It seems that more Harry Potter magic is on the way for Muggles this year. Wizarding World, which is part of the Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios Orlando, has expanded their Harry Potter themed section of the park in 2014. It had been said originally that this new expansion will take over the area once inhabited by The Lost Continent, but as of last month rumors were put to rest and it was announced that this new exhibit would take over the space of the Jaws ride which closed in January 2012. However, Universal is planning on expanding the size of the entire park.
Diagon Alley – which it has officially been named, includes new restaurants, shops, a marquee ride, and a train trip. This will all be centered around the trip which young Harry Took on his way to becoming a wizard. His journey began in London, England, where he went to Diagon Alley to get his wand. He then took the Hogwarts express to Gringotts Bank where he retrieved the money from his parents. This was a central part of the Harry Potter story and it was one that just had to be told in order for this new expansion to make sense.
Wizarding World opened in 2010, and it was so popular that the lines to view it far exceeded the parks boundaries during those first few weeks. People waited in line for hours just to catch a small glimpse of Hogwarts Castle and Hogsmeade Village. This huge success is one of the main reasons that Universal has decided to do such a large expansion on one of it’s most popular attractions. Universal has been coming up with great new ideas for this expansion for quite some time and those ideas are finally coming into fruition.
The Diagon Alley expansion was built in the neighboring park Universal Studios Florida. Its counterpart, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, is located in Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park. This will mark the very first time that a theme park will have separate, but connecting parks. The Hogwarts express train will transport the gets between each of the two areas. Universal has said that they will use some visual effects to keep the backstage areas of the parks hidden as the guests are transported from one park to the other. Even though this will be a widely popular attraction the parks have insisted that the train will be enough to accommodate the large crowds.
The senior vice president of Universal Creative Thierry Coup, said “We want to be true to what happened in the stories. Diagon Alley wasn’t an obvious thing to anyone”. Just as the Forbidden Journey is the key feature to Wizarding World, a ride within Gringotts bank will be the highlight of Diagon Alley.
All of these new features will be family-friendly and be as true to the movies as possible. The ride will take each of its guests on a journey like no other. The hope is that they will feel as though they have stepped directly into the Harry Potter movies. There are many other signature locations from the movies which will be incorporated into the parks, however Universal is staying silent at the moment as to what they are. They would like for some things to be kept secret until the actual grand opening.
J.K. Rowling, who created the Harry Potter book series has been on board with this expansion for quite some time. She is know for being quite meticulous in paying attention to detail but this time she has left more of the creative control to Universal.
Many of the logistics as to how the train would actually transport guests from one park to the other are yet to be worked out so this expansion may take some time. It also hasn’t been said yet if the train ride will require admission to both parks or not (it does). Universal has released an opening date for this new attraction, so those hoping to plan a vacation to Universal Studios Florida specifically for this new expansion no longer have to wait to book their vacation.
Of course, everyone knows Harry Potter and his world of wizards and magic doesn’t really exist. Hogwarts and all it’s characters were created by J. K. Rowling in her fantasy series.
But, they had to shoot the movies somewhere, right? So, if your kids (or you, for that matter) are big Potter fans, and your travels are going to take you to London, why not go looking for the real life that helped depict the mythical Harry Potter?
Start in Central London, at Kings Cross Station. You can walk right up to platforms 9A and 9B, and just imagine there’s a platform 9 and 3/4 between them.
The scene where Harry releases the snake from it’s cage was filmed at the London Zoo.
Next stop: North Yorkshire, and the train station in Hogsmeade Village, admirably portrayed in the movies by Goathland Station. Their website lists a variety of other TV shows and movies that have filmed there as well.
In response to the fabulous interest folks all over the world have to the Harry Potter book series and movies, guided tours involving all things Harry Potter have popped up everywhere. A perfect tour for families and fans alike, many visitors will come to have a greater appreciation for the filming of this famous series of movies.
Many Harry Potter guided tours go straight over from the train station to the Australia House on the Strand, the building that was transformed into Gringotts Wizarding Bank in the movie. A short ways away is the Charing Cross Road, also known in the movie as Diagon Alley, where Harry bought his school supplies and his wand.
While in London, Harry Potter guided tours often let you see some of the other more ordinary sites in the city. Don’t forget to stop at the Westminster Tube Station where Harry and Mr. Weasley stop on their trip to the Ministry of Magic hearing. Just down the road from the station is the red telephone booth near Scotland Yard that Harry used to get into the Ministry. A most exciting stop on Harry Potter guided tours is a trip to Oxford where you’ll visit Christ Church College, the site of many of the interior scenes of Hogwarts Academy, including the great hall, where the students of Hogwarts ate. The DukeHumphrey’s Library was featured as the library inside Hogwarts. Truly, there are places all over Oxford where Harry Potter movie scenes were filmed, including the Divinity School, which was turned into the hospital wing at Hogwarts.
On the next stop on many Harry Potter guided tours, you’ll visit Warwick Castle to see what real castle life is like and you’ll travel to the Cathedral of Gloucester, one of the places where many interior scenes were shot, including those of Gryffindor’s dormitory. All of the ghost scenes and talking picture scenes were done at the cathedral as well.
Finally, you can visit the medieval village of Lacock—a favorite spot for Harry Potter guided tours. The village inspired the village of Gordric’s Hollow, where Harry lived with his parents. Several scenes from Hogwarts School for Wizardry andMagic, including Professor Snape’s classroom in the dungeon, were shot in the village. Visitors may discover that the village of Lacock was the location of other movies, including Pride and Prejudice.
Many Harry Potter guided tours will offer evening sessions for tour guests to view the movies all over again and discuss the places they’d visited that day. As there are numerous other attractions along the way, some guided tours will fill in the time with visits to castle ruins, quaint villages or other historic sites to give guests the full picture of what living like Harry Potter would be like.
The Hogwarts Express is a new ride available at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando theme park. The Hogwarts Express ride has no restrictions. It may be one of the only rides in this theme park that everyone is able to ride. It is meant to provide a fantasy get away by re-creating the world of Harry Potter for those enjoying the ride. It is not anything like a roller coaster and there isn’t anything too scary, so the faint of heart can enjoy this ride as well.
Your journey begins at the Kings Cross Station. Here you get to participate in the illusion of walking through what looked to be a solid wall to get to the magical world on the other side. This is where you find the train you will be boarding. Riders literally travel between universal theme parks on this train ride. They go from Kings Cross Station, which is in the Universal Studios Florida theme park, to Hogsmeade Station, which is located in Universal’s the Islands of Adventure theme park. This ride may be a first of its kind in transporting riders between two theme parks.
Along the way visitors are treated to an immersive, authentic and exciting Harry Potter experience. This train is an amazing reproduction of a train used in the Harry Potter movies. The windows are video screens that show you characters and scenes from the movies as you ride through the park on the train. The magical world of the Harry Potter films will unfold in the appearance of three dimensions outside your train windows. You will see flying wizards and fantastical landscapes pass by as you travel. You will hear the voices of the main characters as they battle Dementors boarding the train. There has been some criticism of the voice over work, but the attraction as a whole retains an amazing level of immersion.
The excitement generated by Harry Potter themed rides and amusements at these theme parks has been credited with increasing attendance at the Universal Orlando Resort by nearly fifty percent in recent years. The addition of the Hogwarts Express ride at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley should only accelerate this trend. The Diagon Alley attraction in which this ride resides has seven shops and its own currency so visitors can swap their money for wizard cash, which they can spend in the shops or keep as souvenirs. The shops themselves retain the immersive feel by offering items such as robes and wands and other Potter themed paraphernalia. The Hogwarts Express ride tops off an already impressive themed attraction that comes as close to transporting people to the world of Harry Potter as is possible short of the use of actual magic.
Harry Potter has been a favorite story for children, teenagers and adults since the initial release of “The Sorcerer’s Stone” in 2001. The story captivated all of those who watched and wondered what was next for Harry and his friends. Now, Universal Studios in Florida has brought to life the story of Harry Potter with Diagon Alley, the same Diagon Alley that is featured in the story. Here, visitors can shop the various stores and eat at the same restaurants as Harry and his friends did while they attended Hogwarts. The entire family will enjoy this attraction and all that it has to offer.
Ollivanders: Makers of Find Wants since 382 BC
This magical store was where Harry and his friends bought their infamous wands. The same wands that cast the spells and helped keep them safe throughout their adventures. Now, visitors to Universal Studios can own their own magical (interactive) wand that will cast spells and create magical experiences throughout Diagon Alley. What was once just a dream in a movie, is now a reality and a Universal Studios Orlando vacation makes it all possible.
The Magical Menagerie is the same store in which Harry and his friends purchased their magical friends. Owls, toads and unicorns were just a few of the creatures that this store would sell to the children as they headed off to Hogwarts School of Magic. While the store cannot sell “real” unicorns and owls, they do offer a plethora of plush creatures that includes Crookshanks, Fluffy and Scabbers. Of course, you can also find the now infamous Pigwidgeon and Hedwig as well.
Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes
Diagon Alley would not be complete without the newest addition in the Harry Potter series, “Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.” This is of course the store that was opened by the Weasley twins which sells various mischief materials. Extendable ears and love potions are just a couple of the things visitors can purchase at this store managed completely by mischief.
Borgin and Burke’s
Diagon Alley is not all mischief and fairy tales, there is a dark side to it too. Borgin and Burke’s is the most notable black market store in the series where the darkest characters would find their needs for their most sinister spells. Now, visitors can find dark arts souvenirs, death eater masks and replicas of various parts of the series. This shop is a favorite for visitors to purchase various collectibles from the intriguing series.
What is an attraction like Diagon Alley without the Leaky Cauldron? Here, visitors can feast at the same pub-style restaurant featured in the books and movies. While there is no magical treats to be found here, visitors will enjoy a British traditional menu including fish and chips, butter beer and cottage pie. Lunch and dinner is served here daily.
Just like in the movies, Gringotts is located at the very end of Diagon Alley. This bank that is run by goblins is a 3-D thrill ride where visitors must get through the security throughout the underground vaults. Harry and his friends are there to help guide the visitors through the adventure but they must be aware of threats like Voldemort and Bellatrix. They will also be met by various trolls and other magical creatures that will try and keep them from returning safely to Diagon Alley.
Join in the party of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort from the dates of January 30th to February 1st, 2015. You may interact during the awesome interview sessions with the film talent, relish in the opportunity to get their autographs, access exclusive discussions and private demonstrations, and visit a Harry Potter™ Expo, all in the same day and at a convenient location. A Celebration of Harry Potter™ is an unforgettable event where the magic of Harry Potter™ continues and it’s only at Universal Orlando Resort.
Meet some of the stars of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and learn proper technique to ‘wand weilding’. Get to view tour props and set pieces from the famous films. See what Hogwart house the Sorting Hat™ chooses for you, and much more. It’s three magical days that any Harry Potter™ fan would not want to miss.
Could it be a magic spell? Or possibly a potion of some kind? Or might it simply be the big statement that many Harry Potter followers have been wishin? Author JK Rowling has tweeted an anagram that has led lots of to guess that “Harry returns”.
Nevertheless, there were also claims, sustained by Rowling herself, that the response has even more to do with a sequel including the imaginary ‘magizoologist’ Newt Scamander, writer of one of Harry’s textbooks, Fantastic Beasts as well as Where to Find Them in the initial Potter publication.
On Monday early morning, Rowling posted the puzzle for fans to solve, just before teasing them with the message “something to contemplate while I’m away X”.
“Cry, enemy! Run amok! Fa awry! My stick won’t allow this rubbish.” read her cryptic tweet. Conjecture soon began on websites such as Reddit and Twitter, with several fans seeing that the letters were an anagram of the expression: “Harry Returns! Won’t state any sort of specifics now! A week off! No remark.”
However, she hinted that a person follower was “much warmer” with their hunch “Newt Scamander’s History of New York Fauna: One town, my story”.
And, in a later tweet that included the hashtag “#helpfulhint”, she composed: “The remedy is the first sentence of a synopsis of Newt’s story. It isn’t component of the script, but establishes the scene.”.
She has actually provided few interviews and also is viewed as an enigmatic number because of this. She has additionally created under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. She remains a hugely well-liked amount to millions of followers and also is a benefactor, having reputedly given 160 million pounds Sterling to medical study, single mothers’ charities and also various other reasons.
As well as she has not completely shied away from public life. She stated political obligations in the past, donating 1 million pound Sterling to the no project in the Scottish independence mandate and openly backing the Labour party, handing it a similar sum in 2008.
In a 2012 job interview with the BBC, she said: “We’re in the middle of a significant, terrible, scary globe economic downturn. I merely assume now is a time for stability. As well as Scotland’s doing excellent under devolution.
“I assume economically we’re in a quite secure, audio problem. I would be directly very averse doing anything that destabilised that in the following couple of years.”.
Guinness Book Recognizes the World’s Largest Harry Potter Collection
The Guinness World Records has vetted a new record: the world’s largest collection of Harry Potter memorabilia, which belongs to Mexico City’s Menahem Asher Silva Vargas, reports the Associated Press.
The 37-year-old lawyer has dedicated two full rooms of his home to his “Potterabilia,” collected over a span of 14 years. That means Silva Vargas’s holdings predate the 2001 launch of the wildly popular eight installment Warner Brothers film franchise spawned by J.K. Rowling’s best selling young adult fantasy novels. The boy wizard is also the subject of his own theme park, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, which opened in 2010.
According to Guinness World Records officials, Silva Vargas’s collection weighs in at an astounding 3,097 pieces, smashing the old record of 807. The Potter trove includes the original books in a multitude of languages, trading cards, magic wands, Gryffindor scarves, Quidditch brooms, and toy figurines, among many other objects. Silva Vargas was presented with an official Guinness certificate recognizing the achievement on Monday.
Although the massive collection began unplanned, things quickly spiraled out of control. “My salary, my bonuses…it all ended up here,” Silva Vargas admitted to the AP, calling his obsession with all things Potter a blessing and a curse.