An elevated area in Carkitt Market in Diagon Alley, between The Hopping Pot and the Gringotts money exchange, comes to life with short shows inspired by Rowling’s stories. Though modest in scope, these are some of the best performances found at Universal, and they’re well worth working into your touring plan if you have more than one day at the resort.
Diagon Alley, Home of Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees
Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees is a live musical show showcasing the Ella Fitzgerald–esque Singing Sorceress with her comely backup crew, swinging to jazzy tunes with a 1940s big band feel. With song titles created by Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling (“You Stole My Cauldron But You Can’t Have My Heart,” “A Cauldron Full of Hot Strong Love,” and “You Charmed the Heart Right Out of Me”), Celestina and her three Banshees perform a lively show that also uses audience participation. (Shy Muggles need not worry: The guest performers are asked ahead of time.) While the songs contain a plethora of references to the Potter books and movies that fans will love, guests who don’t know (or care) about the Harry Potter universe will still enjoy the elaborate choreography, fantastic singing, and witty music and lyrics courtesy of Michael Weiner and Alan Zachary, the duo behind Disney Cruise Line’s Twice Charmed: An Original Twist on the Cinderella Story. The show runs about 12–13 minutes.
Wizard Fables Come to Life at Diagon Alley
The Tales of Beedle the Bard recounts one of two wizard fables—“The Three Brothers” from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows or “The Fountain of Fair Fortune”—using puppets crafted by Michael Curry (Broadway’s The Lion King, Finding Nemo—The Musical). The story is chosen “randomly” at the start of each performance. The puppets are gorgeous in a creepy kind of way, and the way the actors perform while maneuvering them is quite clever, though some of the dialogue can be difficult to understand, especially during the “Fountain” tale. The show runs 10–12 minutes.
For everything else there is to do at Diagon Alley, check out The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando by Seth Kubersky.