Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion building layout may be shown in Jaws ride replacement ‘Project 722’ filing by Universal Orlando

in Theme Parks, Universal Orlando, Universal Studios Florida

In a new filing with the South Florida Water Management District, Universal Orlando and their attractions design group Universal Creative have detailed plans to replace the recently-demolished Jaws ride with a number of new buildings and pathways. Dubbed “Project 722,” the plans are designed to indicate mass grading, utility tie-ins, and erosion control, but also offer a first look at the layout of 5 major buildings / structures – one extremely large – and a few smaller structures that may provide a first look at the layout for the announced Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion.

Though Universal Orlando has announced the Potter expansion, they have not yet released details as to what exactly will be part of it, or even where it will be built. But armed with the code name “Project 722,” first used on a previous Universal Orlando demolition filing and now again included on the recent paperwork dated Feb. 29, 2012, web site HHNRumors.com connected several artists and designers that formerly worked on the Harry Potter film series as well as the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the new project code name. So it seems highly likely that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion is indeed dubbed “Project 722,” just as the original Wizarding World was once referred to as project “Strongarm” – a reference to the KUKA robotic arm ride vehicle system used in the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride.

And now, the new water management filing directly links “Project 722” to the former home of the Jaws ride, all but confirming that Universal Studios Florida will be the home of the Harry Potter expansion, at least in part.

So with all that in mind, let’s take a look at the revealed building layout:

Just what are all those grey buildings that will be replacing the Jaws lagoon and surrounding Amity village?

Universal has not announced specifics that will be included in the expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but rumored attractions include Diagon Alley, a Gringotts Bank ride, Leaky Cauldron restaurant, and other walk-through experiences. But it’s not clear from this paperwork if any of these will indeed be featured. The large building at the top of the drawing above certainly appears to be a major attraction and could house a Gringotts roller coaster-style ride – but it could also be anything else.

Also rumored is a real-life Hogwarts Express train that would connect the existing Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the Islands of Adventure theme park to the former Jaws area in Universal Studios Florida, by way of areas that are currently backstage and inaccessible to park guests. But there is not yet any indication of such a train on the basic building layout shown above, though the lower-left building certainly could be viewed as a train station, lining up with the necessary roads that would lead from one park to the other.

For frame of reference, here is the satellite map that’s also included in the filing:

The only thing that is absolutely clear from the new paperwork filed by Universal Orlando and Universal Creative is that Jaws is going to be replaced by a new area with several buildings, pathways, and attractions. It seems safe to assume that the code name “Project 722” is linked to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion, but not definite. And everything else is just a rumor or a stretch at this time. But given that a building layout has been officially filed and the Jaws ride completely demolished, it’s likely that Universal will reveal more about their Potter plans soon, as construction begins to take shape in the park(s).

The complete PDF paperwork filed by Universal Orlando can be viewed on the South Florida Water Management District web site.

(Hat tip to Epcyclopedia.com for first noticing the plans.)


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    Here’s my theory on what we see there. The largest building is obviously the main attraction, which will be Gringotts assuming Universal hasn’t been giving out some serious misinformation.

    The large portion of Cs06 will be the Leaky Cauldron, including the brick portal to Diagon Alley which is shown.

    The skinny part of C306 and the part in C307 is the train station, IMO.

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      Looks like we are thinking along the same lines! Seems like a logical theory to me (since I came up with that as well…and if you ask me, I’d say I’m pretty logical ;]).

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    I have heard rumor that the Hogwarts Express will NOT be the vehicle shuttling guests from one HP park to the other. From what I understand, Universal and IOA will be connected via use of The Knight Bus. Seems to make much more sense to me, would save loads of money, and they could use a “fleet” of buses to keep wait times down. Thoughts?

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      I agree, it makes much more sense considering the fact that they already have a hogwarts express in the existing wwohp!

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        Universal has confirmed a WWOHP expansion though. Will it be in the place of Jaws, who knows. But it is in the works regardless!

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        Ethan K.

        The Knight Bus will be located next to the upcoming Cartoon Network ride or an upcoming Madagascar ride.

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    Whereas I fully expect this to turn out to be HP, I’d love to see Universal pull something completely unexpected out of the bag!

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    Uh, I see 722 replacing Jaws, but I still don’t see Harry Potter, nor do I see any expansion outside of IOA?
    Let’s take off our bungee cords and quit jumping too conclusions.

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      Ricky Brigante

      You’re right. As I indicated several times above, there is nothing firmly connecting Project 722 to Harry Potter yet. But there are a large number of designers / art directors working on Project 722 that also worked on Harry Potter films and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Sure, that doesn’t guarantee they are once again working on Potter for this particular project, but it seems likely.

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        Michi jamison

        I have a friend of mine who has connections and I found out more than a year ago that they were planning on replacing jaws with Harry potter

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      You can call it jumping to conclusions all you want.

      I call it using all the empirical data in front of me and formulating a likely conclusion.

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        I call it what Sherlock Holmes called it: Twisting the facts to fit the theory.

        (Y’see, since it isn’t in the same park, they’re OBVIOUSLY going to bring in the train!…But since there’s no tracks, it’s going to be the Bus!) 😉

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    This is exciting! Clearly, the bottom left corner of the largest building forms the shape of Gringotts’ triangular shaped entrance, with the front pointing towards ‘C305’. Which would make that Diagon Alley spanning from the road labeled ‘Guest Pathway’ to Gringotts.

    As far as any guesses, I would choose somewhere on the left as housing Platform 9 3/4…maybe somewhere in those buildings lining the ‘Disaster Service Road’.

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    Jeff Lynch

    I want to thank a moment to thank the author of this for the excellent detective work. I know a lot of time and resources goes into running this site and providing such great information. I know I could not do this. Please know that your work is so appreciated. I am very excited about this project and am grateful that you are digging up all the details because I would not know about this otherwise. THANK YOU!

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    Well for starters I highley doubt that the Knight Bus would be used as a trans portion device as it would be terrible and complicated. It will be the train and thank you Rickey for posting it!

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      And then there’s that particular problem, namely that not all Universal guests have two-park passes–Even at WDW, taking the monorail to Epcot is considered a two-park trip, and you have to leave the main gate to go there.
      “Yeah, but maybe Universal will have a whole Platform 9-3/4 station where they check your ticket, and…” Or, maybe they’re just not connecting the two parks, because there’s nothing to connect. 🙁

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    Justin DePriest

    Universal Stuidos is destroying everything that they have made in their own creations thanks to children that says “Harry Potter this, Harry Potter that, Mommy I want Harry Potter.” I won’t go to Universal Studios because of what Harry Potter did to JAWS. R.I.P. Bruce “JAWS”

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      The jaws ride was kinda lame to be honest, and Universal Studios is empty compared to islands of adventure. The HP part is jam packed and the money being spent on butterbeers and merch is wild. What would you do in that situation? They are in the business of making mass amounts of monies. They are money wizards!!!!

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        Lets be honest, Universal studios Fla is Lame. I’m sick of simulator rides. Secondly, I disagree with them linking the two since you need an admission to both parks.

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      Yirmin Snipe

      And when you were a little rug rat you were probably tugging on mommy’s dress to take you to see Jaws… times change and Jaws is cheesy at best. If you want rides that never change to visit Disneyland.

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      I rode the Jaw ride at least 100 times. It is sad that it is gone because of the memories, but the ride sucked. And news flash, not only kids like Harry Potter! That area of IOA is always super packed. Three cheers for an HP expansion!

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    Maybe they’re not connecting the two, but just making there be a HP experience in both parks! That way Universal ticket sales go up there as well. Because, honestly, most teenagers go to Islands for the thrills without giving Universal a thought. It would raise ticket sales overall if they have Harry Potter in both parks separately without connecting the two.

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    Orlando resident

    The rumor in Orlando is that the Universal Studio side will be London / Muggle based and that once that is up and running the Section between Wizarding World and Suesslanding will be redone to expand Wizarding side further

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    I have a feeling this is going to be Diagon Alley, but I have the strangest idea it might be something with the Ministry. Thoughts?

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    This is why Universal has always been second to Disney for me. Disney likes to provide unique experiences for each resort, Florida has Test Track, okay; Cali has Radiator Springs Racers, cool, no reason to bring TT here. Sure they abuse properties, like Pixar, but Universal is just using the Harry Potter power they have too much. If the wwohp is in Islands, then go there, it doesn’t need to be in Universal too, I think this is a dumb decision on Universal’s part. I also heard they might put in Transformers there. That’d be cool, but isn’t Spiderman already using the same technology? That’d be like having two of the same ride, like Disney having Indy and Dinosaur in the same park. I know I’m being rough on Universal but I just don’t like this at all.

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      Agree..We don’t need another Harry Potter it needs to be something different, there are plenty of movies out there to take ideas from. I thought I heard Terminator 2 was going to be replaced by Transformers?

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      I’d like to see something new too, and I can think of a few movies these ideas could come from like Westworld, National Treasure, Hunger Games, Rango and even Lost the TV show has possibilities.

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    Okay guys chill… It’s not confirmed that it’s Harry Potter. This is all speculation. Even if-IF- this is going to be an expansion to HP it’s in a completely different park. The main Harry Potter attraction is in a whole different park. Which means, spending more money to go to both parks just for Harry Potter. I for one will be extremely disappointed if this turns out to be the HP expansion that was hinted. Two different parks, which means two different tickets that run about $80 each. Given it would be a great money making strategy because die hard HP fans would do it, it’s also conniving. I mean, there isn’t going to be a train or bus to take you to the other park for free, that’s just an obscene idea.

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      What if they sealed that part of the park off and made it ioa and then put transport on between the two harry potter worlds, the two parks are not far apart so merging that part would not be impossible and it would feel as if there was a journey between the two. Really enjoyed looking at this 😀

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        Jackson B

        I was at both parks from 23-25 jan. Therd was a building sorta in tbe mkddle of universal, not connected to jaws or anything, with posters for bumblebee, optimus prime, etc. So transformersis gonna be totally seperate.

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    I went to HHN 23, and I believe it will just be Paris. Paris is a big movie place so why not? I saw nothing harry potter, so everything looks not harry potter. There does look like a train going to harry potter, but that is just for easy transportation. So I do not think it will all be harry potter.

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    Jon b

    I visited US and IOA yesterday, as we were walking through I noticed the huge construction work going on.
    Me and my girlfriend were chatting and wondering what it could be, as approaching the fear factor live attraction there was an attendant there, cheekily I asked in a British manner ‘what’s it gonna be pal?’
    His reply?
    “There building diagon alley, gringotts bank, platform 9 3/4 and the main attraction a real life working hogwarts express connecting to just past the original Harry potter land”
    No need to doubt me, just thought there’d be more people like me, curious as to what there doing anyway,
    I’m off to the tower of terror!
    Have a gooden

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