It’s been seven years since the debut of Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando. The epic recreation of the entrance into the Wizarding World joined Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure to create one of the first “immersive” theme park experiences. Keep reading to learn the unique ways Universal Studios’ Diagon Alley brings the Harry Potter franchise to life.
- In London at the entrance of Diagon Alley, look for a familiar face in the window of 12 Grimmauld Place. Every once in a while, Kreacher the house-elf will peek out of the curtains for a second.
- In the phone booth outside of Kings Cross Station, dial 62442 (MAGIC) to call the Ministry of Magic.
- The timetable at Kings Cross Station references real destinations from the station in the United Kingdom. The boards even match the delays that are pretty typical for the British Rail service.
- At Gringotts Money Exchange, you can ask the goblin teller ANYTHING, but no guarantees that the answers will be friendly. If you’re looking to rile him up, ask if he’s a house-elf or inquire about a dragon.
- Diagon Alley was built in an area formerly known as Amityville, home to the iconic Jaws attraction. In honor of the former theme of the area, there are several nods to the Jaws films in Diagon Alley. In Mr. Mulpepper’s Apothecary, there is a set of shark jaws on display in the window. The telescopes in Wiseacres Gift Shop were made out of the boats from the Jaws attraction. In the record shop, there’s an album on display called “Here’s to Swimmin’ With Bowlegged Women” by The Quint Trio. The record references a toast made by Quint in the movie. In Knockturn Alley, you’ll hear the shrunken heads singing “Show Me the Way to Go Home.” This is the tune that the three shark hunters sing as they search for Jaws.
- In Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, if you look up into the skylight you’ll see a never-ending fireworks display.
- All around Diagon Alley, there are several marked locations for practicing spells using interactive wands (purchased at Ollivander’s). However, there are also a few unmarked spells for wizards-in-training to come across. Want a hint? Try the Slug & Jiggers Apothecary storefront and the right-hand window of Scribbulus Writing Implements.
- Madam Malkin’s Robes For All Occasions is the place to go for fashion advice. The talking mirror is not shy about offering opinions, whether good or bad.
- A snake hangs in the window at The Magical Menagerie, there is a snake in the window. When you stand outside the snake’s window, he’ll speak to you in Parseltongue and then in English. It’s a reference to Harry hearing the snake language for the first time in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
- The Quidditch trophies on the shelves at Quality Quidditch Supplies were the actual props used in the Harry Potter films.
Now that you know a little more about Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando, test your Disney knowledge with these little-known facts about Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom!