Posts Tagged ‘PotterWatch’

SATURDAY SIX: Six Things in Orlando We’re Looking Forward To Seeing in 2014

by on January 4, 2014

This week’s SATURDAY SIX looks at Six Things in Orlando We’re Looking Forward To Seeing in 2014. 2013 was a great year to be a theme park fan. Just in Orlando we got the opening of Transformers: The Ride 3D and a huge Simpsons expansion in Universal Studios Florida, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin arrived at SeaWorld, while Disney introduced Princess Fairytale Hall and the incredible Tangled-themed bathrooms at the Magic Kingdom (along with starting a much needed overhaul on Downtown Disney.) But the good news is 2014 looks to be even better, yes, better. Here’s our list of the top six things we’re looking forward to the most over the next 12 months…


Will Breadbox be CityWalk’s answer to the ultra popular Earl of Sandwicht at Downtown Disney? (Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando)

# 6 – Universal CityWalk’s Expansion (Universal Orlando Resort)

In late 2013 Universal unveiled a massive reimagining of its entertainment complex, CityWalk. In fact, the new and improved CityWalk had already started with the opening of Red Oven Pizza Bakery in November, but little did we know how much more would be coming.

By the summer of 2014,  Coldstone Creamery (ice cream), Menchies (frozen yogurt), Bread Box (sandwiches), Antojitos (Mexican), Hotdog Hall of Fame, and The Cowfish (burgers/sushi) will be joining the list of eateries in CityWalk. Pastamore, which is shutting down this week, will also be reopening as yet-unamed Italian restaurant (rumored to be Pranzo) in which guests will be able to see their pasta made from scratch in front of them. Starbucks, currently on the second level of CityWalk, will also be moving downstairs and assume a more prominent position as guests make their way from the Universal parking garages to the theme parks.  Lastly, the Universal Studios Store will undergo a major retheming.

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PotterWatch: Christmas Week Diagon Alley Update and Gringotts Queue Rumors

by on December 31, 2013

Did Santa bring you everything you wanted from Universal Orlando this year? If your Wizarding World of Harry Potter wish list included a Christmas week Diagon Alley update — complete with PotterWatch’s first look at parts of the London Waterfront’s color scheme — then we are here to deliver your post-Xmas presents.

Diagon Alley Construction Update

While progress slowed somewhat over the holiday week, here is a complete overview at the Diagon Alley project, taken on December 26, 2013. For variety’s sake, this time we’ll start from the World Expo end of the construction:

Universal Orlando Diagon Alley update

Day after Christmas Diagon Alley update (photos by Seth Kubersky)

PotterWatch: Diagon Alley Construction Photos and the Gringotts Vault Key

by on December 20, 2013

Universal Orlando Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley construction Gringotts vault key photos

The key to Gringotts Vault 722 has arrived… (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

Welcome, wizards and muggles alike, to the latest installment of TouringPlan’s PotterWatch (we’ve dropped the “2.0” for simplicity’s sake), your regular expansion update on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. This time we’ll take a look at Diagon Alley’s London Waterfront facade, and hear the tale of the Gringotts Vault Key.

Diagon Alley Construction Photos

First, here are the latest photos of construction on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida, taken at “magic hour” for our first look at the facade with some of the scaffolding removed:

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PotterWatch 2.0: Diagon Alley Construction Update and Rumors (12/8/13)

by on December 11, 2013

Universal orlando Wizarding world Harry potter Diagon alley construction

Dark of night can’t dissuade us from bringing you the latest Diagon Alley construction updates (photos by Seth Kubersky)

Construction on Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida‘s new Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion never sleeps, and so neither does PotterWatch, our ongoing series of updates on the Boy Who Lived’s anticipated arrival in Universal Orlando’s original park.

There’s been no noticeable progress on the Hogwarts Express since it completed its first test run, as reported in our last installment. Instead, let’s take a nighttime look at the London Waterfront, the facade that conceals Diagon Alley.

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PotterWatch 2.0: Hogwarts Express testing begins at Universal Orlando

by on December 4, 2013

Hogwarts express testing Wizarding world Harry potter universal orlando

Slow-speed Hogwarts Express testing has begun at Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter (photo by Seth Kubersky)

Exciting news, Harry Potter fans: Hogwarts Express testing has commenced at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Orlando Resort! The iconic Hogwarts Express trains, which were lifted onto their elevated rails in late October, began slow-speed movement tests over the weekend.

It will still be many months before guests get to ride the Hogwarts Express attraction, which is expected to officially debut in June 2014. When complete, the Hogwarts Express will provide transportation between the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley expansion in Universal Studios Florida, and the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure.

Ordinarily, the Touring Plans team would be the first to bring you footage of the Hogwarts Express testing, but this time our friends at Orlando Attractions Magazine have beat us to the punch (blame our post-Thanksgivukha turkey & latke hangovers). Check out their video below, which also includes some shots of the London Waterfront construction, and check back here often for further PotterWatch progress updates on Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Subscribe to our Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar to get the best Universal Orlando wait-time data and touring plans, and check back soon for the next Wizarding World of Harry Potter construction update!


PotterWatch 2.0: Harry Potter Construction Update (11/23-25/2013)

by on November 27, 2013

Harry potter construction update

Construction continues on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion at Universal Orlando.

Welcome to the first installment of PotterWatch 2.0,’s Harry Potter Construction Update. This recurring photo gallery series will follow the construction of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley in Unversal Studios Florida and other related expansion at Universal Orlando Resort. So grab your broomstick and sail with us to London!

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