How to Create A Dragon: “Harry Potter” sculptor offers stunning making-of look at Diagon Alley creation at Universal Orlando

in Entertainment, Movies, Theme Parks

Since Universal Orlando debuted Diagon Alley last month, thousands of “Harry Potter” fans have been awestruck by the sight of a giant fire-breathing dragon as its centerpiece.

The impressively detailed Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion is filled with such sculptures, most of which were crafted by Bryn Court and his team of artists.

Sculptor Bryn Court stands in Diagon Alley in front of his dragon.

Court is a sculptor from north London who has worked on such films as “Braveheart,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” and (of course) the “Harry Potter” series. The extensive process of bringing such a massive sculpture as the Gringotts dragon to fruition has been detailed through a series of photos on his web site,

A few variations of the dragon’s pose were considered and modeled before the full scale version was created by hand using a variety of mediums.

Wireframe, foam, clay, paint, and a whole lot more materials were used to make this massive dragon not only exist, but also stand up to the elements – including its own fire breath.

Though everyone stares at the dragon’s head awaiting its fire blasts, its body is no less important, draping across the top of Gringotts Bank in Diagon Alley. The process for making its massive wingspan down to its talons and tail was an elaborate one.

Once complete, the dragon was carefully craned and lowered into place, piece by piece.

Ultimately, this was the final result of all their efforts:

Humble when speaking about his work, Court simply described the dragon as a “challenge” when asked about what his impressions were of Diagon Alley. But the dragon was far from the only detailed sculpture created for the new area. From the Eros Fountain out front to huge caverns within Escape from Gringotts, Court’s photos show off what went into making much of what’s scene there today.

Standing just outside Knockturn Alley alongside art director Alan Gilmore days before the expansion’s grand opening, it was clear they both were extremely proud of what had been accomplished, smiling as they casually strolled around, admiring their work.

But for these creatives, finishing one project simply means they’re free to move on to another. Gilmore was soon to board a plane to see the completion of Universal Studios Japan‘s Wizarding World, then continuing on to California to oversee Universal Studios Hollywood’s version. Even with all that on his plate, he freely admitted he’s eager and up for the challenge of creating even more Harry Potter attractions should Universal and Warner Brothers decide to head in that direction.

Many more photos can be found at

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