On a day when construction walls come down around Diagon Alley London facades and The Walking Dead is announced to return to Halloween Horror Nights 2014, one bit of news unites both of these worlds at Universal Orlando.
According to the event’s official web site, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley will not be open during Halloween Horror Nights. It will remain open during the normal daytime hours of the park, but once the nighttime separately-ticketed Horror Nights event begins, Diagon Alley will no longer be accessible.
There has been much curiosity among fans as to whether “Harry Potter” creator J.K. Rowling would allow the terrors of Halloween Horror Nights to come anywhere close to her carefully crafted worlds. Now that question has been answered, at least for this year. Gone are the hopes of Death Eaters and Dementors haunting Knockturn Alley by night.
But it may not be Rowling’s doing. Imagine the massive new expansion being open during Halloween Horror Nights, drawing huge crowds to one corner of the park. People would be buying up tickets for the event in an attempt to bypass the huge lines by day, drawing attention away from the haunted houses, scare zones, and shows that are meant to be the focus of Horror Nights. Diagon Alley would surely draw everyone’s eyes.
Likewise, the park-to-park access that the Hogwarts Express will provide would create a bit of a nightmare in checking whether incoming guests from Islands of Adventure have the proper Halloween Horror Nights ticket, and vice-versa.
There is a precedent for this type of restricted area at Halloween Horror Nights. When the event was at Islands of Adventure years ago, Seuss Landing was off limits to be included in the festivities, mandated by the Seuss estate.
Regardless of the reason, those planning to visit Universal Orlando to see Diagon Alley should not turn to Halloween Horror Nights as an option. Likewise, those attending Halloween Horror Nights this year should not expect to ride Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.
Universal Studios Florida attractions that will be open during Halloween Horror Nights 24 are Transformers: The Ride 3D, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Revenge of the Mummy, Men in Back Alien Attack, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, and The Simpsons Ride.
Halloween Horror Nights 24 takes place on select nights, September 19 – November 1, 2014.