Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Things To Do

Gringotts, new Harry Potter features at Universal Orlando explained

For fans of the Harry Potter books and movies, Universal Orlando's detail-rich announcement Thursday on how it will double the size of its spectacular Potterverse was cause for great amounts of reminiscing.

Florean Fortescue's ice cream shop? Who was that again? Wasn't there a big chase scene in Gringotts bank? And wasn't Borgin and Burkes that little dark magic shop that sold dangerous magical artifacts like cursed necklaces?

The last of the seven Potter books came out in 2007, and the eighth and final movie came out in 2011, so Potter fans can be forgiven if they've forgotten some details.

No memory charms or Remembralls needed. Here is our geeky guide to the back stories of the new features that will be coming this summer to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Diagon Alley.

Escape From Gringotts: Probably the most anticipated part of the most anticipated theme park addition of 2014, this ride comes from the award-winning creative team behind the immersive Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Transformers and Spider-Man rides all found at Universal. Gringotts Wizarding Bank is the only bank of the wizarding world. Located in London's wizard shopping district — that is, Diagon Alley — it is owned and operated by goblins. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry and his friends enact a thrilling break-in of the bank and escape on the back of a dragon.

Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream Parlour: Muggles at Universal can get strawberry-and-peanut butter ice cream and other flavors. The ice cream shop gets its name from a character in the Prisoner of Azkaban, when Harry Potter stayed at the Leaky Cauldron for a couple of weeks. Florean Fortescue gave Harry free ice cream sundaes and helped him complete his History of Magic homework on the medieval witch-burnings.

Borgin and Burkes: To be located in Knockturn Alley, the darkest of side trips from Diagon Alley, this shop specializes in dark magical objects. In Chamber of Secrets, just before Harry starts his second year at Hogwarts, he accidentally takes a wrong turn in the Floo Network and finds himself in the shop where he first spots Tom Riddle's Diary in a shop lined with an assortment of human bones, a pack of bloody cards and an array of leering masks on the walls. The theme park version will offer Death Eater masks, skulls and other sinister items.

Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions: This is one of Harry's first stops in the first book and is the scene in many of the books where characters reunite or bicker with bullies like Draco Malfoy before school begins. Theme park visitors will find a variety of wizard wear, from Hogwarts school uniform ties, scarves and jumpers, to authentic wizard's robes and character costumes. Now if only these robes could match the book version, where all robes are self-ironing and self-repairing.

Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes: This was the name of the joke shop on Diagon Alley founded by Fred and George Weasley. They sold practical joke objects, such as extendable ears for eavesdropping, love potions and Fanged Frisbees. The theme park version is absorbing Zonko's toy shop already at Islands of Adventure (allowing the Honeydukes candy store next door to take the extra space). In Order of the Phoenix, Fred and George talked about buying Zonko's in Hogsmeade before opening their Diagon Alley store, so this move makes sense.

Hogwart's Express: One of the most talked-about features of the new expansion is the iconic train that will usher visitors between both Universal theme parks. The park designers worked closely with Stuart Craig and the production team from the Harry Potter films to make an almost-replica of the train that will allow guests to board at King's Cross Station and Hogsmeade, passing through London — but that means you need a two-park pass to ride it.

     
       
Comments
Del Toro’s ‘Shape of Water’ lands a leading 13 Oscar nominations

Del Toro’s ‘Shape of Water’ lands a leading 13 Oscar nominations

NEW YORK — Guillermo del Toro’s lavish monster romance "The Shape of Water" fished out a leading 13 nominations, Greta Gerwig became just the fifth woman nominated for best director and "Mudbound" cinematographer Rachel Morrison made history as the f...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Bill Cosby jokes in 1st show since 2015 he ‘used to be’ comedian

Bill Cosby jokes in 1st show since 2015 he ‘used to be’ comedian

PHILADELPHIA — Bill Cosby performed in public for the first time since a sex abuse scandal embroiled him in 2015, joking that he "used to be a comedian" and playing with a jazz band in his hometown as a retrial looms in his criminal sexual assault ca...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Neil Diamond says he has Parkinson’s, retires from touring

Neil Diamond says he has Parkinson’s, retires from touring

NEW YORK — Neil Diamond is retiring from touring after he says he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, who turns 77 on Wednesday, is canceling his tour dates in Australia and New Zealand for March. He was on his 50...
Updated: 4 hours ago
We Tried That: Taking a food tour of Dunedin

We Tried That: Taking a food tour of Dunedin

It’s cold and overcast when I pull into Sea Sea Riders, a seafood restaurant on Dunedin’s Main Street. I’m flustered because I’m running late, about 5 minutes past our 1 p.m. start time, and I pull my sweater around me to ward off a gust of wind as I...
Published: 01/23/18
What’s your most romantic food story? We want to hear it

What’s your most romantic food story? We want to hear it

Calling all romantic foodies: We want to hear about your tales of love and food. For Valentine’s Day this year, we’re looking into some famously adorable dishes, like Engagement Chicken, a roast chicken first published in Glamour magazine in 2004 tha...
Published: 01/23/18

Hernando County Greek Festival packs food and fun

BROOKSVILLE — What started eight years ago as a one-day indoor festival quickly grew and expanded to two, then three days.Its popularity most likely is the food and pastries, which often causes sudden outbursts of "Opa!"The three-day Hernando County ...
Published: 01/23/18

Hernando Events for Jan. 26

Events26 FridayBeginning Birding Hike: Join a member of the Hernando Audubon Society for a guided hike to find the feathered winter residents of Chinsegut. Program starts with a short observation session at well-stocked feeders then a walk to the vie...
Published: 01/23/18

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballArkansas at Georgia6:30 p.m.SECProvidence at Villanova6:30 p.m.FS1Kansas at Oklahoma7 p.m.ESPNWisconsin at Iowa7 p.m.ESPN2Oklahoma State at Texas Tech7 p.m.ESPNewsVanderbilt at Tennessee7 p.m.ESPNUDavidson at Dayton7 p.m.CBSSNW...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Glass art shines at St. Petersburg’s new Imagine Museum

Glass art shines at St. Petersburg’s new Imagine Museum

ST. PETERSBURGThe bay area’s thriving glass art scene adds another member to its ranks today when the Imagine Museum officially opens in downtown St. Petersburg.Dedicated to the movement of studio glass, the museum is the brainchild of benefactor Tri...
Updated: 12 hours ago
This year’s Florida State Fair food oddities include catfish ‘sundae’ and chicken and waffles pizza

This year’s Florida State Fair food oddities include catfish ‘sundae’ and chicken and waffles pizza

Being the first in the country on the fair-going calendar, the Florida State Fair is also the first to roll out the outrageous, deep-fried, bacon-wrapped, cheese-covered foods on a stick that perfume the midway. While cotton candy, corn dogs and funn...
Published: 01/22/18