Stars of the “Harry Potter” series hit the red carpet at the much-anticipated expansion of Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter on Wednesday, prior to the opening of the new attraction on July 8.
Diagon Alley will feature a new signature ride called “Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts,” based on the magical goblin bank in the series. It is also geared toward eateries such as the Leaky Cauldron pub and souvenir shops, both of which drew huge crowds at the initial Hogsmeade Village attraction.
The new attraction expands the original Harry Potter world, which opened in 2010 and is modeled after Hogsmeade Village that is located near the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where Harry Potter’s adventures began.
The two attractions are connected by a train called Hogwarts Express, the magical locomotive that takes students to and from school in the “Harry Potter” series.
To visit both sections of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, guests will have to buy a more expensive two-park pass, which costs $136 plus tax, because Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley were built in separate Universal parks.
Universal Studios plans to bring the world of Harry Potter to its Hollywood theme park in 2016.