A Muggle’s Guide to Universal’s Diagon Alley™

Muggle’s Guide to Universal’s Diagon Alley

Alas! You’ve found yourself in Diagon Alley’s world of magical wonders and mischief, either via the Hogwarts™ Express from Hogsmeade or through London’s busy city. Now what? In order to get the most out of your experience, check out our guide filled with little secrets (aka Easter Eggs) you may not know about that are placed throughout this Wizarding World!

  1. Live entertainment: London street performers are stationed both outside and inside King’s Cross Station, which make for an incredibly authentic experience. They perform nearly 100 songs, so you could hear something new every time.
  1. Record Store Finds: You’ll find a few tributes in the record store on the London waterfront. Check the shelved in the window for a record called “Here’s to Swimmin With the Bow-legged Women” by the Quint Trio… it’s a tribute to ride that was previously located in this spot—Jaws. Also, there is a record with the title “Jo says No” which is rumored to be a reference to the creative control JK Rowling had over the creation of Diagon Alley.
  1. Kreacher, Sirius Black’s house-elf: If you stand outside 12 Grimmauld Place, you’ll see a certain house-elf periodically poke his head out from behind the curtains. You’ll have to be quick if you want to snap a photo.
  1. Universal’s Diagon Alley Knight Bus Shrunken Head Make a Quick Phone call: If you dial 62442 (MAGIC) in the telephone booth outside King’s Cross, it will connect you to the Ministry of Magic.
  1. Shrunken Head Photo Op: Stop by the Knight Bus and visit with the Conductor and his shrunken head compatriot. Be sure to take a look inside the bus, including from the back – it’s one of the best photo ops in the entire park!
  1. Madam Malkin’s Talking Mirror: You’ll want to stop by the mirror inside Madam Malkins Robes for All Occasions—the mirror may have something to say about you or even comment on what you’re wearing. Disclaimer: it’s not always polite.
  1. Say Cheese: Get your souvenir “moving picture” taken at Shutterbutton’s Photo Studio.
  1. Interactive Wand Experience: Interactive spell locations are hidden throughout the park. If you see the distinguishing four red dots of light, there’s probably a spell to be cast. There are three secret spells not on the map—one can be found within the shop window next to Madam Malkin’s in front of the orange flower, another can be found directly to the right in the Apocratery window where a bucket of dragon dung is, and the third is on the window of Scribbulus store.
  1. Eavesdrop on Class: When in line for the Forbidden Journey ride, you can hear a teacher lecturing behind the Potions classroom door.
  1. Universal Diagon Alley Fire-Breathing DragonFire-Breathing Dragon: Every so often, a 60-foot Ironbelly dragon belches flames and smoke upon the unsuspecting crowd below from atop Gringotts Bank. If you’re right underneath, you can feel the heat.
  1. Get the App: Before going to the park, download the Universal Orlando Wait Times app so you know how long each line is for the rides. It’s a life saver!

Photo Credit: Sam Howzit and Amy cc

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