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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 | ()

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.

Of course you'll be able to avoid this by simply entering only Islands of Adventure and walking back to the Wizarding World, but then there's no Hogwarts Express for you!

Next, the newest big attraction ride is "Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts." It's essentially a mine ride, as cars of riders will descend into the caverns of the wizarding bank under the pretense of visiting their vault. Of course Voldemort can't let this happen, and, much like with Disney's Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland, the riders will be "cursed" and sent on a chaotic journey through the bowels and dark corners of the building. For a rendering of what the ride's actual cars will look like check out Theme Park Insider.

Aside from these two major additions, the park will also receive the entirely new London Embankment district, which will be home to King's Cross station and the terminus of the Hogwarts Express train. As if visiting a Scottish fantasy town (Hogsmeade) in the middle of an Orlando summer wasn't weird enough, Universal Studios visitors will also soon find themselves in the midst of a bit of London before heading down Diagon Alley and into the Gringotts Bank ride.

See you there, whenever it opens?

[Rendering: Universal Studios]

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