Universal Orlando Gets Ready For Harry Potter Expansion

Written by MiceChat Staff. Posted in Features, Orlando Parkhopper, Universal Orlando

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Published on July 09, 2012 at 10:57 pm with 7 Comments

There’s a lot of construction going on in the Orlando theme parks these days and very little of it is at Disney. Harry Potter has been a huge hit at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, so much so that a brand new Harry Potter themed land is in the works for the Universal Studios park in Orlando. The entire Amity area, what was once home to the massive JAWS attraction, is now completely leveled and prep work for the coming construction in the area is well under way.

HARRY POTTER CONSTRUCTION
Amity, home of the beloved JAWS ride, is completely gone.  History. Soon, a little bit of London will be built here for a major Harry Potter themed land.

From mountains of dirt, we expect Diagon Alley will rise and likely a Gringotts Bank attraction along with it. For the few of you out there who haven’t read the books or seen the movies, Gringotts Bank has a tangled system of mine-car like tracks under its marble floors which lead to subterranean vaults filled with treasures, curses and fire-breathing dragons. Perfect for a theme park attraction, isn’t it?!

PARANORMAN
The characters from the upcoming Fall (October 5th) release, Paranorman, are now roaming the park and getting familiar with the guests.

Paranorman is a stop-motion animation film being produces by the folks who created the wonderfully creative Coraline.

DESPICABLE WAIT
The Despicable Me attraction finally opened on July 2nd and has proven very popular.  With wait times nearing the two hour mark, the queue length is impressive.

With a preshow, main show, and post show dance party, this is otherwise minor attraction packs a punch with visitors, who seem to be enchanted with it.

MORE PROJECTOR THEMING
The projectors around the lagoon for the night time water show are progressively getting themed casings that help them blend into the area.  This was an early complaint of ours about the new show and we are thrilled to see Universal Studios addressing an aesthetic issue.  Kudos.

These are the sorts of Details that may go unnoticed by average guests, but which make the difference between a ‘theme park’ and a park with theme.  If you didn’t know where to look, you’d never spot the hidden projector.

SIMPSONS MIDWAY GAMES
Still no major progress on the midway games being installed at the Simpsons Ride.

SOUNDSTAGE 44 DEMOLITION
Within just a few weeks, the former site of Soundstage 44 has been leveled and rumor has is that a new structure may be going in to construct a permanent walk through haunted house along the lines of Universal Hollywood’s House of Horrors.  If this is the case, it would make sense that they tore down existing development for one of this years Halloween Horror Nights Haunted Houses to proceed with construction.  We will keep you posted.

NO SCALE
Richter’s scale has gone missing.  Was it shaken loose?

NEW STORE in CITYWALK
There is a new store in CityWalk.  It’s called Art by Amy and features boutique style jewlery and decorations.

WALLS GO UP FOR ANOTHER NEW STORE
A new store, PYQ, promises to bring Smile inducing gifts for every age.  We shall see if it lives up to the hype.

UFO REFURB
It appears that refurbishment work on the flying saucer at the Hollywood Drive In Mini Golf is complete. What is not known is why a brand new attraction required major refurbishment so soon after opening.

And that wraps up our Universal Orlando update for today. But that’s not all! We also have coverage from Sea World Orlando, which includes photos of an adorable baby dolphin:


Tickets are now on sale for the

COMMUNICORE WEEKLY 38TH WEEKAVERSARY
&
EPCOT 30 YEAR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION!


Come celebrate EPCOT’s 30th Anniversary in style with a live taping of MiceChat’s Communicore Weekly! Join co-hosts Jeff Heimbuch & George Taylor, along with MiceChat’s Dusty Sage, Kevin Yee, and the Communicore Weekly Orchestra, for a fun-filled night of fandom and frivolity as they tape a special hour long episode of the hit show, Communicore Weekly.

Join us on the evening of Saturday, September 29th 2912 in the Norway Pavilion Special Events Lounge in EPCOT’s World Showcase for this one of a kind event!

Your ticket includes:

  • Admission into the live taping of CW in the Norway Pavilion of EPCOT (note: admission into the park is NOT included)!
  • Meet special guest, Ron Schneider, the original Dreamfinder!
  • Decadent dessert reception!
  • Short scavenger hunt hosted by Kevin Yee before the show will be available to those who would like to participate (prizes will be awarded)!
  • Prizes, giveaways and more!
  • The chance to be a part of EPCOT and Communicore Weekly history!
  • Endless Five Legged Goats and perhaps even a real life Bathroom Break!
  • Exclusive late night ride after park closing on a selected EPCOT attraction to cap off the evening!

For more tickets and more information, be sure to visit MiceChat.com/store!


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7 Comments

Comments for Universal Orlando Gets Ready For Harry Potter Expansion are now closed.

  1. Great photos!

    I wish we had people taking photos like this back in the 70s and the 80s at all of the parks.

  2. “Despicable Wait” made me laugh. Classic!

    Do you know if the parade and water show are items that will be presented year round, even on a slow winter midweek day? Last time I went (in a September) there was no live entertainment whatsoever.

    • Generally, Universal scales back or cancels parades and spectaculars in the off season, though you’ll find much of that added back in for holidays. Though, Uni has really been stepping up their game lately, so we may very well see some of the entertainment stick around into the Fall.

  3. Any word on when Universal Studios Hollywood might start making some progress on the promised Harry Potter addition?

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  5. we’re going to Universal next week, gotta get there before the back to school rush… so thankful we caught a deal with http://www.orlandominivacations.com, see you there, cant wait till next when the Transformer ride..(yea, I’m a Bumbl Bee fan!) :)