ORLANDO (CBSMiami) – Universal Orlando Resort confirmed Wednesday the worst kept secret in Orlando.
The expansion being built on what used to be their Jaws attractions in the Universal Studios Florida is the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.
Scheduled to open in 2014, park officials said the new area will bring to life some of the experiences and places found in and around London in the Harry Potter books and films. And – just like in the books and films – guests will be able to travel between ‘London’ and Hogsmeade, located in Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park, aboard the Hogwarts Express.
When complete, Diagon Alley will feature shops, a restaurant and a roller coaster style attraction based on Gringotts bank.
“I’m so pleased that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has proved so popular to date, and I’m sure that the attention to detail in creating the new Diagon Alley area will make this an even better experience,” said J.K. Rowling.
“We are thrilled to offer the legions of fans the opportunity to embark on this new journey and experience Diagon Alley as it was brought to life in the books and films,” said Brad Globe, president, Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
To bring Diagon Alley and ‘London’ to life, Universal’s creative team is working closely with Warner Bros. and the production design team from the Harry Potter films – just as it did for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade which opened at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in June 201.
“We are continuing the journey and adding an entirely new level of adventure,” said Tom Williams, Chairman of Universal Parks & Resorts. “And we are bringing the same drive, commitment, enthusiasm and innovation to this project as we did to the first.”
Park officials said they’ll release more information about what guests will see and experience in Diagon Alley in the coming months.