Universal Orlando reveals Harry Potter details

AP News
Posted: Mar 14, 2014 12:17 PM
Universal Orlando reveals Harry Potter details

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The new Harry Potter area opening at Universal Orlando Resort this summer will allow fans to ride the Hogwarts Express train and experience the British countryside just as the characters did in the book and movie series.

According to a news release Friday from Universal Orlando Resort, guests will appear to magically pass through a brick wall and board a train with steam and a whistle.

Riders will have two different experiences — one on the way to the new London-themed area at Universal Studios Park and another on the way to the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter area, which is located at Universal's Islands of Adventure park. During the ride, characters and magical creatures from the book will be spotted. Among them: Hagrid on a flying motorbike, the Weasley twins on brooms, and the Knight Bus in London traffic.

Universal's team worked with a group from the Harry Potter films on the new themed area and train.

If fans want to see both parks, a two-park ticket will be required — currently $136.32 for one day for ages 10 and up.

The theme park on Friday also released details about its newest hotel, the Cabana Bay Beach Resort.

Based on 1950s and 1960s mid-century modernist architecture, the resort will open 600 of its 1,800 rooms on March 31.

When fully built, 900 of the rooms will be suites with kitchenettes, and at a family-friendly price point.

Standard rooms will cost from $93-$127 a night for a seven-night or more stay, depending on the season, company officials said. Family suites — which sleep up to six guests — run from $134-$171 a night for a seven-night or more stay, depending on the season.

Russ Dagon, the vice president/executive project director of Universal Creative, said guests will feel like they're still in the theme parks.

"It's an extension of the experience," he said.

The architects who built the hotel studied several midcentury modern hotels and motels, especially in Miami, Florida and Wildwood, New Jersey.

The hotel will also have two beach-themed pools, a lazy river and waterslide.


Follow Tamara Lush on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tamaralush