'Harry Potter' stars announce Diagon Alley park opening date

universal-orlando-diagon-alley-opening-date-harry-potter.jpgMuggles rejoice, because Universal Orlando has finally given its Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley expansion an opening date. During a special press State of the Universe event, "Harry Potter" stars James and Oliver Phelps, Matthew Lewis and Evanna Lynch revealed that the Diagon Alley park will be opened to the public on July 8.

The announcement was made on June 18, the same day that select members of the press and VIPs will be invited into the Diagon Alley expansion for the first time as part of a media preview. It will also be the first time that the stars see the park (mostly) completed, though they previously visited while it was being built.

"I've only seen it while it was under construction, so I'm really looking forward to getting out there and seeing what these geniuses have done with the place," Lewis says.

Lynch adds, "It's always such a treat to come back, because 'Harry Potter's' been such a huge part of my life since I was 8, pretty much. When the films ended, I wasn't ready to leave. It's nice that they keep having us back and introducing more parts of the world."

Visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a treat for the actors in the same way as it is for fans, because they also had never experienced such a 360-degree immersive experience before.

"It's funny, because we come back and we're surprised because we never had all that set around us," Lynch admits. "They add a little bit more of the picture each time. You don't even have to use your imagination. It's there. It's amazing."

Also slated to attend the media preview event are Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Felton, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis and Bonnie Wright. Zap2it will be on the scene for the Diagon Alley preview, so stay tuned for more information and our review of the "Harry Potter"-themed expansion.
Photo/Video credit: Universal Orlando