The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been a huge hit at Universal Studios Orlando since it first opened in 2010. One reason for this is the incredible attention to detail that Universal’s creators employed.
Since Wizarding World opened, millions have visited the two sections located inside both the Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida parks. However, there are so many hidden gems and treats to take in that a lot of guests leave having barely scratched the surface. So, let’s discuss Secrets of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley at Universal – Know Before You Go.
Kreacher, the House Elf
This once takes some patience. However, if you stand outside the home of Sirius Black (12 Grimmauld Place) long enough, you will most definitely catch sight of House Elf Kreacher, peeking out from the darkness.
Phone Booth in Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley
A great example of atmospheric immersion manifests as several payphones around Universal Studios. One such payphone can be found at the entrance to Diagon Alley in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
The old fashioned red telephone booth seems rather basic. However, if you dial M-A-G-I-C – the numbers 62442, you’ll receive a message from the Ministry of Magic!
Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley Record Store Window
Much like the windows at Disney World bear the names of people involved with creating the park, the record store window in Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley also holds some secrets. The window holds within it a few inside jokes that reference the creation of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
One odd album cover simply says “Joe Says No.” That is referring to the author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling who had total veto power over every idea the park creatives had. Reportedly, Rowling had to give approval to everything presented in the park – even souvenirs and candy. Apparently, she vetoed so many things along the way that it became an inside joke behind the scenes.
Another album cover said simply, “Here’s to Swimmin’ with Bowlegged Women” by the Quint Trio. It’s referencing Quint, the famous tritagonist from the hit movie “Jaws.” He toasted Chief Brody in the film with those words. The hidden element of the saying is that Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley was constructed when the old Jaws boat ride attraction once stood.
Another hidden secret that alludes to the Jaws theme is located in the display window of Mr. Mulpepper’s Apothecary. The apothecary from the HP books, was a place to shop for potion ingredients. Behind jars of ingredients hangs a shark jaw complete with sharp teeth. We can surmise that there’s a connection.
Alfred Gilbert’s Statue of Eros
The statue in Piccadilly Circus is named the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain to honor Lord Shaftesbury, but many call it the Statue of Eros, after the Greek god of love. It can be seen in the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
On Diagon Alley you’ll find a smaller replica of the fountain that some might say is better than the original, as it still works. The original creation has been dry for years. So, Universal Orlando is the only place to see it as it was originally intended.
Secret Spells Within the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Look for medallions in the flooring. There you’ll find a secret spell. But first, you’ll need to visit Ollivander’s Wand Shop and buy an interactive magic wand and map. You can get the details on how to cast spells with your interactive wand by reading Harry Potter Wands – How to Cast Spells in Universal’s Wizarding World. Different locations have different surprises from a prop coming to life or a show behind a window display. You can also check out our Guide to Interactive Wand Spell Locations.
Muggles at Kings Cross
Another interesting secret about Diagon Alley are the muggles manning the platform at Kings Cross as you’re leaving. If you try and ask them something or interact, as they aren’t supposed to know anything about what goes on in Diagon Alley, they’ll look at your wand in confusion, oblivious to what it could be.
Still planning your trip to Universal Orlando? Check out How to Get the Most from a Universal Islands of Adventure Vacation. Stay up to speed on all the hot spots and sweet destinations. Return to Travel Hop regularly for all the latest travel news and updates.