If you follow us on Facebook, then you know we have been heading to Universal Orlando a few times a week for the last month or more. We have been truly enjoying all that Universal and Island’s of Adventure have to offer but we have been focusing on the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion, Diagon Alley.
I feel I need to preface my next statements with – I have been a Potterhead for years and Patrick hasn’t read the books or (gasp) even seen all the movies. With that understanding, I would like to attempt to describe to you what heading into Diagon Alley is like (and this also pertains to Hogsmeade). If you, like me, become so immersed in a book that the characters almost feel alive to you, then you will probably react as I did when I first walked into Diagon Alley, with a complete over whelming feeling of being transported into the books.
Without even discussing the shops, the food, the souvenirs, the attractions, the costuming…. JUST the surroundings…. For several moments you can believe that Hogwart’s exists and that Harry Potter is the chosen one who saved us all from Voldemort (I am not afraid of a name). At the same time it is very surreal, and really makes want you to grab your books and check details for accuracy. (I know my sister will be analyzing every inch of Diagon Alley) I can see myself being quite content just grabbing a book, or my camera and sitting in a corner and staying there all day. Allowing the full fantasy of being a part of the Harry Potter series over take me.
As for Patrick, a non Potterhead, even he was blown away. There is so much to see and all the details Universal put into Diagon Alley and Knockturn Alley captures even his imagination. While he had never even seen the first movie, where Harry goes into Diagon Alley with Hagrid for the first time, he says he felt like he was in the movie based upon the ones he had scene. But in child swap for Gringott’s, watching the expertly put together clip of the Harry Potter movies, he saw Diagon Alley from the first movie and he couldn’t believe how much this new area resembled the movie. Even he has an affinity for this new area and could easily spend hours there exploring, because there is so much to explore.
Pat took some video of a quick walk around of Diagon Alley (no Nocturn Alley – that will be done this coming week) – The whole area is rather large, as compared to Hogsmeade. One feature I esepcially like is the fact that when building someone had the forethought to cover a little more than half of it. From the train running overhead to the glass top atrium, there is plenty of rain cover without heading into shops. It also provides great shade coverage! All of Nocturn alley is covered (and air conditioned!) so another great area to visit during a Florida afternoon rain storm.