Universal Orlando has confirmed one of the theme park industry's worst-kept secrets - that a new Harry Potter-themed land will open at Universal Studios Florida in 2014.
Construction of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley is already well underway at the park, with the area set to host a range of attractions inspired by the magical London alley seen in the Harry Potter books and movies. A major new roller coaster will headline the area, with a range of shops and a restaurant also forming part of the plans.
The Diagon Alley land will be linked to the existing Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure by the Hogwarts Express train. The train will run through Universal Orlando's backstage area, although guests will not see any of this through the train's windows. Instead, multimedia effects will be used to create the impression of travelling between Hogsmeade and London.
The headline roller coaster will be themed around Gringotts Bank, with Universal having revealed few details to date. However, concept artwork of the ride's trains (above) has previously been leaked to Theme Park Insider.
Speaking about the new addition, Harry Potter creator .J.K. Rowling said: "I'm so pleased that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has proved so popular to date, and I'm sure that the attention to detail in creating the new Diagon Alley area will make this an even better experience."
Unsurprisingly, Universal Parks and Resorts chairman Tom Williams is delighted about building on the existing Wizarding World, which has boosted attendance and revenues at Universal Orlando significantly. He said: "We are continuing the journey and adding an entirely new level of adventure. And weare bringing the same drive, commitment, enthusiasm and innovation to this project as we did to the first."
The Jaws ride at Universal Studios Florida closed over a year ago to enable construction work on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley to begin. The land will take over the entire former Amity area of the park.
You can keep up to date with the latest confirmed and rumored opening dates for new attractions through Theme Park Tourist's "New Attraction Watch" section, and by signing up for our weekly newsletter.