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Universal Orlando announces July 8 Diagon Alley opening: Expect huge crowds

Diagon Alley opens July 8.
Diagon Alley opens July 8.
Barb Nefer

It's finally official: Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida will open to the public on July 8. This week there's a lot of hoopla surrounding the media preview, and with good reason. Many of the "Harry Potter" film stars are in town, and members of the media are getting their very first view of Diagon Alley tonight (June 18).

What, exactly, does that June 18 opening mean? On the plus side, it's after the 4th of July holiday, which is exceptionally busy for theme parks in general. The added crowd of people waiting to get into Diagon Alley wouldn't be a good mix for that holiday time.

On the minus side, you'll like have insanely long waits to see Diagon Alley if it's anything like Hogsmeade. Guests line up just to get into that park of Islands of Adventure, passing up all the other rides and attractions just so they could experience some wizardly. You're smart if you give the novelty of Diagon Alley a little time to wear off. Otherwise, the waits will be so long that you'll get very little accomplished if you visit in the summer.

However, from all I've heard, it's going to be well worth the wait. I'll let you know for sure when I write up my opinion here in Examiner after some firsthand experiences tonight and tomorrow.