wizarding world of harry potter interactive wands

So far I’ve written about the two new rides in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley expansion: Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts and the Hogwarts Express. But one of the coolest additions to Universal Orlando’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter isn’t a ride, store, food, drink or show — it is an experience. Since The Wizarding World first opened, some of the most popular items have been the magic wands park guests can purchase. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley expansion has upgraded the wands to provide a magical experience that can’t be found anywhere else. Find out about the magic in Diagon Alley’s interactive wands after the jump.

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Wizarding World's Hogwarts Express Ride

On Thursday, we gave you an early look at Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts, the new flagship ride of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter‘s new Diagon Alley expansion. But Gringotts is not the only ride that will be opening on July 8th 2014 — Universal Studios Orlando’s Diagon Alley actually expands the Harry Potter story over two theme parks, and at the connecting tissue at the center of it all is the Wizarding World’s Hogwarts Express ride. Today I’ll tell you everything you need to know about this new ride which spans two theme parks, and give you my reaction/thoughts on the experience.

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Diagon Alley - Gringotts ride review
Last night I attended a special advance preview of Universal Orlando’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley expansion. The new land, which opens in Universal Studios Orlando park on July 8th 2014, is incredible. I’ll detail the land further in future posts, but for now I will say this — its much bigger than you could ever expect and contains so much entertainment, so many cool experiences, and pieces of unique merchandise and cool food options. Its truly magical.

But this morning I thought I should give you my first impressions of Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, the new flagship attraction which is the center of the new Diagon Alley expansion. Hit the jump to read my Gringotts ride review.

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Harry Potter Diagon Alley Opening Date Revealed

Harry potter stars announce Diagon alley opening date

I’m in Orlando covering the media happenings this week at Universal Orlando resort. This morning at the “State of the Universe” press conference, Universal heads and Harry Potter film co-stars were on hand to announce The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley opening date. Learn more after the jump.
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Quidditch documentary

The FIFA World Cup isn’t without its charms, but any Harry Potter fan worth his weight in Galleons knows that Muggle soccer has nothing on Quidditch. Soon, the rest of the world may come to realize that as well, thanks to a new documentary.

Directed by Farzad Sangari, Mudbloods follows the UCLA Quidditch team on their journey to the Fifth Annual Quidditch World Cup in New York City. I realize that sentence may sound completely absurd if you’re not familiar with the Harry Potter fandom, but trust me, it’s a real thing. Check out the first poster and still, and get all the details on the movie, after the jump.

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The Hunger Games 5

Katniss Everdeen proved herself in the arena, but could she be getting her own theme park? It’s possible, based on the success of a new traveling Hunger Games exhibit Lionsgate just announced. Read more about that, and the following, in this edition of Theme Park Bits.

  • The Purge: Breakout is touring the country.
  • Watch a new commercial for Harry Potter‘s Diagon Alley.
  • Read about the new food Potter themed food selections.
  • See a ton of new photos of the expansion which is already ready to open
  • Watch a commercial for Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem.

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Alfonso Cuarón Fantastic Beasts

There’s nothing official yet, but fans of the film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban may have a big reason to anticipate the new Harry Potter spin-off film, Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. Reports this morning say that Alfonso Cuarón, fresh off the triumph of Gravity, is readying a return to the Potter franchise. He’s reportedly “deep in talks” to direct the first spin-off film, which is scripted by J.K. Rowling and scheduled for a 2016 release.  Read More »

Harry Potter expansion invite

Universal Orlando Resort is gearing up for the grand opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley expansion sometime this Summer, but when could it be? Today select members of the press received a package from the owl delivery service (muggles know nothing of these kind of things)  inviting them to the media and VIP preview of the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley expansion.

You can see more images of the official invite, a piece of art in its own right, after the jump. The invite lists the preview dates as June 17-20. Our friends at InsideTheMagic point out that the remainder of Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort will be opening on June 16, also likely part of the 4-day press event – So its very likely that the expansion will opening to the public on June 20th or around that time, although that is merely speculation.

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