More magic has made its way to Universal Orlando as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley is now officially open. Completing a project that visibly began when the Jaws ride closed in early 2012, Diagon Alley is now widely regarded as the new gold standard of theme park design, completely immersing Universal Studios Florida guests in a formerly fantasy world, now made real.
Thousands of “Harry Potter” fans arrived to Universal Orlando this morning to experience the many highly detailed and intriguing elements of Diagon Alley – from shopping to dining to live entertainment to its groundbreaking rides.
Video: Diagon Alley grand opening at Universal Orlando of Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion
(Video and most grand opening photos by WDW Guided Tours)
A confetti-filled moment marked the official opening of Diagon Alley.
Passing through the brick wall and seeing Diagon Alley for the first time has had jaws dropping and brought tears to the eyes of longtime fans.
After much waiting and anticipation, Universal’s guests can now enjoy double the “Harry Potter” entertainment with all-new offerings in Diagon Alley, each explored in detail at the links below.
And one unmissable fire-breathing dragon:
Plus so much more.
Though the new area had already been open in technical rehearsals to guests for several days, its signature attraction, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, remained largely closed until today, its first official day of operation.
At opening, there was a posted wait time of 150 minutes, which quickly rose to 300, then 350, then 375 minutes. The ride went down for about 15 minutes but came back up quickly, much to fans’ delight.
Video: Diagon Alley opening day line at Universal Orlando
Because the ride’s queue can fit so many people, the streets of Diagon Alley became far less crowded, with most people waiting to get on the attraction.
But outside, the line to enter Diagon Alley wraps well around the park into backstage areas, with an estimated 3-4 hour wait time to enter.