Inside the New Diagon Alley in Orlando

July 15, 2014 by

Things To Do

Diagon Alley is now open for business, and a stroll through these cobblestoned streets is no average village visit.

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The truly magical Diagon Alley.

While the Universal Studios Islands of Adventure theme park houses Hogwarts, Hogsmeade and the Flight of the Hippogriff rollercoaster, visitors can now hop aboard the Hogwarts Express to visit the London side of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the adjacent Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, complete with Diagon Alley and all its charms.

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The Gringotts dragon brings the heat above Diagon Alley and guards the bank’s treasures.

Go beyond window-shopping at this 20-acre expansion and wander four distinct streets. Visit Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions for your wizardwear needs; Borgin and Burkes to find an array of Dark Arts supplies; Ollivander’s Wand Shop to see a wand choose its wizard among the dusty shelves and purchase your own; and Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, the famous three-story novelty joke shop run by mischief-makers Fred and George Weasley.

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Diagon Alley is filled with various storefronts, including Mr. Mulpepper’s Apothecary, where muggles can peek in the window at potion supplies and ingredients

Everyone’s favorite wizarding beverage can be ordered at the Leaky Cauldron, but Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlor in Diagon Alley has a major draw in its new development: butterbeer ice cream.

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Make sure to try some.

There’s no doubt the goblin-run Gringotts bank and its resident rooftop, fire-breathing dragon are standouts here, and the 3D Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride within takes visitors through the winding underground passageways at breakneck speeds, past goblins and numerous high-security vaults.

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Come face-to-face with a goblin at the Gringotts Money Exchange to trade in your muggle money for Wizarding Bank Notes that can be used as currency in both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.

A row of London waterfront facades near King’s Cross Station hides the entrance to Diagon Alley, but the purple triple-decker Knight Bus that sits in front of this building gives away the magic in the air.

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Step inside the eye-popping Knight Bus that carted Harry and his friends around the muggle world of London at supersonic speeds.

- By Jenna Valdespino; photos courtesy of Jenny Crossling

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