For any Harry Potter fan, a visit to the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Is A Must. Universal Orlando is the place you need to go as they have in both of their theme parks – Islands Of Adventure and Universal Studios, The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter.
Other Universal parks around the world have introduced the Wizarding World. Orlando was the first in 2010 with Hogsmeade in Islands Of Adventure. In 2014, Universal opened the second part of the Wizarding World – Diagon Alley in Universal Studios.
I’ve been a Potter fan for years and in October I went to Florida for two weeks. I visited both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Both are absolutely amazing and in this post I’m going to tell you all about Diagon Alley.
Before I begin, be advised that the alley can get quite busy. Not long after it opened in 2014 the park had a queuing system in place that had quite long waits. They were offering return passes too if you didn’t want to wait in line. Fortunately in October, the crowds in the alley weren’t that busy. Best time to visit, is as soon as the park opens or if you are staying at a Universal Resort Hotel you can have early admission into the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter.
As soon as I entered the alley I was taken right into the Harry Potter movies. It looks very much like Diagon Alley in the movie and makes you feel like you are in it. The alley also has different shops you can go in that sell a range of different merchandise from school robes to chocolate frogs. Wands are also available at Ollivanders.
Diagon Alley also features Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts. It’s a 4D rollercoaster ride through Gringotts bank. Wait times can get quite long for this one and Universal Express isn’t accepted on it either. Best time to ride it is early, or if you don’t mind riding alone, take the single rider line. I think the ride is brilliant and much gentler than Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey. That’s the ride in the other part of the wizarding world over in Islands Of Adventure.
You can buy all of your school supplies for Hogwarts in the alley. You will find school uniforms at Madam Malkins. Quills and ink at Scribbulus. Need anything for the Quidditch team, you can find it at Quality Quidditch Supplies. Don’t forget those jokes too, Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes is now open in the alley. Every student going to Hogwarts needs a wand. Ollivanders is just the place to go for them. The Magical Menagerie carries a full range of pets you can take to Hogwarts from Owls to Snakes.
If you get hungry or thirsty there are plenty of places to get something to eat and drink. The Leaky Cauldron features quick service meals such as fish and chips. Not that hungry, but want something to drink. The alley has a good choice of wizarding themed drinks. I definitely recommend anyone try Butterbeer. At Universal it’s only available in the alley and at Hogsmeade. It comes in three varieties – frozen, hot and cold. I’ve only had the cold version and I must say it tastes amazing.
Other wizarding drinks include Gillywater, Otter’s Fizzy Orange Juice and Fishy Green Ale. At Eternelle’s you can buy Gillywater with different flavors in it. Gillywater is just still water, although the name does make it sound really interesting. I never tried the flavors but Otter’s Fizzy Orange Juice happens to be my favorite drink at the Wizarding World. I like it even better than Butterbeer.
I also managed to try some Earl Grey And Lavender ice cream at Florean Fortescue’s. This stuff tastes amazing.
My favorite part of the alley had to be Knockturn Alley. Set completely in the dark, it is home to Borgin And Burkes, a store dedicated to the dark arts. Inside you can find death eater t shirts, horcruxes and a vanishing cabinet.
Diagon Alley is fantastic and is a must for every Potter fan. If you thought Hogsmeade was good, you need to check out Diagon Alley as this is even better.