When Universal Orlando surprised the world last week by announcing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley for the Universal Studios Florida theme park, some details remained a mystery. Even in our exclusive interview with executive creative director Thierry Coup, an opening date for the new area could not be narrowed down beyond the vague 2014 timeframe.
Moreover, logistics were not yet clear of how guests would have (and pay for) the opportunity to ride the Hogwarts Express train between each half of the Wizarding World, split among two Universal Orlando other parks, each requiring admission.
But today Universal Orlando began to survey select fans online, revealing some new information about Diagon Alley and proposing several scenarios for how the Hogwarts Express train system will work.
Parkscope first reported on the survey, sharing screenshots of questions asked as Universal begans to work out the details.
Universal Orlando’s online survey flat out states that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley will open in the summer of 2014. If true, that’s certainly a more specific timeframe than just “2014” as announced last week.
And it’s not surprising either, considering the original Wizarding World opened on June 17, 2010 and next month Universal will be opening Transformers: The Ride 3D on June 20, 2013.
So it’s possible we’ll see an opening date for Diagon Alley some time around June 20, 2014 (maybe June 18 or 19… or maybe even July…) – but by no means is that confirmed and certainly not announced. (In fact, Universal probably hasn’t even set a firm date yet.)
Hogwarts Express tickets
From the survey details, Universal is considering many factors that will complicate exactly how the Hogwarts Express train system will work. With the immense popularity of the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal is forced to consider the possibility that guests may board the Hogwarts Express and not be able to get off directly into either land – Hogsmeade Village or Diagon Alley – as a result of overcrowding. Likewise, there may be guests who simply want to take multiple / round trips on the train.
With the Hogwarts Express connecting two parks, a park-to-park ticket will surely be required to board in one and get off in the other. But Universal is considering round trip options for those who only want to visit a single park. After all, there will surely be some visitors who have already seen the original Wizarding World and simply want to take in all that is new without paying for admission to a second park.
In other words, there are no firm details have been announced for Hogwarts Express ticketing because Universal is still sorting them out.
Naturally, information shared in Universal Orlando’s online survey is a work-in-progress, by definition. They send these surveys out to get feedback on what they are considering. As such, all of the information above could change at any moment. But it does begin to give a clearer picture of what guests can expect as the excitement continues to grow for the opening of Diagon Alley next year.
Visit Parkscope’s original post for survey screenshots and more information shared from Universal Orlando on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.