As far as theme parks go, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando has been a smashing success. After visiting the parks on numerous occasions I know it’s due in large part to the insane amount of tiny details throughout Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.
There is so much to take in, it’s easy to miss the small details, even for the most experienced wizards, so here are a few of our favorite hidden secrets of Diagon Alley.
13 Best Hidden Secrets of Diagon Alley
- If you listen closely to the Vanishing Cabinet in Borgin and Burkes, you’ll hear a bird chirping away inside.
- Kreacher, the surly house elf who resides at 12 Grimmauld Place, can be spotted in the façade of the Blacks’ home. Keep an eye on the windows, and you’ll see him peering out every now and then.
- If you dial 62442 (MAGIC) in the phone booth outside King’s Cross, it will connect you to the Ministry of Magic.
- Not all of the spell locations for the interactive wands that are on sale in Diagon Alley are marked on the map. Two such unmarked spells can be found in the storefront of the Slug and Jiggers Apothecary on Diagon Alley.
- You can ask the goblin in the Gringotts Money Exchange questions. For interesting responses try asking is he is a house elf, or ask about the dragon. You can also ask questions like, “Do you know Harry Potter?” or “Has Gringotts ever had a break-in?”
- You can exchange muggle money for wizard currency at Gringotts. Keep it for a souvenir OR spend it anywhere at Universal, including CityWalk.
- Inside Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions is a mirror offering fashion advice. Just stand in front of it but be warned, she isn’t always polite!
- Look for the wizard-photo of the Weasley Family in Egypt while in the pre-show for the Escape from Gringotts ride.
- The platform agents at King’s Cross are muggles. Which means they don’t know about Diagon Alley. Try asking them questions about Diagon Alley or showing off your wand and see what they say!
- In the window at Mr. Mullpepper’s Apothecary, you’ll find a set of sharks teeth in tribute to the JAWS ride.
- The sign outside the Leaky Cauldron really does leak water.
- The park hired many of it’s team members from the UK to add authenticity. Plus, every member of the staff was tested on their knowledge of the books and movies.
- The entrance to Diagon Alley is through an unmarked wall next to a record store, just like in the books.
Thank you to Universal Orlando and Kia Motors America for our ride for the week, the 2016 Kia Sedona, and facilitating our visit. All opinions remain my own.