Despite visitors being able to enjoy a soft opening in California as we speak, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter hasn’t officially opened at Universal Studios Hollywood yet. And though the April 7, 2016 is just around the corner, there is already rumors circulating about bringing the Diagon Alley expansion to the west coast as well.
It’s not really a surprise that Universal Studios wants to bring a total recreation of one of their most popular attractions from the Orlando parks, even if it means starting construction before the first half of the Wizarding World even opens to the public. However, it seems like the hold up currently lies in where the area would be located.
According to /Film, initial talks placed the expansion in the backlot portion of the property where it would replace sound stages 6-20 and 22-25. This would mean that the Hogwarts Express would bring guests from Hogsmeade in the Upper Lot to Diagon Alley in the Lower Lot. But since the Hollywood park is considerably less flat than the Florida counterpart, this could prove to be very difficult to make a reality.
Another possibility would be building Diagon Alley on top of the ‘Waterworld’ stunt show located directly next to the Hogsmeade (which would be a complete and utter shame because that attraction is amazing). But if that were the case, then the Hogwarts Express wouldn’t need to go anywhere. As opposed to the original version that takes guests from Universal Islands of Adventure to Universal Studios Orlando, the Hollywood incarnation would likely be turned into a motion simulator that has guests enter from one side of the train only to exit on the other side once they “arrive” at Diagon Alley. The ride would also be enhanced with new effects in some way like rain, wind, or something along those lines.
No matter where they land on this Hogwarts Express issue, it sounds like the rest of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will make it’s way west eventually. Once the first half opens in April, we’ll probably hear some official news a few months down the line.
Until then, are you surprised that this is happening? And how do you think Diagon Alley will be situated in Universal Studios Hollywood? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments below.