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.
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.
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…
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!