The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has all kinds of nooks and crannies to hide secrets and Easter eggs. Every cluttered shelf and dark corner is a potential hiding spot for treasure waiting to be found. These spots have been used to their utmost potential in both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley to conceal nods to those who made the Wizarding World possible, to the books and movies, and to what had come before. After reading, try to keep these easter eggs in mind for your next visit to Universal Orlando. Maybe you’ll be able to spot them yourself!
1. Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hog’s Head Tavern Fireplace Initials
The little pub nestled in the back of the Three Broomsticks holds a secret within. No, it isn’t the moving mounted hog head behind the bar (but that is still cool!). It’s on the opposite wall in the form of a fireplace. Depending on how dark it is, it can be tricky to see, but the frame of the giant fireplace has initials carved into it. Some of those initials belong to the team behind the creation of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including the project coordinator.
2. The Vanishing Cabinet
With the addition of Diagon Alley also came the infamous dark wizard hangout, Knockturn Alley. One of the areas to visit in this dark corner of the world is Borgin and Burkes, complete with a familiar triangular cabinet in the corner. If that wasn’t cool enough, stick your ear up to it; you’ll hear the little bird Draco Malfoy used to test if it worked chirping. Putting your hand on the door, you’ll even be able to feel it fly around inside.
3. Alastor Moody’s Trunk
The Vanishing Cabinet isn’t the only secret Borgin and Burkes holds. On the opposite side of the shop, you can hear quite the ruckus near your feet. If you follow it, you will find Mad-Eye Moody’s trunk that we see him trapped inside during Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), under a table of odds and ends. The banging and shouting seem to imply that someone else is trapped inside.
4. Jaws for Jaws
Before Diagon Alley came to Universal Studios Florida, the area was reserved for the attraction based on Jaws from 1975. The ride was actually quite beloved by visitors, so the creators of the Wizarding World paid homage to the opening day attraction. One way is through various shark jaws filled with teeth scattered around. Take a peak in the big glass cabinet in Borgin and Burkes for one set, and the other is in the window of Mr. Mullpepper’s Apothecary behind the shelves filled with jars.
5. The Hand of Glory from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
If you ever got scared of the dried-out hand that grabs the young Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, be weary when entering Borgin and Burkes. There is a corner display housing this strange artifact, and if you linger around long enough, it may just try to snatch you, too!
6. The Cursed Opal Necklace
The opal necklace played a decent role in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) as one of Draco Malfoy’s failed attempts to dispose of Dumbledore. However, it first appeared in The Chamber of Secrets when Harry first goes to Borgin and Burkes and sees it for sale. We can see it in the shop again in the Wizarding World. It is above the grabby Hand of Glory in the same cabinet, complete with the same warning Harry saw when he had first seen it.
7. A Parseltongue Speaking Snake
Close to Gringotts Wizarding Bank is a little shop known as the Magical Menagerie, filled with merchandise themed after different magical creatures. Next to the alley between it and the restrooms, you’ll find a sizable snake in the window. At first, this may look like Nagini, Voldemort’s slithery companion, but it isn’t.
However, that doesn’t stop it from speaking Parseltongue to curious guests. But be weary of telling people what you hear. Sometimes, you may actually understand what the snake is saying, and then you’ll get odd looks from your family after you try to explain that you heard it talk, and now they wonder if you’re the next heir of Slytherin – not that we are speaking from experience or anything!
8. Eavesdropping the Daily Prophet
Walking through the main area of Diagon Alley, you should come across a door with a familiar sign above it for the famous wizard newspaper, the Daily Prophet. Going up the door and listening carefully, you’ll be able to hear reporters for the Prophet inside working away on their stories.
9. Beverages of Beedle the Bard
The Tales of Beedle the Bard are an iconic piece of young witches and wizards’ nighttime routine. The stories get plenty of recognition in Diagon Alley in the form of a frequent show sharing the tales with others through the use of puppets and performances. However, there is another, more subtle method, too, in the form of two beverage locations. First is The Hopping Pot, which takes its name from the story “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot.” The second is The Fountain of Fair Fortune, which gets its name from the story of the same title.
10. A Familiar Owl in Kings Cross
Along with Diagon Alley and Knockturn Alley, the expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter added a bit of London to Universal Studios Florida. And with London came Kings Cross Station. You can board the Hogwarts Express and Travel to Hogsmeade from here, but while waiting for your train to arrive, be sure to look around. In the area where you wait to board the train, a cart full of luggage ready to travel to the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry can be seen with a famous snowy owl in her cage. Hedwig will look around at the people passing by while her cage rests on the trunk of a certain wizard with the initials “HP.”
11. Gilderoy Lockhart’s Robes
If you ever wanted to get a closer look at a particularly pompous peacock of a Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, you’re in luck! Next to other impressive robes, such as those of Professor McGonagall, you can find an outfit that unmistakably belongs to Gilderoy Lockhart in Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions.
12. A Mournful Voice in the Girl’s Bathroom
As any good theme park area should, Hogsmead in Islands of Adventure has restrooms or “public conveniences” in this situation. In the girls’ bathroom, the familiar, woeful voice of Moaning Myrtle can be heard. Apparently, she haunts more than just the Hogwarts’ second-floor girls' bathroom.
13. A Monstrous Book
Connected to the Owl Post is Dervish and Banges, your go-to place for all things Quidditch in Hogsmeade. But there’s more than just Golden Snitches and Quaffles stored here. In a cage is a Monster Book of Monsters sleeping peacefully, but be careful standing there for too long; it might just wake up.
14. Restrained Brooms
The fun thing about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is that there are details everywhere you look, even up! Doing just that in Dervish and Banges will result in the sight of three broomsticks tied to posts to stop them from flying about. These are the Nimbus 2000, Nimbus 2001, and the Firebolt, each owned by Harry.
15. Flesh-Eating Slug Repellent
Hagrid mentioned This specific pesticide a couple of times during The Chamber of Secrets. Well, if you look around in the queue for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, you can spot quite a few cans of the stuff throughout. Hogwarts must have a nasty slug problem.
16. A Classic Rabbit Trick
During Half-Blood Prince, we get our first glimpse of the Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes shop and see a fun trick with the storefront. A giant, mechanized statue resembling the twins stretches out of the front window, moving its face and arm to lift a hat, revealing a rabbit hidden on its head. The hat lifts again as the camera enters the window, and the rabbit is gone, like a classic magician's trick. The same effect has been brought to life in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. So keep an eye on the giant Weasley before entering the jokes shop!
17. “Ask Harry”
With the help of Arthur Weasley, Hagrid has multiplied his flying motorcycle to allow guests to ride them as they venture through the grounds around the Forbidden Forest. We can see some of his work on the billboards that are used to visualize instructions for entering the ride while in the queue. The boards are filled with notes, manuals, part packaging, and an intriguing sticky note with a drawing of a rubber ducky with “Ask Harry” written above it. If you know the question Arthur first asked Harry when they first met, you understand why this note is here.
18. Record References
Next to the entrance of Kings Cross is a facade for a record shop, records in the window and all! There are two little secrets to these displays if you know what you’re looking for. A record titled “Here’s to Swimmin’ with Bow Legged Women” by “The Quint Trio” is another Jaws reference. The line is spoken by the character, Quint, in the film, and the name also alludes to the other two of the film’s trip: Chief Brody and Matt Hooper. There is also a record for “Joe Sez No,” which is a reference to the book series author J.K. Rowling, who had complete veto power over any ideas from the creative team. Her refusal of different concepts became a running joke and eventually a record.
19. Call to the Ministry
Right outside the record shop in London is a classic red phone that can be entered. On the rotary dial is a label giving a number for the Ministry of Magic. “62442” or “Magic” in phone words. Calling correctly will allow you to actually reach the Ministry by phone!
20. Shrunken Songs
In Knockturn Alley, there is a window full of shrunken heads that will sing for guests. They sing different songs each time, but one is “Show Me the Way to Go Home” by Julie London, sung by the main trio in Jaws.
21. An Unseen Carriage Puller
If guests ride to Hogsmeade via the Hogwarts Express, they'll find an interesting carriage surrounded by trunks and luggage. The carriage will move by itself a little, revealing that it is drawn by an unseen Thestral.
22. A Robe Belonging to a Painting in Quality Quidditch Supplies
In Quality Quidditch Supplies, there are a few fun references from the books and movies related to Quidditch. However, one is far trickier to place: a black Quidditch uniform in a display case near the back of the shop. There’s no label saying to whom this robe belonged, but if you have ridden Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, you have seen it and may not even realize it. In the Gryffindor Common Room area of the queue, there are talking portraits discussing the ride in magical terms.
One such portrait is that of a Gryffindor Quidditch player who torments the other older wizards with his thrill-seeking personality. If you look at him closely, you may notice that his Quidditch uniform differs from the ones we see Harry and the rest of the team wear during the films. This is the robe in Quality Quidditch Supplies! The mannequin displaying the uniform even holds a Quaffle in the same way as the portrait!
23. Hermione’s Yule Ball Dress
In the window of a dress shop in Hogsmeade, a recognizable gown can be seen proudly on display. Hermione’s pink dress that she wore to the Yule Ball in Goblet of Fire can be viewed from the shop’s facade window. Though you can’t enter for a closer look here, Madam Malkin's has replicas of the dress for sale.
24. A Mischievous Map in Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods
The existing gift shop for Forbidden Journey is Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods. All around, student's belongings taken by the caretaker can be spotted, including copies of The Quibbler and Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes products. But, one item stowed away in a cabinet is especially eye-catching. The Marauder's Map can be found slightly open and active for passers-by to take a peak. The map shows what a few recognizable names are doing throughout the castle.
25. An Intriguing Crate in Front of Hagrid’s Hut
Hagrid’s love for dragons is well-known among fans. After all, he did hatch one from an egg that he named Norbert in the first book and movie! With that in mind, be sure to take a good look at the front door to his hut while waiting to get on Flight of the Hippogriff. There is a slightly singed crate labeled “Baby Norwegian Ridgeback.” The same type of dragon as little Norbert!