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Revealed: New secrets of Harry Potter attraction

Harry Potter

Harry Potter star James Phelps says families will be “blown away” by the new Harry Potter attraction Diagon Alley. And today YourHols can bring you the latest news on the Orlando experience opening this summer and show you what it will look like.

James, who played Fred Weasley, said: “I am so excited, it will be fantastic. Universal set the bar high when they created Hogsmeade and now it is even higher.” Highlights, revealed today,  will include:

  • Hogwarts Express – a real-life steam train taking people on a six-minute journey from Muggle world to the Wizarding world
  • Platform 9¾ – passengers will actually pass through a brick wall at King’s Cross Station just like Harry
  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts – a state-of-the-art thrill ride through the Gringotts vaults
  • Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes – a shop packed with magic tricks and toys
  • Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions – wizardwear from Hogwarts school uniform ties, scarves and jumpers, to authentic wizard’s robes and character costumes
  • Magical Menageries – a collection of plush animals such as owls and Hippogriffs
  • Leaky Cauldron – serving British fare including bangers and mash and fish and chips
  • Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour – full of frozen treats including strawberry and peanut butter ice-cream

Harry Potter

James, with YourHols Trisha above,  and on his broomstick below, joined Universal Orlando chiefs in London this week to reveal details about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, which opens this summer.

The Howarts Express will transport visitors between Diagon Alley in Universal Studios and Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure. There will actually be two trains, one doing the return journey. Riders will see Hagrid come alongside the train n his flying motorbike, Buckbeak the Hippogriff swoop over the black lake, the Weasley twins on brooms and the Knight Bus swerving through London traffic.

Harry Potter

Mark Woodbury, President of Universal Creative, said: “The experience of travelling between Diagon Alley – where people walk through the streets of London – and Hogsmeade will take about an hour.

“Once they have boarded the iconic train, thanks to state of the art technology they will be treated to views of London and the British countryside. They will see what they have experiences from seeing the films and reading the books.”

Harry Potter

As for the new ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, above, could it be even better than Hogsmeade’s Harry and the Forbidden Journey?

Mark said: “We have brought together everything we could possibly create to provide the most compelling ride and it takes the bar to a whole new level. When you start from the basis that Harry and the Forbidden Journey is considered the greatest attraction in the world and you know your job is to do better than you did last time, it’s a pretty daunting task.

“But we are pretty confident that Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts will be fantastic and a ride that is unparalleled.“

Since Harry’s arrival at the park in 2010, the Wizarding World has become a global phenomenon and the new area looks unlikely to disappoint.

James added: “People will be blown away just as they are by Hogsmeade. The Hogwarts Express (being craned in below) is identical to the ones used in the films. It is so important to the stories, where Harry met Ron and Hermione and it is where I filmed my first ever scenes.

“I can’t wait to get out to Orlando to experience it this summer.”

See www.universalorlando.co.uk/harrypotter

The Hogwarts Express

Harry Potter

Harry Potter

Diagon Alley