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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).

Even though July 8 stands as the public opening, there is one way to get into Diagon Alley over a week earlier. Starting June 29, guests who book Universal Orlando's special Harry Potter package (from $155 per adult, per night) will be granted advance access to Diagon Alley, along with a bunch of other perks.

All in all, the package includes 4 nights at the brand new on-site hotel Cabana Bay Beach Resort, 3 days of park-to-park tickets, one breakfast per person in the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade and The Leaky Cauldron within Diagon Alley, early admission to the theme park, a special HP-themed "welcome parcel," and complimentary transportation between the hotel and parks.

Come fall, that package rate drops to $135 per adult, per night. Even though the park will be several months into its opening by then, at least you may benefit from knowing kids are mostly in school for the season and the grand opening fever will have calmed. Either way—summer or autumn—it's a generous deal for the offer. And just wait until you see Cabana Bay! It may just be our new favorite Florida resort.

As for Diagon Alley's press preview these next few days, expect a ton of awesome photos and commentary from us, but for now here's some official teaser shots:

Diagon Alley:

Knockturn Alley:

Gringotts:

Hogwarts Express:

We're in Orlando attending the preview of Diagon Alley as a guest of Universal Orlando, but all opinions are completely our own.

[Photos: Universal Studios Orlando]

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