June 13, 2014

Potter Opening Date Mystery


Greetings!
An exciting day for Universal Fans. Around noon, Twitter went crazy when someone stumbled across an animation on Universal Orlando's website.
 See -- if you go there now, you are greeted with an animation hyping the second Wizarding World: Diagon Alley that ends this way



 But for a brief period -- another animation (since removed ) was found somewhere hiding  on Universal's website that appears to reveal a June 30th opening date for Diagon.



Here's the full animation for you to see.



That SEEMED to answer the one question everyone has asked me for months now. Or did it??
Less than an hour after Twitter tweeted out the link to the animation, Universal pulled it down and sent us this statement:

 "We have not yet announced the official grand opening date for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Diagon Alley.  We will announce it as soon as we can.  Incorrect information was wrongfully circulated today and it’s not true. "
 
Tom Schroder
Universal Orlando

That's a pretty clear denial by Universal's Vice President of public relations. He says the June 30th day is not true.  

Soon thereafter, similar denials popped up on FaceBook & Twitter.


 
Maybe June 30th was once going to be the opening date and it changed? Or maybe Mr. Schroder is just trying to preserve the mystery for next week's big media event?   Universal is flying in Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix LeStrange) and a crop of Weasleys,  not to mention Jimmy Fallon & the Tonight Show. I can't imagine they would not announce an opening date by the end of the event on Thursday.

Assume for a moment the June 30th date is/was real. It wouldn't be the first time Universal's web staff has inadvertentlylet a secret slip. I take you back to October, 2012 -- when Universal's website promised a big announcement.


As you see -- if you looked at the name of the countdown clock file on the web site was named "Transformercountdownclock"

Either way, it appears the final touches are being put in place for the highly-anticipated new land. The construction walls are down on the London facades so (most of the time) guests can wander right up to the Knight Bus and the entrance to the new land.




From Sky 6 today, you can also see the fire-breathing dragon atop Gringotts Bank now has both of its wings.



And Sky 6 spotted crews apparently shooting commercials or promotional footage inside Diagon Alley.



Whether or not the opening will be on June 30th, Universal is promising special access to the new land  to people who purchase special Potter Packages at Universal's hotels & partner hotels starting in late June.
 
In other Diagon details, Universal still has not confirmed it. but another pretty reliable web site has posted what appears to be proof that new interactive wands are going to be hot sellers in both Potter lands. Here's the link to the post on the Orlando Informer site -- warning possible spoilers.

Expect to learn a lot more of Diagon's secrets next week. I'll be covering most of the events for Local 6 & ClickOrlando.com, and, of course I will share my impressions.

Keep your emails, questions, tips and comments coming! I always appreciate the feedback. You can always find all of my blog entries atwww.clickorlando.com/themeparks