In 2010, Universal Studios Florida opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, an expansion of their already successful theme park, and it quickly became one of the most trafficked attractions in the world. Huge crowds have filled the area ever since and Universal quickly realized they wanted to expand.
That expansion, modeled after the Potter area Diagon Alley, is set to open over this Summer and earlier this week, they announced a bunch of specific details about it. The most exciting one is the name of the area’s signature thrill ride Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, as well as huge list of stores that will be in the area including The Leaky Cauldron, Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, Magical Menagerie, Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, Quality Quidditch Supplies, Knockturn Alley, and Borgin and Burkes just to name a few. And there will also be a Hogwarts Express riding around.
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The battle between Disney and Universal is at the forefront of this edition of Theme Park Bits. Below, read about the following:
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier is coming to Disneyland.
- A new hint has surfaced at the closing of Captain EO.
- Last week marked the 27th anniversary of Star Tours.
- The CEO of Comcast, which owns Universal, says they’re really pushing theme parks.
- Photos from the Diagon Alley expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as well as multiple upgrades at Universal Hollywood.
- A new hotel is opening at Universal Studios Orlando.
- Maleficent gets a new float in a Walt Disney World parade.
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After years of rumor, conjecture and controversy, January 10, 2014 marks the day Disney finally broke ground on the brand-new Avatar Land. It’ll be a full day- and nighttime area of Animal Kingdom in Orlando, FL co-designed and imagined by James Cameron himself. The aim is to have the area open in 2017, which would be between the planned release dates of Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 in December 2016 and 2017.
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Well before Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, the two companies had a great relationship. Disney Parks were full of Lucasfilm properties, including Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and that’s only become more prominent under the recent deal. The latest Disney/Lucasfilm collaboration is a brand new set of Indiana Jones Vinylmations.
Vinylmations are an exclusive Disney collectible featuring various characters on 3 inch bodies shaped like Mickey Mouse. They started with Disney characters, but have since gone all over the map, to The Avengers, Star Wars, artistic designs and more. The Indy ones were released Friday at the Disney Store and park locations. They are just beyond cool. Check them out below. Read More »
2014 marks the opening of a brand new Pixar themed Disneyland thrill ride…in Paris. Below, watch an official teaser trailer for Ratatouille: The Totally Zany Adventures of Remy as well as the following:
- A tentative first phase of Star Wars Land has been green lit as Imagineers get Star Wars Episode VII info; plus more Disneyland rumors.
- Doc Brown’s Chicken at Universal Studios Hollywood has officially closed.
- What if Epcot’s World Showcase changed its theme entirely?
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One of Disney’s biggest hits in recent memory might be getting a ride sooner than later. Read about that and everything below in this edition of Theme Park Bits.
- Disney might open a Frozen attraction at Norway in Epcot Center.
- The Despicable Me attraction in Hollywood gets a release date.
- Disneyland Paris competitor Futuroscope just got a fresh investment.
- California Adventure has a Three Kings Day Celebration.
- See the difference between Jurassic Park T-Rexes in Florida and California.
- The Jungle Cruise at Disneyland Tokyo gets an upgrade.
- Listen to audio of an old-school Disney Imagineer dishing secrets.
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Construction, expansion and invention are all in this edition of Theme Park Bits. Below, read about the following.
- Walt Disney Imagineers have invented reclining roller coaster seats.
- Disney has purchased more land in Tokyo for possible theme park expansion; Plus Stitch takes over for Captain EO.
- See photos of Despicable Me and Harry Potter construction at Universal Studios Hollywood.
- Check out some early promotion for the Diagon Alley Harry Potter expansion at Universal Studios Orlando.
- A milestone was achieved during the construction of Shanghai Disneyland.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
This edition of Star Wars Bits is all over the map. Below read about the following:
- Star Wars joins Tumblr…
- …and reveals some new Star Wars Rebels concept art.
- Disney announces the 2014 dates for Star Wars Weekends.
- Mythbusters is doing a Star Wars themed episode, watch a trailer.
- Dave Filoni talks about Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
- Get two popular Star Wars mobile games at a discount.
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