April has turned to May at Univeral Orlando, and progress marches on towards the debut of Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. Attraction employee training begining later this month, and it’s rumored that contractors must complete their work by the 20th. As work accelerates towards the finish line, we can see new features — like some stunningly detailed London lampposts — and finishing touches appearing daily. Meanwhile, over in Islands of Adventure, Honeydukes has expanded into Zonko’s space next door. Most excitingly, we have the inside word on a recent employee-only Harry Potter merchandise and food preview, unveiling brand new items that will be offered in the expanded Wizarding World.
Diagon Alley London Waterfront Lampposts
Here’s a recent look at progress on Diagon Alley and the London Waterfront:
Honeydukes has reclaimed the square footage formerly allotted to Zonko’s joke shop, moving the cash registers and display cases to the rear and extending the original decor.
One small reminder of Zonko’s original paint scheme remains overhead.
Just outside the entrance to Hogsmeade, the transition to Lost Continent is being reshaped by a train station on one side, and a new berm on the other.
I spotted these rocks under construction on the empty plot behind Thunder Falls Terrace in Jurassic Park. That land is speculated to become a new King Kong attraction in 2015, but these structures may actually be destined for the location pictured above, as they resemble the stones seen outside Hogwarts Castle in the Harry Potter films.
Potter Merchandise and Food Preview
On April 29th, an unannounced event was held inside a training room in the Garden of Allah Villas complex at Universal Studios Florida, featuring a Potter merchandise and food preview for Universal employees only.
Thanks to a couple friendly owls on the inside, Derek Burgan and I received reports on some of the never-before-seen snacks and souvenirs you’ll be able to spend your money on later this summer. Remember, this was only an advance preview, and it’s possible some of these items may not make the final cut.
- The Hopping Pot will be a bar with eight different brews — including Wizard amber ale and Dragon dark porter — on draft, each with its own customized tap handle.
- An non-alcholic train-themed drink will be served that steams similar to a Flaming Moe, along with a new pulp-free form of pumpkin juice on tap.
- Other beverages include a mint boba tea with blueberry tapioca pearls, and a freshly-squeezed lemonade with various added flavors.
- Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor’s flavors will include chocolate chili, and sundaes will be served in a collectible dish. From the concept art, the ice cream appears to be soft serve dispensed with a ring or ribbon of alternate flavor around the edge.
- Florean’s will also serve orange iced scones for breakfast, but warm Butterbeer will not be offered (at least at first).
- Leaky Cauldron will serve a breakfast similar to Three Broomsticks, but it may also be restricted to hotel guests. Lunch/dinner options include several kinds of meat or fish pies, scotch eggs, and importer cheeses. A couple kinds of dessert pies are on the way, including banana.
- Edible “elixirs” in a variety of colors will be sold, but what exactly they are is unclear.
- A talking sorting hat (with animated mouth) and a howler that can record voice messages are two new high-tech toys.
- Hermione’s time turner has been turned into watches and earrings.
- Durmstrang fans can dress in clothes inspired by the school and its headmaster Igor Karkaroff.
- You’ll be able to take home your own house elf in the form of a realistic, life-sized Dobby doll. Plush toy versions of snakes and pixies, along with the previously available owls, cats, and, and other animals, are also being produced.
- Get a wallet, watch, or other accessory themed after your favorite Hogwarts house.
- Support teams like the Chudley Cannons and Hollyhead Harpies with your own jersey, as well as authentic Quidditch equipment such as pads and gloves.
- Borgin & Burke’s sinister stock includes Death Eater and Lucius & Narcissa Malfoy costumes, death eater scarves and rub-ons, crystal skulls, and bone candlesticks.
- Scribbulus will sell feather quills in many colors, paper, inks, and wax seals and stamps for numerous houses and institutions, including an oversized Ministry of Magic stamp.
- Other school supplies like backpacks, notebooks, and house patches let you gear up for classes just like Harry himself.
- From Gringotts’ vault you’ll find gold bars, coins, wallets, and coin purses.