On the chilly evening of Wednesday, February 18, I attended The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley Event hosted by the TEA Eastern Division. The event began with rides on Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and the Hogwarts Express. My friend and colleague, Eric Baker, Senior Props Manager at Universal Creative, enlightened us with behind-the-scenes tales of the props and set dressings. I especially enjoyed being able to experience the Hogwarts Express to and from Hogsmeade without having to get off the train.
After the rides, we were given brief time to explore Diagon Alley on our own. Brandon Kleyla of Walt Disney Imagineering and I made a beeline for The Fountain of Fair Fortune. With warm Butterbeers in hand, we met up with our group in London before being escorted over to CityWalk's Rising Star club for drinks, hors-d'oeuvres, and a panel discussion with representatives of the Universal Creative Diagon Alley team, including Thierry Coup, Eric Baker, Mike Wallace, and Justin Schwartz.