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How to Create A Dragon: “Harry Potter” sculptor offers stunning making-of look at Diagon Alley creation at Universal Orlando

How to Create A Dragon: “Harry Potter” sculptor offers stunning making-of look at Diagon Alley creation at Universal Orlando

Since Universal Orlando debuted Diagon Alley last month, thousands of “Harry Potter” fans have been awestruck by the sight of a giant fire-breathing dragon as its centerpiece.

The impressively detailed Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion is filled with such sculptures, most of which were crafted by Bryn Court and his team of artists.

Sculptor Bryn Court stands in Diagon Alley in front of his dragon.

Court is a sculptor from north London who has worked on such films as “Braveheart,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” and (of course) the “Harry Potter” series. The extensive process of bringing such a massive sculpture as the Gringotts dragon to fruition has been detailed through a series of photos on his web site, MovieSculptor.com.

A few variations of the dragon’s pose were considered and modeled before the full scale version was created by hand using a variety of mediums.

Wireframe, foam, clay, paint, and a whole lot more materials were used to make this massive dragon not only exist, but also stand up to the elements – including its own fire breath.

Though everyone stares at the dragon’s head awaiting its fire blasts, its body is no less important, draping across the top of Gringotts Bank in Diagon Alley. The process for making its massive wingspan down to its talons and tail was an elaborate one.

Once complete, the dragon was carefully craned and lowered into place, piece by piece.

Ultimately, this was the final result of all their efforts:

Humble when speaking about his work, Court simply described the dragon as a “challenge” when asked about what his impressions were of Diagon Alley. But the dragon was far from the only detailed sculpture created for the new area. From the Eros Fountain out front to huge caverns within Escape from Gringotts, Court’s photos show off what went into making much of what’s scene there today.

Standing just outside Knockturn Alley alongside art director Alan Gilmore days before the expansion’s grand opening, it was clear they both were extremely proud of what had been accomplished, smiling as they casually strolled around, admiring their work.

But for these creatives, finishing one project simply means they’re free to move on to another. Gilmore was soon to board a plane to see the completion of Universal Studios Japan’s Wizarding World, then continuing on to California to oversee Universal Studios Hollywood’s version. Even with all that on his plate, he freely admitted he’s eager and up for the challenge of creating even more Harry Potter attractions should Universal and Warner Brothers decide to head in that direction.

Many more photos can be found at MovieSculptor.com.


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Topics: Disney, Food, Hotel, Walt Disney WorldTags: , ,

As part of the ongoing renovation of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Walt Disney World this weekend reopened Captain Cook’s with a new look and new menu.

Featuring new stylized travel posters on the walls, the counter service restaurant keeps its Polynesian roots with an updated look. Gone are the touch screen ordering kiosks, leaving guests to place their orders with humans once again. The new menu includes sandwiches, coconut curry meatballs, fish tacos, chicken and waffles, and the returning pulled pork nachos.

Captain Cook's reopens at Walt Disney World

Captain Cook's reopens at Walt Disney World

Captain Cook's reopens at Walt Disney World

Captain Cook's reopens at Walt Disney World


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Topics: Artwork, Disney, Disneyland, Disneyland Resort, Merchandise, Special Events, Theme ParksTags: , ,

Today Disneyland debuted its new art gallery in honor of the 45th anniversary of The Haunted Mansion. The famous dark ride first opened August 9, 1969 and to celebrate that birthday, artists gathered inside the gallery to show off their original creations inspired by the attraction.

Shawn Marshall of theconfluencecovers.com shared with us photos and video of the event, including the limited edition and one of a kind artwork. Much of this merchandise will be for sale for several several months, especially the mass produced art prints and small sculptures, but the limited edition items sold out fast this morning as hundreds of fans poured in.

Showroom Walkthrough Video

Gallery Walkthrough Video

Ezra bust & Gargoyle

Haunted Mansion 45th anniversary art gallery at Disneyland

Haunted Mansion 45th anniversary art gallery at Disneyland

Haunted Mansion 45th anniversary art gallery at Disneyland

Haunted Mansion 45th anniversary art gallery at Disneyland


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Topics: Entertainment, Special Events, Theme Parks, Universal Studios HollywoodTags: , , , , , , ,

Two new scare zones were quietly announced today for Halloween Horror Nights 2014 at Universal Studios Hollywood, one bringing to life a Native American legend and the other putting a twisted spin on an otherwise jolly holiday.

Dark Christmas will be located in the Baker Street area of the park and will feature Krampus, the Christmas Devil – an evil version of Santa Claus. Rather than bringing presents to kids, he’ll be hunting them down along side other mythological creatures making it a very scary Christmas.

In the lower lot, a new scare zone called Skullz (yep, there’s that obligatory “z”) will be featured, inspired by the Native American legend of Wendigo. Creative director John Murdy explained it as a “malevolent half-beast creature with an insatiable appetite for humans.” The area will feature “giant, wraith-like creatures with animal skulls for heads” from different animals.

Artwork of these new creatures will be revealed in the coming days. (The above Krampus art is not official, but rather one artist’s creation.)


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FEATURED STORY

Star-Lord and Gamora to appear as first Marvel characters at Walt Disney World in “Awesome Mix Tape” party

Star-Lord and Gamora to appear as first Marvel characters at Walt Disney World in “Awesome Mix Tape” party

As if the promise of more than 50 baddies appearing in one event isn’t reason enough to attend next week’s Villains Unleashed event at Walt Disney World, Disney and Marvel are now now giving two more: Star-Lord and Gamora.

The pair from “Guardians of the Galaxy” will be occasionally appearing throughout the evening as part of an Awesome Mix Tape Dance Party to be held in Stage 5 in the Animation Courtyard during the event.

Calling it the “hottest spot this side of Knowhere” the party will feature a DJ and surprise moments with Star-Lord and Gamora. It is not clear if they’ll be hanging around to mingle with partygoers or simply stopping by to recover Peter Quill’s important cassette tape of ’70s songs, but they will be there in some form – a first for Marvel characters in the Florida parks.

Disney has also announced that Hiro and Baymax characters from “Big Hero 6″ will be meeting with guests in the same park later this year.

Meanwhile at Disneyland in California, guests can still meet Thor and Captain America inside Innoventions.

“Villains Unleashed” is a separately ticketed special event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with a cost of $67 plus tax ($62 plus tax for children 3-9).

No word whether baby dancing Groot will be there too:


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Interview with Roger Rabbit creator Gary K Wolf, Villains Unleashed event at Walt Disney World
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