Universal Orlando reveals more details on Diagon Alley experience

jmorreale@bradenton.comJune 4, 2014 

Universal Orlando Resort revealed the exciting details behind the unique entertainment experiences that will debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley, including the iconic Knight Bus and it´s infamous shrunken head, the Gringotts Money Exchange and two all-new live stage shows - The Tales of Beedle the Bard and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. © 2014 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved. HARRY POTTER, characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s14)

SHERI LOWEN — UNIVERSAL ORLANDO

Universal Orlando Resort today announced new details about the interactive experiences that will debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter -- Diagon Alley, opening this summer at Universal Studios Florida.

According to the press release guests will be able to see the following shows:

• The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a new stage show taking place within Carkitt Market, a covered, outdoor shopping area inspired by London's famous markets. The show will feature a troupe of four from the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts who have set up to perform a trunk show using stylized scenic pieces, props and puppetry fabricated by Emmy-award winning designer Michael Curry.

• The Singing Sorceress: Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees, a musical performance featuring the ever-popular singing sensation of the wizarding world, known from the books as Molly Weasley's favorite singer, who she listens to on the Wizarding Wireless Network. The swinging show will feature never-before heard songs including, "A Cauldron Full Of Hot, Strong Love," "You Stole My Cauldron But You Can't Have My Heart" and "You Charmed The Heart Right Out Of Me."

There will also be various interactive opportunities for guests to enjoy while visiting London and Diagon Alley:

• The Knight Bus, which provides emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard in the Harry Potter books and films, is in the London area of the new land. Guests will be able to meet and chat with the Knight Bus Conductor, and witness his rapport with the shrunken head hanging from the rear-view mirror. The iconic three-story, purple Knight Bus was inspired by its first appearance in the third film, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban."

• Gringotts Money Exchange, a place where guests will be able to interact with a Gringotts bank goblin and exchange their Muggle currency for Wizarding Bank Notes. These bank notes can be used within Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade (and throughout the rest of Universal's two theme parks) to purchase snacks and items from the shops.

• Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC, one of the wizarding world's premier wand shops. Visitors to Ollivanders will step into the small, dusty shop and experience "a wand choosing a wizard" firsthand, reminiscent of one of the most iconic scenes from the Harry Potter books and films. This interactive experience is also available at Ollivanders in Hogsmeade at Universal's Islands of Adventure.

There is no word on exactly when Diagon Alley will be open to the public, but the VIP media event is scheduled for June 17-20.

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