Austin Has it's very own Diagon Alley

The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Diagon Alley At Universal Orlando Resort - Day 2

Joel and Amanda Pace put together a smaller-scale version of the display last year, and ramped it up for this Halloween with the help of friends and neighbors.

"It kind of spun out of control, frankly," Joel Pace said. "And I, you know, got too far into it, and once I got too far into it, I had no choice but to finish it."

Working through weeks of rain, Pace molded thick foam board into storefronts that now line the driveway leading up to his garage. A model of Gringotts, the wizard bank, stands closest to the house, guarded by a dragon that puffs smoke.

The display features several shops familiar to Harry Potter fans, including Quality Quidditch Supplies, Flourish and Blotts and Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. The family has been documenting the progress on a Facebook page.

The idea, which started last year, was an outlet for the Paces. 

"[Amanda] had gone through breast cancer," Joel Pace said, "and she was recovering and it just sort of took off as something that distracted us from all of that and made us laugh. And it made her happy, made me happy."

In front of the house on the street, Pace built a scale model of the Hogwarts Express, the train that takes students to wizard school, outfitted with a fog machine. The decals there and on storefronts are the work of Dana Chang. 

The display, on Hopeland Drive in the Circle C Ranch neighborhood, will be open on Halloween and probably for at least a couple days after. It doesn't cost anything to walk through, though the Paces hope to bring in donations for student theater programs.

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