A quick walking tour of Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter / Universal Studios, Florida. Join us on our family vacation as we take a walk through!
I really wish I’d been able to do a video tour of each shop, each restaurant/eatery, each ride and presentation, then put together a full video. But if you’re planning your vacation to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you don’t want that spoiled for you! You’ll be able to experience those things for yourself. This video gives you a quick walk through so that you’ll know what to expect from the area, and let the rest surprise you.
13 Tips for Your Walking Tour of Diagon Alley
Save some time to visit at night!
It is an amazing experience during the night time. Everything is lit up. You’ll see things you couldn’t see during the day simply because you don’t notice them. The dragon’s roar, itself, is worth the wait. AND, our experience was in that last hour … the alley empties out. Folks have already headed home, so the alley becomes quieter, less crowded, and more awe-inspiring. (See this quick video of a night time dragon’s roar!)
Don’t miss the entrance!!
For those who aren’t big fans, or haven’t really paid a lot of attention, it is super easy to miss the entrance all together! We sat and watched as people walked by and had to be redirected. The entrance looks like it might be just a bathroom entrance, so don’t miss it!
Soak it up when you walk in, but please, don’t just stop.
There are tons of fans behind you trying to get in, too. It can be overwhelming to enter, especially if this is your first experience of visiting the Wizarding World, because it is so immersive. Walk in, and then take about 5-10 steps to the right to get out of the entrance proper, and stop and take it all in!
Listen carefully when you walk in …
The Leaky Cauldron is to your left
Pay attention to the detail of the sign! And even if you don’t plan on eating (but why wouldn’t you?! It is actually good!) the theming is worth taking a walk-through. Just let the staff member know that you only want to look around.
Do not miss the Quidditch Shop
It is directly to your right, and is easy to miss because you’re overwhelmed by Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes! (though they do interconnect and you can walk from one to the other)
It’s gonna be cramped!
Shops can be cramped, not well lit, and can be a pain when the park is full. Be patient and you can walk through everything, or come back and do a quick sneak in first thing in the morning or on your way out when it is less crowded.
Places to people watch
There are stairs just to the left of Gringotts Bank that make a great rest area and give a good view of the Alley. It’s also a great place to wait for the dragon and enjoy some Butterbeer ice cream!
Catch a Dragon’s Roar
The dragon never roars on a specific schedule (we’ve never really been able to time it exactly, though some will say 12-15 min. intervals on good days), and may not work during high winds or rain, but grab some Butterbeer ice cream, sit a spell and wait. It’s worth it! You’ll hear a little gas priming happening before the roar, so have your camera ready once you hear it. However, you can mistake that priming with the sound of the train traveling (it’s the bridge right across the entrance from Leaky Cauldron to Weasley’s. We would mistake the sounds often when it was crowded.
Where are the bathrooms?
The bathrooms are all the way to the back in the left hand corner … as well as a few shops and wand locations.
Don’t miss out on Knockturn Alley
The entrance is right next to the Leaky Cauldron and is definitely worth the trip. On the way out … there is an alcove perfect for a quiet time place for kids if they need it. Just up the alley a bit is a wanted poster for Bellatrix LeStrange that is worth looking at – it’s so real! Be warned that it is dim all through Knockturn Alley. It’s worth browsing through Borgin & Burke’s, as well as looking at the incredible wand location. There just might be a bogart somewhere!
Be sure to walk the full circle of Diagon Alley
You’ll find a quieter, less hectic area to your right (as you enter), where there is a smaller wand shop, a wishing well, a small outdoor shop to get butterbeer, displays and more.
I can’t stress this enough for all of the Wizarding World. The theming doesn’t stop at eye level. The ceilings, the roofs, the signage and so much more continue all the way up.
Let’s get started on your tour!
YOUR THOUGHTS? Have you been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? What tips do you have for enjoying Diagon Alley? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below!