The day Harry Potter fans have been waiting for is just around the corner as Universal Orlando Resort prepares to open its second Harry Potter Park, Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley on July 8.
The first Harry Potter park had three rides and boosted park attendance by 50 percent. Now the new park promises just one ride and seven shops, so what’s the attraction?
Diagon Alley’s 3-D Thriller
The one signature ride in Harry Potter-Diagon Alley is a 3-D thriller roller coaster based on Gringott’s Bank. It’s called Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and designers have come up with ways to do things that have never been done before to make it all come to life.
Guests enter into the bank lobby and come across goblins doing their business, but all is not well. Security has been penetrated and Harry and his friends are inside. Those riding the Escape from Gringotts find themselves caught in the middle of all the action. It’s a unique experience that lets you see events in the film from another perspective.
Fans Love the Detail
For Harry Potter fans, the draw is more than just riding the Escape from Gringotts ride. The Park’s authentic detail stays true to the J.K. Rowling books and the Potter films, and hardcore fans won’t be able to get enough of the animatronic fantasy animals, “The Monster Book of Monsters,” a fire-breathing dragon, and a tome with teeth.
Guests can even ride the Hogwarts Express train to visit the Park’s original Harry Potter area which opened in 2010.
Guests will be able to board the Hogwarts Express at King’s Cross Station which is built like a real Tube station, or Hogsmeade Station for a two-minute trip in enclosed compartments.
Riders will enjoy riding past urban landscape, followed by the countryside, along with Harry Potter characters. Views are provided via video screen outside the train windows, and on the other side of the door, shapes and shadows dart about in the corridor along with familiar voices from Potter movies.
Fans will also revel in the items found in the Diagon Alley shops.
These shops won’t be carrying typical amusement park fare like t-shirts, trinkets, and baseball hats. Instead, guests will be able to spend their wizard cash (or U.S. dollars) for items like $250 wizard’s robes and $35 interactive wands.
The shops themselves are all part of the backdrop with musty looking books and cool stone and brick facades.
For those looking to enjoy a new perspective, an aerial tour of Diagon Alley and the Universal Orlando Resort is available by helicopter. From this vantage, you’ll get to see inside of Diagon Alley and watch the Hogwart’s Express in motion.
Harry Potter fans will not be disappointed.