CATEGORIES Movie NewsAnyone who has visited Florida's Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park knows what a wholly immersive experience it is. From the wand shop to the butter beer, everything has been lovingly recreated from J.K. Rowling's influential books. Universal has just announced that next year, the Wizarding World will be joined by another area devoted to Harry Potter -- in another park altogether -- and linked via the Hogwarts Express train. Sounds downright magical.
The plan is that, in 2014, a Diagon Alley expansion will open in Universal Studios, which is an entirely different park than Islands of Adventure. The Diagon Alley expansion will feature a host of new shops and restaurants (including a larger wand shop and a boutique modeled after the Weasley brothers' gag shop) and an area that replicates the London waterfront. What's more is the centerpiece of this new area will be a rollercoaster housed inside of Gringotts, the goblin bank that's guarded by a ferocious dragon.
But the coolest part of the whole project might be the Hogwarts Express. Ever since a stationary version of the train that transports Harry and his crew to Hogwarts was parked in the Wizarding World, guests have been clamoring to hop aboard and take a magical train ride. Those wishes will come true with this expansion, with a Hogwarts Express train ride that travels between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure (who knows how ticketing will work with this, but they'll figure it out).
The expansion and the Hogwarts Express are both expected to open next year.
[via Inside the Magic]
EARLIER: A Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter