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Diagon Alley Photos & Reviews

Discussion in 'Wizarding World - Diagon Alley' started by triggernel, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. triggernel

    triggernel Newcomer

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    Had an AMAZING evening inside Diagon Alley! Spent 4 1/2 hours just walking around, taking in the atmosphere, shopping, eating, and watching the two shows.

    Highlights included:
    -The DRAGON. It really is an amazing figure. Pics don't do it justice at all. The detail is amazing, and the way the left wing is draped over the front of the Gringotts building is awesome. Plus fire; I mean c'mon!
    -Knockturn Alley. This is my new favorite area in any theme park I've been to. Dark, creepy, and detailed beyond belief, I found myself spending a couple hours just admiring every nook and cranny.
    -The Two Shows. These might have been the sleeper hit for me. I saw the Beetle the Bard show first, and was astounded by the puppets and the great animatronic Death figure. The actors were hilarious, and I'm sure they'll get even better with time. Celestina Warbeck was the biggest surprise of the entire expansion. I knew the name from the books, and had heard of the show, but didn't know at all what to expect. Celestina herself, was very animated and a GREAT singer. She beautifully sang some original songs, but I couldn't keep my eyes off of her back up dancers. Best number involved a very surprised audience member being pulled up on stage and passed around between the ladies.
    -The new drinks. I tried the Fishy Green Ale and the Tongue Tying Lemon Squash. Both were excellent, and I will be trying them again. The Fishy Green Ale was a bubble tea, and even as someone who isn't normally a fan I really enjoyed it. The Lemon Squash is a lemonade drink with a subtle squash taste to it. Sounds weird, but it's so subtle, you'll barely know it's there.
    -BUTTERBEER ICE CREAM!!! Two words: A-Mazing!
    -Karkitt Market. This space was a "bloody brilliant" idea. In order to keep Diagon similar to the movie, they had to keep it cramped and tight, much smaller even than Hogsmeade. Karkitt works as the main esplanade for the land. Much wider and roomier than Diagon, it held the bulk of the crowds.
    -Leaky Cauldron. The main dining hall for the land is pretty simply themed with rows of tables and benches. The inside feels similar to 3 Broomsticks. There are couple great bits of themeing that you won't find at 3 Broomsticks though. One wall overlooking the dining area has rows of mail slots, filled with all sorts of wrapped wizard packages. Another area has a great forced perspective shot of a hallway full of guest rooms. For eats I had the Toad in the Hole served with peas, broccoli, and carrots. The "Toad" was great, though the veggies were lacking. Would order again.
    -The Shops. Just like in Hogsmeade, the shops might be the highlight of the entire land. They're all bigger than those at IOA, but that doesn't mean they're any less cramped. Still, the increased floor space, and the few indoor shop queues should make shopping less of a hassle. The merchandise itself though, is another story. I was pretty disappointed in a lot of what I saw. I would be willing to bet at least half of the merch isn't new, and it seemed like most of the new stuff was generic Hogwarts or house specific items. Weasley's had maybe 3 or 4 new items that weren't at Zonko's. Madame Malkins was pretty basic Howgwarts apparel. They did have a few cool new items, like the sweaters Mrs. Weasley knitted Ron and Harry, and some house themed, front-pocket wallets. Menagerie had a few new plush that we haven't seen. Quality Quidditch was probably the biggest disappointment. Was really hoping for a ton of national and professional team merchandise. Instead we got more Hogwarts house items, except for the one Gryffindor item I was really looking forward to... A high-quality set of Quidditch robes. Nope, just sweaters and t-shirts.
    -Gringott's Money Exchange. This is where that awesome interactive Goblin AA is located. It's a pretty small store in Karkitt Market that sells Gringotts themed merch, and the "Bank Rune Notes". They're similar to Disney Dollars and can be spent resort wide.
     
  2. Brian G.

    Brian G. Staff Member Administrator

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    Now that softs have started. It's time to start this thread up!
     
  3. Brian G.

    Brian G. Staff Member Administrator

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    Well I'm not going to give a review just yet because I couldn't experience but only 25 of the land, but so far; WOW!!

    I'm exhausted, but here's 2 pics of the dragon that I took tonight.

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  4. novawildcat18

    novawildcat18 Rookie

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    My friends and I were probably part of the first 100 people to be let in today at the soft. I was only able to spend an hour or so in the expansion before I had to leave (for a reason I'll explain later). We were all absolutely blown away by everything we saw. Words cannot describe the feeling we had when exploring this place. Sensory and emotional overload at every turn. Seriously. It's THAT good.

    After making our own Gilly Water potions and watching the Celestina Warbeck show (surprisingly fantastic show), we decided to get food at the Leaky Cauldron. My friend said she didn't feel too good so she asked where the closest restroom was. I ordered my food only to find out that she only made it to a bench inside the restaurant. She was suffering from extreme dehydration and hyperventilation. In the 30-40 seconds it took from when she left me to when I saw her on the bench, a TM had already called Health Services for her. Probably less than a minute after I sat down with her, Health Services had arrived and were helping and had called for an ambulance to the hospital.

    Long story short, she ended up being totally fine not long after, but we went to the hospital and got her fluids and what not. But I just wanted to commend the TM's for their behavior during all of this. Besides the amazingly quick reaction time, they were fantastic at not making her situation a distraction for other guests while still showing their concern to my friend and gave us a few free water bottles to help her out. They were also very concerned about refunding me for our meals, while not a priority for me at the time, it was extremely appreciated and I'm now glad that I was able to get that refund. While she was being stretchered out of the buildings, TM's seemed to know exactly how to control the traffic and we were able to escape from Diagon with ease.

    Overall, I just wanted to share this experience with everyone and say thank you to the Leaky Cauldron and Health Services TM's. Everything was handled smoothly, especially for it probably being the first real incident in the new location. Also, if anyone knows of a good way to get in contact with the restaurant and Health Services in order to thank them properly, I would love to know. Thank you and thank you for letting me share this with everyone!
     
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  5. DragonSlayer

    DragonSlayer Choose Thy Fate... Premium Member

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    From the few shots I saw from you guys last night on Twitter and then the ones gradually being posted on here as well, DA looks absolutely exquisite at night. That first picture of the dragon and the warm yellow light in Gringotts is astounding Briman!

    Always good to know that even in an area as ridiculously crowded as the Wizarding World, the TMs are always on top of everything. Glad your friend is ok!
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
  6. rhino4evr

    rhino4evr Veteran Member

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    the hate to fly shots from the other thread should be moved in here. some really awesome ones
     
  7. OSUphotoguy

    OSUphotoguy Newcomer

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    First two pics to be posted from my short time shooting in the land last night.

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    Stormy Night in Diagon Alley

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    Fire-Breathing Dragon Friday
     
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  8. awhen

    awhen Member

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    Can never have too much dragon.

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    When he starts growling, everyone freezes. After the fire, everyone cheers. Very cool.
     
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  9. awhen

    awhen Member

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    Menagerie.

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    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
  10. Andy

    Andy aka Hatetofly V.I.P.

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    Working on my review now... This may take a while...

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    Its just freaking awesome!!
     
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  11. hildyp0824

    hildyp0824 Premium Member

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    My daughter and I were lucky enough to enjoy Diagon Alley yesterday. All I can say is WOW! The attention to detail is impeccable. Gilley Water was good but not something I would buy often (king of expensive at $8.25 for the combination). Butter beer ice cream is delicious. My daughter had a great time with the interactive wands. So much to see that we were there for hours and completely lost track of time. The two shows are also very good.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
  12. DragonSlayer

    DragonSlayer Choose Thy Fate... Premium Member

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    Incredible photo! Just look at the skin texture, colouring and scales. :rep:

    Here's an awesome video from Inside the Magic of that very crowd effect. I love this so much, hope it continues into regular opening! That scream on the last one :thumbs:

    [video=youtube;akdfNUiG1DU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akdfNUiG1DU[/video]
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2014
  13. ChrisM

    ChrisM Rookie

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    Diagon is soft opened again today. And I believe Mark Woodbury just walked by me. Could only get a picture of the back of his head as he walked by quickly, but I'm pretty sure it was him.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Disneyhead

    Disneyhead Veteran Member

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    That does appear to be Mark Woodbury.

    And just to put everyone mind at rest I will answer the most important question about this expansion.

    Yes, you can, in fact, get on the Hogwarts Express with a cup of beer in your hand.
     
  15. knokout1

    knokout1 Premium Member

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    Is that going to necessarily be a good thing? I mean spills are inevitable, and I prefer not to sit in a car that is stained with the smell of beer, nor do I want to wait for the clean up crew to take care of the spill every ride.
     
  16. ChrisM

    ChrisM Rookie

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    Just had bangers and mash for my first meal at the leaky cauldron. It was very very good! The sausages were excellent, very savory with great flavor and a nice amount of crispness to the skin. There could have been more vegetables on the side and they could have been warmer, but the squash was excellent. The sleeper hit for me was the tomato on the side. I don't usually like tomatoes very much, but served warm it had great flavor and a nice texture. Would definitely order again. I think I want to try the chicken sandwich or the stew next time.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. awhen

    awhen Member

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    Weasley's

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    I very badly want to go up these steps.
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  18. s8film40

    s8film40 Veteran Member

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    I thought it would be fun to get a slow motion shot of the dragon:
    [video=youtube_share;zJS_GtKlzZY]http://youtu.be/zJS_GtKlzZY[/video]
     
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  19. Disneyhead

    Disneyhead Veteran Member

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    Thanks, that's awesome'
     
  20. IAmFloridaBorn

    IAmFloridaBorn Veteran Member

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    Having not read one Harry Potter book or watching one Harry Potter movie, I found myself embraced in the Magic.
    From Forbidden Jorney to the Hogwarts Express, Universal did not miss a beat.
    Forbidden Journey put fear, excitement, an torment in my body as the same time.
    The beastly dragons and wicked dementors howled and reached at you.
    Harry himself made you feel as though you were right there in the adventure.
    I loved it, from an extreme theme park fan in general, I'll welcome more Harry Potter.

    I said that to say this. If they could pull Hogsmede off the way they did, and for me to have my first full HP experience not knowing didly squat about the franchise, then success for Universal.
    I assure you I am not the only one. The casual theme park fan saw the extreme details and I over heard several of them saying "How realistic" or "Disney-esque" theming.

    Which leads me to Diagon Alley. AMAZING! A -FREAKING- MAZING. The Facade, The exterior shops and all of those other places and things I can't name really made me feel as though I had transitioned into some mysterious world.

    Hogwarts express changes the game for ALL theme parks in my opinion. Not your typical train ride around the park. It's an attraction in an attraction between two lands that are destinations. WIn-Win for Universal.

    I don't know what I saw in those Magical Windows. It didn't matter because my mind was lost in the adventure.
    The Platform at 9 3/4 is EYE CANDY. It's aesthetically beautiful and way out of the league as far as theme parks go! WOW! Who would have thought?!

    Universal has turned me into a potter fan. Sure I'm not going out to buy wands and what not but because I love theme parks and innovation, Universal will continue to get my money. Thank you too all of the insiders Ive been following. I had an Amazing time at Diagon Alley and Hogsmede. Will be back for FULL experience and Gringotts.
    After all, it is quite an adventure in itself.:thumbs:


    P.S. Sorry for my mis-spelling of Harry Potter related items. I'm not fully familiar with terms and characters and locations yet!
     

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