Universal has opened several new attractions in the last fewyears, with Fast and the Furious: Supercharged, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon at Universal Studios Florida and Skull Island: Reign of Kong at Islands of Adventure representing the newest class of Universal attractions. However, though these attractions garnered some attention when they opened, they haven't really had much of an impact long term, and in the case of the Fast and the Furious attraction, have actually gotten some backlash for not living up to expectations. However, Universal Orlando has quietly unveiled a pretty big expansion plan that involves the addition of several new attractions to the resort in the next 5 years.
1. New Wizarding World dark ride in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade
Opening in: TBA
Last year the Dragon Challenge roller coaster closed forever, and Universal confirmed that replacing this attraction would be an unnamed Wizarding World dark ride that “will take [guests] deeper into J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, where you will encounter some of your favorite characters and creatures”. And while that sounds pretty generic, we can’t help but notice that it doesn’t specifically mention Harry Potter.
Rumors about a ride based on the Fantastic Beasts film series were swirling even before the first film came out in 2016, and considering the second film in the series comes out this week, if this is the plan, we could see an announcement very soon if this is the case. And even though the Fantastic Beasts films are set half a century before the Harry Potter films, we’re sure that there could be some magical time travelling explanation that could keep the immersion of the larger Wizarding World of Harry Potter in tact.
Though Universal has not set an opening date for this new attraction, its worth remembering that the first Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2020 which would, perhaps not coincidentally, be a perfect time to open a new attraction. Then again, work on this attraction is progressing quickly, and with Walt Disney World set to open Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in 2019, Universal may be wanting to open its own attraction around the same time to lure guests away from that Galaxy Far, Far Away for a day or two. Either way, we should know more details about this upcoming attraction very, very soon.