You know it’s going to be a good day when you get to spend it in Diagon Alley with the Weasleys.
James and Oliver Phelps, along with Bonnie Wright, were given a special tour of Diagon Alley yesterday by Thierry Coup, Senior Vice President of Universal Creative, and Alan Gilmore, Art Director of the Harry Potter films and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Seeing the looks on their faces as they walked through the brick wall into Diagon Alley was awesome. Despite the fact that they have grown up surrounded by the magic of the films, it was plain to see they were awestruck.
“I was amazed when I walked into Diagon Alley,” Bonnie said. “The attention to detail is just above and beyond.”
Thierry and Alan shared a few of their favorite areas of Diagon Alley, including Gringotts Bank and Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.
Not wanting to leave fans out of the fun, James, Oliver and Bonnie took over the Universal Orlando Instagram account and posted selfies in Diagon Alley under the hashtag #HPCastTakeover.
Sightseeing wasn’t the only thing on the menu as the group took time to sample food offerings from the Leaky Cauldron and ice-cream from Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour. And even though the group raved about the Butterbeer Ice-Cream from Florean’s, it was hard to nail down a favorite from the Leaky Cauldron.
“My favorite food from the Leaky Cauldron…can I say all of it?” James asked.
Listening to the cast tell stories about their time on set versus walking through Diagon Alley was a particular treat for all in attendance.
“It’s [Diagon Alley] even more real and immersive than it was on the set…It’s what we had and more,” Bonnie said.
As far as the authenticity of Diagon Alley goes, Oliver has given it his stamp of approval.
“The guests, especially the guys who know their stuff, are absolutely going to be blown away.”
And for the record, I completely agree. I had no idea how Universal Creative was going to top Hogsmeade Village, but they’ve done it and then some.