When I read the Harry Potter books for the first time I instantly felt drawn to a particular Hogwarts house. This feeling was later reinforced when I watched my favorite characters be brought to life in the films, and finally confirmed when I was officially sorted. Ambition. Cunning. Resourcefulness. Not to mention the perfect color combo of green and silver. There was no question about it: I was meant to be in Slytherin.
You may have had a similar experience as me and now have a lot of pride in your house (can you really have too much snake jewelry?). So I found myself thinking one day, How fun would it be to write a guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter based on my Hogwarts house? And here it is. Come with me on a journey through Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade as I show you my favorite things to do with a Slytherin-inspired lens.
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts | Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida
Maybe it’s because you delve into the depths of Gringotts bank and find out why it’s called the ‘safest place on earth’. Or maybe it’s because you come face-to-face with Bellatrix Lestrange and the dark lord himself, Voldemort. Either way, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is a thrill ride unlike any other, and I recommend all my fellow Slytherins check it out in Diagon Alley. Plus, you get the pleasure of having no-nonsense Goblins glower at you dubiously, which I can relate to 100 percent.
Knockturn Alley | Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida
If there’s one place I feel right at home, it’s in Knockturn Alley. This shadowy area is right off of Diagon Alley and is dedicated to unusual — and sometimes sinister — individuals that dabble in Dark Magic. You can check out Borgin and Burkes for all your Dark Art supplies, and there are a bunch of spell locations to practice with your interactive wand. My favorites are silencing a chorus of singing shrunken heads and making a skeleton dance.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard – The Tale of the Three Brothers | Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida
This show is a beautiful portrayal of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, using intricately detailed puppets and performed by a troupe of four from the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts. My favorite story they tell is The Tale of the Three Brothers, which was featured in the seventh film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1. This cautionary tale carries a powerful message and that finale when Death appears is simply jaw-dropping.
WHERE/WHAT TO SHOP
Borgin and Burkes | Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida
As I mentioned above, Borgin and Burkes is the one-stop shop for all your Dark Art needs. Here you’ll find collectible items like Death Eater masks, Dark Mark accessories, Azkaban apparel, and skulls of all shapes and sizes. I feel like every witch and wizard needs a skull to adorn their bookshelf: it adds character.
Slytherin House Gear | Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida
You better believe every time I visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter I’m repping my house pride. It’s a badge of honor to wear the silver and green of Slytherin, and you can get all sorts of house gear in both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Robes, scarves, ties, Quidditch pendants, and more can be found throughout the wizarding world shops, including:
- Dervish and Banges
- Madam Malkin’s Robes For All Occasions
- Filch’s Emporium For Confiscated Goods
- Quality Quidditch Supplies
Famous Slytherin Wands | Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida
Imagine if you could cast powerful spells just like the infamous dark wizards and witches of the wizarding world. While we’re all daydreaming of possessing that kind of power, you can get close by collecting famous Slytherin wands from Ollivanders. Here’s who you can find:
- Lord Voldemort
- Bellatrix Lestrange
- Draco Malfoy
- Narcissa Malfoy
- Lucius Malfoy
- Severus Snape
WHAT TO EAT
Leaky Cauldron | Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida
The Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley welcomes all wizards and witches, even those of questionable repute. It’s my go-to place to grab a meal with its scrumptious menu of traditional British dishes and whimsical drinks. I feel right at home nestled in the dark recesses of this warm, but moody, pub with my glass of Otter’s Fizzy Orange Juice and plate of Scotch Eggs. A few of my other favorite dishes are the Mini Pie Combination and the Ploughman’s Platter.
Butterbeer at Hog’s Head Pub | Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure
Ah, Butterbeer. The sweet, frothy drink that every Hogwarts student needs to try. You can get either cold or frozen all year long and even indulge in a hot Butterbeer when the weather gets chilly. Hogs Head pub in Hogsmeade is my favorite place to grab a mug!
Devilish Sweet Treats | Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida
Snakes are known for having venom in their fangs but this Slytherin’s got a major sweet tooth. Here are some of my favorite wizarding world treats, perfect for sharing with your most loyal friends or your archenemies. I won’t blame you if you keep them all to yourself, though.
- Blood Pops – You don’t have to be a vampire to enjoy these lollipops. These strawberry-flavoured lollies leave your mouth blood-red, but don’t worry, it’s only temporary! (Found in Honeydukes)
- Nautious Jumping Snakes – Despite its name, this mint-flavoured candy will leave you feeling fresh. I always have a jar of these on my desk. (Found in Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezus)
- Chocolate – Who doesn’t love chocolate? Chocolate Frogs are always a good choice, especially since you may get a Salazar Slytherin collectible card. I’m also particular towards the more unusual choices of Fudge Flies or Chocolate Skeletons. (Found in Honeydukes or Sugarplum’s Sweetshop)
One of the incredible things about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the attention to detail. From every shop window down to the sounds that surround you, everything was created to be authentic to the books and films. Even now, after visiting countless times, I find new things I haven’t noticed before.
…Anyway, there happens to be a TON of hidden gems that connect to our Hogwarts house. However, in true form, I’m only going to share a few of my favorites and leave the rest for you to discover.
- 12 Grimmauld Place – As you make your way through London towards Diagon Alley, keep an eye out for the home of one the most famous families of Slytherins – the Black family. You may even catch an infamous inhabitant keeping an eye out as well.
- Bellatrix Lestrange – Speaking of the Black family, you’ll find ‘Wanted’ posters in Knockturn Alley for Bellatrix Lestrange.
- Parseltongue – For those of you who have an ear for Parseltongue (snake language), head over to the Magical Menagerie. You’ll find a large snake in one of the shop’s windows and it may try speaking to you.
- Professor Severus Snape’s Office Door – One of my favorite finds is the infamous Potions master’s office door inside Hogwarts castle. It’s tucked away and can be hard to spot, so I always make a point to show my friends and family.
- Salazar Slytherin Portrait – The namesake and founder of the Slytherin house. You can find his talking portrait along with the other three Hogwarts founders in the halls of Hogwarts.
- Nimbus 2001 Broomstick – We all remember when the ENTIRE Slytherin quidditch team got fitted with Nimbus 2001 broomsticks thanks to Lucius Malfoy’s generosity when Draco was made Seeker. You can find this model floating in Dervish and Banges.
You’re ready to explore The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.