Hello! This post is going to cover some photos and information on the Diagon Alley section of Universal Studios Orlando. I have a previous post with non-HP spots to check out if you scroll down.
After a fun morning of walking around the park (and hiding during a rainstorm for a half hour), we finally arrived at Diagon Alley! I had re-watched the films before visiting and was so impressed by the attention to detail. Before actually entering the area, you will see some familiar landmarks such a Kings Cross station as well as a tall bus that sure looks familiar!
(as fun as the bus looks, it is gated up and you cannot enter. I shot this through the back door gate.)
There is an unassuming brick wall with a walkway and when you walk through– you’ve arrived at Diagon Alley!!
It is a bit overwhelming, so give yourself time to enjoy all the nooks and crannies of this new world. There are many shops that have items the characters would buy, like: quidditch supplies, wands, etc.
Display in quidditch shop.
One of the funnest (and most crowded!) shops is Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes. You will feel like you walked into the movies.
There are many shops to check out– pack your patience because it seemed to only get more crowded as the day went on.
For lunch, we ate at the Leaky Cauldron. It was very tasty and had a casual bench and table seating indoor. If you happen to be at the park in the middle of a rain front, this is definitely a nice spot to dry off and eat. Also– my mom loved that they served a traditional “scotch egg” which you don’t often find on menu’s.
One of the many incredible signs inside Diagon Alley. I could’ve spent another hour checking out all the signage and window displays.
Inside of the Leaky Cauldron. It was a pleasant spot for a sit-down lunch.
Diagon Alley also has beautiful statues that look centuries old and tie back to the films– I loved these especially. *TIP– if you plan to purchase a wand, do it at the beginning of your walk through the area as there are many special effects you can create with them!
They also have a perfectly aged owl post, I thought it was so cute!
Even if you aren’t a big shopper, I recommend checking out the stores for the decorations. They’re so beautiful and specific to the “wizarding world” you can truly appreciate the work that went into making the alley come to life when you stop and appreciate the details. This was inside one of my favorite shops:
This shop sold HP theme stamps and postcards, which you can send with a special postmark in the Hogsmeade area.
Easily the most popular area was the bank that holds the “Escape from Gringotts” ride. & it is truly the most remarkable theme park rides I’ve ever been on! The mix of roller coaster and 3D imagery is so impressive. My dad is not a big HP fan, but when we exited the ride he said it was the best he had ever been on, too. But, with a big ride comes a big wait– even though I visited off season and mid-week, the wait was well over a hour. They do their best to distract you with fanciful decor and taking your photo for a ‘wanted’ poster, but just be aware if you want to go on this ride (& you do!), be sure to pack your patience!
Because my family only had planned one day for both parks, we headed off to Kings Cross to visit Hogsmeade.
I will post my Hogsmeade photos in a separate post. I will say that my #1 recommendation would be that if you’re going to Universal Orlando and love Harry Potter, make sure you visit over multiple days. Pushing through the see both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade was difficult, especially with an early Winter closing time. You will be more relaxed if you visit over 2 days and devote a day to each park.
Thanks for looking and I hope this will help you while you plan your trip! Please comment if you have any questions or advice from your own experience to share, thanks!