When Universal added the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Islands of Adventure, no one knew how immersive the experience would be. The depth of detail out did other theme parks. The Question is how realistic will the Diagon Alley Expansion be at Universal Studios Orlando?
We’ll start on the left hand side of the London Embankment and see just how realistic the implementation will be of the new Harry Potter Diagon Alley Expansion.
Kings Cross Station
Kings Cross station seems like an obvious start to enter the new world expansion. After all it is Kings Cross where Harry board the Hogwarts Express on secret platform 9¾. To access the trains he has to pass through a brick barrier. It’ll be interesting to see how / if Universal tackle this approach. Another detail that will get missed off from the real Kings Cross is… Hookers! Whenever you are in London and are waiting to catch a train, position yourself with a view point of the exterior of the station. It won;t be long before you can see working girls hunting for clients!! (It wouldn’t fit into the family theme park at all.)
Charing Cross Road
After Kings Cross station. The area is based heavily upon Charring Cross Road and it’s surrounding streets.
Great Newport Street
Great Newport Street in London is just off Charring Cross Road. In terms of Harry Potter film detailing, It is this Street where you would enter Diagon Alley. We believe there is a little big of theme park licence been used here as the real buildings would have dwarfed the neighbouring ones.
Between number 12 and number 13 Great Newport Street is a little alley way. In the Film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Death Eaters swoop down into this gap, through a shop and straight into Diagon Alley.
Leicester Square Station.
Leicester Square Station is featured in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. At the beginning of the film you see the Death Eaters swoop along Charring Cross Road.
The Wyndham Theatre
12 Grimmauld Place
12 Grimmauld Place was the ancestral home of the Black family. It was located in the Borough of Islington, London, in a Muggle neighbourhood, and the location was protected by a Fidelius Charm. Muggles weren’t able to see the house and accepted the miss numbering of 10, 11, 13 14.
The street doesn’t actually exist in London as Grimmauld Place, instead it is actually called Claremont Square. You’ll also notice that the brick colouring is different, just like in the film.
The Eros fountain can be found in Piccadilly Circus, London. Just like the artist impression of the parks addition, it is a gathering spot for people to meet and sit. Hopefully they will provide enough space.
In the Deathly Hallows (Part 1), Harry, Ron and Hermione apparate from Bill and Fleur’s Wedding to Piccadilly Circus to escape the Death Eaters. This is Where the find the Knight Bus.
The Knight Bus
Harry, Ron and Hermione, meet / jump out of the way of the Knight Bus at Piccadilly Circus, so it is apt that this is where we will see it.
The Knight bus is based upon the old traditional London Double Decker Bus. The AEC Regent III RT was the standard bus in operation around the 1950’s. It was developed jointly between AEC and London Transport.
At the Warner Bros Studios tour in Leavesden. Parked up out side is an actual prop Knight Bus. I doubt Universal will transport this one over from the UK as it’ll be easier to remake on Stateside. A great Detail to be added though. Guests won’t be able to climb on board, but it is rumoured that there will be a talking shrunken head for guests to interact with.
Even the riverside detailing is spot on. It’s teh little things that add to the bigger picture. The lamp posts on the river front are drapped with stings of lights. The Large globe topper sit on top of a twisted post, which sits on top of the large stone plinth. Opposite the river walkway is large gardens some are public access. However generally they are blocked off from access on the riverside side of them with black metal wrought iron fences.
It seems that Universal have continued with the in depth planning on the Harry Potter Expansion of Diagon Alley. We’ve managed to locate each of the real locations featured in the park. Here at Mr Tambo we love the Harry Potter Franchise and are impressed with the Wizarding World at Islands of Adventure. We can’t wait for this new part to open. What are your thoughts on this new expansion? What will it add to the existing Universal Studios? Will it be on your next must visit list?