Ever since I was a little girl I have always been fascinated by witches and spell casting universes. I remember I dressed up as a witch for Halloween 3 years in a row just because I was convinced I was a witch at heart. When I was first introduced to the Harry Potter movie series I would watch the movies in the theaters and then on repeat once I got them on DVD. It was a dream of mine to be invited to attend Hogwarts and learn how to fly on my own broomstick and cast spells to help save the world.
Diagon Alley in Universal Studios – Private Nighttime Experience
When I found out that I would be receiving private access to Diagon Alley in Universal Studio’s Florida during the 2017 Family Forward Event I leaped for joy. I had always wanted to go to Universal since I was little and was not only able to finally visit with my 4 children, but we were getting private access. I am a huge fan of the Harry Potter movie series I have seen Diagon Alley many times while watching the movies. To tell you how it feels to see it in real life after having dreamed of visiting that very place for so long was indescribable.
As you walk into Diagon Alley through a portal at the Leaky Cauldron, you are greeted by a huge dragon that breathes fire. It’s totally safe though mom don’t worry! The dragon is currently guarding Gringotts vaults and is there to keep your valuables safe. If you would like to learn a little bit more about the dragon then check her out on the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. My kids loved that ride so much they rode it twice back to back during our nighttime visit.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Themed Dessert was amazing, there were so many goodies it was hard not to eat it all. My absolute favorite of the whole spread has to be the Sticky Toffee Pudding which I ate without any guilt. There were booths with drinks available ranging from Iced tea to pumpkin juice. Of course, I tried to Pumpkin juice and quickly fell in love with this liquid heaven. I must have drunk about 6 cups of it while we were in Diagon Alley, no shame in my love for this pumpkin juice though.
It’s quite the experience to be walking through the park and hear a rumbling sound and not know what is about to happen. Let’s just say that the grumbling gets louder as the Dragon gets closer to breathing her fire. Although little Esuun wasn’t very happy that the dragon was so upset, we were able to catch some amazing pictures of the dragon breathing fire.
The number one thing we made sure we did while we visited Diagon Alley was to visit Ollivander’s Wand shop for Olivanders Wand Choosing Ceremony. If you are a Harry Potter fanatic like myself you MUST attend Olivanders Wand Choosing Ceremony. Make sure to wear any of your Hogwarts house gear to this ceremony, you might just get picked to participate in the mini show. I truly loved attending Olivanders Wand Choosing Ceremony since it was exactly like the movie and even had interactive displays that went with the show. The kids and I got our own interactive wands which we used around the park doing spells and even found some secret spell casting locations.
While I filled up on Sticky Toffee Pudding and Pumpkin Juice, the kids filled up on some seriously delicious Ice Cream. Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour is the place to go for some seriously delicious Harry Potter Themed Ice Cream Flavors. The flavors change up so make sure you are able to try each of the flavors at least once while you visit. Wizards and Muggles™ of every age can indulge in scoop and soft-serve ice-creams with fantastic flavors like Butterbeer™, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Earl Grey and Lavender, and more; along with Pumpkin Juice™, teas, ciders, and water.
Although I wasn’t able to ride the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts 4-D ride, I was able to walk through the bank and see the goblins up close. The Goblins actually move and look like they are getting some serious work done. Enter Gringotts™ bank beneath the massive fire-breathing dragon at the far end of Diagon Alley™. Inside, walk through the bank’s grand marble lobby and see goblins hard at work. Then, get ready to take a journey through cavernous passageways that lead deep underground as you climb aboard this mind-blowing, multi-dimensional thrill ride.
You’ll face the bank’s stringent security measures while navigating perilous subterranean vaults. Along the way you’ll encounter Harry, Ron, and Hermione. But you’ll have to evade the wrath of malicious villains Voldemort™ and Bellatrix, as well as trolls and other creatures that stand between you and a safe return to Diagon Alley™.
My sweet tooth had us wandering into Sugarplum’s Sweetshop which boasted a ton of delicious Harry Potter Themed candy. I quickly spotted some fun desserts in the case which included fun treats like Pumpkins, Witches Hats, Cauldrons and so much more. Discover a wealth of wizarding treats inside this delightful Diagon Alley™ shop.
Every nook is stocked with colorful sweets and tasty temptations sure to satisfy even the most traditional Muggles™. Choose from Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans™, Acid Pops, Exploding Bonbons, Pink Coconut Ice and more, or peek through the glass case to feast your eyes on confections like Cauldron Cakes. You won’t want to leave this irresistible boutique empty handed.
The kids and I had an amazing time at Diagon Alley and cannot wait to go back again soon. This was truly an amazing experience that I hope you are able to try one day. The park can get very crowded during the day, so when you are offered a private nighttime visit you should definitely hop on it as soon as possible.
Have you ever visited Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida before? What was your favorite part? What do you look forward to experiencing when you do visit. Head over to the Universal Studio’s Florida Website and book your next vacation today!