On Thursday, June 5, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps and Bonnie Wright from the popular Harry Potter film series enjoyed a sneak peek of the highly anticipated, spectacularly themed environment, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida.
The actors – who portrayed siblings Fred, George and Ginny Weasley in the films – toured the new land with Thierry Coup, Senior Vice President of Universal Creative, and Alan Gilmore, Art Director of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the Harry Potter films.
Opening this summer, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley will bring even more of Harry Potter’s adventures to life. Inside the land, guests will enjoy themed shops, dining experiences and the groundbreaking thrill ride – Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. The new area will double the size of the sweeping land already found at Universal Orlando, expanding the spectacularly themed environment across both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
"Bringing The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley to life has allowed our team to create show content and experiences that will take guests further into the fiction than ever before,” says Michael Aiello, Creative Development Director for Universal Orlando’s Entertainment team.
Soon, you will be able to wander up the cobbled street of Diagon Alley, turn into nearby Carkitt Market, and enjoy a live performance by one of the wizarding world’s most popular singing sensations or seeing stories from The Tales of Beedle the Bard come to life right before your eyes.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a new stage show taking place within Carkitt Market, a covered, outdoor shopping area inspired by London’s famous markets. The show will feature a troupe of four from the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts who have set up to perform a trunk show using stylized scenic pieces, props and puppetry fabricated by Emmy-award-winning designer Michael Curry. Curry is best known as the production designer on projects including the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony and the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show.
The performers will retell two of the famed tales of Beedle the Bard, a 15th-century author of wizarding fairytales. The show will feature “The Fountain of Fair Fortune”, in which three witches and a knight meet in their attempt to reach the Fountain in an enchanted garden, and “The Tale of the Three Brothers” – featured in the seventh film “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” – in which three wizard brothers come face to face with Death.
You will also be able to enjoy a bit of alternative wizarding rock, as The Singing Sorceress: Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees, known from the books as Molly Weasley’s favorite singer, will emerge from the Wizarding Wireless Network to play a swinging show featuring never-before heard songs including, “A Cauldron Full Of Hot, Strong Love,” “You Stole My Cauldron But You Can’t Have My Heart” and “You Charmed The Heart Right Out Of Me.”
“Nowhere else in the world will guests be able to enjoy these unique experiences – from watching a stage show based on the popular wizarding stories from “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” to enjoying the music of Celestina Warbeck, a character from the fiction,” Aiello continued.
The Knight Bus, which provides emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard in the Harry Potter books and films, is also located in the London area of the new land. Guests will be able to meet and chat with the Knight Bus Conductor, and witness his rapport with the shrunken head hanging from the rear-view mirror. The iconic three-story, purple Knight Bus was inspired by its first appearance in the third film, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”
If you feel your Muggle money isn't good enough for paying your magical debts, Gringotts Money Exchange will allow visitors to interact with a Gringotts bank goblin and exchange their Muggle currency for Wizarding Bank Notes. These bank notes can be used within both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade (and throughout the rest of Universal’s two theme parks) to purchase snacks and items from the shops.
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