Monday, June 30, 2014

The Making of Diagon Alley with NBC Meredith Viera

Journalist Meredith Vieira hosted a special evening event about the making of Diagon Alley on NBC. Finishing the final touches on the Harry Potter expansion Diagon Alley, the new theme park is set to open July 8th in Orlando, Florida. Viera took us back to the beginning of Diagon Alley from its first stages to the preparation for its public opening in only a few weeks.

From conception to preparation for the grand opening, we went back in time when Hogsmeade first opened at Islands of Adventure in Florida. Stars from the film series in individual clips spoke in awe of how they wished for rides like Gringott's Bank would be a fun attraction.

 Almost two years after the final Deathly Hallows film was finished, members of the primary cast reunited to create scenes for the Harry Potter and Escape from Gringotts; Rupert Grint, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter were shown creating in new scenes for the multi-dimension thrilling attraction that will take guests through the vaults of Gringotts and face the evil Voldemort as well as Bellatrix Lestrange. The original crew regrouped for filming the eight series to help production of the ride.

The Hogwarts Express was a feature in the special with details showing on the famous and favorite train from the books and films came to life. The idea from Universal Orlando Resort was looking for a way for guests to travel from Islands of Adventure to Universal Studios Florida, and let the magic stay alive. Their mission took them all over the world, especially Europe, to travel on real steam locomotives to get the feel of the transportation. Universal Creative researched to the highest extent what the train in the film was built like and honed in on the resources from the nuts and bolts to the fabric of the seats as authentic as possible.

Pulling from Meredith Viera's previous interview and special with JK Rowling, interview clips with the cast and Rowling were shown talking about the sensational phenomenal of the series when the books were reaching their publishing end and the fifth movie (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) was about to be theatrically released.

Stuart Craig designed all the sets for the Harry Potter films, and he has taken on the important task of working with Universal Orlando Resort to sketch and recreate the world of which the new Diagon Alley world will follow suit. The scope of Kings Cross Station, modern London and Diagon Alley in its scope is meant for guests to feel as if they actually arrived in London; the smallest details were paid attention to as well as the largest.

Two originally created shows will be one of the new attractions to Diagon Alley; puppeteers will perform two stories from the Tales of Beedle the Bard.. Taken from Molly Weasley's mentioning of her favorite wizarding musician, Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees comes to life with her own show performing songs never before heard by fans.

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