is offering another tease of Diagon Alley with an hour-long, prime-time "making of" special on NBC, airing 8pm on Monday. Don't want to wait for the TV show? Theme Park Insider's been on top of all the Diagon Alley news for more than two years, and we were one of the few publications to get a complete, uninterrupted ride on the new Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts attraction. Read (and watch!) all of our Diagon Alley and Hogwarts Express coverage from last week's media preview:
Parkscope found some interesting public documents detailing plans for the fifth hotel at Universal Orlando. We then went digging on the Orange County Comptroller website (search for "Universal City Development Partners" then go to the "Last" records returned), and found a more recent document with additional details [PDF - 149 pages].
Here's the TL;DR:
Here are two drawings from the document that show the location of the new hotel, as well as its new shared parking lot with the meeting facilities at the Royal Pacific.
By the way, if you didn't catch Ben Mills' coverage of the press preview of the new Ratatouille-themed ride and restaurant at the Disneyland Paris Resort, take a few moments and reward yourself by catching up. Theme Park Insider was one of the few U.S.-based theme park websites to have a writer on-site at the Walt Disney Studios Park for the event, and Ben really came through for us with some outstanding coverage, photos, and video:
The new La Place de Rémy
Finally, Walt Disney World is offering two new VIP tours, for $299 per person. "The Ultimate Day of Thrills" and "The Ultimate Day for Young Families" each lasts 6-7 hours and includes a table-service meal and access to selected attractions at the Magic Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom. You can compare these tours with the other guided tours at Disney World to find if it's the best option for you and your family. These new tours aren't listed yet on that page, so you'll need to call +1-407-WDW-TOUR to book, if you're interested.
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