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PotterWatch: Diagon Alley Update, Hogsmeade Stones, and Gringotts Details

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Welcome back to the ever-widening Wizarding World! In today’s edition PotterWatch, we’ve got frest photos from earlier this week of progress on Diagon Alley’s London Waterfront, the newly installed Hogsmeade stones outside the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and breaking news direct from Universal Orlando with eagerly awaited Gringotts details.

Diagon Alley Update

Let’s begin with a stroll along the Diagon Alley London Waterfront construction zone.

PotterWatch Universal Orlando Wizarding World Diagon Alley Hogsmeade Stones Gringotts Details



First, a look at progress on the wooded berm that will conceal backstage areas.


Nearby, the old Amity bathrooms have been entirely repained brown.


A string of lights has been added between the newly installed lampposts along the waterfront. Shortly after this photo was taken, globes were attached to the top of the posts.


A look at various details in the London area, including the fountain we detailed in the last PotterWatch:

This appears to be the sign marking the entrance to The Leaky Cauldron.
A final paroramic picture of the Diagon Alley exterior.


Between Fear Factor Live and Men In Black, the service animal relief area is being redeveloped. The infrastructure being added may support ticket kiosks for Diagon Alley crowd control.


From across the park, you can glimpse hardware peeking over the skyline behind King’s Cross station, that will soon hold the fire-breathing dragon perching atop Gringotts bank.


Also visible in the park was the Hogwarts Express, which was parked in a prominent location behind Beetlejuice’s theatre.



Hogsmeade Stones

The big news over in Islands of Adventure is the installation of the Hogsmeade stones in Lost Continent outside the entrance to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. These rocks, which were previously spotted in the expansion pad behind Jurassic Park, resemble rocks seen in the third film during the scene where Hermione punches Draco.


Progress also continues on the Hogsmeade Station, which will lead guests to the Hogwarts Express train.


Gringotts Details

In the early hours of Tuesday, May 13, Universal Orlando released new Gringotts details, finally confirming long-rumored information on Diagon Alley’s signature “multi-dimensional” roller coaster. You can find the details here in Derek Burgan’s report on the reveal, or visit Universal’s webpage devoted to the new ride.

A few previously rumored tidbits confirmed by today’s announcement:

  • The ride will have a 42″ minimum height requirement.
  • 3-D glasses will be worn during the ride.
  • Vehicles will hold 12 passengers each.
  • The ride time will be approximately 4 minutes.

Finally, here is the official announcement video, including behind-the-scene insights from the attraction’s creators:





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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.

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