Harry Potter expansion set to include Gringotts, replace Jaws

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The buzz surrounding the upcoming expansion of Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter increased a level with the Theme Park Insider website posting details of plans to put the attractions at Universal Studios, on the site of the Jaws ride.

Robert Niles, editor of Theme Park Insider, reports that he has seen what appear to be preliminary plans for Potter attractions, which have been crowd favorites since opening next door at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in 2010. He would not reveal his source. (“Don’t even bother asking,” he wrote.)

What he says he saw, set for the Jaws and Amity area of Universal Studios: a 8,900-square-foot restaurant, a smaller walk-through experience, and a “massive” show building for a Gringotts ride, with features labeled “Bankers Hall,” “Vault Display,” “Ledge,” “Dark Tunnel,” “Thief’s’ Downfall” and “Chasm.” He describes a 3-D projection system and a Victorian-styled ride vehicle.  In the Harry Potter books and films, Gringotts Wizarding Bank is a London financial institution run by goblins.

Universal has not released details about the Orlando expansion. A spokesman said Sunday that the company does not address rumors and speculation. Universal announced last month that it was closing the longtime Jaws ride as of Monday, Jan. 2.

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