Thursday, January 23, 2014

Universal Studios Florida Reveals Wizarding Details for Diagon Alley

Today's webcast, held by Universal Orlando to show off the Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley, brought a fresh batch of details about the highly anticipated area.  A selection of concept art for Diagon Alley was also released, along with a brand new website that lets us explore the addition on our own time.

Above is a general look down the main section of Diagon Alley, with various shops and food locations along the way.  As expected, the attention to detail will be extremely high, just as with creating Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure.

The section's main ride finally has a name - Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.  Described as a "groundbreaking new, multi-dimensional thrill ride...which will place riders in the middle of an incredible adventure as they navigate their way through the perils of the Gringotts vaults."  We did not get much in the way of further details about the roller coaster ride, but from the concept art released above I'm sure we will all be in love with the attraction once it opens.

The Hogwarts Express was no secret, but during the webcast they actually showed some of the inside of the trains - and they really do look exactly like in the films.  The press release mentions that park-to-park tickets are needed to ride the Express, since it travels between Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida.  Above is the view of King's Cross Station, which is a part of the London section of the Wizarding World.

Also released was this updated look at the London waterfront area which will serve as the main entrance to Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida.  We've recently seen much of this area complete, at least the facades, but it will be a very pretty area when open to visitors.  Out front you can spot the Knight Bus, a triple-decker method of public transportation for the Wizarding community.  There also looks to be a nice wide walkway along the water that will be great for viewing the nighttime shows at the park.

The list of retail and food locations inside Diagon Alley is extensive.  Above is Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, a fun looking store filled with novelty items.  A brand new Ollivander's will also be located in Diagon Alley with visitor capacity in mind.  Other stores include Madame Malkin's Robes For All Occasions, Quality Quidditch Supplies, Scribbulus, Magical Menagerie, and Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment.  In the darkened Knockturn Alley you can visit Borgin and Burkes which specializes in the dark arts and items such as death eater masks.

The Leaky Cauldron will be an expansive restaurant that will have traditional British fare such as Fish & Chips, and sweet treats will abound at Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour.

If you missed the webcast you can check out the full show over at Attractions Magazine, along with additional concept art and details of the expansion.  Make sure to play around on the new website for Diagon Alley, there's some neat videos built in and you can explore the addition in a 3-D setting.