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Entertainment and Interactive Experiences in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley Revealed

June 4, 2014
Knight Bus Diagon Alley

Hi. I’m Jimmy, and I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan. So much so, that I even dressed up as a “wizard” and hurried to the bookstore for the release of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban back in ’99. Although my junior high dating life may have suffered as a result, my fascination with the stories only grew throughout the years. That’s why I’m PSYCHED to be able to reveal the amazing entertainment and interactive experiences you’ll find when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley opens this summer at Universal Studios Florida.

Imagine catching a live performance by a popular singing sorceress; seeing The Tales of Beedle the Bard come to life with a goose bump-inducing show performed by a troupe of four from the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts; seeing the banter between the Knight Bus Conductor and a shrunken head; and exchanging your Muggle currency for Wizarding Bank Notes while meeting a Gringotts goblin. If all of that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will!

It begins when you step through the archway in the brick wall into Diagon Alley, take a right at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and enter the bustling shopping area called Carkitt Market. That’s where you’ll find two live shows performed daily that will captivate fans of all ages.

The first show will bring to life two fables from The Tales of Beedle the Bard – “The Fountain of Fair Fortune” and “The Tale of the Three Brothers” (which was featured in the seventh film, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1”). Performed by a troupe of four from the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts, this trunk show uses scenic pieces, props and puppetry fabricated by Emmy-award-winning designer Michael Curry.

Diagon Alley The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Diagon Alley The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Diagon Alley The Tales of Beedle the Bard

The second show features a musical performance by the ever-popular singing sensation of the wizarding world and one of Molly Weasley’s personal favorites, The Singing Sorceress: Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. With a whole lot of soul, this swinging show will feature never-before heard songs including “A Cauldron Full Of Hot, Strong Love,” “You Stole My Cauldron But You Can’t Have My Heart” and “You Charmed The Heart Right Out Of Me” – all titles created by J.K. Rowling. The lyrics also contain never-before-revealed information about Celestina’s wand – written by J.K. Rowling for Pottermore.

And that’s not all!  You can also check out a variety of cool, interactive experiences during your visit to London and Diagon Alley.

In London, you’ll happen upon the Knight Bus and its two permanent occupants: a shrunken head and the Knight Bus Conductor, who will be more than happy to chat, joke around and take photos with you before you begin your journey into Diagon Alley.

Diagon Alley Knight Bus

Before you do your shopping for all the wizarding essentials in Diagon Alley, make sure to stop by Gringotts Money Exchange. Here you’ll be able to exchange your Muggle currency for Wizarding Bank Notes, which can be used within both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade (as well as the rest of our two theme parks) to purchase snacks and items from the shops. And there will be a Gringotts goblin who will be overseeing your transaction…

Diagon Alley Gringotts Money Exchange

Diagon Alley Gringotts Money Exchange

And, of course, Diagon Alley wouldn’t be complete without Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC, where you can step inside the small, dusty shop to experience firsthand the magical moment when a wand chooses a wizard, reminiscent of one of the most iconic scenes from the Harry Potter books and films. You can also experience this awe-inspiring moment at Ollivanders in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure.

So grab your robe (or in my case, your mom’s college graduation gown) and prepare to geek out. But first, tell us which entertainment you’re looking forward to the most by commenting below or using #DiagonAlley. See you this summer!

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  • Reply Ramses June 4, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I can’t wait to see the Tale of the Three Brothers! This is too much for me to handle.. I so wish I lived in Orlando!

  • Reply Martha Douhne June 4, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Thank you for sharing this Jimmy!! I am SO excited for the opening of Diagon Alley! My friends and I are traveling from Atlanta, Georgia to come see it and Jimmy Fallon the week of June 16!! We tried SO hard to get tickets for the actual rehearsal for the Tonight Show, but only got Monologue rehearsal-wish we could though! 🙁 At least we will be visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!! I am so excited!

  • Reply Cassidy Wood June 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    I would assume that you don’t have to exchange your money for Wizarding bank notes right? I feel that will lead to confusion if not. I’m most excited for… well. Everything!! I’m a huge a Harry Potter fan. I have been keeping up with the details and new information releases like a Hawk! 🙂

    • Reply Solly June 5, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      The bank notes will work like Universal Studio dollars. You may use them at any of the locations in the property to complete purchases but may only use themy ONCE. If you get any change in the transaction you’ll get that in regular american muggle money. It’ll work just as well as cash basically 🙂

  • Reply Samantha Brownell June 4, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Can’t wait for our visit in October. We visited in Sept 2010 and loved it. Now I’m thrilled to see the addition of Diagon Alley.

    • Reply Katherine June 5, 2014 at 12:02 am

      So u went just a few months after hogsmeade opened. Was it to crowded to enjoy it all? I’m going in November and taking my 5 year old grandson. Really just hoping it’s not massive chaos. Thank you.

      • Reply Amy June 5, 2014 at 11:22 am

        Katherine, I went in December 2010 and it was SOOO crowded. My group got there first thing in the morning and it took us a full 8 hours just to see everything because we were constantly standing in long lines and trying to walk from place to place. It was between Christmas and New Years so I think a lot of people were off & on vacation. However, knowing that all of those people were sharing the Harry Potter love was so neat! I enjoyed seeing everyone dressed up in costumes and robes – it was great.

      • Reply Doug Boemler Wareing June 8, 2014 at 9:42 pm

        The first half of November usually isn’t too bad (no guarantees!), but the weeks around Thanksgiving tend to see more guests due to vacation schedules. Enjoy your visit!!

  • Reply MrsSeriousBlack June 4, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    The Three Brothers, and money exchange and the ride through Gringotts and the food and everything. Can’t wait until January 2015 when I get to come back!

  • Reply Anthony June 4, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Umm… puppet show please.

  • Reply Olivia Esteves June 4, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Can’t wait…. I’s so excited!!!

  • Reply meagan June 4, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    I used my mom’s college graduation gown too when I went to the release of the 5th book. I was in junior high though. I cannot wait to go back. 6 hours felt like they passed in minutes when I went. My heart skips a beat everytime the commercial comes on.

  • Reply Debbie H June 4, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    I am desperately hoping that they let us Annual Pass holders have a preview.

  • Reply Lisa Ack June 4, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Hey Jimmy-I so wish we had waited to visit until construction was complete!!!! Guess we will have to return! Gotta get some Gringotts money! THIS PLACE LOOKS LIKE IT WILL BE AMAZING!! The shows are a nice touch,the puppets absolutely perfect! thanks for the pics 🙂
    PS-I am not sure how you did after school but I am pretty sure you are a perfect match for my daughter! A match made in Diagon!

  • Reply Brina June 4, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    I can’t wait to SEE everything! And take LOTS of pictures. Can’t wait!

  • Reply Pat Shemonsky June 4, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Are they going to have a sneek preview for annual pass holders ??? Need to know so we can put in for the day or two off !! Thank You !!!!

  • Reply Ned June 4, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Jazz outfit sounds nice. Good article, but can we get an opening date please?!

  • Reply Yvonne Letham June 4, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Visiting from Scotland between 6-20 June 2014 Universal Studio park tickets purchased, keeping our fingers & toes crossed that Diagon Alley is opened before we leave. Love Harry Potter & Universal Studios !!! See you soon Two more sleeps. 🙂

  • Reply Simone known as Minerva Mcgonagall June 4, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    This amazing awesome news, I am really really excited !! My rob, in my case the Yule Ball dress is ready, also my hat and wand . I will really enjoy some time on. Diagon Alley. As you know I need take care of hogwarts students, if not they can be in trouble with all Weasley stuff

  • Reply Meg June 4, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    We visit in late July…I am hoping Jimmy Fallon’s show will reveal the opening date for the public. My daughter will be crushed if its not open……fingers crossed!

  • Reply Jamie June 4, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    I am beyond excited!!!! I am a super fan like you. I teach 4th grade and my whole classroom is HP themed! I dress up as Hermione and even have her birthday 9/19/79…..funny too is I was born and raised in RI where Emma Watson just graduated from Brown. I’ve won costume contests, been in my local newspaper for being at a book release party and winning, went to NYC for last book release and chased the Knight Bus down in Times Square just to get my picture with it… Went to NYC for last movie premiere and stood in line all day and witnessed Tom Felton passing out pizzas to us. Entered my class in the Today show contest for the last Grand Opening for WWoHP, but didn’t win 🙁 Have attended all HP related events that Universal has had including the epic 11/11/11 where I met Rupert and the twins and many others at Catch a Rising Star. Just this January I attended the HP weekend and was at the Expo at the Pottermore table and was surprised by a special visit from the twins!!! All I can say is my season passes cost $160 for the year, hotel stay $150 for the weekend, lunch and dinner at Three Broomsticks $60, but the day Diagon Alley Opens………PRICELESS!!! Now hurry up and tell me when the Grand opening will be so I can be there!! I go to RI for a week this month and I’m afraid I will miss it!!!

  • Reply Heather June 4, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Cannot fricking wait for the Tale of the 3 brothers!! Gonna be amazing!!

  • Reply Samantha June 4, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Merlin’s smelly underwear, I need to look into tickets for this. And flights to the States, then there’s saving up. I need to win the lottery.

  • Reply tom June 4, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Except there are no wizard bank notes, just coins, hate to be a killjoy but might as well make it accurate

  • Reply Amanda June 4, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    As one of the many over 40 HP Fans, all I can say is I am super excited and I can not wait to visit!!!

  • Reply Oliver Sorensen June 4, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    I can’t wait to get the Wizarding Bank Notes! I perform a lot of magic, so using these is making it even more awesome!!! 😀 I also need a wand! 😀

  • Reply Jadine June 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    This needs to be in London, that’s the original studio whyyyyyyyy 🙂

  • Reply Luana Eduarda June 4, 2014 at 7:19 pm


  • Reply Angie Hicks June 4, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    why no opening date ? how r we to make travel plans, hotel reservations, vacation time off from work?

  • Reply Rob McCullough June 4, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    The tale of the three brothers from the movie was so lovely, I hoped it would qualify for an Academy Award for animated sort…alas, it did not. It just makes me very excited that we will be able to see these stories brought to life in the park.

  • Reply Tracey June 4, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    When will the experience be open? My whole family are huge fans and cannot wait to see it!

  • Reply Amy June 4, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    The first visit was when they were still building the first part of Harry Potter….we saw construction of the castle and everything! Then back to enjoy that new part of the park. Now a whole new section to see. I can not wait to get there and see it all!!!! I am soooo excited!

  • Reply Londobondo June 4, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    I hope they make a Knight Bus ride like the Simpsons ride! (hint, hint, hint).

  • Reply Yaira June 4, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    *O* Great thinking on Universals part about the money exchange (hoping it would be actual coins like galleons), the puppet shows and the music by Celestina. It all connects SO nicely with the Wizarding Word I’m super exited and can’t wait to visit!

  • Reply Macie May June 4, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    I am so wanting to know the release date!! I am visiting in late June and wanting to know if I will be there for the opening!

  • Reply Bec June 4, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    I’m traveling to Orlando from New Zealand in January to go to WWoHP… So so excited that this will be open! I am staying at one of the universal studios hotels so I can spend all my time there!

  • Reply Amanda Grove June 5, 2014 at 12:14 am

    The Knight’s Bus and the new shops will be great.

    I always thought that if you could ARRIVE at Hogsmead and the Hogwart’s castle, thru the lake in front of the Castle, that would make it the ultimate adventure.

    To arrive by the little boats as Harry and his friends did first year would be grand!!!

    I visited the Hogsmead and Hogwart’s Castle before it opened. It was to be the grand opening, however it didn’t work out that way. It was THE best time as we got
    to go into the attraction before it was open to the public…less crowds.

    With starting college and whatnot, have not been able to get back, but am looking forward to the return visit and seeing the new attraction as well!! For those of us who
    are HUGE Harry Potter fans, this is the ultimate treat!!

  • Reply steve June 5, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Is it just me disappointed it won’t be galleons sickles and knuts?

  • Reply Lala.S. June 5, 2014 at 11:34 am

    I want Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts, not paper. If it isn’t coins, I probably wont bother. Great announcements otherwise, though! The Celestina Warbeck part cracks me up. The radio playing in the background was a great layer of the Weasley house description. I love it.

  • Reply Gina June 5, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Everything!! We are going the first week of July this year!! Hope everything is open :-/

  • Reply Maria June 5, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    My entire being cannot handle this much fun!!! I CANNOT wait until my trip in august with my family!!!!! I am so excited for everything about this! I’ve been to the Hogsmeade part so I am super excited for the fun that Diagon Alley will bring!!!!!

  • Reply Jen June 5, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    I’m going in October, it cannot come quick enough!

  • Reply vicki June 5, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Will be there this weekend. Can’t wait

  • Reply Beth June 5, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    I am counting down the days,am so excited and can’t wait! There will be 3 generations of Harry Potter fans..from 52 to 5 years of age. We are planning a July 3rd Adventure!
    Memories for a lifetime will be made! I cried when I saw Hogsmeade, I am afraid I may “loose it” when I get my first glimpse of Diagon Alley!

  • Reply GJudy June 12, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    I will be in Orlando in August If I get two- park tickets will I be able to experience everything HP in two days? Do I need any reservations for anything else Hp related?

  • Reply Zak May 1, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Check out the history of Universal Studios in this new video.

  • Reply Candi June 19, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Can you help me with show times? I’ve been to The Wizarding World twice, another trip scheduled in December, but I keep missing the shows (in both parks!). Where do I find the times? I can’t miss them again! Many thanks for any guidance!

  • Reply Mark Technlogies November 17, 2018 at 3:33 am

    This must be a dream come true for Harry Potter fans, just like me. It is going to be such an exciting trip. This is so cool. Just the pictures are tempting enough to give it a visit.
    Visit us here

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