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Old July 8th, 2014, 6:16 pm
Snuffy  Undisclosed.gif Snuffy is offline
Second Year
Join Date: 21st June 2010
Posts: 106
Re: Harry Potter Theme Park v.2

First of all. Here's the first story about the opening, and its packed again jsut like the first opening Click here.

Second, ME and the wife went yesterday (July 7th), after work. We got there past 7pm wich only gave us just over two hours to look around. We heard they were soft opening some stuff here and there the past couple of days and were just hoping we could take some pictures outside the new London area and maybe get a sneak peek at a few things. Boy were we wrong.

ME and the wife walked around the park to the facade of london. We took pictures of the different parts of london and of the three story bus with the talking head and wizard outside of it. Then I looked to the inner wall that I knew blocked the corner you go around to see the famous brick wall entrance to Diagon Alley. I noticed people jsut around the corner taking pictures and though to myself, "cool, they are eltting people take picture to the entrance of diagon alley". To our surprise when we turned the corner, there it was. The entire Harry Potter park was open and hundreds of people were walking around.

So long story short, the night before the grand opening, everything was open except for the HP ride. Now I know thats a huge part of the experience but living in Orlando and having season tickets we can always go back. But everything else, including Hogwarts express was operational. All eateries, stores, bars were open.

It was perfect. It was just busy enough to were you can join in the crowd with oooh and ahhhhs when the live shows starts, and the cheering and clapping when the Dragon with growl then shoot fire. Yet, slow enough were you could eat, drink, and shop freely with no lines to wait in. The night sky gave way to cooler breezes and a nice break from the summer heat. The only line we really had to wait in was for the train and that wasn't even 15 minutes! I would have taken the 3 hours i spent on this night without the gringotts ride and without the chance of catching a glimpse of any stars over spending all day on the grand opening anytime.

Now enough bragging and onto my experience...... It was great. For those who visited hogsmeade, Diagon Alley blows it out of the water. In fact, for someone who may visited both parks for the first time might be kind of bummed out when they go from diagon alley to hogsmeade. Diagon alley its itself (just talking stores, eateries and bars) are literally twice the size of hogsmeade. Diagon Alley is partially enclosed so when you go in you feel likes your in a completely different park from the rest of universal. The stores inside Diagon alley feature mostly the same as Hogsmeade but at a grander level. Weezly's is pretty much the size of the old zonkos but you can look up and see a second floor like in the movies. There's olivanders whcihc is a little bigger than the one in hogsmeade. Theres a sports (quidditch) shop, theres a shop for candy, ice cream parlor, and butter beer store just like hogsmeade. Like hogsmeade Diagon Alley provides food and drinks at the Leaky Cauldron and I forget the name of the outside bar.

There are two stores that completely unique to Diagon Alley and thats a small gringotts bank type place where you can buy wizrding money to use in the rest of the park. Also tehre is a picture place where you can buy moving pictures of you and there family. One fun example I saw was a couple dancing in front of a green screen. I looked up at the monitor and saw they were posing for the same picture HP had in the movies of his parents dancing, pretty cool.

Ok so Diagaon alley is the size of two hogsmeades, then you have a side portion to explore which is Nocturne Alley. Down here are talking heads and creepy stores. Pretty cool place. Then you walk back out to lonodon and then enter Kings Cross station where u get on the train and go to hogsmeade.

Im not going to go into details about what I saw. Theres enough spoilers already out there on the internet. I will just say this. Hogsmeade was great and I was excited when it was opened. However, Diagon Alley was jaw dropping. If you have been to Hogsmeade, liked it, and are debating goinb back? Do it!. If you have never been to Universal and are a HP fan, make every effort to visit especially now.

I've been lucky enough to live in Orlando while this parked opened and lucky enough to have the money to go to London and see the HP studio park. Before Diagon Alley opened, I would have said the London studios were just as cool of an experience as Universal. However now with the immersion and immense size of Diagon Alley, with the experience of getting on the train only to get off right in front of Hogsmeade and over looking Hogwarts castle, and all the wizarding items and food for sale, nothing can touch the experience you will have in Orlando. Absolutely awesome!

If anyone have any questions (other than about the new HP ride) feel free to ask.

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