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Category Archives: Universal Orlando Resort

Halloween Horror Nights Original Houses Revealed

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights are considered one of the best scare experiences in the United States and Universal’s creative team has come up with some incredibly horrifying concepts for this year’s event!

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In a recent interview, Assistant Show Director Charles Gray divulged some details on how the houses are created and even gave us a sneak peek at some of the original houses being created for this year’s event.

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The Dollhouse of the Damned

The word to keep in mind here is ‘juxtaposition.’ When you walk into the house, you find yourself in this old-time morgue. But this little girl has set up shop and now it’s her playhouse. She’s torturing people in there. So you’re taking the sweetness of the dollhouse and childhood and combining it with something completely sinister. That theme remains throughout the maze. Another phrase we use is ‘forced integration.’ You’ll see characters with porcelain doll masks that have been smashed into their faces, and now they’re permanent. They’re victims of this twisted amalgamation. It’s really creepy.

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Giggles and Gore, Inc.

So, we asked ourselves, where do evil clowns come from? And we discovered evil clowns are not born, they’re made. It’s an actual process. We all know that there are countless unsolved disappearances across the country. Where do these people end up? In the clown factory, being stretched, smashed and eviscerated.

Faces are peeled off and voice boxes are torn out. Victims are dropped into a wood chipper, and the gunk that comes out is shoved into other people to create these massive, nasty stuffed clowns.

Toward the end, you encounter the most evil of all evil clowns: The Discarded. These are the surviving clowns that have been cast down for being too dangerous to exist, even with other evil clowns.

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Roanoke – Cannibal Colony

The year was 1587. It was one of the first settlements of the colonial era. The people living here were expecting supplies from Europe, but there was a war going on so they couldn’t make the voyage. Three years later, when the supply ship finally arrived, everyone was gone…except the deranged cannibals who’d managed to survive by eating their fellow settlers.

As a guest, you’re fighting you’re way through this chaotic gauntlet of flesh-hungry man-eaters. What’s cool about the set is that Karen, our décor guru, has traveled up to Virginia to some of these historic settlements and brought back photos for us to use as visual reference. So, the scenery you’re observing throughout the maze is all pulled straight from theses real-life settlements.

If you are looking for a terrifying time and your heart can take it, Halloween Horror Nights may be right up your alley running on select nights in September, October and November. But be warned, you never know what evil is lurking behind the next corner and remember to savor each moment, because it just might be you last.


Halloween Horror Nights Adds Vampires and Aliens

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 24 will be adding 2 additional houses this year based off of Alien vs. Predator and Dracula Untold, a new feature film soon to be released.

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“Dracula Untold: Reign of Blood” (opening in theaters on September 17th) will introduce guests to the sadistic Transylvanian ruler Vlad Tepes, known as “Vlad the Impaler,” who infamously tortured his enemies by impaling them alive with a wooden stake and suspending their bodies. The foreboding maze will also shed an ominous light on the one-time hero, turned blood-thirsty-tyrant, who chose to embrace unholy powers in order to defeat his enemies. “Dracula Untold: Reign of Blood” will spiral guests through Dracula’s eternal damnation, where the thirst for blood is never-ending.

“‘Everyone thinks they know the story of ‘Dracula’,” said John Murdy, Executive Producer of “Halloween Horror Nights.” “But there is much more to the tale than just a dark figure lurking in the shadows, drinking blood. While Dracula Untold will reveal the origin story of the man who became Dracula, our ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ maze will invite guests to experience the atrocities Dracula imposed on his victims in the most frightening and immersive way possible.”

“As a huge fan of the Universal Classic Monsters, my interest is certainly piqued any time a film explores other facets of the classic characters,” said Michael Aiello, Director of Entertainment – Creative Development, Universal Orlando Resort. “Dracula Untold offers a unique perspective on the origin of the world’s most famous vampire. Our maze will place guests within many of the pulse-pounding moments from the upcoming film, offering guests an unprecedented living preview of the horrors that await.”

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The terrifying new “AVP: Alien vs Predator” maze at Universal Studios Hollywood will answer the proverbial question asked by mankind since the beginning of time: Are we alone in this dark, vast universe? “AVP: Alien vs. Predator” will once and for all shed light on the answer when it brings to life the violent creatures cohabitating our world as it pits two rival alien species in a fight to the death with Earth as their battleground. This menacing maze will uncover a dangerous alien spaceship carrying a race of hunter aliens known as Predators and a threatening new alien life form that uses human hosts to propagate its species. After crash landing in a remote section of America and escaping to the countryside, the alien and predator become hunter and prey with guests caught in the crossfire.”

“When attempting to bring two of the most iconic creatures ever put on film to ‘Halloween Horror Nights,’ you need to rely on everything you’ve learned up to this point” said Michael Aiello, Director of Entertainment – Creative Development, Universal Orlando Resort. “We’re employing our full arsenal of tricks and techniques in translating the AVP: Alien vs. Predator brand into an authentic and horrific maze experience. Puppetry, elaborate costumes and unique environments have all been created in close collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox. Our guests are going to be thrown head first into this epic battle where only the strong will survive. This is truly going to be an out-of-this-world maze experience that the fans have been waiting for.”

“‘AVP: Alien vs. Predator’ is by far the most technically complicated and ambitious maze we’ve ever created for ‘Halloween Horror Nights,’” said John Murdy, Creative Director for Universal Studios Hollywood and Executive Producer of “Halloween Horror Nights.” “It’s a monumental undertaking to recreate these massive, iconic characters for a live event. Fortunately, we have the expert assistance of Academy Award®-winning make-up artists, Tom Woodruff and Alec Gillis from Amalgamated Dynamic Inc. (ADI), the special effects geniuses behind the original creatures for the AVP film franchise. Tom and Alec and the ADI team are excited about our maze and have graciously allowed us to cast from their original molds so that our maze will be absolutely authentic to the movies.”

Either way guests choose, Dracula or Alien vs. Predator, it is sure to be a terrifying experience for Halloween Horror Nights!


Hogwart’s Express Celebrates One Millionth Rider

Having only been opened a few short weeks, Universal Orlando Resort and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter celebrates the Hogwart’s Express’ one millionth rider!

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As with everything in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it was always about bringing the books and films to life, and Universal Orlando Resort worked tirelessly for several years to make the Hogwarts Express an immersive and authentic experience.

In the books and films, the journey on the Hogwarts Express is an important rite of passage for young wizards and witches. So for us, giving guests that same experience was really critical. From the train itself, handcrafted in Europe, to the immersive window scenes featuring the films’ iconic stars and locations, every detail of the Hogwarts Express was faithfully recreated to deliver a wondrous and memorable experience.

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Now, one million riders happily confirm they got the experience right –– which is wonderful, because all we design, develop and create is for our audience to experience and enjoy. So, a sincere thanks to all our fans and guests for riding the Hogwarts Express and joyfully embracing the world of Harry Potter brought to life here at Universal Orlando Resort.


Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights Adds Major Frights

The most twisted and gruesome character creations featured on Syfy’s hit competition series “Face Off” will be live and “In the Flesh” at Universal Orlando Resort’s “Halloween Horror Nights” events, beginning Friday, September 19. Nightmarish creatures will surround guests as the macabre visions of some of the most talented up-and-coming make-up artists’ from the show are brought to life.

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Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights will feature an all new street experience with ten different character creations inspired by the acclaimed Syfy series, including a look designed by season 5 “Face Off” winner and Universal Orlando make-up artist, Laura Tyler. The hair-raising, horrifying characters will inhabit five unique and immersive environments within the scare zone, from eerie scarecrows that go to great lengths to protect a spine-chilling farmland to ghoulish brutes that haunt dilapidated castle ruins.

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Also, the second house for Halloween Horror Nights 24 has been revealed. From cult horror film to breakthrough television series on El Rey Network, Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series will be taking a bite out of Halloween Horror Nights 24 in an all-new haunted house.

You’ll step into the sinister nightclub located above ancient cursed ruins where serpent-like creatures called Culebras thirst for your blood. And if that’s not enough, you’ll have to try and escape from the grasps of the irresistible Queen Vampire herself, Santanico Pandemonium.

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 events on each coast feature highly-themed, disturbingly real, haunted mazes based on everything from films to nightmares – and streets filled with hundreds of specially trained “scareactors.” Other announced experiences include “From Dusk Till Dawn” and “The Walking Dead: The End of the Line” haunted mazes.


Hot Dog Hall Of Fame Now Open at Universal CityWalk

Hot Dog Hall of Fame officially opened today at Universal Orlando’s CityWalk, becoming the latest venue to debut as part of this year’s historic expansion to the entertainment complex.

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Hot Dog Hall of Fame, located across from Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food, features stadium-style seating and iconic hot dog creations from across the nation, including the loaded Chicago dog and Milwaukee brat.  Universal partnered with Steven Schussler, the global culinary concept creator behind the popular Rain Forest Cafe, to bring his Hot Dog Hall of Fame concept to CityWalk.

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Hot Dog Hall of Fame joins Red Oven Pizza Bakery, Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food, Cold Stone Creamery, Starbucks, Menchie’s and VIVO Italian Kitchen as the latest establishments to open as part of the expansion to Universal CityWalk. Breadbox and The CowFish will open later this year.


Top 5 MUST DO’s At Universal Orlando’s New Diagon Alley

Florida News - June 19, 2014

With the grand opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando Resort,  we thought that we would share our, not to be missed, Top 5 Must Dos At Diagon Alley:

5.  Have a Meal at The Leaky Cauldron

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Not only is the Leaky Cauldron an iconic location from the books/films, it’s a great place to share a meal with your muggle/wizard friends and family!  We strongly suggest the Guinness stew!

4.  Cast A Spell With Your Interactive Wand

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Located throughout Diagon Alley (and also now in Hogsmeade) you can cast your own spell at certain spots and the buildings and decorations will actually animate!  You can purchase your interactive wands at Ollivander’s Wand Shop which is a must do in itself!

3.  Spend Time in Weasleys Wizard Wheezes

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Fred and George Weasleys’ colourful shop offers a cornucopia of magical jokes, tricks and toys including Pygmy Puffs, U-No-Poo, Skiving Snackboxes, and more.  make sure you take time to look at all the details located within Weasleys’ – it’s remarkable!

2.  Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour 

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Are you a fan of Butterbeer?  if so, you will really enjoy the ice cream version.  You may also try any of the other incredible flavors of frozen perfection like clotted cream, earl grey and lavender, and even chocolate chili.  There are also more traditional flavors as well as some continental breakfast items.

1.  Harry Potter and  the Escape from Gringotts

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Once you enter Gringotts bank (under the massive fire-breathing dragon) you meet with several of the Gringotts tellers who usher into the most breath-taking 3D ride we have ever been on.  It was incredible in the movie and even better at Universal Orlando Resort!

Honorable Mention – Ride The Hogwarts Express

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If you have a Park-to-Park admission ticket, you can pass through Platform 9 ¾ and board the Hogwarts Express from King’s Cross Station in London, located inside Universal Studios Florida theme park, and travel to Hogsmeade Station, located inside Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park (right next door to Universal Studios). Or you can ride the train in the other direction! It’s truly an amazing experience.

Those are our Top 5, we would love to hear yours!


Relive Harry Potter Films at Universal Orlando’s CityWalk AMC Cineplex

You’ve probably heard that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley is opening on July 8. And having spent time in this amazing new land, we can tell you that it is simply breathtaking…the iconic locations seen in the films have been replicated and expanded beyond what I could ever imagine.

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So if just thinking about Harry Potter or looking at all the images from Diagon Alley has you itching to go back and watch all the films, AMC Universal Cineplex 20 with IMAX at Universal CityWalk is showing all eight of the films on select dates through mid-July.

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Be there when Harry is chosen by his wand at Ollivanders, inadvertently turns up in Knockturn Alley for the first time or faces dark forces during the epic Battle of Hogwarts—all on the big screen. It’s a great way to get ready for your own adventure and experience the films that inspired The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Harry Potter Show Times & Dates:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Tuesday 7/1 – 1pm & 7pm
Wednesday 7/9 – 1pm & 7pm
Thursday 7/17 – 1pm & 7pm

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Wednesday 7/2 – 1pm & 7pm
Thursday 7/10 – 1pm & 7pm
Friday 7/18 – 1pm & 7pm

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Thursday 7/3 –1pm & 7pm
Friday 7/11 –1pm & 7pm
Saturday 7/19 –1pm & 7pm

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Friday 7/4 – 1pm & 7pm
Saturday 7/12 – 1pm & 7pm
Sunday 7/20 – 1pm & 7pm

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Friday 6/27 – 7pm
Saturday 7/5 – 1pm & 7pm
Sunday 7/13 – 1pm & 7pm
Monday 7/21 – 1pm & 7pm

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Saturday 6/28 – 1pm & 7pm
Sunday 7/6 – 1pm & 7pm
Monday 7/14 – 1pm & 7pm
Tuesday 7/22 – 1pm & 7pm

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Sunday 6/29 – 1pm & 7pm
Monday 7/7 – 1pm & 7pm
Tuesday 7/15 – 1pm & 7pm
Wednesday 7/23 – 1pm & 7pm

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Monday 6/30 – 1pm & 7pm
Tuesday 7/8 – 1pm & 7pm
Wednesday 7/16 – 1pm & 7pm
Thursday 7/24 – 1pm & 7pm


Universal Orlando Keeps Pace with New CityWalk Openings

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CityWalk, the nightlife entertainment area at Universal Orlando Resort, is in the midst of a partial 2014 makeover that is helping the attraction keep pace with the rush of new Universal guests expected for this summer’s openings of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios theme park, and the nearby 1,800-room Loews Cabana Bay Beach Resort on the Universal Orlando campus.

Tom Schroeder, the vice president of corporate communications for Universal Orlando Resorts, introduced some of the restaurateurs involved in the entertainment area’s new look at a CityWalk event during the recent media preview of the upcoming opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.

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CityWalk is the entrance to our resort and this year alone we are adding eight new venues,” said Schroeder. Among the new additions is Antojitos, a newly-opened Mexican restaurant that replaced the previous Latin Quarter. The restaurant, with the friendliest staff we encountered during our days at Universal, turned into a winning margarita-and-taco bar Cinco de Mayo-style fiesta during a brief media visit that we were reluctant to end. Already established at CityWalk is Red Box Pizza, which is located close to the CityWalk movie complex. Another is the Hot Dog Hall of Fame, soon to open on a site that was formerly the Galaxy Bar.

A third new restaurant is Vivo, a lively and upscale Italian restaurant that has already taken over the location of the former Pastamore Restaurant. A popular yogurt bar called Menchies is the place to create your own yogurt dessert, an attraction that replaced a former TCBY yogurt store. Opening soon is a unique dining concept called Cowfish, a “sushi burger bar” that has established its name in North Carolina as the place where diners can order sushi or burgers or a popular combination of both from the “Burgushi” menu. Yet another new concept is the Bread Box, a new take on the old neighborhood sandwich deli that replaces the former Cigarz cigar bar.

Steve Schussler, the culinary creator of Hot Dog Hall of Fame, said his outdoor hot dog stand, featuring baseball stadium style seating, will offer nine different hot dogs, 12 types of mustard and five kinds of buns for “best hot dog experience you have ever had.” Preview guests munched on Coney Island dogs, Chicago dogs, Boston dogs and several others that will soon be seen all over the CityWalk plaza. No opening date, however, was announced for the Hot Dog Hall of Fame.

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Guests Want “Authenticity”

Ric Florell, the senior vice president and general manager of resort revenue operations at Universal Orlando Resort, explained the thinking behind the changes at CityWalk. “At CityWalk we needed more focus on what guests wanted,” he said. “The Latin Quarter, for example, was successful but guests were telling us that instead of a Pan-Latin American concept an authentic Mexican Restaurant would be the next step up. Authenticity is very important to our guests.”

Florell noted that Red Box Pizza has already gained popularity for the specially imported Italian tomatoes and flour that have become signature ingredients of the pies on the menu. As for Cowfish, Florell described Universal’s excitement at discovering the hottest new food concept in North Carolina, a restaurant that eliminates the conflict between family members who want a traditional burger menu and those who want more diet-friendly sushi fish items.

“We are taking advantage of new things opening in our parks,” said Florell, noting that he is also responsible for the new Leaky Cauldron Restaurant in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, with its contemporary take on traditional British pub items including Ploughman’s Lunch, Fisherman’s Pie, Bangers & Mash, Fish ‘n Chips, Sticky Toffee Pudding and English Trifles.

“I’m surprised I don’t weigh 800 pounds,” said Florell with a laugh. “We are dedicated to all-natural ingredients and new food concepts are showing up in my office every day.”

Universal management promised that many of those new and “authentic” food concepts will be appearing at Universal CityWalk as the Universal Orlando Resort continues to grow in the months and years ahead.


Universal Announces Grand Opening of Diagon Alley

diagon-announcment Start planning your summer now because soon you’ll be able to experience more of Harry Potter’s adventures than ever before! Find out what awaits inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando Resort, including your chance to ride the Hogwarts Express! Don’t miss the LIVE WEBINARS from Universal Orlando Resort where you can get sneak peeks of the new Diagon Alley!  Click To Find Out More


Universal Orlando To Host Live Webcasts From New Diagon Alley

This week, Universal Orlando Resort will host a series of live webcasts to give viewers a special glimpse at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter –Diagon Alley and will feature some of their favorite stars from the Harry Potter films.

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The webcasts will be held Wednesday, June 18 – Friday, June 20, and can be viewed at www.universalorlando.com/DAwebcasts.  See below for the full schedule:

Universal Orlando Resort revealed the exciting details behind the unique entertainment experiences that will debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.

Wednesday, June 18 at 8 p.m. ~  The Diagon Alley Red Carpet Event

  • Enjoy interviews with some of your favorite Harry Potter film stars as they arrive for the exclusive red carpet preview event for The WizardingWorld of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.

Today, Universal Orlando Resort revealed never-before-released details about the Hogwarts Express experience that will debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley – the all-new, magnificently themed land opening this summer.

Thursday, June 19 at 12 p.m. ~ All Aboard: A Journey on the Hogwarts Express with Oliver and James Phelps

  • Join James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley in the Harry Potter films) as they take you on a journey aboard the Hogwarts Express from Hogsmeade station to King’s Cross Station.

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Friday, June 20 at 12 p.m. ~ Behind the Bricks:  A Tour of Diagon Alley with Tom Felton and Matthew Lewis

  • Get a virtual tour of some of the most iconic places within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley with your hosts, Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films) and Alan Gilmore (Art Director for the Harry Potter films and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter).

New Entertainment and Interactive Experiences in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Universal Orlando Resort revealed some of the amazing entertainment and interactive experiences guests will find when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley opens this summer at Universal Studios Florida.

Universal Orlando Resort revealed the exciting details behind the unique entertainment experiences that will debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Ð Diagon Alley.

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). 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.

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Here is the “Tale of Three Brothers”

 

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.

Universal Orlando Resort revealed the exciting details behind the unique entertainment experiences that will debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – 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.

Universal Orlando Resort revealed the exciting details behind the unique entertainment experiences that will debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – 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…

Universal Orlando Resort revealed the exciting details behind the unique entertainment experiences that will debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.

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.


Universal Releases Food and Beverage Selections for Diagon Alley

Universal Orlando Resort revealed details about the variety of new food and beverage options which will be available in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, opening this summer at the Universal Studios theme park.  From traditional British favorites like Bangers and Mash to ice-cream with unique flavors such as Chocolate Chili and Sticky Toffee Pudding, guests will savor all-new dining experiences created exclusively for the new land.

Diagon Alley Food and Beverage

Universal Orlando’s culinary team has gone to great lengths to ensure the food experience in Diagon Alley is as authentic as possible.  After years of studying the books and films; gathering inspiration from British pubs; developing authentic recipes with imported ingredients from England; and holding countless tastings, Universal’s culinary team, in collaboration with Warner Bros., has created an incredible variety of new foods and beverages the whole family can enjoy, in environments inspired by popular locations from the Harry Potter series.

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Guests can stop inside the Leaky Cauldron, the popular wizarding pub and inn where they will be greeted by the savory smells of traditional British dishes such as Bangers and Mash (traditional roasted  sausages with creamy mashed potatoes), Fisherman’s Pie (salmon, shrimp and cod baked together under a potato crust), Toad in the Hole (traditional sausage baked into a Yorkshire pudding and served with onion gravy), Fish and Chips, and the Ploughman’s – a feast of English cheese, crusty bread, cornichon pickles, apple beet salad, Branston pickle and a Scotch egg). Guests can also sip on new draught beers created exclusively for the land – Wizard’s Brew and Dragon Scale – and enjoy popular drinks, like Pumpkin Juice and Butterbeer, as well as new beverages like Fishy Green Ale and Tongue Tying Lemon Squash.

Project 722Further down Diagon Alley is Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour, the same ice-cream shop where Hagrid bought Harry a chocolate and raspberry ice-cream with chopped nuts in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” Stepping inside the whimsical and colorful shop, guests can indulge in more than 20 tantalizing and unique ice-cream flavors including Earl Grey and Lavender, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Chocolate Chili, Clotted Cream, Salted Caramel Blondie, Apple Crumble, Strawberry and Peanut-Butter, Orange Marmalade and even a soft-serve ice-cream flavor of Butterbeer. Also available will be a variety of fresh pastries, scones, tarts and sweet cakes.

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In Horizont Alley – a street branching off Diagon Alley – guests can enjoy delicious elixirs from Eternelle’s Elixir of Refreshment. The available elixir selection at this cart includes Draught of Peace, Babbling Beverage, Elixir to Induce Euphoria and Fire Protection Potion. By adding these magical elixirs to Gillywater, guests will see their drink transform before their eyes and experience delightful flavor surprises.


Universal Orlando Resort Reveals Details About Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts

Universal Orlando Resort revealed details about Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts – the revolutionary attraction found in the heart of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. The Grand Opening date for the spectacularly themed environment will be announced at a later date.

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Imagine being part of the iconic moment from the Harry Potter film series where Harry, Ron and Hermione break into one of the most guarded places in the wizarding world Gringotts bank – to retrieve a magical object that will help defeat Lord Voldemort. You’ve seen the action on-screen, and now you get to be part of it.

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Universal’s creative team worked hand-in-hand with Stuart Craig and his production team from the Harry Potter films to immerse guests in this pivotal scene from the final Harry Potter book and film.

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During an action-packed, fully-immersive journey on Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, you will:

  • Marvel at the 60-foot, fire-breathing Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon atop Gringotts Wizarding Bank
  • Tour Gringotts bank and pass through the marble hall where you’ll see goblins hard at work
  • Race through a labyrinth of underground Gringotts vaults
  • Encounter the villainous Death Eater, Bellatrix Lestrange, as she attempts to send you to your doom
  • Come face to face with He Who Must Not Be Named
  • Experience even more mind-blowing moments

The multi-dimensional, multi-sensory attraction, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, will revolutionize theme park entertainment. This next generation thrill ride seamlessly integrates a compilation of the most innovative technology ever created, 360-degree themed sets, 4K digital high-definition animation, state-of-the-art 3-D Infitec projection systems and live special effects with beloved characters and breathtaking moments from the Harry Potter books and films.


“Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts will change the way you think about theme park attractions,” said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative. “We’ve created an entirely new type of ride that propels guests into the story like never before, and guests will remember it long after their visit to Diagon Alley.”

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley will bring even more of Harry Potter’s adventures to life. The new area will double the size of the sweeping land already found at Universal Orlando, expanding the spectacularly themed environment across both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Inside the land, guests will enjoy themed shops, dining experiences and the groundbreaking thrill ride – Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.


Universal Orlando Resort Announces Dates for Halloween Horror Nights

Mark your calendars… Halloween Horror Nights will return to Universal Orlando Resort for its twenty-fourth year on September 19, with more nights than ever before and terrifying experiences based on some of the biggest names in horror and pop culture.

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September 19 through November 1, guests will explore eight blood curdling haunted houses, navigate multiple spine-chilling street experiences with terrifying “scareactors,” enjoy two outrageous live shows and experience many of Universal Studios Florida’s most exciting rides and attractions.

Event nights are as follows:

  • September 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 and 28
  • October 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30 and 31
  • November 1

Universal Orlando Reveals Details About The New Hogwarts Express

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Universal Creating First-Ever Experience That
Will Allow Guests to Actually Ride the Iconic Train

One of the most memorable and exciting experiences from the Harry Potter series will come to life at Universal Orlando Resort this summer. Imagine:

  • Being transported from the Muggle world to the wizarding world as you pass through the brick wall at King’s Cross Station to arrive at Platform 9 ¾
  • Watching in amazement as the Hogwarts Express pulls into the station – its billowing steam and authentic whistle beckoning you to hop aboard
  • Sitting in one of the train’s cabins with your family and friends and actually riding the Hogwarts Express – just as your favorite characters did in the Harry Potter films
  • Looking outside your cabin window and enjoying a scenic, breathtaking journey through the British countryside as you encounter magical creatures, some of your favorite Harry Potter characters…and even Dementors…

Since the very first Harry Potter film, every fan has dreamed of taking the same classic journey Harry Potter did aboard the Hogwarts Express. And this summer – they will get to live it.

Universal Orlando revealed never-before-released details about the Hogwarts Express experience that will debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley – the all-new, magnificently themed land opening this summer. The train will connect the new land in Universal Studios Florida with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure – allowing guests with park-to-park admission to enjoy a real journey aboard the iconic locomotive.


Never before has this been done – creating an actual train ride experience to connect two spectacularly themed environments. The Hogwarts Express experience combines powerful storytelling, live special effects, lifelike animation and state-of-the-art technology to take riders on the journey of a lifetime. Guests will enjoy two completely different experiences depending on whether they’re traveling to Hogsmeade or London.

Once seated in the cabin, guests will be able to look out their windows as an incredibly authentic and magical adventure unfolds before them. They’ll see Hagrid come alongside the train on his flying motorbike, Buckbeak the Hippogriff swoop gracefully over the black lake, the Weasley twins on brooms and up to their usual antics, the Knight Bus swerving through London traffic – and other special moments and surprises.

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Universal’s Creative team has been working closely with Warner Bros., Stuart Craig and the production team from the Harry Potter films to create a sensational Hogwarts Express experience that the entire family can enjoy. The Creative team has gone to great lengths to ensure the experience is true to the books and films. Everything about the train is authentic – from the paint and the materials used to build it….all the way down to the whistle.

Park-to-park admission is required to experience the Hogwarts Express journey from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley (located in Universal Studios Florida) to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade (located in Universal’s Islands of Adventure).


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