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article imageUniversal to expand Harry Potter World with new ride and shops

By Natty Walker     Feb 26, 2014 in Travel
Orlando - The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando will soon add new shops, dining establishments, and a new thrill ride to Diagon Alley. Potter fans will recognize these iconic features from the books and movies.
Noteworthy locations from the books that are being brought to life at the theme park include fan-favorites, such as The Leaky Cauldron and Gringotts Bank. New shops will sell brooms, costumes, quills, and other essential wizarding supplies. In this area of Universal Studios, Orlando will feel more like London, with cobblestone walkways and traditional storefronts. Universal Studios describes on Twitter, "The journey will be filled with views of London and the British countryside – as well as a few surprises."
Thrill seekers will be able to experience one of the most exciting scenes from the Harry Potter movies at the new ride Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. This much anticipated roller coaster will take visitors through the goblins' bank at high speeds with twists and turns. Universal Orlando describes the ride as, "(...) a multi-sensory, multi-dimensional journey that will take theme park attractions to a new level. The thrill ride will place riders in the middle of an incredible adventure as they navigate their way through the perils of the Gringotts vaults."
The official Universal Orlando Resort Twitter account reveals details about the new entrance to Diagon Alley, which includes the iconic brick archway. Potter enthusiasts will be able to board the Hogwarts Express and travel between Hogsmeade and London. Potter fans will also "(...) witness the magical experience of a wand choosing a wizard at Ollivanders (...)" Other new attractions include Flight of the Hippogriff, The Three Broomsticks, and a walk-through tour of Hogwarts Castle.
Ticket prices are steep for this attraction, though. No magic wand can wave away the individual admission price of $136 USD. Construction is still ongoing, but Universal has provided anxious muggles with sneak peeks and glimpses of the updated Wizarding World. President of Universal Creative, Mark Woodbury, stated, "The attention to detail and authenticity was really important to the Harry Potter fans but also a marvel to the novice fan." He continued, "They both really are captivated by the level of immersions and storytelling."
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