The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, located within Universal Orlando Resort’s Islands of Adventure, offers some of the most accurately themed shopping I’ve ever experienced. Though skipping over shops in theme parks is usually not a big deal, here the shops are as entrancing as the attractions.
Even in a 90-degree Florida summer, the snow-capped buildings of Hogmeade transport visitors to the world of Harry, Ron and Hermione. The narrow streets of Hogsmeade, fashioned this way to keep the look intimate and accurate, can become crowded, especially in the summer. If you choose to stay at a on-site hotel at the Universal Orlando Resort, you can enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the park opens to the public. I highly recommend taking advantage of this offer, as this is the most crowded and popular area of the park. Three of the my favorite spots for shopping at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter are Honeydukes, Zonkos and Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods.
The mint and bumblegum pink storefront of Honeydukes is as sweet as the treats inside. The candy shop offers snacks made famous by the Harry Potter series.
Can’t Miss Items:
- Chocolate Frogs: The ornate gold and blue box is almost as collectible as the trading card inside these sweets. Complete with a solid milk chocolate frog (about the size of your palm), these treats are a mix of souvenir and snack.
- Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans: “Ah earwax,” Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore remarked when eating these candies. For a taste of oddity and fun, these jellybeans, produced by Jelly Belly, are an adventure as you explore every flavor (and they do mean every flavor).
- Strawberry and Chocolate Truffles: Though these sweets are not inspired by the Harry Potter franchise, they’re an example of the delicious, well-made candies Honeydukes offers. Pairing dark chocolate with sweet and tart strawberry makes these truffles a tasty treat.
Zonkos sells traditional pranks, like whoopie cushions and pepper gum, with a magical spin. Mimicking the joke shop Harry and his friends frequent in the books and movies, it’s well worth a tour.
Can’t Miss Items:
- Pygmy Puffs: Just like Ginny Weasley’s pet, these pink and purple furballs are unique stuffed animals. The shop usually runs specials that help customers save when they buy more than one pygmy puff.
- Sneakoscope: Though this contraption isn’t guaranteed to light up when someone untrustworthy is around, it is a reproduction of Harry’s own sneakoscope. It also lights up and spins. You be the judge why.
Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods
Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods is located at the exit of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the ride inside the Hogwarts castle. This shop features the biggest variety of Harry Potter souvenirs.
Can’t Miss Items:
- Maurauder’s Map: Exact replicas of the secret maps are available for those who “solemnly swear they are up to no good.”
- Stuffed animals: Characters like Fluffy, Fawkes, Crookshanks and Norbert (several are puppets as well), are represented in fuzzy, well-made stuffed animals.
- House scarves: Represent your House colors, whether you’re a brave Gryffindor or a sneaky Slytherin, with thick, striped scarves. Unsure of your allegiance? The shop also sells Hogwarts scarves, representing all four houses.
Expect to see more shopping at Diagon Alley, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s expansion at Universal Orlando. Specifics haven’t been released yet, but I’m predicting shops like Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, Flourish and Blott’s, and maybe even Borgin and Burkes, for the darker wizards, will be represented.