Wizarding World of Harry Potter secrets

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So Gavin and I let you in on some secrets we know about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter the other week on OAT Live and I’m going to tell you all my favourites including some new ones we didn’t have time for…

  • Universal hired a large amount of its staff from Britain to ensure the experience is as authentic as possible. Each staff member also has to sit an exam to test their knowledge of the books and films to make sure interactions with guests are as seamless as possible.
  • Harry and Hermione’s voices in Escape From Gringotts aren’t actually their real voices
  • We all know that the Leaky Cauldron serves as a gateway between the magical and muggle world and Universal have added a hint of this to the sign of the Leaky Cauldron. Lets just say be careful of drips if you’re standing underneath the sign..
  • The perfume advertisement that can be found in Kings Cross Station at Universal Studios is not exactly the same as the one in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The advert in the film says ‘Tonight make a little magic with your man’ however the one used in Kings Cross says ‘make a little magic’ so it is a little less suggestive.
  • In Zonkos Joke Shop you can hear whispering coming from the Extendable Ears which can be found hanging over the registers. If you wish to purchase one, you can however there is a sign warning you of eavesdropping.
  • Also in Zonkos you can buy your very own Pygmy Puff – if you do decide to buy one the attendant will ring the bell and announce your Pygmy Puffs name to the whole shop!
  • Look out for the Pots and Pans cleaning themselves in the window to the left of the Three Broomsticks.
  • If you need to make a pit stop at the single restroom in Hogsmede you won’t be alone… Moaning Myrtle can be heard complaining in the men and the women’s loo’s!
  • It’s not just the Dragon that comes to life every 15 minutes.. every 15 mins a owl will pop out the top of the Owlery just like a cuckoo clock.
  • When in line for The Forbidden Journey if you stop by the potions classroom door and listen very carefully you will be able to hear Neville Longbottom being told off for not performing a spell correctly.
  • Keep an eye out for Kreacher in the window of 12 Grimmauld place if you decide to knock…

So there you have it.. some secrets to impress your mates with the next time you visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Some are tried and tested and some aren’t so let us know if you know of any more!!

Smiles Included,


Abby’s Orlando Adventure, Part 1. Universal

Hey Thrill Seekers!


I’ve been back a few days now – just about getting over the jet lag but still wishing I was in Orlando.. 🙁 I had the most AMAZING week out in Orlando and had the opportunity to do things i’ve only ever been able to dream of doing until now. I’m going to let you all know what I got up to over a blog or three.  😉 Today’s blog is all about what I got up to at the Universal parks..

So on the 17th September I made my way to Gatwick and met everyone (all 50 of them) at the check in desk ready to do my first ever long haul flight. The flight was fine and seemed like we were there in no time! We then travelled straight from the airport to Universals Cabana Bay Beach Resort which is a really cool 1950’s retro themed hotel. After being shown to our rooms we met over at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort – another one of Universals properties to have a welcome buffet and drinks. At dinner our lovely Universal host Liz gave us the opportunity to go over to Universal Studios to experience Halloween Horror Nights 27. Of course I opted to do this (partly because if i didn’t I would be mocked here at OAT towers) We hopped on a water taxi from Loews over to Universal Studios to experience the best Horror Night event i’ve ever been too! As soon as you walk in to the park it starts, there’s a scare zone after scare zone and so many houses to choose from. I done a mix of Rides and Houses that night, started off on Hollywood Rip Ride Rock It (Kayne West – Stronger, obvious choice 😉 ) – Wicked ride to do in the dark! Also rode TRANSFORMERS-3D, The Simpsons and Men In Black. TRANSFORMERS 3D was my first experience of a simulator ride and it’s safe to say I absolutely LOVED it! Now on to the houses, the first house I went in to was American Horror Story.. one word, terrifying. There is a video / sound clip on our Facebook page that I took whilst walking through the house and you can tell from that how scared I was and also how funny it is to be scared. The attention to detail in the houses is second to none, if you have the chance to go make sure you keep your eyes open the whole time to really take in all of the props and details! The second house I went in was Scarecrow – The Reaping. This house was more jumpy and I did fall over at one point from being scared – not my finest moment ;). The Scare Zones were also amazing and clever, my favourite Scare Zone was the Purge one as you just couldn’t escape! This was closely followed by the Scare Zone Roaming Hordes – Clowns with Chainsaws.. enough said. We made our way back to the hotel at around 1am to get some sleep ready for the next day.

On our first full day we made our way over to Universal Studios where we met our very own VIP tour guides who were going to be taking us around for the morning. We started off by heading in to Diagon Alley – the ‘wow factor’ when you walk in is exactly, if not more, how everyone describes it. We had a quick taste of Butterbeer – I loved this, I love all things sweet and this is definitely sweet, yummy. We then went on to do the Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts, I also had a lot of expectations for this ride and it lived up to every single one of them, it’s just so lifelike and cleverly done. After this we met up outside Kings Cross Station, had a few photos with the knight bus and then made our way inside to board the Hogwarts Express. Oh another thing, when you are standing outside Kings Cross you will reeeeeaaaalllllyyyy feel like you are back in London! (let me know below if you know what I mean by this 😉 ) After walking through platform 9 3/4 we hopped in to a carriage.The journey on the Hogwarts Express was soo immersive and be sure to look both left and right throughout the whole journey. In what felt like seconds we had arrived at Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure, another ‘wow’ moment as you catch a glimpse of Hogwarts Castle for the first time. We headed straight for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, probably my favourite of the 2 Harry Potter rides we did, I love the way the ride really puts you in the middle of the action. We then made our way back on to the Hogwarts Express to head back over to Universal Studios, it’s a completely different experience on the way back so make sure you pay close attention (and look out for a cool graphic to do with a tree out of the window side). As we entered Kings Cross earlier on in the morning one of our group had said ‘the only thing missing is a busker’ and as we walked out back in to Universal Studios after departing the Hogwarts Express there was a lady standing at the entrance playing the violin – Universal don’t miss anything do they!  We then got to do most of the iconic attractions in Universal Studios.. Minion Mayhem, Revenge of the Mummy (fantastic ride!!) and Jimmy Fallon were all great, every sense is tested in Jimmy Fallon and the whole experience beforehand is also brilliant. We also rode the Simpsons Ride, TRANSFORMERS 3D, Rip Ride Rock It (Fergie – Glamorous this time) and Men In Black again (well second time for me because i’d stayed out to do them the night before hehe) Men in Black is so much fun, especially when you beat everyone.. not gloating, promise. My favourite ride in Universal Studios, by a mile is TRANSFORMERS – 3D I just absolutely love it for so many reasons. After Universal Studios we headed back to the hotel to get ready for a hosted event at Cuba Libre by Visit Orlando – great fun. 🙂

On the second full day, after breakfast, we made the short walk over to Universals Volcano Bay. After collecting our Tapu Tapus we walked the short path (which is very cleverly located) and turned the corner to be face to face with the Volcano. It is so awesome when you first see it, I had a look around and everyone had just stopped dead to stare or take photos – great backdrop for any photos!! We then got to explore the park at our own leisure, I went on Krakatau Aqua Coaster, Ika Moana, Honu, Te Awa Fearless River, Puihi raft ride and the one i’m most proud of.. Ko’okiri Body Plunge. There wasn’t one slide that I didn’t enjoy here they all made me laugh out loud – that is all bar Ko’okiri which was the only attraction in Orlando I was scared to do before I went and admittedly, I was 10x more scared when I cane face to face with it. Not going to lie, it was the main thing I noticed when I first caught sight of the Volcano after walking in to the park. Ko’okiri features a 70-degree fall through a drop door and a 125 feet descent, to be honest it was sooo much fun I wanted to do it again but we didn’t have enough time! 🙁 Krakatau was also wicked, i’d worked myself up so much about Ko’okiri that i’d partly forgotten about Krakatau but it was so thrilling and the dips and drops are a lot bigger and much faster than I had anticipated. It’s definitely a must!! After Volcano Bay and a quick change of clothes we headed over to Universals Islands of Adventure and were told to not wear any denim or white tops.. if you don’t know then i’ll tell you, IOA is renowned for its water rides! We had planned to do the water rides last though (because we are smart like that) so headed straight over to the Hulk coaster – amazing and the launch is really something else, loved it! We also experienced The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman and Skull Island: Reign of Kong which is a wicked ride with a really cool surprise at the end (I wont ruin it for you). It was then time for the water rides.. We rode Jurassic Park River Adventure which was pretty cool and I sat at the back so didn’t get very wet.  We then opted for Popeye and Blutos Bilge Rat Barges which was hands down the most i’ve laughed on a ride, ever. You can sit in groups of 12 and you get DRENCHED. Luckily (well, for me) we didn’t have time to get on to Dudley Do-rights Ripsaw Falls but got to catch a glimpse of a few others getting absolutely soaked on it.. hehe! Once we were done at Islands of Adventure we headed back to Cabana Bay to get ready for our ‘surprise evening with Universal.’

#volcanobay @universalorlando amazing morning, conquered Ko’Okiri too!! 🌋💚

A post shared by Karl (@orlandoattractiontickets) on

Our surprise evening with Universal was incredible.. we had the whole of Volcano Bay to ourselves, yep you heard it right, the whole park! The lovely Universal had put on a delicious buffet dinner and drinks for us in one of the restaurants and just as we were finishing up our food, the minions walked in to have their photos taken with us! After our photo shoot with the minions we headed down to one of the bars by the Waturi beach for more cocktails and a live band, had a little dance and then we headed down to the beach to watch a fire performer and Waturi dancers, had some more photos taken in front of the Volcano – which changes colour and looks even more awesome in the dark! It was such a fantastic evening and I felt very lucky to be a part of it. After a few more drinks we walked back to Cabana bay for a game of bowling and a night cap. The evening at Volcano Bay concluded our visits to the Universal parks and what a ending it was!!

Overall, my top 3 rides / attractions from the Universal parks were:

3. Ko’okiri Body Plunge

2. The Incredible Hulk Coaster


What are your favourite Universal attractions?

Stay tuned for my next blog all about what I got up to at Discovery Cove, SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens! You can also take a look at the video below of me and Gavin chatting about what I got up to on the first part of my FAM trip. 🙂

Smiles Included,



Universal’s Retired Attractions

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So we’ve already had a look at some of the old Disney attractions that are no longer with us and today we’re going to take a look at some of Universal’s retired attractions!

Back To The Future: The Ride was a simulator ride where you were riding in the DeLorean being chased through town! The ride then closed in 2007 before being replaced by The Simpsons Ride in 2008.


Beetlejuice Graveyard Revue was a live stage show that took place throughout the day and is well known as a ‘classic’. This closed in 2016 shortly after Disaster! – A Major Motion Picture Ride…Starring YOU! which closed in 2015. Both of these attractions closed down to make way for the all new Fast & Furious: Supercharged that is due to open in 2018!

Jaws was a legendary attraction in my opinion. I was only small when I went on this and it scared the life out of me when the shark sliced through the waves next to our boat! Sadly, Jaws closed in 2012 to make way for Diagon Alley which opened in 2014.

The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera was a simulator ride that takes on you a wild goose chase to save the characters that had been kidnapped! It closed in 2002 to make way for Jimmy Neutron’s Nicktoon Blast in 2003. This was also a simulator ride but this time you’ll see Rugrats, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly Odd Parents and Hey Arnold before closing in 2011. Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem then replaced it in 2012.


Back in 1990, Universal opened Kongfrontation, which in case you haven’t already guessed, was based on King Kong! A simulator ride that helps you evacuate Manhattan Island but Kong manages to grab your tram before dropping you when he’s fired on by police helicopters. Kongfrontation closed in 2002 and then in 2004 it was replaced with Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride.

Ghostbusters Spooktacular was a 20 minute stage show that began in 1990 before being replaced by TWISTER…Ride It Out which opened in 1998. Twister allowed you to step straight into the action of an action-packed film right in the middle of a tornado at it’s peak! Twister closed in 2015 to make way for Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon due to open this year!

Nickelodeon Studios opened in 1990 and was a great place for the kids to have an in depth tour about different sectors of Nickelodeon and their production. This closed down in 2012 to be painted blue the following year. This was to prepare for Blue Man Group which opened in 2014!

Alfred Hitchcock: The Art Of Making Movies was a part 3-D film, part live action show which closed in early 2003 making way for Shrek 4-D in mid 2003 that still stands today!

The Wild Wild Wild West Stunt Show was huge when it opened in 1991, featuring several cowboys performing stunts and explosions. In 2003 the show closed and was later replaced by Fear Factor Live in 2005.

What other attractions are you missing from Universal?

Smiles Included…


Top Secrets at Universal Studios

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Most of the parks have their own little secrets which lots of people may know about. If you don’t know about them, I’ll fill you in, but remember…it’s a secret!!

Let’s start off with Universal Studios:

To enter into either of the Universal parks you have to go through CityWalk anyway, once you’re in, head over to Blue Man Group and you will see a little single entrance with barely any queue with staff members there to scan your ticket to head straight into Universal Studios.


Despicable Me Minion Mayhem has real banana trees grown outside..why? Because minions love bananas of course!

Hollywood Rip Ride Rock It allows you to choose your own song from the list each time you ride, but did you know you can play a secret song?! Simply hold down the logo for 10 seconds and enter in any 3 digit code for your secret song to begin!


Over at the Revenge of the Mummy, there is a hidden statue of King Kong just inside, paying tribute to the original attraction. So he never actually left, he was just hiding!

Let’s shoot down some of the parade path over to Men In Black: Alien Attack. If you get there on a busy day and end up queuing, try jiggling some of the handles on the laboratories…

If it’s a quiet day, ask a team member for a tour of the ground floor of the immigration room. They may or may not be kind enough to do this with you! 😉


It’s time for the bit you’ve all been looking forward to, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Here at Universal Studios you’re in Diagon Alley representing London. If you’re lucky enough, you might be able to spot Kreacher the house elf peeping out over Diagon Alley.

Traditional red telephone boxes through Diagon Alley have their own little magic trick. You can go in and dial 62442 (MAGIC) and be transferred through to the Ministry of Magic!

If you look closely you might also notice there’s a few references to Jaws throughout Diagon Alley such as the the record shop has a record in the window titled ‘Here’s to swimming with bow legged women’. There’s also telescopes made of jaws and a set of jaws inside the window of the apothecary shop.

If you’re looking to experience Harry Potter and the Escape to Gringott’s then you will get to see all of the goblins hard at work. If you get the chance, talk to Griphook the head goblin and ask him questions. Maybe even ask him about the dragon! 😉


Now that you’ve escaped the safest place on Earth, why not take a trip on the Hogwarts Express over to Hogsmeade?!

There’s lots to look out as you walk through the queue area but don’t miss platform 9 3/4 because you can actually walk through the wall!!

So there’s some of the secrets that I know of! Do you have any that haven’t been mentioned?

Smiles Included…


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Sugarplums Sweetshop Now Open At Universal’s Diagon Alley

Hey Thrill Seekers,

I kept meaning to post about this but Star Wars kind of got in the way and then our good friend Geoff but for those of you who love a bit of Harry Potter I’m pleased to be able to share a little bit of information regarding Universal’s new addition to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley.

From today visitors can get there sugar hit by visiting Sugarplums Sweetshop, its sells everything from Chocolate Frogs to Butterbeer Fudge, there’s something every wizard can enjoy!


Sugarplum’s has many of your favorite sweets from the wizarding world including some new treats like Butterbeer Fudge and Pumpkin Cakes.



And you’ll definitely want to pick up some Fizzing Whizzbees, Exploding Bonbons and Pepper Imps.




Sugarplum’s Sweetshop is located where Shutterbutton’s used to be in Carkitt Market behind Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and Quality Quidditch Supplies. You can now find Shutterbutton’s next to Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions.


I’m practically salivating already!!! Which sweets are you going to try first?

Smiles included…


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Happy First Anniversary Wizarding World Of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

Hey Thrill Seekers,

It seems like only yesterday I was talking about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley opening at Universal Studios…but it wasn’t, it was a year ago. Today the popular land is 1 year old and shows no sign of slowing in popularity.

Check out these awesome stat’s that we posted in May.



What do you love most about Diagon Alley?

Smiles included…



Happy 5th Birthday The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter! What’s Next?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Hard to believe, but last week The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade celebrated its 5th birthday! Located in Universal’s Orlando Resort at Islands of Adventure there is no denying that this Harry Potter themed land really raised the bar!

J.K. Rowling herself had final approval on all aspects of the land even down to the taste of the Butterbeer and this attention to detail plus Harry Potter’s popularity made it a massive success.


The obvious step was to extend the Wizarding World and hence last year we were treated to stage 2, Diagon Alley. Diagon Alley followed on from where Hogsmeade left off. Again the attention to detail was amazing but the introduction of interactive wands and the Hogwarts Express took it to a whole new level!

But what’s next? I asked members of the Orlando Attraction Tickets team what they’d like to see next at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.


I love the Hogwarts Express its such a clever way of linking the two parks together but I’m a thrill seeker… what I’d love to see is a second option to get from Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade. In the books (and films) Ron and Harry make their own way to Hogwarts by using Arthur Weasley’s Flying Ford Anglia! Its a crazy ride with lots of twists and turns perfect for a roller coaster!…


I’d like to see them add a Wizard Duelling stage show. A mixture of live action and special effects. Similar to what they do at The Blue Man show. I love all the attractions and rides but some live entertainment wouldn’t go amiss.



With Wet N’ Wild closing at the end of 2016 and conjecture suggesting it will make way for a hotel I’d love to see the new hotel themed as Hogwarts Castle. All the rooms could be themed as per the house you book i.e Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin or Ravenclaw! The main restaurant could be like the main Hall featured in the films.

Imagine the look on childrens faces when they entered a real life Hogwarts Castle!


I really like the Knight Bus, I think it could be a pretty simple but cool ride. I was thinking along the lines of the Simpson’s Ride, a 3d experience where you zig zag in and out of London.



I’d like them to be able to provide us with brooms that actually fly!!!

There’s always one!!!!

Who knows what the future of the Wizarding World holds in store for us Muggles but one things for sure… it will be exciting

Smiles included…



Yes Interactive Wands At The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Are Cool!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

What is this?

10730221_902175283127589_5586109338008875308_nOne of our customer described it as “Lots of fun” another as “amazing” but what is it?

When Universal Orlando decided to expand the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade they knew they’d have to make it bigger and better. For those of you who’ve been to the new Diagon Alley at Universal Studios you know they definitely delivered! Not only is the staging superb but they added a fire breathing dragon and a fully working Hogwarts Express!

However for me its the little things that make it such a success and that brings me back to my original questions, what is the symbol above?

What is the symbol?

Well this symbol denotes that you can use the new interactive wands here! Yep thats right Universal, the clever so and so’s, have created certain areas within both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade that will react when certain “spells” are cast.


When you purchase your interactive wand at Ollivanders (either shop) you’ll be given a map which details all the interactive spots in both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, make sure you use the map as there are tons of spots that you’ll miss if you just follow the crowd.


Follow the map, when you reach the interactive point (symbol above & below) take a good look at it. The symbol will tell you exactly how to cast your spell.


This particular spell is to make a feather float. You’ll notice that the symbol has words written around the edge, these are the “magic words” that you’ll need to perform, as per the books the magic words used to make things float is “Wingardium Leviosa” however you don’t just need words you’ll also need to know what to do with your wand. You’ll notice in the middle of the symbol is a strange mark, this mark is actually your instructions for what to do with your wand, a “u” movement and then a swish downwards for this spell and a flick.

While I was in Orlando our guide actually helped one of the guests to use their wand, here are his tips to casting spells.

  • Try not to stand in front of the symbol. either behind it or on it will see the best results.
  • Try smallish movements, no big over the top movements… its not what Wizards do!
  • Be patient, it will come, no one said being a Wizard was easy!
  • If you’re having issues talk to a cast member, they’ll be more than happy to help you.

1491583_900386143306503_6798817227309893272_nUniversal’s interactive wands cost approx. $47 each which might seem pretty costly however the joy and look of amazement that you see on childrens faces is totally worth the cost.

Smiles included…



Kings Cross And Hogwarts Express And Diagon Alley, Oh My!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

“Does it look similar?” asked the Universal tour guide, “I’ve never been to London so I can only imagine its pretty close!”


It wasn’t pretty close, it was spot on. The only difference I could see was that Universal’s Kings Cross Station was far cleaner than its UK equivalent. I’d heard it was pretty impressive but standing in front of it surrounded by my fellow Englishmen the majority of them Londoners my mouth almost hit the ground. The attention to detail really stood out, from the busker playing Sweet Child of Mine on a violin to the voice from the tannoy announcing train timetables, Universal had really done their homework.

Our tour guide was taking us for our first ride on the Hogwarts Express, we were heading from London (Diagon Alley) to Hogsmeade which meant we’d need to find Platform 9 3/4 seems tricky hey!? However Universal have thought this through as well and during the queuing experience using a very clever optical illusion you get to walk through the wall and on to Platform 9 3/4.


Universal run’s 2 Hogwarts Expresses to manage the demand, each train running in the opposite direction to the other making sure that wait times are kept to a minimum. The train itself consists of approx. 3 long carriages each section has about 3 rooms which can hold 6 people easily. Again the attention to detail in on the train is amazing right down to the material the seats are made out of.


Depending upon which was you ride the train (Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley or vice versa) determines the story you’ll be shown. I’m not going to spoil the storylines here as a lot of the ride is based around what you see. I will say though that the windows are not the only places to keep an eye out for, although the majority of the stories are depicted via the very clever tv style windows action does also take place on the train. So keep one eye on the compartment door as well.


The Hogwarts Express is an amazing idea, that has been implemented superbly. Any fan of Harry Potter is going to be blown away by this.

The Hogwarts Express requires a park to park ticket to ride. All Orlando Attraction Tickets Universal tickets include park to park privileges, so if you’ve booked with us, its all board!

Smiles included…




OAT’s Review Of Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts

Hey Thrill Seekers,

As you’ll probably know by my recent posts and the numerous pictures I’ve been popping on our facebook page I recently visited Orlando and in particular the Universal Resort. I was really excited to be able to visit Universal Studios not only to check out Diagon Alley but to also visit and experience the Transformers Ride 3d, Minions Mayhem and the new Simpsons area, all of which had been added since the last time I visited almost 4 years ago.

I was very lucky to be part of a group that was shown around by an official Universal tour guide, the tour guide was extremely knowledgeable, especially about the new Wizarding World area and offered up a ton of additional information, one interesting piece was the telephone box found outside Kings Cross station… try dialling 62448 and see what happens!


Diagon Alley is an amazing feast to behold. The attention to details is amazing and the dragon atop of Gringotts Bank is a brilliant touch, when it breathes fire everybody stops. Gringotts Bank is the setting for the feature ride at Diagon Alley, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and I got the pleasure of riding it, here’s what I thought.

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Firstly and straight off the bat, I loved this ride. Its a mixture of 3d technology and an indoor coaster, think Spiderman at Islands of Adventure mixed with a small helping of Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios. The story of the ride is pretty simple really, you’re at Gringotts to open an account its coincidentally right at the same time that Harry, Ron and Hermione are there trying to find one of the Horcruxes! You’re caught in the middle of a wild adventure.

The queue line starts inside Gringotts Banks, to your right are 3 goblins all going about their business, brilliantly brought to life by animatronics you’ll sometimes catch them staring at you, I must admit to feeling like I’d done something wrong when their gaze met mine. At the head of the bank is the chief Goblin who tells you what to expect with sagely advice.


I would definitely recommend taking your time to have a good look around, the chandelier set in the very center of the room is amazing and the Goblin robots are superbly put together.


From here we were lead down a long corridor, to our left and right are offices where you’d imagine the Goblins do their work. The doors have the appropriate Goblin name on them, for example “Blordak”.  Approximately half way down the corridor is a camera station where the Goblin workers (cast members) take a picture of you which can be purchased later on for your Bank I.D.

At the end of the corridor we’re taken in to a room where, using 3D effects, we hear a conversation between a Goblin and Bill Weasley we’re told that opening an account at Gringotts is a good idea as its the “safest place on Earth”.


From here we move to a new room, which features a lift, the lift is large and can hold quite a few people. The lift begins to take us miles and miles below Gringotts. In reality you don’t move at all but the lift is manipulated to feel like you’re moving. In our group of 10 at least 6 people actually believed we’d been in a working lift such is the realism.

Finally we were at our coaster trains, each train can take up to 12 people, 3 rows of 4 and I found myself in the middle row. We start very smoothly until as readers of the books or watchers of the films will know our hero’s (Harry, Ron and Hermione) are detected. At this point Bellatrix, played by Helena Bonham Carter, appears and fires off some magic at us, as she believes we’re part of the crew trying to steal from her vault.

We’re saved this time by Bill Weasley but of course this isn’t for long when Trolls guarding the vaults mistake us for the intruders and send us plummeting towards the ground. As I’ve mentioned before I’m not a great fan of motion rides, they make me feel extremely nauseous and generally the falling to the ground bit (see Spider-Man, Transformers etc) is the bit that gets me but on this ride I’d didn’t feel it. I don’t know if its different technology being employed or the fact its part coaster but I felt fine. Bill again rescues us from the fall and sets us down in a vault where we should be safe.

However the hissing of Voldemort’s snake tells us we’re not. We come face to face with “He who must not be named” and Bellatrix, who quickly fire spells at us and then turn in to black smoke and follow us on to the next cavern. Just when it looks like Voldemort and Bellatrix have the advantage Harry, Ron and Hermione appear riding upon a dragon (the one featured on top of Gringotts Bank) Hermione throws us a chain, and the dragon hauls us up out of the cavern to safety. Which is brilliant illustrated by the a rush of speed from the Coaster part of the ride and we’re shot off through a wall of smoke to safety. Bill is then shown telling us how well we all did and how Gringotts is still the “safest place on Earth”.

The ride is brilliantly aimed at most ages, its not as thrilling as say Forbidden Journey but it offers a lot more family fun. Its definitely worth experiencing.

Smiles included…