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Robert Niles

Universal Creative's leadership talks about the development of Diagon Alley

Published: June 19, 2014 at 4:28 PM

ORLANDO — Diagon Alley provided Universal's theme park creative team the opportunity to tell more of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter stories, in different ways than they did for the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure.

"Gringotts was a ride waiting to happen," Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative, said, "and the chance to bring that to life was an opportunity we just didn't want to miss."

Universal Creative leadership
Woodbury, second from right, with Alan Gilmore, far left, Thierry Coup, and Dale Mason, right.

"It was a tricky piece of business to find a way to do that that would be authentic, so we studied it pretty hard, and we figured out that there was a slice in time by which we would be enabled to be in the Gringotts Bank in the moment when Harry, Ron, and Hermione were breaking in to steal the Horcrux and we found an opportunity to place ourselves in that action. It took a lot of thought; it took a lot of consideration to find a way to allow us to be in that moment in the movie."

Woodbury was joined at The Leaky Cauldron by Alan Gilmore, art director for the Harry Potter films and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Thierry Coup, senior vice president of Universal Creative, and Dale Mason, director of creative development for Universal Creative. The four talked this morning about the process of creating Universal's second Harry Potter land, as well as the influences and differences from the filmmaking process in the project.

Coming later tonight: Our overview of Diagon Alley (with video!), as well as an in-depth review of Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.

Replies (2)

Melissa Donahue

Published: June 19, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Thank you, Robert, for all of your ongoing, detailed reporting. You realize that I'm living vicariously through you this week, right? :) I am looking forward to more updates later this evening!
Robert Niles

Published: June 19, 2014 at 8:59 PM

You're welcome, Melissa. We're trying to anticipate everyone's needs (and wildest wishes) with our coverage this week.

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