AUSTIN (KXAN) — A local family is once again transforming their south Austin house into the wizard shopping district Diagon Alley, and this year’s display promises to be bigger and better than last year.
Joel Pace has been busy for months building new additions to the Harry Potter-themed landscape. Visitors will see Eeylops Owl Emporium this year and an improved Hogwarts Castle display tacked onto the front of the couple’s house. Joel delegated the task of building the big Gringotts Wizarding Bank dome, complete with a dragon guard, to a volunteer who helped out last year.
The entrance to the display is improved this year, too. Instead of entering through an archway on the street, visitors will make their way through the Leaky Cauldron. Harry Potter fans will recognize the pub as the true entrance to Diagon Alley.
Lines wrapped around the block to get in last year, and people waited up to two hours in some cases to walk through the alley.
A community project
The Paces are collecting donations this year for two organizations they’re involved with: the KidsActing Foundation and Foster Angels. Last year they raised more than $6,000, and they’re aiming for more this year.
“This whole project has turned into building community,” Amanda said.
It’s generating some serious fans, too. An entire family showed up last year in detailed costumes to walk through. They’ll be back this year, as will actors to create scenes.
The Diagon Alley display opens to the public on Thursday, Oct. 31, from 5-10 p.m. It will open the following two nights, Nov. 1-2, from 5-9 p.m.