Full disclosure: Monsters & Critics received free entry to the attraction mentioned in this article for review. However, the opinions expressed are independent and our own.
Everything is absolutely perfect and almost 100% London-like in Diagon Alley… except for one thing, according to “Potter” star Warwick Davis.
“The weather, you’ve got it all wrong here, ” he quipped. “There’s no rain!”
This is Florida after all, wait a few minutes. We may have a gulley-washer for 5 minutes then bright sunshine for the rest of the day.
Last night was the red carpet for the Diagon Alley preview where the stars came to sunny Florida and Monsters and Critics was there to experience the new attractions and see the hard work of the production designers and construction crews paying off.
The Orlando theme park is launching Diagon Alley, a recreation of the hidden London shopping street only known to magical beings, which more than doubles the size of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction. The expanded Wizarding World is stunning and loaded with shops, rides and restaurants for fans of the Harry Potter films to enjoy.
Last night, Harry Potter film stars including Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) and others attended an exclusive preview of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando Resort.
Arriving on a red carpet that stretched from King’s Cross Station to the reimagined ‘London,’ the cast celebrated the announcement of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s grand opening date set for July 8, 2014.
Actor Robbie Coltrane led event attendees inside the land by ceremoniously tapping the bricks of Diagon Alley like Hagrid did in the Potter books and films.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley will bring even more of Harry Potter’s adventures to life. The new area will practically double the size of the park at Universal Orlando, making Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure an enormous destination joined in the center by restaurants and shops.
Guests will pass through London and the iconic brick wall archway into Diagon Alley – a bustling, wizarding hub within a Muggle city. Inside the land, guests will enjoy themed shops, dining experiences and the groundbreaking thrill ride – Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.
Voldemort’s right-hand woman, Helena Bonham Carter, also lent her voice to the new attraction. Bonham Carter was there with Tim Burton, Oliver and Jamie Phelps, Matthew Lewis, Domhnall Gleeson, Evanna Lynch, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Tom Felton and Bonnie Wright.
For fans coming to the attraction, make sure to look for the 60-foot, fire-breathing Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon, the guard for the Lestrange Vault, at Gringotts Wizarding Bank. The bank is also decorated in marble with animatronic goblins grumbling either side of the hall.
Mark Woodbury, the president of Universal Creative, said: “We’ve designed and created a new type of ride that propels guests into the story like never before, and guests will remember it long after their visit to Diagon Alley.”
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley will officially open on July 8.
More to come!