Rumor Control: Universal’s ‘Jaws’ Ride to Be Replaced With ‘Harry Potter’s’ London, Diagon Alley and The Hogwarts Express
Universal Studios will be a bit less “Wet and wild” after news surfaced that they will be shutting down the long running Jaws attraction (blasphemy, I know). The ride will close January 2, 2012 for the construction of an upcoming new attraction. Most people, ourselves included, are speculating that with the removal of the iconic sharks comes the expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter into Universal.
There may be a bit of truth to the rumors, as a recent quote from Comcast CFO Mike Angelakis that called The Wizarding World of Harry Potter a “reset mechanism” for their parks. Here’s a sample:
If my various sources are correct, the Amity / Jaws area will be replaced by the proposed Phase 2 expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Now, before you flip out… lets go over it all, because for starters this really isn’t going to be the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at all. Instead, from what I’ve been able to gather, the new land to be build in Universal Studios Florida will actually represent the “London” side of the PotterVerse… including an entrance to the infamous Diagon Alley.
Diagon Alley, as seen in the movies, is home to infamous locations such as The Leaky Cauldron, Gringott’s Wizarding Bank and the true Ollivanders wand shop location, as seen in the films. The London location is also said to be home to King’s Cross station, where students would board the Hogwarts Express train from Platform 9 ¾.
Many of these locations have been mentioned in the rumored development plans for Phase 2 of the Wizarding World for months now, including an innovative indoor dark coaster ride said to take place inside Gringott’s Wizarding Bank. It’s no secret that the Wizarding World has been popular…so much so that it needed to be expanded to spread out the crowds, and come up with a way to provide new locations for guests to buy Butterbeer, Ollivanders wands and more. But it seems that Universal Creative really decided to try a new idea… and think really outside the box this time. Literally… because this new expansion is going to allow for guests in both parks to get a taste of the PotterVerse… but to get the ENTIRE experience, you’d going to have to have a 2-park ticket.
So this is where their going to get you. Instead of paying one ticket, for a day full of wand fiddling, you have to pay what will probably be double the admission for half the enjoyment. Now that’s some true magic Universal.
Of course, fans of the J.K. Rowlings franchise will pay out the magic hole to experience Harry’s world, even if it’s filled with hipsters dressed in a Hogwarts uniform. With a rumored 2014 opening date for this potential area, expect an official announcement soon. Shark looked fake anyway.