The 3-day Celebration of Harry Potter this weekend at Universal Orlando has been mostly focused on the books and film series across many presentations and special events. But one session featured a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade Village with a sneak preview of a few oversized props that will be placed in the upcoming Diagon Alley expansion.
Art director Alan Gilmore, “Harry Potter” film sculptor Bryn Court, and Wizarding World of Harry Potter sculptor Eric Davis walked the crowd of fans through a progression of how some of the most iconic parts of the Wizarding World were created.
Video: Making-of Wizarding World of Harry Potter with Diagon Alley preview at Universal Orlando
On stage with the designers were four props, three new for Diagon Alley and one quite familiar to “Harry Potter” fans.
On the left, a blackboard used in the “Harry Potter” films in the Dark Arts classroom has been sent from Warner Bros to Universal Orlando to place into the Dark Arts classroom of the queue for the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, adding more authenticity to that experience.
Next to that, a large suit of troll armor will be featured in a blacksmith shop in Diagon Alley.
Beyond that, the instantly recognizable Vanishing Cabinet seen many times in the “Harry Potter” films has been recreated with intricate detail - including the inner workings - to be featured Knockturn Alley’s Borgin and Burkes shop.
Lastly, a large colorful rocket was on stage that will be installed in Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes.
In addition, James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley) were invited on stage, carrying an original prop from the film alongside a recreation for Universal Orlando that will also be featured in the store.
Many making-of photos were shared during the presentation, offering an early glimpse at the creation of sculptures like the griffin that marks the entrance to Dumbledore’s office as well as the One-Eyed Witch found in the Forbidden Journey queue, among many others.
No further secrets were revealed about Diagon Alley, other than a bit of hinting that Bryn Court is likely working on the massive dragon that will be perched atop Gringotts Bank and the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride. More details will be revealed in the months ahead.
More photos from the Wizarding World behind-the-scenes presentation:
(Photos by Karin Yarnell)