Universal Studios Is Building New Thrill Ride, But It Means Change To Harry Potter Celebration

the sorting hat in universal studios

While Universal Studios is gearing up for this year's Hollywood Horror Nights, the Orlando-based theme park is also looking to the future, and we recently learned there are some big changes on the horizon in regard to the Harry Potter sections. Some of this is good news and some of this is not the best news for fans, but as we're feeling pretty optimistic this Monday, we'll stick with the good news first: Universal Studios Orlando is definitely working hard to open that new thrill ride one of the Harry Potter sections of its parks. As for the other news? It's going to have an effect on a Harry Potter event that parkgoers have loved for a few years now.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been open in Orlando since 2010 (the one in California didn't open until 2016). In that time, there have been plenty of expansions and additions added since the themed concept initially opened. In fact, in Florida, you can catch some wizarding wonders in both Islands of Adventure and the regular Universal Studios Florida parks. Details are scarce in regards to what the new "thrill" ride will entail; however, we do know the new expansion is going to go in the Islands of Adventure Park and that it is expected to be a coaster experience. In addition, the AP says the thrill ride won't be the only new Harry Potter addition to the park and that there will be information about new experiences coming soon.

Unfortunately with good news there is often bad news, as well. Fans who enjoy The Wizarding World of Harry Potter's annual celebration of Harry Potter will not be getting their fix in 2019. The popular theme park has announced that as part of the renovations and changes A Celebration of Harry Potter will not be happening next year at any point. The event usually happens near the start of an individual year, during the winter months. The 2018 event occurred between January 26 and January 28 of last year. For the past five years, the fun fan event has lasted for three days and been covered by the price of admission. Stars of the movies are often involved and it's kind of a big deal. So losing that will be noticeable on the calendar next year. Hopefully, it will just be a blip before Universal gets back to its regular programming.

Obviously, adding a ride to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is not the only change afoot at either of the Universal Studios parks. The Hollywood theme park recently shut down the famous Jurassic Park ride in order to go through a Jurassic World remodel. A Terminator 2-based ride was also shut down and is expected to be replaced in 2019. As soon as Universal makes a clearer announcement regarding what to expect with all of Harry Potter changes coming in 2019 we'll be on hand to keep you posted. In the meantime, you can take a look at the final day for the Jurassic Park ride. Or, if you are more of a Potter-head, you can see what is coming for the franchise on the movie front with our guide to Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.