5:35 pm EST, February 27, 2013

Mayor of Orlando says Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion is opening in 2014

During his state of the city address this morning, Mayor of Orlando Buddy Dyer revealed that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s expansion is opening next year.

“This summer [Universal Orlando Resort] will open the new Transformers 3-D ride, followed by the opening next year of a new resort hotel and the expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” he said during his remarks. Local news station WESH (via Inside the Magic) reached out to Universal after these comments were made: “I don’t read the Mayor’s words the same as you. All we have announced is that there will be a significant expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Anything else is your own speculation,” said their spokesperson.

Universal Studios confirmed in December 2011 that it was indeed working on a Wizarding World expansion at its Florida resort, but no other official details have surfaced since then.

Rumors, however, have been running rampant. If speculation and physical evidence seen over the past year is believed to be true, plans call for an entirely new London/Diagon Alley land to be built in Universal Studios (the Universal park neighboring Islands of Adventure where the Wizarding World of Harry Potter currently resides). A working Hogwarts Express will connect the two lands to transport guests.

Earlier this week we shared with you great, detailed overhead shots of the construction which depict lots of progress on the Diagon Alley land, the Hogwarts Express train track, and the new train station in Hogsmeade. We’ve been predicting the entire new expansion would open in 2014 or 2015, and the mayor’s remarks appear to indicate they’re going for the former timeframe.

Hollywood’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter will open in 2015, while Japan’s Wizarding World will open in 2014. We don’t think these two new parks will affect the expansion being built in Orlando.

Thanks to Snitch Seeker and Thomas for the tip-off.

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