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http://blog.universalorlando.com/whats-new/entertainment-interactive-experiences-wizarding-world-harry-potter-diagon-alley-revealed/

 

Hi. I’m Jimmy, and I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan. So much so, that I even dressed up as a “wizard” and hurried to the bookstore for the release of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban back in ’99. Although my junior high dating life may have suffered as a result, my fascination with the stories only grew throughout the years. That’s why I’m PSYCHED to be able to reveal the amazing entertainment and interactive experiences you’ll find when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley opens this summer at Universal Studios Florida.

 

Imagine catching a live performance by a popular singing sorceress; seeing The Tales of Beedle the Bard come to life with a goose bump-inducing show performed by a troupe of four from the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts; seeing the banter between the Knight Bus Conductor and a shrunken head; and exchanging your Muggle currency for Wizarding Bank Notes while meeting a Gringotts goblin. If all of that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will!

 

It begins when you step through the archway in the brick wall into Diagon Alley, take a right at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and enter the bustling shopping area called Carkitt Market. That’s where you’ll find two live shows performed daily that will captivate fans of all ages.

 

The first show will bring to life two fables from The Tales of Beedle the Bard – “The Fountain of Fair Fortune” and “The Tale of the Three Brothers” (which was featured in the seventh film, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1”). Performed by a troupe of four from the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts, this trunk show uses scenic pieces, props and puppetry fabricated by Emmy-award-winning designer Michael Curry.

 

The second show features a musical performance by the ever-popular singing sensation of the wizarding world and one of Molly Weasley’s personal favorites, The Singing Sorceress: Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. With a whole lot of soul, this swinging show will feature never-before heard songs including “A Cauldron Full Of Hot, Strong Love,” “You Stole My Cauldron But You Can’t Have My Heart” and “You Charmed The Heart Right Out Of Me” – all titles created by J.K. Rowling. The lyrics also contain never-before-revealed information about Celestina’s wand – written by J.K. Rowling for Pottermore.

 

And that’s not all! You can also check out a variety of cool, interactive experiences during your visit to London and Diagon Alley.

 

In London, you’ll happen upon the Knight Bus and its two permanent occupants: a shrunken head and the Knight Bus Conductor, who will be more than happy to chat, joke around and take photos with you before you begin your journey into Diagon Alley.

 

Before you do your shopping for all the wizarding essentials in Diagon Alley, make sure to stop by Gringotts Money Exchange. Here you’ll be able to exchange your Muggle currency for Wizarding Bank Notes, which can be used within both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade (as well as the rest of our two theme parks) to purchase snacks and items from the shops. And there will be a Gringotts goblin who will be overseeing your transaction…

 

And, of course, Diagon Alley wouldn’t be complete without Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC, where you can step inside the small, dusty shop to experience firsthand the magical moment when a wand chooses a wizard, reminiscent of one of the most iconic scenes from the Harry Potter books and films. You can also experience this awe-inspiring moment at Ollivanders in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure.

 

So grab your robe (or in my case, your mom’s college graduation gown) and prepare to geek out. But first, tell us which entertainment you’re looking forward to the most by commenting below or using #DiagonAlley. See you this summer!

 

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And here is the official press release about some new experiences coming to Diagon Alley:

 

UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT REVEALS EXCITING ENTERTAINMENT AND INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES FEATURED AT THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER – DIAGON ALLEY

 

Guests Will Enjoy New Entertainment and Shows in Diagon Alley, Featuring Puppetry from Emmy Award-Winning Designer Michael Curry, and Other Interactive Experiences

 

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 4, 2014) – Imagine wandering up the cobbled street of Diagon Alley, turning into nearby Carkitt Market, and enjoying a live performance by one of the wizarding world’s most popular singing sensations or seeing stories from The Tales of Beedle the Bard come to life right before your eyes.

 

Today, Universal Orlando Resort revealed the exciting details behind the unique entertainment and interactive experiences that will debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, the all-new, magnificently themed land opening this summer at Universal Studios Florida.

 

While exploring the streets of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, guests will be able to enjoy the following shows:

 

· The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a new stage show taking place within Carkitt Market, a covered, outdoor shopping area inspired by London’s famous markets. The show will feature a troupe of four from the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts who have set up to perform a trunk show using stylized scenic pieces, props and puppetry fabricated by Emmy-award-winning designer Michael Curry. Curry is best known as the production designer on projects including the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony and the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show.

 

The performers will retell two of the famed tales of Beedle the Bard, a 15th-century author of wizarding fairytales. The show will feature “The Fountain of Fair Fortune”, in which three witches and a knight meet in their attempt to reach the Fountain in an enchanted garden, and “The Tale of the Three Brothers” – featured in the seventh film “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” – in which three wizard brothers come face to face with Death.

 

· The Singing Sorceress: Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees, a musical performance featuring the ever-popular singing sensation of the wizarding world, known from the books as Molly Weasley’s favorite singer, who she listens to on the Wizarding Wireless Network. The swinging show will feature never-before heard songs including, “A Cauldron Full Of Hot, Strong Love,” “You Stole My Cauldron But You Can’t Have My Heart” and “You Charmed The Heart Right Out Of Me”. These titles were all created by J.K. Rowling and the lyrics also include never-before-revealed information on Celestina’s wand from Pottermore.

 

There will also be various interactive opportunities for guests to enjoy while visiting London and Diagon Alley:

 

· The Knight Bus, which provides emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard in the Harry Potter books and films, is located in the London area of the new land. Guests will be able to meet and chat with the Knight Bus Conductor, and witness his rapport with the shrunken head hanging from the rear-view mirror. The iconic three-story, purple Knight Bus was inspired by its first appearance in the third film, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”

 

· Gringotts Money Exchange, a place where guests will be able to interact with a Gringotts bank goblin and exchange their Muggle currency for Wizarding Bank Notes. These bank notes can be used within both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade (and throughout the rest of Universal’s two theme parks) to purchase snacks and items from the shops.

 

· Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC, one of the wizarding world’s premier wand shops. Visitors to Ollivanders will step into the small, dusty shop and experience “a wand choosing a wizard” firsthand, reminiscent of one of the most iconic scenes from the Harry Potter books and films. This interactive experience is also available at Ollivanders in Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

 

"Bringing The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley to life has allowed our team to create show content and experiences that will take guests further into the fiction than ever before,” says Michael Aiello, Creative Development Director for Universal Orlando’s Entertainment team. “Nowhere else in the world will guests be able to enjoy these unique experiences – from watching a stage show based on the popular wizarding stories from “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” to enjoying the music of Celestina Warbeck, a character from the fiction.”

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Hi. I’m Jimmy, and I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan. So much so, that I even dressed up as a “wizard” and hurried to the bookstore for the release of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban back in ’99. Although my junior high dating life may have suffered as a result, my fascination with the stories only grew throughout the years. That’s why I’m PSYCHED to be able to reveal the amazing entertainment and interactive experiences you’ll find when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley opens this summer at Universal Studios Florida.

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The second wand shop and show should at least shorten the line for the original wand shop and show. Or something.

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Anyone know if there's anything more to the rumor that Universal is only planning to allow guests to ride one time, one way on HE in a single day? Apologies if this was discussed several pages back.

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Anyone know if there's anything more to the rumor that Universal is only planning to allow guests to ride one time, one way on HE in a single day? Apologies if this was discussed several pages back.

I haven't heard this, but I doubt my random speculation will hurt anyone. I think it sounds fair, as long as they're very clear about it to minimize potential complaints, and are careful that all employees handling it treat everyone politely and the setup isn't confusing or inconvenient. But experimenting with this doesn't seem like a bad idea to me.

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Anyone know if there's anything more to the rumor that Universal is only planning to allow guests to ride one time, one way on HE in a single day? Apologies if this was discussed several pages back.

I haven't heard this, but I doubt my random speculation will hurt anyone. I think it sounds fair, as long as they're very clear about it to minimize potential complaints, and are careful that all employees handling it treat everyone politely and the setup isn't confusing or inconvenient. But experimenting with this doesn't seem like a bad idea to me.

 

I read about it on another forum that I don't normally frequent (and don't recall offhand). Their biggest issue is that because the ride experiences are supposed to be different for each direction, people would necessarily have to buy a 2-day park hopper pass to be able to experience the entire attraction.

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^Ahh, right. If it seems like it's "forcing" people to do that, that could definitely look bad. I was thinking more of the crowd control/capacity angle of it.

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^I did hear rumours of fastpass-style machines to hand out return times when Diagon Alley hits capacity. Perhaps something similar will be in place for the train ride.

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The fast pass/reservation machines are already up for Diagon Alley. Universal learned from Potter 1.0, with Diagon Alley being fairly tiny and park being PACKED, it would be criminally cruel for people to line up 3 plus hours during the Florida summer months.

 

From what I've heard, Gringotts and Hogwarts Express will not have Express or any Fast Pass (along with Forbidden Journey). HE forcing people to buy 2-park tickets won't be a deterrent, I heard from Touring Plans that most of the hotel rooms at Universal were booked this summer which they said should indicate huge crowds.

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Space and crowding was always my biggest complaint about Wizarding World at IOA--sure, it looks great, but it's hell to navigate.

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Space and crowding was always my biggest complaint about Wizarding World at IOA--sure, it looks great, but it's hell to navigate.

 

 

QFT! If it wern't for the early entry, I would have avoided that area entirely after I got my forbidden Journey credit. We got the 3 day on property deal, went and spent the first 1-2 hours in Potterland, then avoided that area of the park like the plaque the rest of all three days.

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The "one-way once a day" will be a blessing and a curse. It should reduce the line which will be nice, but our family of 5 was going to just have 2 people get park-to-park tickets so that my 15 year old Harry Potter fan and one adult could ride the train from one park and back while the rest of the family did other rides. If the "one-way once a day" thing is real, then all 5 of us need park-to-park tickets and for 2 days and at that point (since we are going for 3 days) we will end up with 5 people with 3-day park-to-park tickets. That is an extra $110 for the other three to have park-to-park for something that they don't care to do.

 

That's the curse part.

 

Bummer.

 

I guess that the 2 of us could exit the park and walk around to the other... For $110 it might be worth it.

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The Universal Orlando Resort has sent us a press release regarding the return of AMC's The Walking a Dead to Halloween Horror Nights 24 for its third year in a row!

 

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After rave reviews from fans, Universal Orlando Resort is bringing back AMC’s “The Walking Dead” to Halloween Horror Nights for an unprecedented third consecutive year. Horror-hungry fans will experience an all-new terrifying maze inspired by Season 4 of the critically-acclaimed, Emmy Award®-winning television series.

 

This year’s bone-chilling maze will place guests at the heart of a harrowing journey to seek sanctuary at Terminus, an elusive destination that promises community for all. Mirroring the terror that befell the residents of the West Georgia Correctional Facility, now overrun by savage walkers, the experience will send guests fleeing from the fallen prison into unknown territory as they once again stage a desperate battle for survival against flesh-eating walkers and ruthless humans.

 

“The Walking Dead” is based on the graphic novel written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics. The series tells the story of the months and years after a zombie apocalypse. It follows a group of survivors, led by sheriff Rick Grimes, who travel in search of a safe and secure home. “The Walking Dead” is the number-one show on television for adults 18-49. AMC’s “The Walking Dead” returns for Season 5 this October.

 

“This has been an incredible collaboration and I am thrilled to be working once again with the creative teams at Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood to bring the world of ‘The Walking Dead’ to our dedicated fans,” said Greg Nicotero, Executive Producer and Special Effect Makeup Supervisor for the series. “I can’t wait for visitors to experience first-hand some of the iconic moments from Season 4 in what will be the biggest, most exciting and frightening ‘Walking Dead’ maze to date.”

 

Universal Orlando's maze will be the largest maze ever created at Halloween Horror Nights. It is literally double the experience and will feature more scareactors in one single haunted house than ever before. Guests will encounter iconic scenes from Season 4 of the hit show – beginning at the prison, fans will enter the cell block where the infection began, escape into the massive Big Spot location with a crashed helicopter ripping through its ceiling and journey to the dilapidated country club overrun with walkers. These and other incredibly immersive environments culminate to the maze’s finale taking you to the End of the Line – Terminus. This year’s maze will be an entirely new experience, featuring never-before–seen walkers and brand new scares.

 

“Bringing a horror property back for a third year in a row is always a decision that is carefully considered. Fortunately, The Walking Dead is unlike any horror brand around. Its appeal spreads across so many types of viewers. Hardcore and casual horror fans alike are watching week after week, and season 4 offered many new and unique environments and walkers,” said Michael Aiello, Creative Development Director for Universal Orlando’s Entertainment team. “This year, we are taking this partnership to the next level, with a monstrous soundstage maze and a scope that is bigger and badder than anything we’ve ever done in the history of our event."

 

Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” events have a more than 20-year history of creating incredibly entertaining, horrifying Halloween experiences that are consistently rated the nation’s best. The event features highly-themed, disturbingly real, haunted mazes based on everything from films to nightmares – and streets filled with hundreds of specially trained “scareactors.”

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http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/rides.html

 

The Rides

 

The evil genius of hosting the nation’s premier Halloween event inside Universal Studios Florida® is that if you survive the monsters and mayhem, you’ll make it to the rides! Climb aboard. Buckle up. Hang on tight and get ready, because we hand picked these thrilling beasts to top off your terror with some of our favorite screams.

 

TRANSFORMERS: THE RIDE-3D

Prepare for the greatest battle you’ll ever ride! The new TRANSFORMERS: The Ride–3D is an ultra-immersive, next generation thrill ride that blurs the line between fiction and reality!.

 

HOLLYWOOD RIP RIDE ROCKIT®

Adrenaline pumping and music thumping, you’ll start climbing straight up. A moment later, you'll be screaming at 65 mph, 17 stories over Universal Studios®.

 

REVENGE OF THE MUMMY®

You'll plunge in total darkness, plagued by fireballs, swarms of beetles and an army of mummies on this roller coaster unlike anything that's come before it.

 

MEN IN BLACK™ ALIEN ATTACK™

Board your training vehicle and take aim at "the scum of the universe" who have escaped from their intergalactic prison transport.

 

DESPICABLE ME MINION MAYHEM

Join Gru, his daughters, and the mischievous Minions on a heartwarming and hilarious 3-D ride where you’re recruited as a Minion for Gru’s latest scheme.

 

THE SIMPSONS RIDE™

Ride along with The Simpsons™ as they visit Krustyland, the theme park created by famed TV personality Krusty the Clown. Is somebody out to sabotage the park? You'll find out as you join Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie and enter through the carnival-like midway.

 

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ — Diagon Alley™ will not be open during this event.

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^Hmm--let's see: The Harry Potter series involves wizards, giant spiders and other monsters, ghosts, guys called "Deatheaters," and an all-powerful villain who looks a lot like the Bat Boy.

 

 

Yes, it should be clear to anyone that this has nothing to do with Halloween.

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^Hmm--let's see: The Harry Potter series involves wizards, giant spiders and other monsters, ghosts, guys called "Deatheaters," and an all-powerful villain who looks a lot like the Bat Boy.

 

 

Yes, it should be clear to anyone that this has nothing to do with Halloween.

 

Its JK Rowling's doing. The first time Universal courted her, they took her to an HHN event...only to be greeted by someone puking right before them. JK Rowling isnt a fan of the event or its party-like atmosphere, and Im sure she will never sign off on having her baby used for HHN.

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^Hmm--let's see: The Harry Potter series involves wizards, giant spiders and other monsters, ghosts, guys called "Deatheaters," and an all-powerful villain who looks a lot like the Bat Boy.

 

 

Yes, it should be clear to anyone that this has nothing to do with Halloween.

 

Its JK Rowling's doing. The first time Universal courted her, they took her to an HHN event...only to be greeted by someone puking right before them. JK Rowling isnt a fan of the event or its party-like atmosphere, and Im sure she will never sign off on having her baby used for HHN.

 

So I understand. But this is going to close off a sizable portion of the park for Horror Night. I wonder how Universal will cope with the crowds. I find it ironic that JK Rowling's dislike of the "party-like atmosphere" at HHN could actually make the situation worse.

Edited by cfc
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I figured they would just close off the area to the event or people could only get in via the Hogwarts Express. Seems a bit odd they'd close off their newest area and moneymaker every weekend after 5 for almost 2 months.

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