Orlando Travel Guide

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A Peek at Hogsmeade Within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Four Years Later

August 13, 2014 at 4:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

Magic is seriously in the air this summer, and we've been in Orlando for the first days of the newest addition to Universal Orlando: Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The original Hogsmeade park is still very much open, and very popular. Just how popular? Let's take a look.

According to an NPR report and Universal's numbers, "park profits have more than doubled and attendance has increased more than 30 percent" since the 2010 debut of Hogsmeade.

Now that Diagon Alley has debuted and is actively connecting the two parks via the Hogwarts Express train and asking $136 per adult for the privilege of visiting both halves, we're looking to see how the original has fared over four years.

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Universal Orlando's 'Hogwarts Express' is Totally Showing Up Actual Amtrak Trains

August 11, 2014 at 11:35 AM | by | Comment (1)

Already?!

That's the question being exclaimed by visitors to Universal Studios Orlando, as the theme park has announced that their newest ride—the Hogwarts Express within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley—just surpassed 1 million riders.

This train, a ride experience we heralded as "the most attractive ride at Universal Orlando" and which became our favorite of all at the park, only opened to the public on July 8, 2014. On August 7, the Universal Orlando Facebook page announced they'd reached the million riders, conveniently one day short of the ride's one month anniversary.

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Miss the Crowds and Save with Orlando's Magical Deal Month This September

July 25, 2014 at 11:16 AM | by | Comments (0)

When Labor Day weekend caps the busy summer season in Orlando, the city will usher in a full month of deals and promotions as the kids go back to school during the month of September.

Marketed as Orlando's Magical Deal Month, discounts on hotels, restaurants, and about 150 theme parks are aggregated on a special website from Visit Orlando. Savings at Disney World, Universal, and Sea World are available, as well as $33 three-course prix-fixe dinners and hotel/dining combination packages throughout the city.

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A Complete Survival Guide to Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

July 16, 2014 at 4:10 PM | by | Comments (0)

Magic is seriously in the air this month, as we've been in Orlando for an early preview of the newest addition to Universal Orlando: Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Last week was the official Grand Opening, but here you'll find all the juiciest tips for enjoying the most exciting amusement park debut of the year.

Thinking of heading to the new Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter park at Universal Studios Orlando? You better be ready to sweat, wait in long lines, and yet enjoy it all along. But still, it's a good idea to do your homework for something like this, which will see record visitors for the next few months (at least!) and which will try your spending power to the max.

Jaunted's Quick and Dirty Survival Guide for Diagon Alley:

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75 Original Photos of Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts Express, at Universal Orlando

July 9, 2014 at 12:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

Magic is seriously in the air this month, as we've been in Orlando for an early preview of the newest addition to Universal Orlando: Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Yesterday was the official Grand Opening, but here you'll find all the juicy photos of the most exciting amusement park debut of the year.

Seven hours was the average wait time to experience all Universal Orlando's new park had to offer yesterday, during The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley's Grand Opening. That's actually not much of a surprise considering the wait was closer to 8 hours during the 2010 debut of the sister park, Hogsmeade, which now joins Diagon Alley to form a Potter powerhouse of experiences, shopping, rides, and refreshment at Universal Orlando and Islands of Adventure.

Don't let the 7 hours intimidate, however; that's just first day frenzy. Although what Universal has created with Diagon Alley is a stupefyingly tremendous world straight from the JK Rowling novels and resulting films which everyone should see, waits for the Gringotts ride and more should settle to a manageable 2 hours-ish as the summer progresses.

What you won't have to wait for are photos of the new park, as we've got full, original photo galleries of over 75 images from our own visit. Enjoy:

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How Universal Orlando's New Diagon Alley Gets It Very, Very Right

July 1, 2014 at 9:48 AM | by | Comments (0)

Magic is seriously in the air this month, as we've been in Orlando for an early preview of the newest addition to Universal Orlando: Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This weekend saw the soft-opening, but here you'll find all the juicy details of the most exciting amusement park debut of the year.

Diagon Alley has been described as 9 new shops and 1 new ride. While that's true in the most bare-bones sense, a visit to Diagon Alley reveals that it's an immersive world unto itself, where no detail is too small and from which no visitor will leave without some degree of awe.

In fact, we think Diagon Alley improves upon the original 2010 Hogsmeade portion of The Wizarding World, as one would hope after having four years to tweak and test. Here's why:

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The Six Awesomest Details of Universal Studios' Brand New Diagon Alley

June 23, 2014 at 5:51 PM | by | Comments (0)

Magic is seriously in the air this week, as we're in Orlando for an earlier preview of the newest addition to Universal Orlando: Diagon Alley at The WIzarding World of Harry Potter. Stay tuned as we get sunburned while slaking our thirst with Butterbeer, and all the juicy details of the most exciting amusement park debut of the year.

Perhaps you've heard rumors about interactive wands and a fire-breathing dragon. It's true—both of these wonders are found in Diagon Alley, but they're not what caused us to gasp in awe this week, during early previews of this new area of the theme park. Here's what did:

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Finally! Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter Announces Opening Date

June 18, 2014 at 10:47 AM | by | Comments (0)

Magic is seriously in the air this week, as we're in Orlando for an earlier preview of the newest addition to Universal Orlando: Diagon Alley at The WIzarding World of Harry Potter. Stay tuned as we get sunburned while slaking our thirst with Butterbeer, and all the juicy details of the most exciting amusement park debut of the year.

July 8. That's the date heard 'round Florida, nay the world, as Universal Studios Orlando announced it this morning as the public grand opening of the new Diagon Alley at The WIzarding World of Harry Potter, part of UO's Islands of Adventure theme park.

Four years ago when The Wizarding World first debuted the Hogsmeade portion, eager fans of the Harry Potter series happily waited in lines up to 8 hours long in order to be among the first inside Ollivander's Wand Shop, Honeyduke's Sweets, The Owl Post and, of course, first to experience rides like the Dragon Challenge roller coaster and the "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" cinematic journey through Hogwarts.

Now, Diagon Alley promises to double the size of "Harry Potter-land" with new rides, new shops, new eateries, and a freaking Hogwarts Express train to traverse the distance between Hogsmeade (Scotland) and Diagon Alley (London).

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The World's Tallest Roller Coaster is on Its Way to Orlando

June 9, 2014 at 11:07 AM | by | Comments (0)

The world’s tallest roller coaster is on its way to the United States, and it will call Orlando home; however, it’s not scheduled to arrive at one of the Disney parks nor one of the offerings from the folks over at Universal Studios.

The plan is to bring the thing to a portion of International Drive, and it will make its debut—fingers crossed—at some point in 2016. The new behemoth of a roller coaster will be known as Skyscraper, and it’s going to call some kind of $200 million entertainment complex home. They’re going to call the whole darn thing SkyPlex, and it will be at the intersection of International Drive and Sand Lake Road.

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The Most Mindblowing Teasers of What's Coming to Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

June 5, 2014 at 3:22 PM | by | Comments (0)

Deep breaths.

After four years of awesomeness at Universal Studios Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter, we’re within days of the debut of the park’s major expansion. Right around June 19, Universal will host a semi-secret preview of the new park, ahead of what could be the grand opening that weekend.

We’ve known some details about the Diagon Alley addition to The Wizarding World for some time, like the fact it’ll have a functioning Hogwarts Express train to a copy of London’s Kings Cross Station and The Embankment. And, as we noted four years ago during the original opening of the park, it’ll again be pretty much impossible to spend under $100 in the new shops, which include Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes and some nefarious nooks in Knockturn Alley.

As further news trickles out ahead of the park’s opening later this month, we’re consistently amazed by and psyched up for the expansion of J.K. Rowling’s fantasy into reality.

Here are few of the more spectacular surprises coming to Diagon Alley:

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After Hours Attractions Arrive at Walt Disney World Just in Time for Summer

May 14, 2014 at 10:58 AM | by | Comment (1)

There’s more spots to spend those Disney dollars this season, as the theme parks in Florida are adding a couple new nighttime additions to the menu. That’s assuming that the usual opening hours aren’t enough for you, and that you haven’t returned to your hotel exhausted from the lines, the crowds, the children, and the fanny packs.

Over at Epcot they’re introducing something called Epcot After Hours Wind Down where visitors can enjoy a little extra fun after the park closes at around 9pm. Those willing to pay up $35 per person can enjoy wine pairings and tapas tastings across one of four of the different themed restaurants. This is in addition to your usual theme park admission, but it’s still not a bad idea—especially considering that booze is included.

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The Latest News on Universal Orlando's 'Wizarding World of Harry Potter' Additions

February 28, 2014 at 12:41 PM | by | Comments (0)

Although there's still no official opening date, the summer 2014 debut of the addition to Universal Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park is heating up with tantalizing new previews.

First off, let's discuss the Hogwarts Express, which is simply a stationary attraction in the first version of the park. Come this summer, however, when version 2 opens, it will be a fully functioning train, connecting the wizarding and muggle worlds through a detailed recreation of London's King's Cross station. Yes, you'll need to look for Platform 9 3/4, but the most important thing to know is that riding the Hogwarts Express will require guests to have a park-to-park ticket, as the train travels from Universal Studios into the Island of Adventure.

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