The next major set to come across was going to be Diagon Alley, and it was also one of the things we were most excited to see. First, we passed this model of Gringotts, which showed the whole building.
As we turned the corner into the actual Diagon Alley, we passed the full-sized entryway into the bank.
One of the most vivid memories I associate with the Harry Potter movies was when the first one was being ramped up toward release and there were interviews with J.K. Rowling about how excited she had been to walk down Diagon Alley the first time, because it was exactly what she had been picturing when writing the books. Walking around, it was exactly as cool as it looks on screen. It’s super cramped and narrow (which is different from the version at Universal), but that is perfect for making it feel as realistic as possible.
There was a Death Eater skulking around Diagon Alley (the only costumed character we would encounter during the whole studio tour).
It was fun passing all the iconic storefronts. Here’s Ollivanders.
There were lots of owls outside the pet shop.
Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes reminded me a lot of the one at Universal, including the guy taking his hat on and off.
They did a good job integrating elements from all the different movies, so the storefront of Flourish and Blotts had lots of Lockhart books in the window.
Taking a selfie that integrated the background was tough, but this was our best effort.
We did not buy any robes at Madam Malkin’s…
These quidditch supplies are quality.
The puking pastilles display was fun too.
After Diagon Alley, there was a room devoted to the card models that are made to help mock up every location in the movies. This was the closest we would get to seeing Hogsmeade.
There were also lots of blueprints for various props and sets. Here’s the house elf armor we’d seen earlier.
Along one of the hallway walls, there were these awesome concept paintings that must have been done during pre-production for the movies they correlate to. If reproductions of these had been for sale in the gift shop at the end of the tour, I would have had trouble passing some of them up (maybe not Voldy-baby).
I would totally buy a giclee of this one.
You could tell that hippogriff visualization must have been difficult as they prepared for the third movie, because there were several different mock-ups that included those particular creatures.
I like Fawkes in the process of burning and being reborn.
The statue of the Hogwarts architect is reproduced in the queue of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, but it was neat to see the original.
The card model of Hogwarts was very impressive (though it would definitely be bested by the next room on the tour).
I loved all the details.
We were just on that bridge!
It was neat seeing the exterior models of locations whose interiors had been part of the tour, such as the Burrow.
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