Didn’t get your letter to Hogwarts? That’s okay, you can still visit Diagon Alley, but not at its original location in England. The wizarding street has been recreated at the Universal Studios theme park in Orlando where it will have have its grand opening on July 8, 2014 as an expansion to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Harry Potter stars Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Evana Lynch (Luna Lovegood), Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick) and twins James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley) appeared at the official announcement of the park’s grand opening. Like the Hogwarts Express, the Harry Potter franchise continues to chug along, proving it has a life beyond the conclusion of the films. You can dine at such iconic restaurants as the Leaky Cauldron, traverse the dark corridors of Knockturn Alley and let the wand choose you at Ollivander’s Wand Shop. At the far end of Diagon Alley is Gringotts Wizard’s Bank, featuring a 3D adventure through the bank’s goblin-run and enchanted cavernous vaults that reunites the film’s stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint for an original theatrical experience.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will also open at Universal Studios theme parks in Japan this summer and in Los Angeles in 2016. ~Daniel Horowitz