Hello wizards, witches and muggles! Today let's take a little photo journey through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort.
First, as any new Hogwarts student would do, let's head to Diagon Alley located in Universal Studios Florida for some school supplies and to explore. The Knight Bus and Grimmauld Place indicate that you might be getting warmer. Upon a closer inspection between a book store and a record shop, you see a sign that looks old to the unassuming passerby, but indicates that the Leaky Cauldron is on the other side.
Upon entering through the secret courtyard, you are greeted with fun stores of all colors and magical mystery. Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes is hard to miss with their larger than life mascot tipping his hat to you. Here you will also find Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions and Shutterbutton's Studio among other shops. When you look overhead, you might just catch a glimpse of a fire-breathing dragon guarding Gringotts Wizarding Bank, which is considered "the safest place in the world for anything you want to keep safe".
Tip: Shutterbutton's is where you will need to go if you book the Exclusive Harry Potter Package that includes magical photos for your Universal Orlando vacation.
Diagon Alley is also home to Ollivanders wand shop where young and young at heart witches and wizards can choose their wand (or if they are lucky, the wand will choose them!). They sell interactive wands here that you can use throughout the land to make magic as you explore.
After you get your fill of shopping and exploring you come to the end of the street where Gringotts looms overhead. Upon entering Gringotts, home of the attraction Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, you will see gorgeous chandeliers and goblins attending to their regular tasks of the bank.
After your adventure through the bank, you head back outside for various entertainment acts exclusive to the Wizarding World. Take a breather and enjoy the show for a bit!
Don't forget to grab a butterbeer (or two!) on your journey for a refreshing treat. This comes in cold or frozen at numerous locations, and if you are traveling during winter, you can also try the elusive hot butterbeer (this agent's personal favorite!)
Refreshment in hand, it's time to keep exploring and taking in all the incredible details that have been put into this area. If you're feeling brave, you can also head into Knockturn Alley for some more sinister merchandise.
If you've worked up an appetite, The Leaky Cauldron is a great place to stop for a meal. They serve British classics like Fish and Chips in a fast-casual setting. You'll order at the counter and they will then seat you and bring the food to your table.
Once you've gotten your fill of Diagon Alley, hop aboard the Hogwarts Express with your Park to Park Ticket to be transported to Hogsmeade Village. See more on Hogsmeade Village in Part 2 of this photo tour, coming soon!