10 Surprising Facts about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 31 July 2018
  • Revised 10 July 2023
10 Surprising Facts about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 31 July 2018
  • Revised 10 July 2023
10 Surprising Facts about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 31 July 2018
  • Revised 10 July 2023

At The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you can step into a land of enchantment. Here, the line between film fantasy and reality is as flimsy as Ronald Weasley's wand. 

Better yet, look a little closer, and you will see magical details that the muggles might miss...

That's why we've put together a list of mesmerising secrets that all aspiring witches and wizards should look out for during their next visit to Universal Orlando Resort...

Send a Postcard via the Owl Postal Service 

Did you know you can pen a message to your friends and family on a special Hogsmeade postcard? Imagine their surprise when they receive mail via owl post with unique stamps they can add to their collection. And so you don’t miss out either, why not mail one to yourself as a memento? What’s more, you get some nifty practice writing with a quill, preparing you for Hogwarts schooling when you finally receive your acceptance letter. 

Exchange Money at Gringotts Money Exchange

When you enter Gringotts Money Exchange, you can swap your muggle money in American dollars for Gringotts bank notes, allowing you to purchase gifts and snacks in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. If you’re afraid of the goblin’s wrath, fear not, as friendly bank tellers are on hand to help. For those of you who love a bit of banter, a goblin behind the counter will grumpily respond if you ask questions. And if you have unused Gringotts currency, you can either keep it as a souvenir or exchange it back into American dollars to line your pockets. 

Try All Six Variations of Butterbeer

You may have tried the classic cold Butterbeer before, but have you tried all the other variations? Frozen Butterbeer is ideal for the summer months, and hot Butterbeer is served during the winter season. There’s also Butterbeer potted cream, an indulgent dessert like crème brûlée or Butterbeer fudge, and the cooling Butterbeer ice cream. All these delicious drinks and treats can be found in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at your nearest pub, like the Hog’s Head, Leaky Cauldron, and The Three Broomsticks.

Ride the Hogwarts Express 

Remember to board the Hogwarts Express for this charming journey between Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Here, you can sit in a booth with your favourite fellow wizards and witches and gaze out of the window to watch magic unfold. What’s more, you’ll get to wander the grand Platform 93/4, admire the Hogwarts Express steam engine - an exact replica from the movies - and fully immerse in the spellbinding fun of his fascinating train ride. 

PS. Please note that you’ll need a Park-to-Park Ticket to train hop on the Hogwarts Express.

Cast Spells Around the Park

Fans of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone will love this. You can visit Ollivanders and let your wand choose you before exploring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with your accompanying wand map to search for the magical spots around the park. Discover your wand’s power when you point at a marked gold medallion and let the magic happen. Better yet, you can search for secret interactive sites hidden around the park. We won’t give away the fun or the clues, but a friendly Universal Orlando team member can lead you in the right direction.

Find Knockturn Alley’s Hidden Entrance

Lovers of the dark arts, curious souls (or those simply seeking refuge from the Florida heat) should keep their eyes peeled for the inconspicuous signs leading to the sinister side of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This seedy corridor brims with underhand magic and crafty vendors, a stark contrast to Diagon Alley’s cheerful and merry ambience. If daring to tread where Death Eaters frequent sounds like your kind of day out, then look for the archway next to The Leaky Cauldron.

Make a Phone Call to The Ministry of Magic 

Nothing is quite what it seems in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and clear evidence of this is the magical phone booth outside Kings Cross station. Dial MAGIC (62442) on the old rotary phone to be put through to the Ministry of Magic and receive a secret message. Remember to keep your lips sealed and fulfil whatever the message requires. Yet more than anything, have fun, take photos, and enjoy the whimsical reverie of this enchanting land.

Look Out for Kreacher at 12 Grimmauld Place

When you’re passing the mysterious Order of the Phoenix headquarters near Kings Cross Station, peer at the windows above for a chance to spot Kreacher. This fiercely loyal and overworked elf appears at the second-floor window every few minutes between his countless chores and attending to innumerable requests. When he does decide to rear his menacing face, we recommend using this as a photo opportunity!

Search for Harry Potter Movie Props

For another touch of magic, some display items in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter were actual props used in the films. You’ll find the stargazing barometer from Dumbledore’s office from the films Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows now stationed at Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment shop. What’s more, Borgin and Burke’s second floor boasts 90% of the movies’ props featuring antique silverware, model skulls, and other treasured period pieces. Plus, you’ll also find exact replicas of movie props, from the Vanishing Cabinet, featured in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, to the Gringott's bank cart from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Listen for Moaning Myrtle in the Bathrooms

Hogwarts’ young ghost and past student, Moaning Myrtle, haunts the girls’ bathrooms with her sobs - and this doesn’t stop in the parks! In The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Moaning Myrtle inflicts her cries across all the gender bathrooms. Yet worry not, if you're not up for Myrtle's tears, just locate restrooms displaying the ‘Public Conveniences’ signs.

Want to discover these surprising facts for yourself? Browse our Universal Orlando Resort Holidays 2024 & 2025 and let's start planning a personalised package.

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