Universal Epic Universe in Orlando is set to introduce the third expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, potentially marking its final addition in 2025. This upcoming expansion will once again draw inspiration from the beloved film series, akin to the existing Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley areas. However, what sets this new section apart is its incorporation of the more recent Fantastic Beasts series, which recently concluded with Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. By venturing beyond Hogwarts, the new area will provide an international ambiance, transporting guests to the iconic real-life location of Paris.
Upon entering the new Wizarding World land, visitors will be greeted by a replica of the Porte Saint-Denis arch, followed by an immersive experience in the fictional Place Cachée from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Within this area, guests will discover the Circus Arcanus tent from the second Fantastic Beasts film, alongside several shops, restaurants, and other Parisian-inspired locations featured in the Fantastic Beasts series.
While the exterior of the land embodies the French Wizarding World, the main attraction will transport visitors back to the London Ministry of Magic from the original Harry Potter films. Using Floo Powder, guests will embark on a ride inside the Ministry of Magic, specifically during the sentencing of the notorious Delores Umbridge. Imelda Staunton, the actress who portrayed Umbridge, is reportedly reprising her role, forging a significant connection to the original film series.
The concept of the Ministry of Magic attraction may sound familiar to Universal enthusiasts, as initial plans aimed to incorporate it into a Diagon Alley expansion. However, as the Epic Universe project developed, the attraction was relocated to the new park to accommodate its expansive show building, which will be the largest in the entire theme park upon completion.
The ride itself will be a dark ride featuring a vehicle system similar to The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Islands of Adventure. However, the upgraded vehicle will provide dynamic movement by moving both horizontally and vertically, enhancing the immersion during show scenes and environments. The attraction is rumored to combine 2D screens with animatronics, eliminating the need for guests to wear 3D glasses.
In addition to the captivating rides, the new land will feature an indoor theater with a seating capacity of over 600, reminiscent of the theater housing the Bourne Stuntacular at Universal Studios Florida. This theater will offer the opportunity for medium-scale productions, with the potential for continuous performances or scheduled shows.
While the focus of the new land predominantly revolves around the Harry Potter film series, references to the Fantastic Beasts’ plot and characters within the land itself will be limited. However, rumors suggest that magical creatures from the Fantastic Beasts series will be scattered throughout the land, providing interactions with guests who possess the new generation of interactive wands designed exclusively for this expansion. Incorporating magical creatures will not only infuse the latest film series into the land but also drive sales of interactive wands, piquing the interest of Universal.
It’s worth noting that previous plans for a virtual reality (VR)-based ride featuring broomstick flights alongside Newt Scamander and other Fantastic Beasts characters have been canceled for undisclosed reasons. While the facade of the ride’s show building continues construction, the interior space remains vacant until further notice.
As Universal continues to refine its plans for this exciting addition, there may be further surprises and unexpected elements in store for visitors. With anticipation building, it begs the question: Which aspect of the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion are you most excited about? Do you have any predictions for the future of this upcoming theme park?