By Nicole Wiesenthal
Freshman, Journalism major
Grab your butterbeer and a few friends and rejoice because the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will now include its very own Diagon Alley.
With the franchise so successful, fans weren’t surprised that new additions would come to the park. But what specifically will these additions include?
Guests begin their tour in Muggle London, which visitors can see along the waterfront. The Muggle London completely masks the Wizarding World, hiding all signs of its magical existence. It features houses like the ones from the movie and, of course, would not be complete without its own King’s Cross Station and Hogwarts Express, which will shuttle visitors from Diagon Alley and London in Universal Studios to Hogwarts and Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure. The Muggle London is also home to the Leaky Cauldron and a fully detailed Knight Bus prop.
Once visitors enter Diagon Alley through a break in the brick wall (just like in the movie), they can relax in the wizarding Leaky Cauldron which will serve food unique to the Wizarding World. They will also be able to shop in the Quality Quidditch Supplies store where they can buy brooms, sweaters and various props from the film.
Guests can head over to the towering three-story Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes which will completely replace Zonko’s Joke Shop, selling the wizarding pranks in its place. A fire-breathing dragon, like in the movie, will make its home on top of the shop. Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions will also be featured in Diagon Alley, and muggles and wizards alike will be able to purchase wizarding gear, such as school uniforms and robes. Diagon Alley will also host the original Ollivander’s Wand Shop with shows very much like in the Hogsmeade branch, but with improved effects. After wizard have gotten their wands, they can enjoy ice-cream at Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour.
One of the most anticipated features of the new park is definitely the new ride in Gringotts Wizarding Bank. The ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, will be similar to the other Harry Potter-themed ride, but it will feature 3D effects, taking visitors on a perilous ride through the highly-guarded bank. Another exciting part of the new addition will be Knockturn Ally, home to the infamous Borgin and Burkes, which will sell Death Eater masks, skulls and other articles dealing with “dark magic”.
Don’t we all wish we had time turners so we could go visit the new park already? At least you only have to wait until the summer before it’s opened, and then you can put on your wizarding robes, grab your wands and hit the streets of “London.” If you want to take a virtual tour to learn more, you can click here: https://www.universalorlando.com/harrypotter/.