Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley

Guess what arrived at our house 
by Owl Post?

I went outside of the house and there
was a big box on the porch.  I do love
to get packages but usually I know
what is coming.

This one was a huge surprise.  The return address
said Universal Promotions.

Inside I found this fabulous surprise.
Wow, I wish every trip I took came
with this kind of a
"Special Delivery"!!

My niece had booked the trip-
so she knew that we would be receiving
a package by Owl Post but it was
a complete surprise to me.

So we are off to Diagon Alley
where everyone attending Hogwarts
must pick up their supplies for school,
at Universal Studios  Theme Park
in Florida.

It just opened July 8th
and we are there!!  

We were just enchanted by 
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
that opened a few years ago where
we could enjoy delicious cold
drinks like the Hogwart students'
favorite, Butter Beer.  We love
the frozen, slushy one.  And don't worry
this isn't beer, the kids weren't drinking beer,
it is a butterscotch flavored slushy drink.

Stop at Florean Fortescue's
for ice cream.  The line gets
significantly longer as the day
goes on, so we decided to stop
early in the morning!

How about Butterbeer
soft serve ice cream.
Yum!! We also tried their hand scooped
ice creams with the Salt Caramel and 
Chocolate Chili coming out as group

Be warned, no Muggle (non-magical folk)

 food is served here so no diet drinks, but
it is fun to try all of the fun sugary drinks -
we are on vacation!

Find these special mugs at the Fountain of Fortune-
frozen Butterbeer on the left and cold Butterbeer
on the right - a butterscotch flavored soda.
(Use your American Express card and you
get 10% off at Universal!)

How about this fun drink 

that we had - 
Fishy Green Ale -
a mint flavored beverage with

blueberry "fish eggs"

that pop in your mouth!

The main attraction is
Escape From Gringotts 
where you get to ride down into the Goblin
Vaults to see where Harry's money is stored
and see Harry, Ron and Hermione along the way.

You need to escape from Bellatrix and He Who
Must Not Be Named.  It combines 3D, motion simulation
 and a rollercoaster ride. 

I have to say the Gringotts guards
were all very friendly!

 It is
very fun starting with the animated goblins
up in the bank.

The architecture of the building
is just stunning.  You enter the bank
and are greeted by these massive chandeliers
and marble columns.  As you pass down the
center of the bank you can observe the
goblins hard at work on either side.

This is a thrill ride.
A troll even grabs your underground
cart and shakes it - Wild!!
The beauty of the ride is that even 
younger kids get to ride it (42 inches) That is so
nice as my 8 year old grandson is already
reading Harry Potter.  They wanted more
fans to be able to enjoy this ride.

What a spectacular bank to deposit
all of your gold into and they have
stacks and stacks of it.

The other highlight is the
huge fire-breathing dragon that
sits atop the bank.  

I asked one of the bank guards
how often this happened and
he replied, "Well, she is a dragon 
you know, so it is unpredictable, but
I can tell you she does a little rumbling
and growling before it happens."
Great answer and true.

Be sure to go back at night to see
the dragon and to see all of Diagon Alley
lit up.  It is just magical.

Don't forget to turn down Knockturn
Alley and step into Borgin and Burkes -
this place played a big role in the 
Harry Potter books.

See the famous vanishing cabinet in the back.
You can buy all kinds of "dark" souvenirs here.

This alley actually gets lit up a little
more at night so check it out twice.

I was at Universal Studios in Florida last year
and was disappointed that Jaws was being
torn down, but who knew that it was being replaced
by Diagon Alley, a nearly $450 million dollar

Our package also included breakfast at the
Leaky Cauldron
and breakfast at the Three Broomsticks.

We came back for fish and chips
and a banger sandwich.  The fish
and chips are exceptional. 

We have to be off to Hogsmeade.
You must enter by walking through
the brick wall at 9 3/4 King's Cross Station.
You can't see yourself go through the wall
but have a family member or friend take
a picture of you.

Another thrill is the opportunity to
ride the Hogwart's Express, not just
take your picture in front of it.  You
get to share the ride with your favorite
characters in your carriage.

And yes, they have expanded Ollivander's 
Wand Shop.  That was highly entertaining
but hard to stand in line in the past 
for 45 minutes to
an hour since the space was so small.
Now they have it in both parks 
and it is much quicker.

Oh, and you can't miss being entertained
by the driver of the Knight Bus.
He is fun and will pose for a picture
with you and sometimes interact with
the talking head that hangs in the 
front window.

Be sure to go around the back
and take a peek inside or 
stand on the back for a photo.

One thing I can say about 
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,
both sides, is that you are truly transported.
Of course I brought my Gryffindor robe
that I purchased last time I was here.
And yes, I took the Sorting Hat test
years ago and I am in

J K Rowlings had a big hand in this
wonderful project.

I have to say, one of my favorite things
about having to stand in the lines at either
Harry Potter worlds, and 
they are long, is that there is plenty of
entertainment going on around you from
talking pictures to your favorite characters,
including snow in Hogwarts.  Sometimes
we had to stay and be entertained and let
people pass in front of us!

Universal, you have enchanted us again.

(Yes, those were real birds!  I thought they 
must have been fake!!)

Click here to read my other post
about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.


Chocolat - French for Chocolate. I adored chocolate from a young age when I had to sneak in the cupboard to find where my mother had hidden the Nestle's Chocolate Chips. Having read about the famous chocolat shoppes in Paris, when I finally got there I was determined to try a chocolate from every Paris shoppe. I invite you to share my adventures in creating, in travel, and in life.


  1. Well, aren't you the lucky one. Nice surprise and such a great vacation to behold. Love all of the eerie looks. Walking through that brick wall is amazing. Looks like so much fun.

  2. Wow that was fun to read about! You and your family are a lot of fun! The picture of you at the wall is very cool! Disney really knows how to do it! That shot with the birds is amazing and the dragon too!

  3. Wonderful post. This will become a resource to plan a trip for our grandsons. Endless creativity! Amazing. Thanks for taking us along. Cherry Kay

  4. What a wonderful and fun post. Thank you for sharing these great photos of wonderful memories. Catherine xo

  5. I want to be adopted! You do the most fun things. Lunch sometime?

  6. Please please please, don't ever grow up!
    You really enjoy the Magic.
    Have Fun and Enjoy, Oh Lucky One!


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