Last October, Mom and I visited Universal Studios. We went specifically to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. While we did do other activities at the parks that day, we’re not here to talk about those. This post is Part 1, where I talk about exploring Diagon Alley!
This trip came about as part of my birthday present. My birthday is in July, and we knew we didn’t want to go to Florida in the July heat, and when then crowds would be larger. So we opted to push our trip out to October. This was a very good decision, because when we arrived at Universal Studios, the crowds weren’t bad at all. Don’t get me wrong, there were still a lot of people there, but our longest wait time on a ride was only 20 minutes!
After we’d entered the park, Mom and I bolted for ‘London’. Our first priority when we arrived was to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! After all, that was the main reason we were there. I knew we had arrived when I spotted King’s Cross Station! King’s Cross Station is a large building and kind of hard to miss. This is where you enter in order to get on the Hogwarts Express.
There’s not much to do in London, but there is a lot to see. As you pass King’s Cross, there is an entrance to the London Underground!
Watch out for the Leaky Cauldron sign.
Continue farther down the street and you’ll find 12 Grimmauld Place. Keep and eye out while you’re there and you may even spot Kreacher!
And last, but definitely not least, there is the Knight Bus! Stan Shunpike and the shrunken head are available for photo ops and any questions you may have.
Apparently Hagrid has already been through and opened up the brick wall with his magic umbrella!
After walking through the wall and entering Diagon Alley for the first time, I had to stop to take it all in! Not going to lie, I’m pretty sure I cried a little. I was so excited. I had been looking forward to this for so long! It brought back all the great memories of reading the books for the first time and seeing all of the movies.
Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes
After I got past how overwhelming it all way, Mom and I headed into a few nearby shops. First up for us was Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. This place was just as fun as it looked in the movies! All of the ‘treats’ that the Weasley twins created are there: Skiving Snackboxes, U-No-Poo, Puking Pastilles, and many more. And, if you listen closely, you can even hear Professor Umbridge!
Quality Quidditch Supplies
Next up was Quality Quidditch Supplies. This place is great if you’re wanting some sort of clothing souvenir. They had all sort of shirts, jackets, hoodies, and sweatpants. They also sell broomsticks, such as the Nimbus 2000, quaffles, and souvenir pins! I also loved that they had a display of a full set of quidditch robes.
This place is definitely made for someone with a sweet tooth! They’ve got Berty Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, Fudge Flies, Peppermint Toads, and so much more. I didn’t buy any, but they also sell butterbeer fudge!
Exploring Diagon Alley
After we had popped into a few shops, Mom and I decided to walk around a bit. There was so much detail, I wanted to be able to appreciate it. We first walked by Wands by Gregorovitch. Knowing we wanted to go to Ollivander’s, we just took a quick peak. While walking around we passed by the Mermaid water fountain, the Owl Post, and the Gringott’s Money Exchange.
Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment and Scribbulus
The next shop that we ventured into was Wisearcre’s Wizarding Equipment. This place is great if you’re looking for unique Harry Potter souvenirs. They’ve got all kinds of replicas from the movies, such as the time turner from Prisoner of Azkaban or a scale model of the Hogwarts Express! While I was there, I picked up a 9 3/4 ornament and my tickets for the Hogwarts Express. Scribbulus is attached this this shop as well. It has all sorts of stationary. It even has supplies for making wax seals!
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts Ride
The first ride that we rode was Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. You’re not allowed to take anything onto the ride with you, but they provide lockers to keep your items safe while you enjoy the ride. The lockers use your fingerprint to lock and unlock. Since I had to lock my stuff up before getting on the ride, I didn’t have my phone to take any pictures. The walk through the bank alone makes the ride worth it. The chandelier’s in the entry way are gorgeous! Right before you get on the ride, a few guests make an appearance.
The ride itself is a 4-D experience! I had never ridden a ride like this before, and I loved it. It was great having all the extra imagery, smells, and temperatures changing for a full experience.
Breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron
After we got off of the ride, we headed to the Leaky Cauldron for breakfast. When you walk in, they have you order at the counter, then they bring your food to you when it’s ready. The prices were what is to expected at a theme park, but the food was delicious. We had a traditional American breakfast. I also ordered my first butterbeer of the day; I highly recommend it!
The Tales of Beedle the Bard Show
After breakfast, we decided to walk around Diagon Alley a bit more. We were over by the Gringotts Money Exchange when we noticed a crowd of people had gathered. Then we looked beyond them and noticed that a show was going on. It was the Tale of the Three Brothers. It was a pretty cool performance. At the end, Death made his final appearance!
Near the Magical Menagerie, you’ll find a dark alleyway, known as Knockturn Alley. A place where you’ll typically find dark witches and wizards. As you walk into the alley way, the light fades and the temperature drops! Down here you’ll find all sorts of objects for the dark arts in Borgin and Burkes. There’s also a cool display of shrunken heads to be found!
At the Magical Menagerie, you’ll find you’re everyday owls and cats, but you’ll also find creatures that would thrill Hagrid. Fluffy, Aragog, and a unicorn can all be found here. Of course, there is also Hedwig and Crookshanks! If you go out the side door, there is a large display window with a giant snake in it!
Watch out for Part 2 where I’ll talk about riding the Hogwarts Express and Hogsmeade!
Have you been to Diagon Alley in Orlando? How did you like?