Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park Guide to Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando Resort

July 8th has been officially announced as the grand opening date for Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. Harry Potter fans and guests will finally get to experience the truly magical and exciting new expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Coming to life from J.K. Rowling's books and the films, every detail has been given to deliver a straight-out-of-the-phenomenon experience for tourists and Florida residents to immerse themselves into the wizarding world. With the opening date of the second theme park in Florida looming closer, Potter Talk has put together a guide of attractions you can expect to find at Diagon Alley Universal  Orlando Resort.

Admire the skyline of several famous locations within London and the Harry Potter world. A magical stroll over to the Diagon Alley theme park and you'll admire the sights of No. 12 Grimmuald Place, King’s Cross Station, Charing Cross Road, Leicester Square Station, and Wyndham’s Theatre. Be sure to keep on the look-out for a very grouchy house elf watching over you. Interact with the Knight Bus conductor and watch his rapport with the shrunken head hanging from the rear-view mirror.

Diagon Alley
Cross the threshold over to one of the most memorable locations in literary and film history - the shopping alley in which witches and wizards eat at Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream stand, share in magical jokes at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, "get fitted" for robes at Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions and so much more.

Here is a quick rundown of several stores where you can certainly expect to fill up your trunks with magical goodies for your trip to Hogwarts!
  • Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, a three-story shop owned by Fred and George Weasley featuring novelty items and toys including: 
  • Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, where all of the official wizarding gear you may need for your Hogwarts schooling can be found including school uniform ties, scarves and jumpers, to authentic wizard’s robes and character costumes
  • Magical Menagerie, featuring a collection of plush animals such as owls and Hippogriffs
  • Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, grab your wizarding essentials such as telescopes, binoculars,  compasses, magnifying glasses and hourglasses
  • Quality Quidditch Supplies, offering an assortment of Quidditch apparel and equipment including sweaters, brooms, Golden Snitches, Bludgers, Bludger bats, and Quaffles
  • Scribbulus, featuring authentic writing tools and products such as feather quills, ink and inkwells, bookmarks, journals, parchment paper, seals, stationery sets and postcards

Gringotts Money Exchange
Remember muggle money has very little value in the muggle world. Stop by the Gringotts Money Exchange kiosk to interact with a bank goblin and exchange your Muggle currency for Wizarding Bank Notes. These notes can be used within both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade (and throughout all of Universal Orlando's theme parks) to purchase snacks and items from shops.

Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC
Perhaps the wizarding world's premier wand shop. Visitors of Diagon Alley can step into the famous shop and experience firsthand "the wand choosing the wizard". This interactive attraction resembles one of the most iconic scenes from the Harry Potter books and films. This is also available at Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Gringotts Bank
After you've exchanged some muggle money for Wizarding Bank Notes, surely you'll want to get your own vault! Go deep within the heart of Gringott's Bank in a groundbreaking new multi-dimensional thrill ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. Riders will be in the middle of an incredible quest navigating their way through the dangers of Gringotts. Keep an eye out for some surprising help from a few friends including Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.

When you're done shopping and take a pause to enjoy a meal at The Leaky Cauldron and Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour

The Leaky Cauldron is known as the location where Hagrid first took Harry through on his journey to Diagon Alley. Sit down with family and other wizarding citizens to enjoy a cold mug of Butterbeer, fish and chips, and bangers and mash.

Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour
Cool off with a few scoops in this colorful and bold snack parlor. Enjoy breakfast items and pastries as well as soft served ice cream and cold drink refreshments.

There can be no light magic without dark, and so lurking in the corner of Diagon Alley is the grim Knockturn Alley - which features Borgin and Burkes, a shop that specializes in the Dark Arts and will offer a variety of sinister objects such as  Death Eater and skulls

Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts
Stop by Carkitt Market, a covered, outdoor shopping area inspired by London’s famous markets to attend the wizarding theater.

Watching a new stage show from The Tales of Beedle the Bard - a famous 15th-century wizarding fairytale. A troupe of four will perform “The Fountain of Fair Fortune”, in which three witches and a knight meet in their attempt to reach the Fountain in an enchanted garden, and “The Tale of the Three Brothers” about a trio of brothers who come face to face with Death (inspired from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.

Listen to the Singing Sorceress:  Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. Known from the books as Molly Weasley's favorite singer, listen to the ever-popular singing sensation. She will perform never-before-heard songs such as “A Cauldron Full Of Hot, Strong Love,” “You Stole My Cauldron But You Can’t Have My Heart” and “You Charmed The Heart Right Out Of Me”.

Board The Hogwarts Express
Walk through the magical London's King's Cross Station Platform to Platform 9 3/4. Take a ride on the beloved Hogwarts Express between Diagon Alley (located in Universal Studios Florida) and Hogsmeade Station (Located at Universal's Islands of Adventure). The adventurous travel will be filled with views of London and British Countryside - a few surprises from some of your favorite characters might join you along the way. Please note: Park to Park admission is required. More details at the official website pricing details can be viewed here.

Interactive Wand Experience
Cast a spell and watch your wizarding powers unfold at both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. Purchase a special wand from Universal Orlando Resort and watch your step for magical bronze emblems around the theme park. Stand on specially marked locations, follow the incantation on the place marker, and be amazed as you summon true magic!

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