There are a lot of memorable scenes from the Harry Potter films, but some of the most fascinating ones to me are when you get to see Gringotts bank and the vaults within. Not to mention being introduced to the bank’s protectors, the goblins, and the different levels of security one would expect from the safest place in the world. You truly get to see what it’s like to live in the wizarding world when something as every-day as banking has a layer of magic surrounding it.
Throughout the movies, you watch Harry Potter enter Gringotts several times — from his first visit with Hagrid to retrieve a magical object to later, when he tries to snatch a magical object with his two friends. You can relive the trio’s attempt to steal a horcrux in Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. Every time I see the dragon atop the bank and walk through the queue, I find myself marveling at the grand scale and the attention to detail.
I’ve compiled the below list of famous artifacts and hidden gems for you to keep an eye out for when you find yourself inside Gringotts bank in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort.
The first thing you come upon when approaching Gringotts bank is not only the impressive building itself, but a dragon perched on top of it. A fire-breathing dragon to boot. She’s a Ukrainian Ironbelly — newly escaped from the vaults deep underground — and the fire blasting out of her mouth is quite hot, reaching temperatures of 3,560°F.
Right outside of the bank’s main entrance is a tall, gold statue of a goblin standing on a pile of coins. This statue pays tribute to the bank’s founder, the one and only Gringott.
During his first visit to Gringotts, Hagrid wisely told Harry Potter that, “yeh’d be mad ter try and rob it.” His words are reinforced by the warning engraved by the goblins right as you come in through the entrance. I would caution you take their warning to heart…
One of the most jaw-dropping moments to me is when you first enter the lobby and see the chandeliers. They are not only gigantic and show the vast size of the room, but they also add a certain glamor to the rather cold, and dare I say, unnerving feel of Gringotts. These four chandeliers contain a combined 62,000 crystals!
No one can glower quite as dubiously as a goblin. Lucky for you, you get to experience multiple goblins glaring at you as you make your way toward the front of the lobby where Bogrod sits. He is the main goblin you may recognize from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 who was put under the Imperius Curse to help the trio break into the Lestrange Vault undetected.
As you make your way through the lobby, you’ll see bags of wizarding money in pull carts and stacks of coins on the goblins’ desks. If you’re not familiar with this currency, there are bronze Knuts, silver Sickles, and gold Galleons. Don’t worry if you only have Muggle money, though. Gringotts will accept your paper bills in exchange for Gringotts bank notes over at the Gringotts Money Exchange, located to the left after you exit the bank.
Hanging on the walls throughout the bank’s courtyard are a series of posters similar to the ones you may have seen when you first entered Gringotts. They advertise securing a vault (but not a dragon-guarded one as those are currently full), advice to heed during your visit, and more warnings like not approaching a security troll.
Also out in the courtyard is one of the bank’s mine carts getting maintenance done. Mine carts like this one are what the goblins use when navigating the underground tunnels to transport patrons to their vaults. You’ll get to board a similar model!
As you exit the lobby, you’ll make your way down corridors that house a few vaults and offices. If you take a close look at the first of these vault doors, you’ll see it’s like the door the goblin opens during Harry Potter’s first visit when retrieving the Sorcerer’s Stone. Some vaults can only be opened with the touch of a goblin (like this one), whereas smaller vaults can be opened with a key.
Goblin Offices & Portraits
You’ll see a number of goblin offices and painted portraits as you head down the corridor past Security Processing. You may recognize a name or two like Griphook, the goblin who helped Harry, Ron, and Hermione break into Gringotts in exchange for the Sword of Gryffindor.
The Daily Prophet
On a few of the desks in the corridor you’ll find a variety of scattered reading materials. You can check out the latest headlines from the Daily Prophet, get a peek at the bank records, and even catch a glimpse of some guidelines newly released from the Ministry of Magic.
At the end of the bank’s hallway is an alcove with three suits of goblin armor on display. Goblins can forge and enchant silver using magic, creating indestructible armor, weapons, and trinkets. Goblin-made pieces are highly valuable and sought after like the Sword of Gryffindor!
BILL WEASLEY’S OFFICE:
Before you head down to the vaults you’ll stop in Bill Weasley’s office. Bill is currently working for Gringotts as a Curse-Breaker, an occupation held by wizards and witches who remove curses from magical objects or places. There are tons of wizarding trinkets and artifacts in his office, including the Weasley family portrait taken in Egypt during a summer holiday.
Remember those security trolls you were warned about earlier? You may catch a glimpse of one as you take the elevator down into the bank’s underground caverns. Just the first of many security levels you’ll encounter as you make your way into the dark depths. Hopefully, you won’t see them again…