PotterWatch: New Year’s Diagon Alley Construction Photos And Leaked Plans

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Welcome to 2014, the year when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Diagon Alley will finally open at Universal Studios Florida! Without further ado, let’s launch right into our first set of Diagon Alley construction photos for the new year, followed by a Gringotts rumor and an amazing new online source of theme park dirt.

Diagon Alley Construction Photos

Here’s our usual photographic tour of the London Waterfront construction site, documenting the progress on the Diagon Alley facade as of January 4, 2014.

Diagon Alley photos
Panoramic view of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Diagon Alley (photos by Seth Kubersky 1/4/14)

Starting on the south end of the waterfront with Kings Cross station.

Color is progressing on Leicester Square.

So is the detail on the Wyndham’s Theatre facade.

Work on Grimmauld Place’s facade looks complete.

Ladies and gentlemen, the eighth wonder of the Wizarding World…the backside of Grimmauld Place!

I’m going to keep making that joke until Universal builds something to block this view…

Rumors and News

The Wizarding World rumor mill wound down a little after Christmas, but HateToFly ended 2013 with a New Year’s Eve tweet teasing that Voldemort will make an appearance inside the Gringotts ride.

In other Gringotts news, HateToFly and several other sources reported seeing several more ride vehicles arrive at the resort shortly before New Year’s.

The big news this week is the new AmusementLeaks Twitter account, which appeared this week and began posting high-resolution images of construction blueprints, starting with plans for Diagon Alley and the Gringotts and Hogwarts Express rides. In the past few days, they’ve posted everything from Busch Gardens and Universal Studios master plans, to proposals for a Wilderness Way Resort hotel at the Walt Disney World River Country site. The leaker is anonymous, and there’s been no official response yet from the parks, but you may want to follow this account and download the images while you can!

Subscribe to our Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar to get the best Universal Orlando wait-time data and touring plans, and check back soon for the next Wizarding World of Harry Potter construction update!


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Seth Kubersky

Author of The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando. Co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland and Beyond Disney. Contributor to Unofficial Guides to WDW and Las Vegas. Live Active Cultures columnist for the Orlando Weekly. Travel and arts journalist. Theatrical director and producer.

12 thoughts on “PotterWatch: New Year’s Diagon Alley Construction Photos And Leaked Plans

  • January 8, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Diagon Ally, Hogwarts Express and the universal master plans links either don’t work or have been removed or something.

    • January 8, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      Sorry about that Jason. I updated all the links, they seem to be working for me. Let me know if you are still having problems.

    • January 8, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      I was able to view 2 of the 3 just now. The Hogwarts Express wouldn’t load but Diagon Alley and Gringots did.

      • January 8, 2014 at 2:50 pm

        These are crazy large files so you may need a lot of free memory to open them.

    • January 14, 2014 at 11:53 am

      Sorry, if you didn’t get them the files have all been removed 🙁

  • January 13, 2014 at 10:38 am

    I’m a little surprised to hear the Voldemort rumor. Gringotts was supposed to pull back from the scary, non-kid friendly stuff that appears in Forbidden Journey. Voldemort would not appear to fit into that plan.

    • January 13, 2014 at 10:43 am

      Hi Mark!
      I’m not sure where you got the impression that Phase 2 of WWoHp was “supposed to pull back from the scary.” The Gringotts ride system shouldn’t be as physically aggressive as Forbidden Journey or ROTM, and may have a lower height requirement than those rides. But in terms of tone, phase 2 has always been contractually obligated to include elements from the last 2 books, which are much darker and scarier than the first few…

  • January 14, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Ah, okay then, I just had the sense that Forbidden Journey got a lot of negative feedback for scary stuff. Having no direct familiarity with the books or movies, I guess I was a poor judge of that. Lately I have even seen speculation that they are going to put some scary special effects-type stuff on the windows inside the train!

    • January 14, 2014 at 11:52 am

      Well, the Dementor attack finale in FJ was disabled because Warner Bros thought it was too scary, but that was before it opened to the public. You will experience a Dementor close encounter on the Hogwarts Express, thanks to a new kind of 3D video and some in-car effects!

  • January 14, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    It has been a a while since I have visited Universal Orlando. Is this in the old Amity area?


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