When Diagon Alley joined the Wizarding World experiences at Universal Orlando Resort, it brought Wizarding World magic to Universal Studios Florida. Joining this breath-taking and immersive experience to its counterpart, Hogsmeade Village (at Islands of Adventure) the Hogwarts Express offered fans a Harry Potter connector between both parks.
With exquisite attention to detail, Diagon Alley cast its spell over muggles with spellbinding shops, movie-inspired food and beverage, amazing attractions, and scores of interactive elements hidden among shop windows and walls. With all this delightful detail, “hidden” surprises remain for fans to find.
While not intended to be an exhaustive collection of cleverly concealed amazements, Inside the Magic is happy to share a baker’s dozen of delightful Diagon Alley surprises. Many of these gems should already be familiar to hardcore Harry Potter fans, but for first time Muggle (and Wizard) visitors to the Wizarding World hidden adjacent to Kings Cross Station, this list of 13 spellbinding “secrets” is sure to contain spoilers.
1. Blacklight for dark magic
Mapped spells (for interactive wands) require the enchanting illumination of Knockturn Alley’s black light to reveal themselves on the map.
2. Find Fantastic Beasts
In addition to a parseltongue talking serpent and other window displayed beasts, Magical Menagerie harbors, within, a pair of magical creatures. Glance up to catch a glimpse of a Kneazle and Crumple-horned Snorlack.
3. It’s Showtime!
Celestina Wombat’s Diagon Alley performance includes a musical number making a muggle male member of the audience center of attention. Increase the odds of being selected by standing near the stage step’s railing while enjoying the show.
4. Keep looking up
While wandering Weasley’s Wheezes, don’t forget to look up. Fireworks forever light up the night just outside of the skylight.
5. Kreacher feature
The familiar face of the Black family’s house-elf, Kreacher, can often be seen peeking from behind the curtains of #12 Grimmauld Place
6. Listen closely
Audio magic takes place all over Diagon Alley. From the sounds of workers preparing the “Daily Prophet” (heard just outside the door to the paper) to the sound of a Vanishing Cabinet enclosed chirping bird Borgin and Burkes/Knockturn Alley), aural enhancements extend the immersive experience.
7. Magic Mirror
Madame Malkin’s Robes for Every Occasion offers assistance from a rather reflective looking glass that’s always ready to dispense sage advise (sometimes rather bluntly).
8. More than just a pretty (shrunken) head
Purple, tall and parked just across from the hidden entrance to Diagon Alley, the Knight bus has more to offer than just friendly conversation with its driver. Take a peek around and into the back of the bus for additional amazing detail of the wayward wizard’s transportation vehicle.
9. Questionable Actions
Making inquiries into just about anything, but NEVER ask the goblin at Gringotts Money Exchange if he is a house-elf (we warned you)!
10. Secret spells
Interactive wands make magic manifest all over Diagon Alley. “Secret” unmapped interactive wand stations await wizards’ wands at two locations: Mullpepper’s Apothecary & Scribbulus Writing Implements(sadly, the secret spell spot at Slug and Jiggers Apothecary is no longer there). Casting a special spell motion reveals an animated surprise.
11. Something fishy
Diagon Alley occupies what used to be Amityville and the JAWS attraction. A quartet of tributes awaits discovery: from album covers in the London shop window and singing shrunken heads to shark jaws lurking within the window of Mullpepper’s Apothecary and boat tour parts-made equipment on the upper shelves of Wiseacres Wizarding Equipment– JAWS is well represented.
12. Truth in advertising
Stand under the Leaky Cauldron sign showing a witch stirring a cauldron for a wet surprise.
13. Who you gonna call?
Dial MAGIC (62442) from the phone (red phone booth) in front of Kings Cross Station for a spellbinding surprise.
Each of these 13 enchanting eye-openers can be found within the Wizarding World realm known as Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida in Orlando. For a full rundown of all the Harry Potter-inspired magic at Universal Orlando Resort, be sure to check out our guide for both areas (Diagon Alley/Universal Studios FL, Hogsmeade Village/Islands of Adventure).
Which of these wizarding wonders have you discovered? Please cast your spell in the comments.
Source and Images: Universal Orlando Resort, Michael Gavin, ITM Archives