Harry Potter Expansion Update: Diagon Alley

Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Diagon Alley Universal Studios Orlando, FL

Back in January there had been rumors that Universal Studios Orlando had begun construction on a Harry Potter expansion. ThemeParkInsider.com has now confirmed the speculation after they got a look at a few of the new rides and features in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter addition.

Not only will there be a Gringotts roller coaster there will also be a hidden area for Diagon Alley, which will be hidden behind Grimmauld Place, Wyndham’s Theatre and other London landmarks. The secret entrance to the mystical world will be next to the Leaky Cauldron.

The Leaky Cauldron will be the featured restaurant in the expansion and will basically be the entrance for the detailed Diagon Alley. Breaking from most theme park attractions Diagon Alley will be on multiple levels, with stairways, multi-story buildings and areas, elevated train trestles, and more. There will even be a Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour.

There will of course be other shops like Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, which will be the gift shop after getting off the Gringotts roller coaster – like every other theme park ride.

Slytherins won’t be left out either as Universal Studios Orlando, Florida has included Knockturn Alley, which will be about 1/3 of the new expansion, and includes Borgin and Burkes.

The main attraction in this massive expansion will still be Gringotts Roller Coaster but there will also be the Hogwarts Express train that will connect Diagon Alley with Hosmeade, the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

There will be many other shops and areas in the park but the aforementioned will be the big draws. According to ThemeParkInsider.com the new amazing Harry Potter World will most likely open in July 2014. That means back-to-back Summers of huge ride and world openings at Universal Studios, the first being Transformers this July.

Skycoaster Becomes The 10th Tallest Structure In Orlando

Last week brought another change to the I-4 skyline as a 250 ft high rollercoaster was completed at Fun Spot America. The Skycoaster arrived in Orlando from Las Vegas where it used to be located at the MGM Grand Hotel. The new Skycoaster will be different than the 300ft Kissimme Skycoaster and not just in height. It will be constructed using a metal frame and not just beams.

You might be saying, “This thing sounds pretty cool, but what the heck is a skycoaster?” A skycoaster is an amusement park ride where riders in groups of 1-3 are put together in a harness and then pulled up to the top of a launch tower. They are then released and fly, like a pendulum, back and forth under a giant arch.

There are a lot of impressive facts about the height of the Skycoaster. It is the 2nd tallest Skycoaster in the world and the first one at Fun Spot USA, Kissimmee, FL. Once it was completed it became the 10th highest structure in Orlando and the 2nd tallest on I-Drive. It is so tall that it will require FAA aircraft lighting! It will be visible for miles.

Skycoaster is only the start of a $20 million expansion to Fun Spot America, which will also include two roller coasters, rip curl, tilt-a-whirl and a crazy new wood and steel combination rollercoaster called White Lightning. There are also plans for a water park and other thrill rides in the near future.

These new additions add to the incredible expansions going on or planned in the Tourist District and Orlando attractions, including Universal Studios, Disney, and Sea World.  It is an exciting time to plan your group or class trip to Orlando.