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Celebrity sighting and Hogwarts teaser at Universal, more news coming March 14

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Ever since the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure in 2010, rumors have flown about a possible expansion of the wildly popular area. If you've been following the news, you know that a second phase was announced a little over a year later...and now it's nearly complete.

Diagon Alley, which is located next door in Universal Studios Florida, will feature new shops and restaurants, another Ollivanders location, and a brand-new thrill ride called Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts that will bring muggles into the famous wizarding bank. However, the crowning jewel will be the Hogwarts Express itself.

Click the video at the top of this article for a very brief teaser. If you want more information, be online on March 14, when Universal Orlando Resort promises to reveal more details of the Hogwarts Express experience. The park has already promised that it will give guests the chance to experience the same magical journey between London and Hogsmeade that Harry and his friends experienced themselves.

In the meantime, there was a celebrity spotting the Ollivanders wand shop in Hogsmeade. As you can see in the photo accompanying this article, Richard Gere didn't wait for Diagon Alley to open to be found by his perfect wand.

In the meantime, if you need a Harry fix, go to this article to see a recording of the full webcast from the big announcement, including some special guests taking a sneak peek at the Hogwarts Express. The webcast also has tantalizing details about shops, eateries, and of course the Gringotts ride.

Need advice or guidance from a Central Florida theme parks expert? Check out my ebooks for Kindle and Nook.

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