Welcome to Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando

Entering the Alley

Welcome to Diagon Alley

The second place we went at Universal Orlando was Diagon Alley in Universal Studios. Diagon Alley, as you may know if you are a big Harry Potter fan, is part of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Diagon Alley was actually going to be the first place we went when we arrived, but we took a detour to the Despicable Me ride first. But I digress. On to Diagon Alley.

This photo above was the first view we had when walking into Diagon Alley. Yes, there are many photos out there that show a close-up view of the buildings and the dragon. But I like this view with all of the people in the foreground because that is exactly what I saw. And besides, I know some of those people. They are good people. Why would I want to cut them out of my photo? Even if you can just see their backs in this photo. Being someplace like that with friends is much better than being by yourself, I would think.

Stop Here

The first reaction of most people when they walk into Diagon Alley is to stop. Some stop and stare, waiting to see if the dragon will breathe fire, hoping to catch a photo or video of it. Others stop for a photo of themselves or their children with the dragon in the background. And others of us stop because everyone in front of us stopped first. Because running over the people who are in front of you is not a polite thing to do. Some people pushing strollers would do well to learn that.

I am definitely glad I took this photo and other photos of the area because there are almost too many details to take in at one time. It borders on being overwhelming, actually. Which is how a good theme park should be, in my opinion. It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to linger there instead of just running on to the next thing. It probably makes you linger even more if you know what you are looking at.

New Things

Just as I had not been to Universal Orlando before this trip, I had also actually not seen any of the Harry Potter movies before this trip. Yes, I am one of those people who hasn’t seen every one of the biggest, most popular movies that have ever been released. Go ahead and think I am weird. You might not be too wrong.

But we watched several of the Potter movies on the bus on the way there, and we watched more of the movies on the way home. Sometimes, due to the noise on the bus, I spent more time reading subtitles than actually watching what was going on. And other times, my eyes may have closed because of riding on the bus for so long. Still, I had a pretty good idea of what was going on when we got to the different Harry Potter sections of the park. I got to experience all kinds of new things on that trip, as it turns out. New horizons for me, I suppose.

And by the way, I did get a close-up photo of the dragon breathing fire without any people in the foreground. Just in case you are wondering. But I will save that for another time.

See more from this trip in the 2018 Band Trip to Universal Orlando archives.

Bible Verse

How happy is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways! - Psalm 128:1

About the Photo

This photo was a little tricky because the Gringotts Bank building topped by the dragon was lit by the sun, while many of the foreground buildings were in the shadows. Not a problem when you shoot in Raw mode, however. It was relatively easy to turn down the highlights while bringing up the shadows. That created a more balanced photo and made it much easier to look at.

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
Date: April 6, 2018
Location: Universal Orlando, Orlando, Florida