Potterheads, hold on to your wands and ready your broomsticks as plans are announced that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Hogsmeade (WWHP) is expanding, not only in its original headquarters of Universal Orlando Resort, but at Universal’s theme parks in Hollywood and Japan.
Part of the target expansion plan by 2014 is Diagon Alley, named after the magical shopping district in London originally mentioned in the first installment of J.K. Rowling’s books, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”
Diagon Alley will be joining the WWHP, which forms part of Universal Parks and Resorts’ Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Florida that opened in 2010. Potterheads were quick to respond with enthusiasm for WWHP, resulting in double-digit attendance increases.
“We quickly realized we had so many more stories to tell, so many more experiences to create for our guests,” says Universal Orlando Resort VP for corporate communications.
“An expansion seemed so natural for us.”
Diagon Alley will feature themed shops, a restaurant, and a ride set inside Gringott’s Wizarding Bank.
WWHP’s flagship attraction is the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, with several other attractions including the Dragon Challenge, a pair of inverted roller coasters, and the Flight of the Hippogriff, a family roller coaster.