They make a fuss about Hogsmeade, but I assure you, Harry, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
– Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Percy Weasley couldn’t have provided less comfort if he’d tried when he made an attempt to console poor old Harry about his inability to go to the illustrious village of Hogsmeade (his parents are dead McGonagall ! Who else is going to sign his consent form ?!) However, Percy has a point; Hogsmeade is nothing, NOTHING, next to Diagon Alley.
I mean, Hogsmeade is more or less the John Lewis of the Wizarding World – it’s amazing, sure, and everything you look at captures your attention, what with their delightfully sparkling products, some of which you’ve never seen else where before. Where else is better than John Lewis ? What’s that ? Yes. Oh yes. Harrods. Harrods is better than John Lewis. And that is just what Diagon Alley is – it is the Harrods of the Wizarding World.
Like Harrods, Diagon Alley is where the real magic happens, where the real magic begins. Here, there are things that exist beyond your wildest imagination, things that will always be just that little bit out of your reach, things that are beautiful, luxurious, extraordinary and enchanting; walking through the bank at Harrods (you can smell the millions) evokes images of the legendary Gringotts Wizarding Bank, whilst the lavish fashion and accessories department, where it would be a miracle if you could afford one item, vaguely reminds you of the robes and wand you purchased from Madam Malkin’s and Ollivanders in that dream you had last night.
That being said, I implore you to look at this http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2545244/Revealed-A-peek-inside-Diagon-Alley-Orlandos-newest-Harry-Potter-attraction.html
Yes, that article was published back in January. Yes, I have only just accepted that it is happening. Yes, I am beginning to reconcile myself to the fact that I will probably never get to step onto those cobbled streets myself. For now, as you can see for yourself, the kind people who run the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, Orlando, have submitted to our demands and dreams by opening up their very own Harrods, i.e. Diagon Alley.
By the end of Summer 2014, the lucky muggles visiting the Wizarding World will be able to step off the snowy streets of Hogsmeade, book a ticket at Platform 9¾, and catch the Hogwarts Express all the way to the magical cobbles of Diagon Alley. Tired from your train ride ? Don’t worry, you’ll be able to replenish your sugar levels at Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour. Doubtless you will need the energy if you are to practise your Quidditch skills by purchasing your very own Nimbus 2000 or Firebolt at Quality Quidditch Supplies. Why not send us back at home a postcard of your adventures ? Better yet, you will even be able pick up a quill and some parchment at Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment – the owls at Eeylops Owl Emporium will be happy to air mail your letter to us !
Is my jealousy that obvious ? I prefer the the term pleasantly envious. Seriously though, whilst the likelihood of me ever walking through that colourful, spellbinding Alley currently stands at zero (unless I win the EuroMillions….or rob Gringotts…), it is heart-warming and inspirational to think that there are people out there who are literally building dreams as we speak. For that is what Harry Potter is – it is a book that transports us to a different world, where we are enchanted and bewitched, where nothing very bad could ever happen to us (apart from the return of Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters). And now something that was once only achieved through words is slowly coming to life, becoming a reality that we can touch, taste, and smell, and that is truly amazing.
Perhaps one day I will be able to let myself be chosen by my very own wand at Ollivanders (the wand chooses the Wizard don’t you know), but, for now, I will content myself with my books and my imagination. If that fails, there is always The Making of Harry Potter Tour at Warner Bros. Studio London 🙂