It took a lot to create Diagon Alley, the expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that opens on July 8 in Universal Studios Florida. During the media preview of this new area, there were plenty of celebrities on hand from the movies to talk to the press. However, the creative minds behind the project were there to talk about what it's like to take a beloved fictional place and turn it into a real destination that will be enjoyed by millions of visitors every year.
Granted Universal already pulled this off once with the opening of the Hogsmeade area in Islands of Adventure back in 2010. Click the video accompanying this article to hear how they've managed to do it a second time by bringing London and Diagon Alley to Universal Studios and connecting the two areas with the famous Hogwarts Express.
Diagon Alley feature two new rides, and it's also packed with familiar shops and places to eat and drink, including the Leaky Cauldron. It also has two shows, The Tales of Beedle the Bard (which actually has two different stories) and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees, a musical performance by Molly Weasley's favorite singing sorceress.
If you'd like to see the panel discussions with the Harry Potter celebrities who turned out for the Diagon Alley preview, use the links below:
- Warwick Davis, Robbie Coltrane, and Domnhall Gleeson
- Helena Bonham Carter and Tom Felton
- James and Oliver Phelps, Evanna Lynch, Matthew Lewis and Bonnie Wright