Today Universal Orlando has revealed an impressive set of new details for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley expansion. Though a specific opening date has not yet been announced, progress is moving steadily behind the London waterfront facades to create an impressively large addition to the world of “Harry Potter” that will span both Universal parks.
In fact, Diagon Alley is so huge that while Universal has released quite a lot of information about Diagon Alley, it’s nowhere near fully unveiled, leaving many surprises for the coming months leading up to its summer 2014 opening date. Along with today’s announcements arrives new concept art showing off what many areas of the finished expansion will look like.
Video: Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley artwork and preview
In addition to hosting nationwide press on site, Universal streamed a webcast online showing off the latest details to fans.
Video: Highlights of the Diagon Alley webcast
Enough excitement has been offered to warrant two articles on the subject, this one covering the newly-named restaurants, shops, and attractions and a second article offering a closer look via a behind-the-walls, first-person account of what it’s like to step into Diagon Alley along with interviews with the creatives folks behind it all.
Take a quick look at what’s been announced for Diagon Alley below. And for more information and a few interviews, read my Fox News article.
London Waterfront and Facades
There will be nearly no indication of the world of “Harry Potter” outside Diagon Alley. A row of waterfront facades are inspired by London locations seen in the films, but no signs will be posted specifically pointing guests into the new area – though there will be one hard-to-miss clue that things aren’t quite what they seem around this area.
The London facades are King’s Cross Station, Charing Cross Road (leading to Leaky Cauldron), Grimmauld Place (home of the Black family), Leicester Square Station for the London Underground, and Wyndham’s Theatre. The Eros Fountain from Piccadilly Circus is also being recreated in the area.
Parked alongside the fountain will be the big blue Knight Bus, complete with an interactive inside featuring a talking shrunken head (with Caribbean accent). But peering into Diagon Alley won’t be easy from this vantage point, as any entrance into the Wizarding World is marked by a bit of magic. (More on that below.)