Diagon Alley Tour Part 2: The Leaky Cauldron, Knockturn Alley, Borgin And Burkes

Yesterday we published part one of our indepth tour of Universal Orlando's new Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley expansion, giving you a preview of the London Waterfront, Diagon Alley Entrance and Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. Today we walk further down the street, eating in The Leaky Cauldron, taking a dark arts turn down Knockturn Alley where we visited Borgin and Burkes. Hit the jump to continue our Diagon Alley tour.

The Leaky Cauldron

the leaky cauldron

The Leaky Cauldron

The Leaky Cauldron

The Leaky Cauldron

The Leaky Cauldron

The Leaky Cauldron

The Leaky Cauldron

The Leaky Cauldron is the only new sit-down restaurant in Diagon Alley. The English pub is an accurate replication and expansion of the eatery in the films. The pub features three story vaulted ceilings, big circular chandeliers, a large glass window in the front, wooden chairs and tables throughout, crooked picture frames on the walls and of course, a giant fireplace with a huge cracked cauldron from which the pub is named after. There are smaller, darker, more intimate areas with low ceilings at either side of the entrance.

You order at the counter after waiting in a queue cleverly hidden in an alleyway off the street. You can sit down at a table and relax while the house elfs in the back work on your meal, wizard assistants will eventually bring the food to your table.

Harry Potter Mythology:  Hagrid takes Harry Potter through the pub on his first journey to Diagon Alley. The popular wizarding pub made more appearances throughout Harry's time at hogwarts.

The Leaky Cauldron sign

On Closer Look: While the big Cauldron inside the restaurant is not currently in use, make sure to take a closer look at the sign outside the establishment — the cauldron actually leaks drops of water, a fantasticaly cool detail that some may never notice.

The Leaky Cauldron food

Unique Buys: Sadly, none of the food options offered in The Leaky Cauldron are unique to the Wizarding World. The food is mostly a mix of British pub selections like Fish & Chips, Toad in The Hole, Ploughman's, Cottage Pie, Bangers & Mash and Fisherman's Pie. They offer a more American looking Specialty Chicken sandwich and some kid entrees like macaroni and cheese for those of you like me who don't really enjoy the food from across the pond. The eatery does offer beverages which are unique to the Wizarding World, like Butterbeer, pumpkin juice, tongue tying lemon squash, otter's fizzy orange juice, fishy green ale, peachtree fizzing tea, gillywater and the two wizarding draught beers.

On the next page we'll journey down Knockturn Alley and get a look at the dark art side of the new Harry Potter expansion.

diagon alley train bridge

Train Bridge

A train bridge is overhead and if you listen sometimes you can hear the noises of trains passing overhead. I would love to speculate that the bridge is there for possible future expansion opportunities that would allow the Hogwarts Express to go to other Wizarding Worlds but from what I can see, the Hogwarts train tracks don't line-up with the bridge. The train bridge might just be yet another piece of set decoration immersing park guests in this London-esque area. Its possible that in addition to atmospheric themeing, the bridge provides some additional shelter during Orlando's famous rainstorms or hides the dragon at the top of Gringotts Banks up the street so that guests are forced to walk further before taking photographs (otherwise the entry way might get clogged).

Knockturn Alley

Knockturn Alley

Knockturn Alley

Knockturn Alley

If you turn left under the bridge you will find an alleyway that descends into darkness (even during daytime hours). You are in Knockturn Alley, a shopping area completely devoted to the Dark Arts. It is here you can find Borgin and Burkes, a store which specializes in the dark arts, as well as store fronts for Noggin & Bonce, a shop that sells shrunken heads and a wizarding tattoo shop.

bellatrix wanted poster in knockturn alley

On Closer Look:  The alley is very dark, and its easy to miss some of the fun details and easter eggs. One of them are the living (ie moving) wanted posters for Bellatrix Lestrange and Fenrir Greyback.

Unique Attraction: Knockturn alley features a fun interactive effect which allows muggles to control a skeleton in the window front by moving their body in front of the window. The effect uses some kind of Microsoft kinect technology to mimic the movements of the muggle in front of the window.

On the next page we'll enter Knockturn Alley's dark arts store Borgin and Burkes and see what is inside.

Borgin and Burkes

Borgin and Burkes

Borgin and Burkes

Borgin and Burkes

Borgin and Burkes features tons of dark art artifacts on the shelves overhead. Swords, skulls, specimens in jars. Shandaliers made of torture weapons hang from above. In the glass cases you can see such dark artifacts as displayed skeletons of a mer-person and a troll. Again, another faithful replication/expansion of what we saw in the movies.  Here you can buy shirts and merchandise featuring Voldermort and other dark arts characters. They sell glass skulls and many other objects not seen elsewhere in the wizarding world.

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A Closer Look:  When you first enter the store, look out in one of the cases up front for The Hand of Glory, a shriveled hand and famous dark artifact. If you get close enough, the hand will snap closed in front of you trying to reach towards you. This is a recreation of a moment from the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which involved Harry Potter being grabbed viciously by the shriveled hand (seen in the clip below).

Harry Potter Mythology: When Tom Riddle left Hogwarts he worked at Borgin and Burkes. In the books and films Harry, Ron, and Hermione followed Draco Malfoy, whom they suspected of being a Death Eater, to Borgin and Burkes where Draco let several Death Eaters into Hogwarts through a Vanishing Cabinet.

Borgin and Burkes

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Unique Buys: A lot of the items found in Borgin and Burkes are unique to the shop as they focus on the villain characters in the Harry Potter universe, most items don”t fit elsewhere in the wizarding world. You can buy a Deathly Hallows Triangle necklace replica or a perfect movie replica of Lucius Malfoy's walking stick/staff for around $100.

Tomorrow we'll be back to continue our Diagon Alley tour.

Check out my other articles on Universal Orlando's The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley expansion:

  • Diagon Alley Tour: