Insider's Update: Diagon Alley opens to all
Universal Studios Florida opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley to all park guests yesterday afternoon, and is expected to continue soft openings today and even perhaps through the official opening on July 8. Universal Orlando hotel guests who've bought Diagon Alley packages are getting first admission into the land each day, but softs are following in the afternoons. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts has been up and down for the hotel guests, and was not included in the soft opening for all guests yesterday.
The visitors who got in yesterday were overjoyed with the experience, and Twitter erupted with photos of giddy guests. Here are a few sent to us @ThemePark:
Now that the land has been opened to all guests, we've opened our Diagon Alley review pages for you to rate, review and upload photos of the locations you've experienced.
Note that anyone can rate attractions (though we ask that you limit yourself to rating places you've actually visited), but you must register with the site to leave a review or upload a photo. Registering is free, though, and only takes a moment, so please, register today!
It's been an amazing journey we've shared with you over the past two and a half years, from first revealing the plans for Diagon Alley on December 31, 2011, through the many other revelations we've reported about Diagon Alley since then. We hope that many of you get the chance to enjoy Diagon Alley as much as we've enjoyed reporting on it, and then, finally getting to experience Diagon Alley in person last month.
In other news, Walt Disney World is opening its Frozen celebration at Disney's Hollywood Studios this weekend, and offered a first look at the Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Funland inside Soundstage One at the Studios (most recently home to Darth's Mall).
Across the country, at Disneyland, the park just reopened the Alice in Wonderland dark ride after a much-needed redesign and refurbishment, which included the removal of the ugly tarps and redundant temporary safety rails that had marred the exterior of the ride for years. Inside the ride, Disney's added several film animation snippets.
Disneyland's also opened its Guardians of the Galaxy preview in the Tomorrowland theater, evicting Captain EO. The preview also's slated to play in the old Sound Studio stage at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida.
Visited Diagon Alley after work tonight...probably the last time someone will say that for a while.
I think we've been pretty upfront that a Kidzone revamp is coming, that Universal is working on water park plans, and that Orlando still has more Harry Potter to come. And, oh yeah, Kong.
Robert, is there any concern at this point that the repeated breakdowns in Gringotts will be a lingering problem? I know all rides break down from time to time but this one seems to have trouble early on staying operational. Normal course of things or cause for concern at this point?
Those pics suggest to me they nailed it. It really does look like a transplanted bit of London, with a little bit of magic. Bravo Universal, Bravo.
That Disney ride is awful how many times can they do the same thing ?
"Orlando still has more Harry Potter to come."
@Anon They only thing the creative directors told at the reveal of Diagon Alley is that they really would like to build the Ministry of Magic. It could be placed at the current (horrible) Fear Factor Show But let us first enjoy Diagon Alley.
Yes, Fear Factor is probably the worst theme park show anywhere. A Potter themed area would be a natural since it's adjacent to Diagon Alley/London.
The new Alice in Wonderland looks great. It's always been one of my favorite dark rides.
I was at Diagon Alley on July 3 and spent about 3 hours there and left because I had a 2 hour drive home. I put 18 photos on my Flickr page, the link is below.
Interesting comment about using Diagon Alley as the set of a future Harry Potter TV show.
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