6 Reasons to Visit Diagon Alley (Even The Non-Harry Potter Lover)


I tried to read Harry Potter in college. I just didn’t get it. Granted, I only tried the first book, but I’m not so good with fantasy. The flying owls and that just didn’t work for me. I haven’t tired again, and maybe I will when the oldest gets a little older.

But, and a big but, that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy the Harry Potter experience. Because we totally enjoyed it with pretty much zero context. (But, I may have called a goblin an elf a time or two!)

Diagon alley

1. Hogwarts™ Express

We started our journey in Universal’s Islands of Adventure® where we rode the train, the Hogwarts™ Express, between Hogsmeade™ and London to arrive at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Diagon Alley™. (FYI, you will need a Park-to-Park admission ticket or an annual pass as you are going from one park to the other).

Hogwarts Express

It’s not just any old train. It has some amazing features including an animated “window” and “moving” people around the cabin. I get very disoriented and a little nauseous on most closed in rides, but this was actually quite fun! The girls enjoyed looking and listening for the next thing they would see. (no pictures were allowed once the train ride started).

Hogwarts Express

2. Location transformation

We arrived! Diagon Alley is hidden behind a brink entrance. You can’t see any of it from the outside. You enter and everything changes and feels old world. It was phenomenal at night under the Florida sky.

Diagon Alley

The windows of the stores are animated and I noticed people carrying wands that allowed magic to happen behind them. They spared no expense and left nothing to the imagination.

3. Butter Beer

Have a frozen butter beer. Icy, cold and super sweet. It was the perfect dessert for the evening. I had no idea what it was when I ordered it, but everybody said it was a must, so I did! It didn’t disappoint. I hear a close second is the butter beer ice cream.

4. Fire breathing dragon

Seriously. FIRE

Diagon Alley


Diagon Alley


Diagon Alley

And that fire is hot! Like you check the back of your neck and make sure your hair isn’t singed hot!

5. ESCAPE FROM GRINGOTTS™ aka a multi-dimensional experience ride

It’s a goblin run bank. And, the goblins, they actually talk and move and are amazing to watch.

Diagon Alley

And you go deeper and hear of the trouble that you are about to find (with some amazing holograms?) that make it feel like you are right there.

Diagon Alley

You grab your special glasses and board the ride. I screamed out loud several times, and jumped from a snake attack and rocks being thrown at me. It is high interactive and you are right in the middle of the action. I had no context for what was happening and it was great.

6. Put your kids in jail

No. Not really. Kid swap is available on this ride. So, we could all go through the line together and then adults could switch off with the kids that aren’t tall enough to ride. Don’t forget to ask for a certificate so you can jump the line when you visit again and they are tall enough.

Diagon Alley

So, if you are worried that Diagon Alley might not be your thing, think again. It is a great experience for all ages of people. Our 5 and 7 year old were tall enough for the ride and even though the 7 year old decided not to ride, she had a great experience within the area, too.

Similar Posts


  1. I want to go soon. I haven’t read all of the books but I’m still a fangirl!

  2. I have been wanting to go with my family but the only time that worked this year was over the winter holidays and I feel like that would be disastrously crowded. Next year I hope!

    1. I wonder if it is or not. It wasn’t crowded when it was hot, so maybe it isn’t when it’s cold?

  3. glad that you don’t have to be a Harry Potter fan to enjoy it..
    I have no knowledge of that at all…

  4. Looks like a lot of fun. We’re big Harry Potter fans over here so I know my boys would love it. You really should read the books! I’m guessing at some point your kids will be into them so you can join in the fun!

    1. Guess what? My oldest seriously asked her grandmother to send the first book, so they are reading it with daddy. So, I’m still off the hook. I’ve heard it and there is soooo much description and detail!

  5. My sons beg me to take them there every time they see a commercial. Your post makes it much more compelling than the commercials! Can’t wait to check it out.

    1. It really was fun! Like I would totally go back! Maybe when it’s not quite so hot:)

  6. This looks like so much fun – for all ages! Nice pics and some of us are Harry Potter fans, some not so much so great to know it can be enjoyed by all!

    1. Yes, I really appreciate that it worked for everybody. There were some real fans there, too and they loved it as well…maybe more:)

  7. This looks really cool! And this is coming from a non-Harry Potter person, too. (I’m not big on fantasy books, either.) So glad you had fun!!

    1. My in-laws loved the books, too and they had a great time there!

  8. What a fun adventure! Don’t you love when your favorite books come alive? It adds a whole new creative way of experiencing the story. So much fun.

  9. That looks like so much fun. My daughter’s friend is obsessed with Harry Potter and cannot wait to go this fall!

  10. I’m so glad you had a good time, even without the HP knowledge! I’ll be visiting the parks in November. I’m a die hard fan so reading your experience was really fun to me. The elf part was really cute. Butter Beer is my favorite beverage, ever. Like in the whole world. I can’t wait to have it again.

    Kindness is the best accessory,

    1. Is it bad that I still think I’m a dork for calling them elves?

      I only tried the frozen butter beer. It sure was tasty!

  11. Cynthia C says:

    My nephew wants to go and I would love to take him. Maybe some day.

  12. I read the Harry Potter books. I am sure I would love Diagon Alley. Sounds fun.

  13. RICHARD HICKS says:

    This is something the kids would certainly love. So exciting even for the adults too.

  14. this place looks pretty cool. Never heard of it before but will do some research and check it out

  15. love harry potter will have to check this out. Love the photos. Looks like such a cool place to bring the family. My kids will love it

  16. My husband and I mailed these books back and forth while he was deployed in Afghanistan. I can’t wait to relive the experience with each other and our kids! I really can wait to taste a butter beer!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.