We've given you the full line-up of attractions, restaurants and shops you'll find in Diagon Alley at Universal. We've shown you construction photos from outside and above the site. And we were first with a detailed look at the land's centerpiece attraction, the Gringotts coaster, nearly two years ago.
Friends of Theme Park Insider have been sending me photos from inside the construction zone, but I haven't been able to share most of them with you. At least, not yet. But, frankly, if you've seen one photo of scaffolding in front of a gray wall, you've seen 'em all.
This was one of the first photos I've gotten that hints at the level of decoration we'll be seeing in Diagon Alley. Though this is an outdoor shot, much of the new land will be under cover, including most of Knockturn Alley. The experience will be both intricate and intimate — I'm certain that crowds will jam every inch of space in the new land when it opens. Diagon Alley was not some broad Paris boulevard, after all. It's a cramped London back alleyway, and Universal's version will reflect that.
But it will be one wildly entertaining alleyway, themed and decorated to a level of detail not otherwise found in American theme parks. I'm getting more and more excited for this new land, from the photos I've seen. So I'm happy to be able to share one of those photos with you.Tweet
I am looking forward to booking a trip to Orlando later in 2014. These are very exciting times for Universal.
Step it up, Disney!
I think there is more detail to be added to these facades. Remember this is fresh construction work, the artists come in afterwards and paint in all the little details (i.e. those blank signs above the doors etc...), just like Hogsmeade.
I noticed a lot of the original HP area was build off-site and brought in whereas this seems to be done all on location.
I think we have decided on July 21st through August 1st for our 2014 vacation. We don't want to miss another expansion grand opening by one day, like the Simpsons waterfront area.... ugh.
This does look fantastic...!
Also, this is simply a small part of Diagon Alley, which is huge. A lot of the shops in this area are going to have faux brickwork (like what they are currently doing with the London facades), and I'm sure those are going to look more 'smart' and colourful. The contrast between these more ramshackle-looking shops and the more pristine shops like Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes will create a wonderful contrast, resulting in a land that feels truly 'real' and 'lived-in'.
This is the type of placemaking that a true World Class theme park does, and I am thrilled.
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Of course there will be more theming on the facades and behind the windows but this already looks great. It's amazing how these architectural complex buildings can be build and detailed in this short amount of time. Respect.
There is nothing I'm more excited about in Orlando than this expansion at Universal Studios Orlando.