For the next three days, fans and stars alike will experience the media preview of Universal Studios Florida's second Harry Potter expansion.
Set the date!
On July 8, 2014, Diagon Alley opens at Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
And the Potter stars came out to show off their love for the series this week for the media preview.
Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid) and Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange) showed up for the preview happening from Wednesday, June 18, until Friday, June 20.
Fans arrived in droves to meet their favorite stars and look around the expansion. Just looking the #DiagonAlleyPreview on Twitter shows picture after picture and unending tweets.
The Leaky Cauldron is one of the leading websites for the Harry Potter series with its own convention and more-than-one encounters with JK Rowlings herself. If you want Potter information, you turn to TLC. And they didn't disappoint with information.
Melissa details the at-home and on-site experience in “Star-Studded Wizarding World of Harry Potter Red Carpet Event Celebrates Diagon Alley.”
One of the best quotes comes from Evanna Lynch, meeting one of Luna Lovegood’s favorite beasts, the Crumple-Horn Snorkack: “It was like meeting Jesus but I wouldn't be as excited about Jesus." Lynch was a fan of the series before being cast in the fifth and had written Rowling before as well. So the happy, excited feeling was palatable from the young actress.
On the live stream coverage, Robbie Coltrane said the opening was “like a family reunion.”
Melissa reports the live stream began with the film score that any fan will recognize instantly. During the Knight Bus Conductor’s introduction and caution of the Diagon Alley dragon (seen in the picture), the beast roared to life and breathed fire.
Robbie Coltrane popped the alley open just like Hagrid teaches Harry in the books and away the world went.
Random Twitter fact from Andrew Sims is N’Sync’s Joey Fatone attending the opening, just like Hogsmeade in 2012. Apparently the singer is a big Potter fan.
Jennifer Sangalang of Florida Today noted many of the daytime and evening talk shows appeared, including Al Roker and Jimmy Fallon, in ”Lumos! Universal lights up Diagon Alley.” For the third hour of the “Today Show,” Roker, Natalie Morales, Willie Geist, and Tamron Hall interviewed Bonham Carter and Felton. Jimmy Fallon will be broadcasting “The Tonight Show” for the entire week with guests like Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull.
So what are the attractions everyone’s talking about?
Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts (3D thrill ride), Ollivanders (for all your wanding needs), Magical Menagerie (plushies and magical creatures), and The Leaky Cauldron to fill your belly.
As the second phase to the Harry Potter, Diagon Alley is in the Universal Studios Park itself, while Hogsmeade is in the Islands of Adventure.
If you want to combine the experience for all their Potter needs, the brand new Hogwarts Express goes between the two for a ticket price of $136 for adults and $130 for kids.