A few days ago I was just reminiscing about my recent trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. As I was unpacking my boxes after our move, I came across my Butterbeer cup, my wand, and a few other things I picked up on our journey…and I found myself missing it more and more!
Regardless of whether you love or loath Harry Potter, there’s no denying that the park abounds with amazing detail. Movie props pepper the park, voices of familiar characters can be heard throughout the Hogwarts castle, and you can even TAKE THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS between parks!
I may or may not have cried on that ride…but I definitely cried.
J.K. Rowling had a hand in everything while the park was being created, from the look and flow of the scenery to the title of the songs that crooner Celestia Warbeck sings on stage. It really is a dream come true for fans of the series and is FILLED with little nods that lovers of the books and movies are sure to appreciate.
If you’re planning a trip to TWWoHP in the near future, here are 21 little nuggets (or should I say Galleons!) to keep in mind as you plan your trip!
21 Fun Facts About The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Many of the Wizarding World staff members are from the U.K. The park hired a large number of its team members directly from Britain to make the experience as authentic as possible.
Every staff member also takes an exam, testing their knowledge of the books and movies to make sure their interactions go as smoothly as possible. Nothing’s getting past these guys!
Author J.K. Rowling had final say on the Butterbeer recipe served at the park.
A Crumple-Horned Snorkack, Luna Lovegood’s favorite magical creature, can be seen in the Magical Menagerie store…though Luna herself has yet to find one IRL.
Look up in the windows of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley and you’ll see house elves all over the place! Even Kreacher makes an appearance from behind the curtain of 12 Grimmauld Place every few minutes. CREEEEEEEPY!
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride features appearances from original actors such as Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, and Rupert Grint; however, Emma Watson nor Daniel Radcliffe reprised their roles…so Harry and Hermione might sound different on the ride.
Though Moaning Myrtle haunts the girls’ bathroom in the books and movies, boys and girls can hear Moaning Myrtle haunt their toilets throughout the park bathrooms.
In order to build Diagon Alley, the famous Jaws ride had to be taken down. As a tribute, a record is visible in the windows of the shop on Charing Cross Road, where the Jaws ride was, that has a song titled “Here’s to Swimmin’ with Bo Legged Women”, a direct quote from the Jaws movie. There’s also a set of shark teeth in the Mullpepper’s Apothecary.
There’s an actual London-style phone in the King’s Cross section of the park. If you dial 62442 (MAGIC), you’ll be connected to the Ministry of Magic.
The Hogwarts Express was built in Switzerland and was artificially aged to make it look as though it had made the journey from Hogwarts to London thousands of times.
The same musicians hired to play the film soundtracks played new arrangements for the park attractions.
J.K. Rowling wrote the titles of every song Celestia Warbeck sings in the park.
You can converse with the goblin tellers inside Gringotts Bank. If you ring a desk bell, the goblin teller will look directly at you (!!). Ask the goblin a question like, “How old are you?” or “Did you know there’s a dragon on the roof?” and see what they say…
You can trade your muggle money in for Gringotts money, which can be used throughout the park.
Ask an employee in London’s King Cross station how to find Platform 9¾…they will look at you like you’re crazy, bristle in annoyance or confusion, or make a sarcastic remark about how bonkers you are. The wizards working at both Potter-themed parks know their stuff — and they stay in character (and challenge your Harry Potter knowledge) at every turn.
The earmuffs near the mandrake roots, the desks and chalkboard in the Dark Arts classroom, Cho Chang’s dress from the Yule Ball, the carriage compartment in the Hogwarts Express train and, most notably, Hagrid’s motorcycle are just a few of the real movie props you can spot in the park.
The dragon atop Gringotts is a Ukrainian Ironbelly…and it has breathed fire more than 15,000 times since the park opened.
Nearly all of the Horcruxes are available for purchase at the parks. The only missing Horcruxes are Helga Hufflepuff’s cup and Harry himself. The locket, ring, Tom Riddle’s diary, a stuffed Nagini, and even Rowena Ravenclaw’s bedazzled diadem are for sale.
Want a challenge? Mention the name “Voldemort” to any Harry Potter park employee…
The actual costumes from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire are on display at Gladrags Wizardwear.
In the Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes joke shop, you can adopt your very own Pygmy Puff. When you do, the attendant will ring a bell and announce the name of your Pygmy Puff to the whole store.
Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!