Diagon alley tour

So far I’ve written about the two new rides in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley expansion: Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts and the Hogwarts Express, the amazing interactive wands that let anyone perform magic throughout the wizarding worlds,  and today I wanted to finally give you guys a virtual Diagon Alley tour, showing you around the new land in Universal Studios Orlando theme park.

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Diagon Alley Food and Drinks

When The Wizarding World of Harry Potter first opened at Universal Orlando, fans went nuts over the real-life beverage adaptation of Butterbeer, and loved candy treats that had only previously been seen in the movies and books. (As invented, in fiction, by JK Rowling herself.) So what does the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley expansion hold in terms of fun food and drink options? Lets take a look at our ten favorite Diagon Alley food options from the the exclusive preview event.

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wizarding world of harry potter interactive wands

So far I’ve written about the two new rides in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley expansion: Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts and the Hogwarts Express. But one of the coolest additions to Universal Orlando’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter isn’t a ride, store, food, drink or show — it is an experience. Since The Wizarding World first opened, some of the most popular items have been the magic wands park guests can purchase. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley expansion has upgraded the wands to provide a magical experience that can’t be found anywhere else. Find out about the magic in Diagon Alley’s interactive wands after the jump.

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Wizarding World's Hogwarts Express Ride

On Thursday, we gave you an early look at Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts, the new flagship ride of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter‘s new Diagon Alley expansion. But Gringotts is not the only ride that will be opening on July 8th 2014 — Universal Studios Orlando’s Diagon Alley actually expands the Harry Potter story over two theme parks, and at the connecting tissue at the center of it all is the Wizarding World’s Hogwarts Express ride. Today I’ll tell you everything you need to know about this new ride which spans two theme parks, and give you my reaction/thoughts on the experience.

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Diagon Alley - Gringotts ride review
Last night I attended a special advance preview of Universal Orlando’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley expansion. The new land, which opens in Universal Studios Orlando park on July 8th 2014, is incredible. I’ll detail the land further in future posts, but for now I will say this — its much bigger than you could ever expect and contains so much entertainment, so many cool experiences, and pieces of unique merchandise and cool food options. Its truly magical.

But this morning I thought I should give you my first impressions of Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, the new flagship attraction which is the center of the new Diagon Alley expansion. Hit the jump to read my Gringotts ride review.

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Doctor Strange writer Jon Spaihts

Ant-Man? Who’s that? The latest newsmaker for Marvel is strange. Dr. Stephen Strange, to be exact. Marvel recently announced Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) as director of Doctor Strange (or Dr. Strange; we’re not certain which title will be used) and now one more piece of the movie’s puzzle has been revealed. Jon Spaihts, best known for writing the first draft of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, and also for the sci-fi / romance / thriller Passengers, has been hired to script.

After the break, we’ve got a few more details on that hire, and also Derrickson’s own comments about the project.  Read More »

A ‘True Blood’ Musical Is In the Works

True Blood musical

HBO’s True Blood will end its run after the upcoming seventh season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve seen the last of Bon Temps. Like the bloodsuckers it portrays, True Blood could just come back in an altered form.

Composer Nathan Barr has revealed that there’s a True Blood musical in the works. While he cautions that “there’s no guarantees” about the project at this point, he has already gotten as far as pitching the show. Hit the jump for more details.

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Tim Burton Hansel and Gretel

Way back in 2007, in the early days of /Film, Peter wrote about one of Tim Burton‘s most obscure works. The piece in question was Hansel and Gretel, a half-hour version of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, produced as one of Burton’s collaborations with Disney. This was before Frankenweenie turned everything sour, and well before Burton became a star director.

Shot in 1982 and aired once on the then-new Disney Channel on Halloween night in 1983, the short quickly disappeared. While it eventually surfaced in art exhibits at institutions such as the the Museum of Modern Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Hansel and Gretel has remained relatively un-seen.

Now Burton’s odd early short is online. Watch below. Read More »

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