If you’re heading to Universal Studios Orlando to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, then you need to know about the secret details across Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. *Side note: 11 of 12 are in Diagon Alley.
1) Hidden Images
If you visit Knockturn Alley (in Diagon Alley) and have a park map from your interactive wand box, secret images will appear on the map thanks to the black lights throughout this dark alleyway.
2) Call the Ministry of Magic
Outside of Diagon Alley is a London facade with Kings Cross Station. Near this area, there is a red phone booth. In one Harry Potter book, Arthur Weasley dials 62442. It’s the only time the actual number is mentioned in all seven books. This phone number spells out ‘magic’ and if dialed in the phone booth outside Diagon Alley, it will connect you to the Ministry of Magic.
In the same area outside Diagon Alley is 12 Grimmauld place (a secret gathering place owned by Sirius Black for the Order). Every 5 minutes or so, Kreacher will open the curtain to look out the window above the front door.
4) Moaning Myrtle
If you happen to be at the Islands of Adventure side of the Universal parks, moaning myrtle can be heard haunting the girl’s bathroom in Hogsmeade.
5) Knight Bus
Back outside of Diagon Alley is the Knight bus where you can actually talk to the Dre Head (the shrunken head) and Stan Shunpike. Feel free to ask Dre questions because he interacts with guests & it can be quite comical.
6) Wizarding World Employee & Guest Interactions
If you ask Kings Cross employees how to find platform 9 3/4, you may get some interesting answers. If you mention Voldemort to certain wizarding cast members, they may be frightened. Lastly, if you are in Knockturn Alley visiting Borgin and Burkes, the staff there may not like when guests mention certain houses or characters (Dumbledore, Harry Potter, etc.).
7) Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes
In Diagon Alley, it will be hard to miss Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. The large figure that’s about 2 stories tall will tip his hat & wriggle his eyebrows. If you look closely, a rabbit may appear out of his hat and on his head, before disappearing again.
8) Hidden Magic
A few areas have hidden opportunities to cast spells. For example, rumor has it that outside of Slug & Jiggers Apothecary in Diagon Alley, wizards can use their interactive wand in a triangle movement at the storefront to activate some hidden magic. Another place where you can try this is the storefront windows of Scribbulus Writing Implements on Horizont Alley.
9) Easter Eggs
Not literal Easter eggs, but little inconspicuous things were placed around Diagon Alley as a nod to the Jaws ride that previously occupied the space. We won’t spoil them, but pay close attention to windows of inaccessible storefronts, as well as the singing shrunken heads in Knockturn Alley.
10) Watch out for Tricks
The sign in front of the Leaky Cauldron actually leaks water.
11) Hogwarts Express
If you ride the Hogwarts Express between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, you will get a different experience each way.
12) Gringotts Money Exchange
Inside the money exchange, where you can actually exchange your cash for wizard money, there is an interactive goblin. Feel free to ask him questions, especially about the Lestrange vault, and see what he says.
Do you know of any other secret details at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? Put it in the comments below!