• 08May
    Universal Studios Comments Off on Universal Studios finally announces Harry Potter expansion in Orlando

    It’s been known to be coming, but it was never official, until today: Universal Studios Orlando have finally announced the expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, to be built over at the Universal Studios Florida park, with a connection to the existing section via the Hogwarts Express!

    Being dubbed “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley” (with the existing section being redubbed “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade”, the new section will recreate the Diagon Alley and from the movies, as well as part of London, which would likely serve as the gateway. The big attraction will be a ride based on Gringott’s Bank, likely some form of coaster reminiscent of the travel system to the vaults as seen in the final movie.

    How they’ll resolve that some elements of Diagon Alley – notably Ollivander’s Wand Shop, were transposed to Hogsmeade for the park, remains to be seen – but they could easily do with expanding it, and perhaps put in something else in the original location. No details on how the Hogwarts Express will handle the transportation backstage between the parks, although some sort of virtual component is expected. Also remaining to be seen is how they handle park tickets, since visiting both parks in one day requires their equivalent of a Park Hopper ticket.

    Here is the full release:
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  • 09Dec
    Trip Reports, Universal Studios, Walt Disney World Comments Off on Trip report – Saratoga Springs, Holidays and Harry Potter (December 2010)

    [This is a trip report from December 2010, being included as a new post as part of the site redesign]

    Day 1 – Arrival, Animal Kingdom

    This was a larger family trip – my in-laws would be joining us, and we had a 2 bedroom villa booked at Saratoga Springs. Even though this is a holiday time trip, we decided to skip the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party this time, as we felt the crowd levels were far to high from our 2007 trip to warrant the expense, and we instead wanted to spend a day at Universal’s Islands of Adventure to see the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

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  • 08Dec
    Trip Reports, Universal Studios Comments Off on Trip Report – Syfy Digital Press panels, Mythos Restaurant, Wizarding World of Harry Potter

    [This is a trip report from October 2010, being included as a new post as part of the site redesign]

    Day 1 – Arrival, Food and Wine, Bice Restaurant, Halloween Horror Nights

    This was an unexpected trip. I got invited to the Syfy Digital Press Tour event in Orlando (via one of my other sites, the SF news site Sci-Fi Storm, which was about to have its 10th anniversary) a few weeks before. I’ve been invited to them in the past, but the lead time was often insufficient to make arrangements, and they were often more remote – but Orlando I could do, especially since I can stay on DVC points or get a cheap room down at Disney, so I jumped at the chance.

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