ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Universal Studios theme park executives offered a few details Thursday on the new Harry Potter-themed area, which is scheduled to open at the Orlando park next year along with an 1,800-room resort and eight new restaurants in the CityWalk dining and entertainment area.
The new Potter attractions will be based on the books' fictional scenes in Diagon Alley and London, and will be located in the Universal Studios section of the theme park. The existing Wizarding World of Harry Potter area is located in the other part of the park, Universal Islands of Adventure.
Visitors will be able to take a new black and red train, the Hogwarts Express, between the two areas, which will presumably entice visitors to buy a two-park pass so they can explore both sections.
Designers plan a restaurant inside the new Harry Potter-themed area called the Leaky Cauldron. The restaurant interior will be based on scenes from the movie "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." Executives said more Harry Potter details will be released in early 2014.
The massive new Cabana Bay Beach Resort, under construction now, will be themed after a 1960s hotel, with authentic-looking mid-century modern furnishings and decor.
"It's going to be like driving into 1960," said Mark Woodbury, Universal Creative's president.
Half of the 1,800 rooms will be suites that sleep up to six people. The resort will also feature a bowling alley, restaurants and two pool areas with water park-like amenities.
The first of CityWalk's new eateries, Red Oven Pizza Bakery, has already opened. Other original concept restaurants include Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food, The Bread Box, Pranzo Italian Kitchen and the Hot Dog Hall of Fame. The hot dog restaurant will serve dogs from various ballparks from around the U.S., and will have baseball memorabilia scattered around.