Universal Studios Florida announced the opening date of the much-anticipated The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley: July 8. The new 20-acre themed area is part of the expansion of the original Wizarding World – Hogsmeade, which opened next door at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park exactly four years ago.
This area’s flagship attraction will be a roller coaster called Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. The remaining attractions will be themed around London and Diagon Alley. To travel between Hogsmeade and London, guests will board the iconic Hogwarts Express four about four minutes. Once inside, you’ll settle into a train car to see Hagrid on a flying motorcycle, the Weasley twins on their brooms, the Knight Bus in London — all on a 3-D video screen. Meanwhile, passing by the doors of your compartment are some very convincing shadows of Dementors, Harry, Ron and Hermione. Plus, some runaway chocolate frogs and spiders, too.
“We actually got the blueprints from the real British trains,” says Alan Gilmore, art director for the park. “Everything is exact.”
New Photos of Diagon Alley, along with the official opening date announced for July 8, 2014, were released by Universal Orlando Resort on June 17, 2014.