Harry Potter's Diagon Alley at Universal Studios is one of Orlando's most magical and incredible locations.
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And look, it's the same city that houses the Disney parks.
Universal's park area brings to life one of the most incredible spaces in fiction and is a must stop for all fans of Harry Potter.
And we as fans obviously love this area of the park.
I remember when we first entered Diagon Alley!
It was an incredible feeling, what Universal studios did with that area is unbelievable. Along with Hogsmeade at the Island of adventure are the 2 areas with more details to date of the Universal Studios parks in Orlando.
But how to make the most of this space in Orlando? What's the best way to visit Diagon Alley at Universal Studios? Read on to find out!
Differences between the Harry Potter areas in Orlando
Those unfamiliar with Orlando parks may not know this, but there are two Harry Potter areas in the city.
As they are in different parks, it is not possible to visit both on the same day. Unless, of course, you have a ticket that allows you to enter both places.
In that case, the best way to transition between the two parks is via the Hogwarts Express, which is an attraction in itself. But we will talk about it in more detail below.
In addition to the difference in location, the two areas of Harry Potter also differ in the style of their construction.
As the name implies, Diagon Alley is based on Diagon Alley from the world of Harry Potter. That is: it is a space more focused on shopping and the experience of the franchise than on typical attractions at an amusement park.
On the other hand, Hogsmeade is a village more for the enjoyment of Hogwarts students, so it has more attractions.
To get an idea of the difference, Hogsmeade has 10 attractions.
Diagon Alley has only 3. And of those 3, 2 are the same as Hogsmeade.
On the other hand, Diagon Alley has many different stores, with various products for fans. Hogsmeade also has shops, but to a lesser extent.
Looking at these small details, you can understand the footprint of each area and thus better organize your tour, whether you want to visit both on the same day or not.
Attractions in Diagon Alley at Universal Studios
Diagon Alley at Universal Studios has few attractions. As the focus of the area is on the purchasing sector, there are only 3 ?toys? at the place. 4 if we consider Ollivanders an attraction.
However, if the quantity is low, the quality does not disappoint. Check out the attractions of Diagon Alley below!
1. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
A Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is the only one? Diagon Alley attraction at Universal Studios.
?Only? in quotes because, in a way, it's the only one that would technically be considered an attraction at other parks.
The attraction mixes dark ride (which is the type of toy that has a rail in an enclosed environment) with 3D projection and movements to create a very cool narrative.
Basically, the toy reproduces and expands the scene in which Harry, Ron and Hermione need to escape from Gringotts on a dragon in the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
With that, visitors are taken to the bottom of Gringotts where they must break into the Lestrange vault to get out of there with a Horcrux. Eventually things go wrong and a dragon appears. So it is.
The cool thing about the attraction is that it expands this scene and puts several characters from the series in place, including Voldemort. This makes the event more exciting and full of surprises.
2. Hogwarts Express
The Hogwarts Express is a means of transport that connects Diagon Alley at Universal Studios with Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventures. However, he is also an attraction in his own right.
In addition to the tour of the two parks, the Expresso also has some events to entertain tourists.
One of these events, for example, is seeing a hippogriff flying across the set, reproducing scenes from the Harry Potter series.
Therefore, it is possible to count the Hogwarts express as one of the attractions in the park.
3. King's Cross Station
Few train stations are as famous around the world as King's Cross in London. It is there that all Hogwarts students take the train to school.
Even if you visit the real King's Cross station, there is a sculpture in honor of Harry Potter between platforms 9 and 10. The place is a cool tourist spot for fans of the series.
But you don't have to travel to London to see King's Cross. In Orlando there is a similar station, where you can actually take the Hogwarts Express.
Getting to know King's Cross station is a unique experience for anyone who is a fan of the Harry Potter series. Therefore, I consider it one of the attractions of Diagon Alley at Universal Studios.
Diagon Alley Shops at Universal Studios
As we said before, the focus of Diagon Alley at Universal Studios is on stores based on the Harry Potter series.
Because of this, you will find a large amount of shops and products available locally. And be prepared: your wallet will suffer from the gifts in these stores.
See below the main options?
Couldn't start the list with another store, right? Ollivanders is the second most popular Harry Potter venue at Universal parks, second only to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.
No wonder there is also a ?branch? from Ollivanders in Hogsmeade, right?
At Ollivanders, visitors will be able to buy regular wands, replicas of those used in the movies or interactive wands, which allow you to perform spells around Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.
Normal wands cost approximately $25 USD, while interactive ones cost $48 USD.
In addition, there is also a presentation for groups, where one of them is ?chosen? by a wand. It's a pretty cool event, which reproduces one of the most iconic scenes from the movies.
Borgin & Burkes
Borgin & Burkes is another very popular store in Diagon Alley at Universal Studios. In fact, it's not technically there, but on Knockturn Alley, sort of an evil wizard street.
Borgin & Burkes sells various products linked to the series' villains, such as Death Eater clothes and masks, brooches and other "evil" items. In addition, the store stands out for having a Vanishing Cabinet, one of those used by Draco Malfoy in the sixth book.
Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions
Madam Malkin's store features clothing for all types of occasions within the world of Harry Potter.
The best sellers, of course, are the Hogwarts uniforms, including ties, sweaters, hats and blouses. But there are also replicas of various outfits from the series, including Hermione's dress from the 4th movie.
This store is dedicated to selling stuffed animals of all the animals mentioned in the franchise.
These are owls, frogs, cats, snakes and various magical creatures. In addition, there are characters like Edwiges, Crookshanks, Scabbers, Buckbeak and others. Perfect for a gift to a loved one, right?
Quality Quidditch Supplies
Who hasn't dreamed of playing a Quidditch match when they were younger? Surely everyone who has read Harry Potter has had this dream.
At Quality Quidditch Supplies you'll find absolutely every item you need for a game, except for flying brooms. They are there, they just don't really fly (must be a defect!).
The shop sells home crowd jerseys, game clothes, protective armor, brooms, Golden Snitches, Quaffles, Bludgers, bats… it even has uniforms and items from some of the most famous teams in the series, like the Chudley Cannons.
Scribbulus offers all types of stationery for fans of the Harry Potter series.
From inkwells to quill pens, special papers, notebooks, diaries, bookmarks, stamps, envelopes and an infinity of products. Those who like the stationery sector will go crazy in this store.
You can't do that much shopping without spending a lot of energy, right? And nothing replenishes strength like a good dose of sweets.
Sugarplum's Sweetshop isn't Honeydukes (that one is in Hogsmeade), but it does satisfy the needs of the craziest sugar fan in the world.
All sorts of sweets based on the series are there, from the hits of Chocolate Frogs and Beans of All Flavors to Cauldron Cakes, Exploding Candies and much more.
Wands by Gregorovitch
Anyone who has read Harry Potter knows that Ollivander is not the only one that produces magic wands for wizards. There are other manufacturers in the world, one of them the dangerous Gregorovitch.
In Diagon Alley, his shop is not that threatening and sells everything Ollivanders has, but without the same charisma. Also, there is no performance show in this store.
Weasley's Wizard Wheezes
Weasley's Wizard Wheezes is one of the coolest stores in the Harry Potter series.
Created by the twins Fred and George Weasley, the store offers products for pranks and slutty (in a good way, of course).
The store strives to recreate all of the amazing character inventions in the books, like the mini-beanbags, class-kill kit, Instant Darkening Powder, and more. It's worth the visit!
Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment
Finally, Wiseacre's is a store focused on the "a little bit of everything" strategy. She sells magical equipment for the well-prepared wizard, such as crystal balls, telescopes, binoculars, compasses, magnifying glasses, moon charts, hourglasses, and much more.
In addition, it also sells a series of customized products with the houses of Hogwarts, such as t-shirts, mugs, slippers and much more.
Food at Diagon Alley at Universal Studios
After so much shopping, you'll need to sit down to eat something and replenish your energy. Check out the options!
The Hopping Pot
On hotter days, The Hopping Pot is an excellent option to cool off.
It is a counter restaurant that serves a variety of cold drinks, such as pumpkin juice, dragon beer and many others.
The most requested, however, is the Buttery Beer, which can be consumed liquid, in a slushie or ice cream.
The Fountain of Fair Fortune
Another place dedicated to serving drinks (alcoholic or not) is The Fountain of Fair Fortune.
They also serve butterbeer, pumpkin juice, sparkling water, and other options.
Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream Parlor
Maybe you don't know where to have lunch, but you will definitely know where to have dessert in Diagon Alley at Universal Studios.
Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream Parlor is a bakery specializing in ice cream. There are several flavors, like butterbeer (seriously, they love it!), lavender, black tea and more. Also, they serve muffins, breads and other pastries.
Eternelle's Elixir of Refreshment
Eternelle's Elixir of Refreshment is a very small kiosk in Diagon Alley, but it's one of my favorite places. You can really call them magicians!
In addition to Gillywater (which is the local water), they sell special elixirs that, when combined with water, take on incredible colors. It's a cool chemistry trick, but it adds a special touch of magic to the day.
As it should be, the Leaky Cauldron is one of the great attractions of Diagon Alley at Universal Studios. After all, he is the first contact we have in the books with magical places.
Have you ever stopped to think about it? The first magical environment we see in Harry Potter is the Leaky Cauldron. I think that's why he always had a special place in my heart.
Anyway, it's the only proper restaurant here in Diagon Alley. By the way, for lunch or dinner, it's basically him or the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade.
The Leaky Cauldron serves a bit of everything, including traditional English fish & chips, various pies and a tasty Irish beef stew.
The average price is $15 dollars, more or less.
To drink, they sell the ubiquitous Butterbeer, other beers, water, and even the firewhiskey mentioned in the fifth book.
When to go to Beco Diagonal at Universal Studios
Ideally, you would have at least 3 days to go to both Universal parks.
Whatever the order, but considering that Hogsmeade has more attractions and Diagon Alley is for shopping, it would be better to do Hogsmeade in the morning and Alley in the afternoon.
My ideal itinerary would be playing in Hogsmeade in the morning, having lunch at the Three Broomsticks or the Leaky Cauldron, and shopping in Diagon Alley in the afternoon.
That way, when you leave, you already have all the packages with you.
So, what did you think of Diagon Alley at Universal Studios?
It's an amazing place, isn't it?
If you're a fan of Harry Potter, you can't miss the chance to make your dream come true!
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