N B

Published: June 5, 2014 at 11:27 AM

WOW!!!!! That is all I can say....
Brian Emery

Published: June 5, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Looks sooooooo average - Disney is better with a small train coaster that rocks back and forth....
(Nice sarcasm I might say)
Orrin Carstarphen

Published: June 5, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Maybe it is just me but I just don't get all the hate between lovers of Universal and Disney. Both parks are great at what they do, they just happen to cater to different demographics. I am an AP holder at Universal but still Love to go to Disney. BTW I am looking forward to riding Gringott's but I will be waiting for the crowds to die down a bit.
James Trexen

Published: June 5, 2014 at 11:57 AM

Will someone remind me why the Weasleys are always the spokespeople for a land named after Harry Potter?
N B

Published: June 5, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Orrin, only people who have spent untold thousands at both resorts can really make a comparison between the two....

The problem is, there are USF and Disney fans who refuse to visit the other due to some twisted sense of loyalty.

I am not a huge fan of Disney, even though we never had a bad experience. It is the crowds and extremely long wait times with my children that turned me off.

Bob Rumpke

Published: June 5, 2014 at 12:31 PM

These are some of the best pics we have had so far of Diagon Alley. This is a world class attraction and will last for years to come.
Brian Emery

Published: June 5, 2014 at 12:36 PM

I do like all Theme parks in Orlando, but if I have a choice (which I do), I prefer Universal. We do visit Disney also. But Universal is blowing away Disney. In just a few years WWOHP now on the eve of Diagon Alley….. Oh Disney is real good at raising prices and giving you the sane product….
Nick McKaig

Published: June 5, 2014 at 1:11 PM

This is exactly the experience I am looking forward to.... nice open spaces and no crowds!
Ryan  Pickhardt

Published: June 5, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Im drooling!!! Like seriously drooling and hyperventilating! Oh why cant i live in florida and why must i be moving to Chicago? A trip for me must be put in order in the coming years.
Anon Mouse

Published: June 5, 2014 at 2:51 PM

I barely even remember the minor characters like the Weasleys. If anyone should visit the park, it should be the well-known adults who played the teachers. They have the bigger names and the bigger roles.
Tara Delao

Published: June 5, 2014 at 9:37 PM

Just a heads up-- Travel Channel's Trip Flip will be airing an episode where they send a family to Universal Orlando and it will include some parts of Diagon Alley (according to the commercials). It airs this Wednesday so check your local listings. :)
159.26.248.128

Published: June 6, 2014 at 7:20 AM

Please keep in mind that the actors "sign on" to promote things like Diagon Alley. If an actor decides they don't want to do it, Universal can't make them. I'm excited that these three amazing characters decided to do it. If Daniel (HP) thinks he needs to distance himself from his HP role, it is his decision. Many a child actor gets so identified by one role. . . they never act again. I like Daniel and hope he makes a solid transition to other work.
James Rao
Writer

Published: June 6, 2014 at 8:41 AM

Funny, the last time I brought up the question of why Universal always pulls in the B-listers for these types of videos/events, I got blasted.

But I am with James and Anon, why not pull out the "big guns" for more than just the "Grand Opening" (I presume some of the "stars" will be present during those events)? Again, its not like the "stars" of the Harry Potter films are really all that busy these days....

David Brown

Published: June 6, 2014 at 8:51 AM

James, if you're referring to Mr Radcliffe he's been pretty much fully employed in the UK ever since he stopped doing the Potter films. He's done several other films but also been in a number of theatre productions, (serious plays), and to generally very good reviews indeed. Possibly because they have mostly been in the UK you wouldn't realise that he's been working. I suspect he has more money that he knows what to do with and is content working in theatre where the dynamic is very different. He seems to be carving a good career as a serious stage actor - who would have guessed?

As for all the sarcastic comments from others about Disney's 'rocking train' - grow up folks! New fantasy land wasn't conceived as a riposte to Harry Potter, it wasn't aimed at the same market and it seems to be doing very nicely for Disney thank you... Can't we just be happy that we have TWO giants now in the theme park world and enjoy each of them for what they offer to their different markets?

James Rao
Writer

Published: June 6, 2014 at 8:54 AM

^Not going down that path again... Radcliffe is not that busy. But, I am really talking about all of the "Big" Three, and as Anon said, all the "name" actors (teachers mostly).
James Trexen

Published: June 6, 2014 at 9:08 AM

James, it's not that I have anything against using B-actors, I just wonder why the Phelps twins are always the ones used for promotional material. As for the other actors, the thing is, you can throw a lot of money to get them to do projects, but they sometimes just have no desire, thinking it is not worth the time/money. When you look at the voice cast for the Harry Potter video games, it's a pretty underwhelming/disappointing lineup. Sadly, the same goes for theme parks.
David Kirby

Published: June 6, 2014 at 9:25 AM

I can't believe Daniel Radcliffe didn't take a break from doing 8 shows a week on Broadway to take publicity shots for a Florida theme park. He's so lazy.
Robert Niles
Editor

Published: June 6, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Radcliffe is the "A" list. He showed up only for the actual media event last time. Universal needs to change up the star line-up for the media event from the preview shots to maximize coverage, so I expect Universal to "hold back" some of the bigger stars for that event.
David Brown

Published: June 6, 2014 at 10:39 AM

James, since you live in the USA I'm surprised that you have such a detailed knowledge of the workings of a British actor, living and working in Britain. US TV must have got a whole lot more GB-centric than I remember it.....
James Rao
Writer

Published: June 6, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Ugh... Sorry I asked, but my question was really about Universal not Mr. Radcliffe's burgeoning stage career. I simply wanted to know why Universal was not pulling in the "big stars" (terms used loosely) in support of this expansion (thanks for providing an answer to that question, Robert). No offense to the Danny Radcliffe fan club was intended, I assure you.
David Brown

Published: June 6, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Don't worry - I'm not a member of the fan club... Not even a fan to be honest. Just defendng a fellow Brit, (we have to stick together - not that many of us!) :)
James Rao
Writer

Published: June 6, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Honestly, Radcliffe is small potatoes to me... Robert says he's A-list, but I'd be MUCH more interested in seeing Emma Watson at the premiere than Danny Radcliffe....

You just have to pick the right "Brit", Mr. Brown!!! ;)

David Brown

Published: June 6, 2014 at 2:21 PM

And you a married man, Mr Rao! Tut tut... ;)
Tara Delao

Published: June 6, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Why wouldn't they have the Weasleys there? The twins have a store there, afterall. It wasn't a huge event, just a simple walkthrough. I would expect them to pull in bigger stars for the grand-opening but bigger stars are always going to be harder to get due to scheduling conflicts.
James Rao
Writer

Published: June 6, 2014 at 5:49 PM

@David I said "seeing Emma Watson", nothing more, good sir! I am a husband, father, and gentleman of impeccable standards. In fact, I run my home the same loving way a British bank runs its business...with precision! After all, the Rao home requires nothing less. Tradition, discipline, and rules must be the tools! Without them: disorder! chaos! moral disintegration! In short, we have a ghastly mess! ;)

@Tara No one is complaining that the lesser Weasley siblings are part of the festivities, just that lately they are ALWAYS the featured guests. They have become the faces of this expansion.

James Trexen

Published: June 6, 2014 at 9:54 PM

Forget Emma Watson, if Maggie Smith's there, I'm in.

And for the record, I for one am not married. ;~)

David Brown

Published: June 7, 2014 at 3:25 AM

@ James:
"I run my home the same loving way a British bank runs its business"
Have you seen what our banks have been doing recently? !!!!!!
[Innocent smiley face :) ]
David Brown

Published: June 7, 2014 at 3:28 AM

Do we know the relative costs of Potter-verse celebrities? It could be something as simple as the fact that lesser Weasley siblings are cheap.... !

"Get yer luverly Weasley siblings here! Three Weasleys for the price of one Potter".....

James Rao
Writer

Published: June 7, 2014 at 5:41 AM

^Too funny! And yes, I am sure cost is a big factor. Roll out the expensive Potter "stars" just for the main event. The single guys are wondering how much Emma Watson costs... ;)

And David, the stuff about the British bank was "sort of" from Mary Poppins. I couldn't resist. Swing and a miss on my part, I guess!

@Trexen Maggie Smith is a fine actress, one of the "teachers" who is really a star as Anon wrote earlier. Has she ever shown up for one of these events? Alan Rickman would be another stellar addition to the party....

70.39.231.100

Published: June 7, 2014 at 7:57 AM

If Alan Rickman showed up to any of those events, I would beg, borrow, steal or bribe my way into it...LOL.

Showing my age here but Mr. Radcliffe does nothing for me at all, though he does seem to be developing into a decent actor.

As for the Disney vs Universal crowd, I like them both for different reasons and am willing to hear opposite points of view. However, I have friends and family members who are very polarized on the subject. It's almost as bad as putting a bunch of Florida and Florida State fans in the same room.

David Brown

Published: June 7, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Ah yes, those sweet innocent Mary Poppins days, cor blimey, luv-a-duck, hows'-yer-father and make no mistake me old china.... :)

Banks are a bit of sore issue over here these days. From the farcical to the downright corrupt they seem a long way from the innocence of classic Disney films. More's the pity.

But we knew what you meant, James! ;)

174.108.4.39

Published: June 7, 2014 at 9:26 PM

As much as I love Disney World, Harry Potter is awesome and the destruction of Amity seems worth it. Can't wait to go to Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes :)
50.139.138.181

Published: June 8, 2014 at 9:52 PM

@ James Rao, so they're not megastars, who cares? They're still known well enough by the people who will be attending and will enjoy seeing them.