New to Harry Potter theme park: Hogwarts Express train and Diagon Alley

Saturday, January 25th, 2014. Filed under: Books Destinations Entertainment Food & Dining
An artist rendering of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter -- Diagon Alley to open at Universal Orlando Resort this summer. ©Universal Orlando Resort

An artist rendering of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Diagon Alley to open at Universal Orlando Resort this summer.
©Universal Orlando Resort

(Relaxnews) – Visitors to Universal Orlando this summer will be able to retrace the steps of Harry Potter as he crosses over from the Muggle world to the wizarding world, at a new theme park that will include a Hogwarts Express train, Diagon Alley and a recreation of London landmarks — to real-life scale.

The specs are impressive and audacious: shuttling guests between the new Diagon Alley at Universal Studios and the existing Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure will be the newly built Hogwarts Express train.

After boarding the train at King’s Cross station, located within Universal Studios, guests settle in for a ride that crosses the ‘city of London’ and features replicas of Wyndham Theater and Leicester Square — built to scale — and a picturesque British countryside.

Their final stop takes them to Universal’s Islands of Adventure, where they get off at Hogsmeade Station and theWizarding World of Harry Potter which has been operating since 2010.

Designed to recreate the bustling wizarding world among Muggles, Diagon Alley features the Weasley brothers’ Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes; Scribbulus, the school supply store for feature quills and parchment paper; and Ollivanders, “Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC.”

The new theme park will also bring to life Knockturn Alley, where visitors can dabble in the Dark Arts at Borgin and Burkes, a shop specializing in maleficent objects like Death Eater masks and skulls.

One of the park’s star attractions, meanwhile, is the “multi-dimensional” thrill ride ‘Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts,’ where riders will pass through marbled halls and passageways before traveling deep into the heart of the Gringotts vaults.

A recreation of Diagon Alley would likewise be incomplete without the Leaky Cauldron, which will serve traditional British fare such as fish and chips and bangers and mash.

For dessert, visitors can also try strawberry and peanut butter ice cream at Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley opens this summer.

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