In the tradition of the "Harry Potter" movies, Universal Orlando has come up with a sequel. On Tuesday, Universal Studios will open Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Diagon Alley, a follow-up to the blockbuster boy-wizard attraction that debuted in 2010.
The original, built at Islands of Adventure, now is known as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Hogsmeade. Although the two attractions have elements in common — rides, shops, wands, butterbeer, fish-and-chips — they are in two distinct settings: a village with a castle and a big city's bustling (but magically hidden) retail district.
The two Worlds are connected by the Hogwarts Express, a train on which visitors see a "virtual" countryside between the lands and a Harry situation in the hallway.
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Here's a guide that will help you know your Hogsmeade from your Diagon Alley.
Hogsmeade: The skyline of Hogsmeade Village is dominated by snow-capped roofs and dramatically curved chimneys. The British town's gray block buildings stand on cobblestones. Windows of stores — some functional, some faux — including Scrivenshafts Quill Shop, Gladrags Wizardwear and Dogweed & Deathcap are found in J.K. Rowling's Potterverse. Butterbeer is sold from a barrel-shaped truck and other outlets.
Rising from the far end of Hogsmeade, past a gateway guarded by gargoyles, is a stone castle representing the home of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Diagon Alley: The attraction is fronted by a façade that's an architectural medley of famous London buildings, including a tube station, Wyndham Theatre and Grimmauld Place. (Watch for Kreacher there.) Guests pass through a train station and a brick entry to see Diagon Alley, a shopping strip normally invisible to non-wizards. The steep buildings cast shadows. Straight ahead is the column-lined, dragon-topped Gringotts Bank. The darkened Knockturn Alley is a loop off the main drag, and in the other direction rests Carkitt Market.
The big ride
Hogsmeade: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is within Hogwarts castle. Guests in groups of four ride "enchanted benches" that fly past projected scenes of Harry and friends chasing after a dragon (and through a quidditch game). There also are "real-life" encounters with Dementors and menacing spiders.
In the ride's queue, guests wind through the headmaster's office, the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom and the Gryffindor common room. The sorting hat shares safety rules.
Diagon Alley: Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is in the bank building. It's part roller coaster, part 3-D big-screen experience. The storyline is a sliver from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2" and prominently features Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter).
The ride's queue includes the bank lobby and (animatronic) goblins going about their financial business. Later, a rickety elevator ride indicates that you're traveling 10 miles down into the Gringotts vaults.
Hogsmeade: Hogwarts Castle sits on the far south end of Universal's Hogsmeade. It's about 150 feet tall and designed to appear taller. The interior includes props and scenes inspired by the Potter films, plus a greenhouse with mandrake plants. (Unlike those in the big-screen version, these don't scream.) Hogwarts also has nonfictional functions such as a home base for lockers in which to store riders' valuables and Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods, which sells Potter merchandise and souvenir photos from the ride.
Diagon Alley: A fire-breathing dragon sits atop the Gringotts building. It's a 60-foot-long Ukrainian Ironbelly with its tail pointed to the sky. It emits a blast downward at random intervals. Guests on the ground can feel the heat. Although it's winged, the beast is stationary.
Hogsmeade: Three Broomsticks serves fish and chips, shepherd's pie and Cornish pasties in a British-inn atmosphere. Attached is the Hogs Head Tavern, serving both liquor and butterbeer (which is non-alcoholic). Across the back is outside dining overlooking the park's lagoon – and non-Potter parts of Islands of Adventure.
Diagon Alley: Leaky Cauldron continues the theme of British fare. Bangers and mash (mashed potatoes and sausages), toad in the hole (sausages in Yorkshire pudding batter), cottage pie (a meat-based pie) and more are on its menu. The space features framed, witch-themed artwork. In a departure from the Rowling fiction, guests do not enter Diagon Alley by passing through the restaurant.