Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Universal Orlando Resort Diagon Alley Red Carpet Event Recap

Universal Orlando Diagon Alley Red Carpet Event Recap
David Karger from Fandango hosted the Diagon Alley Red Carpet welcoming us into the evening event. Cast from the Harry Potter films such as Evanna Lynch, Oliver and James Phelp, Robert Coltrane, Warwick Davis and Helena Bonham Carter were on hand to give interviews.

Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny Weasley, was the first celebrity guest on the red carpet to be interviewed. We took a quick glance of her scenes throughout the film franchise. She reminisced briefly about her on-screen and off-screen journey, and when asked if she thinks about Harry and Ginny's marriage she replied, that they are "happily married with three children, having great jobs, and they would make good parents."

Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood, spoke about how much events like these are family events. When asked about what her character's favorite shop would be at the Diagon Alley Theme Park, Lovegood answered indefinitely with the Magical Menagerie. She mentioned that seeing a replicate version of a Crumple-Horned Snorkack meant a lot to her because Lovegood believes in them so much while her peer Hermione Granger is convinced they don't convince.

Domhnall Glesson, who played Bill Weasley, expressed that being on a set for the last two Harry Potter films as with so many people prepared him for the films he made after Harry Potter, and that coming in at the end of the movies was terrifying but wonderful.  He spoke that his favorite line was "Mad-Eyes Dead" because his father played the character Mad-Eye.

Matthew Lewis, who played Neville Longbottom, won an award for biggest screams from the crowd. Lewis was most excited to ride Harry Potter and The Gringotts Bank. A fan asked him what would he name the dragon on top of the Gringott's Bank, and Longbottom answered with Neville - why not?

In a series of clips about the Hogwarts Express it was confirmed that guests will be able to walk through the brick wall just like in the Harry Potter films. A small revealing detail was that we will see characters on the train ride when venturing from Platform 9 3/4 to Hogsmeade, and vice versa, there are different experiences for each journey.

James and Oliver Phelps were excited to see a version of their character's joke shop from the films. The brothers were both in awe about attending the red carpet event among the fans. During one of the last movies they were filming, they admitted that was the first time they heard rumors about the first theme park, and didn't know how they were going to top Hogsmeade when rumors for the second park began.

We were shown a quick clip of Bonnie, Oliver and James trying out the interactive wand experience earlier in the week.

Warwick, who played Professor Flitwick and Griphook, revealed that during the film of Deathly Hallows he felt that the Gringott's vault ride would make for a great rollercoaster, to see the ride in person a few years later is very exciting. Davis expressed that he think the fans are going to just love the theme park experience at Diagon Alley who want to live out what the characters go through in the books and movies, and he complimented Universal Orlando to the attention to the detail.

In the middle of the interview was a clip montage of the Gringott's Bank rollercoaster.

Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy, was welcomed next. He thought it was completely strange to turn up at Diago Alley in Florida and see King's Cross Station because he just leaved the train station back in London. Though he loved Diagon Alley, he spoke about Knockturn Alley's sinister and ominous area of the theme park is his favorite; he thought that the theme park version of Borgin and Burkes was very impressive because it was a bit more exciting than the one on the film set which had scaffolding, green screen, etc.

Robbie Coltrane, who played Rubeus Hagrid, joked that he looked like George Clooney with a beard as movie clips of his character played. Coltrane was very impressive of being able to walk into the stores at Diagon Alley and being able to purchase items such as Weasley Wizard Wheezes. When discussing that he was the first choice as Hagrid, Coltrane spoke about how JK Rowling told him that the inspiration for his character was by a friend who was a huge Harley Davidson motorcycle rider who would walk into a pub and talk about how his garden is. A favorite of line was "I shouldn't have said that" and remarked the memory of his character knocking down the brick wall in order to enter Diagon Alley. He urged everyone to come to the theme park.

Helena Bonham Carter, who played Bellatrix Lestrange, was our last and final guest on the red carpet. She remarked how much that she missed the fake teeth she wore as Lestrange, and how she desperately wanted to wear them at the red carpet but she lost them. When filming the video clip for the ride, she said it was incredibly puzzling to create because it seemed like a huge project at the time. One would assume that she wins major cool points for playing Lestrange but she remarked that she really doesn't earn them from her children; her daughter of which just started reading the series.

A brief montage of vacationing at Universal Orlando Resort and experiencing all the attractions, dining, and shopping that the theme parks has to offer was played.

Michael Aiello was welcomed as the last guest and spoke about some details of the theme park. He revealed that there will be street bussers who will play songs throughout the London landscape. Two stage shows will be on at hand in Diagon Alley taken from The Tale of Beedles the Bard; some of the puppets are 16 feet tall. Aiello spoke that JK Rowling was apart of an extensive approval process with Warner Bros Studios. and use her imagination for the creation of the theme park and all of the extended details such as the stage shows.

Footage of the Phelps brothers and Bonnie Wright earlier visit to the theme park and their exploration was shown. The cast was shown playing around in Weasley Wizard Wheezes, riding the Hogwarts Express, eating at the Leaky Cauldron, and admiring the spectacular attentive details of the theme park. Following the package, the evening was concluded by the host. Other celebrity guests that attended the Diagon Alley Preview included musician Joey Fatone and director Tim Burton.

"Fans are going to be absolutely blown away." - James Phelps

A Knight Bus conductor entered the stage and was talking to the crowd. He convinced the audience in person that there was a fire breathing dragon behind the walls of Diagon Alley, and soon fire breathed out from behind in the theme park. Several executives from Universal Orlando and Warner Bros Studios arrived on stage to kick off the preview event for the media guests attending the red carpet and to enter the theme park for the first time ever. The cast was welcomed next to the stage one by one. Robbie Coltrane welcomed everyone into Diagon Alley just as Hagrid did, tapping a cane into a wall, and the guests were shown walking into Diagon Alley. Fireworks shooting off were shown as the cast stood together for promotional photographs before entering the theme park. July 8th cannot come soon enough. Let the magic begin!


  1. This is fantastic. Thanks for this!

  2. So in April, my husband and I had our wedding reception here and we both have no regrets with choosing this venue. This place is so beautiful.
    location for weddings


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