A Guide to a Slytherin Experience at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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A Guide to a Slytherin Experience at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
For all the Slytherin fans out there
While the books are very much Gryffindor orientated, the other house that gets the negative share of the limelight is Slytherin, but they can still have fun in Orlando...

Harry Potter, the boy who lived is the hero of so many childhoods, but while his house, Gryffindor, is glorified as brave, loyal and noble, the other house that Harry was so nearly sorted into is vilified. Though it is hard to find the Slytherins lovable in the Harry Potter series, tarring a quarter of the British population of magicians as evil may be a slight exaggeration, especially considering this is decided at the tender age of eleven.

The self-confessed Slytherins of the Harry Potter fandom have moved away from the books’ representation of their house and instead found comfort in their continued camaraderie. If you find you’re eagerly awaiting your Universal Orlando tickets, ready to hit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, never fear, there is plenty for Slytherins to enjoy. 

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Winged Boar at the gates of Hogwarts

This main ride in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey wends its way through Hogwarts and takes you through many of the principle rooms in the series. The Orlando Informer describes it:

“Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is the star attraction inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade. It is really two separate attractions: The first one is a tour through Hogwarts. During the tour you have the opportunity to see iconic locations such as Dumbledore’s Office and the Defence Against the Dark Arts Classroom. You also get to see most of the primary characters, including Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

“The second attraction is a revolutionary flight simulator-style ride. It is like nothing else in the world (at least for now). The ride vehicles, or ‘enchanted benches,’ are mounted on the end of very powerful and flexible Kuka robotic arms, which themselves glide down a track.”

As one of the four houses, Slytherin is inherent in Hogwarts history, however as members of the Slytherin House only appear when evil deeds are being done, it is hard to associate the house with positive experiences. However all the true Slytherins out there will know this is not the case and evil doers are not confined to their house (Peter Pettigrew!). So let’s run through the relevant bits from the castle tour of Hogwarts.


Defence Against the Dark Arts Classroom 

Statue of founding houses

This may be for a History of Magic Lesson, but this is still an important subject for all those in Slytherin, namely for one key member of their house; Severus Snape. Though refused the post for numerous years, Snape's determination to hold the post was only held at bay by Albus Dumbledore. The reason for this is under debate, while many assume it is to avoid the reawakening of Snape’s malignant nature, the other reason could be the curse of the post.

Though Tom Riddle (later styled as Lord Voldemort) applied for the post twice, both times he was refused, initially for his youth and inexperience (by Professor Dippet who was then headmaster) and secondly due to Dumbledore’s concerns for his nature. It is after this second refusal that Tom cursed the post, allowing no teacher to stay longer than a year. 


Dumbledore's Office

Statue in the stairwell of Dumbledore's office

Here the Slytherin bashing gets a little more obvious. There are Slytherin Headmasters of Hogwarts, Phineas Nigellus Black being the only one until Severus Snape, though Black’s portrait is key to the story of The Deathly Hallows. According to The Harry potter Lexicon: “Great-great-grandfather of Sirius Black, who has been known to refer to him as the least-popular Headmaster Hogwarts has ever had”.

The Dumbledore that appears in his office says little of other houses though he mentions that a few Slytherins have been wayward, while offering no such warnings about other houses. Bear in mind Professor Quirrel was a Ravenclaw, yet still harboured Lord Voldemort in the back of his head. 


The Sorting Hat

The Sorting Hat

The Sorting Hat appears, and as a piece of ancient magic, there is much mystery surrounding it. Though Harry begged not to be in Slytherin due to some early on prejudices, The Sorting Hat still told Harry he could do great things in an alternative house, but acceded to his wishes. Compared to when The Sorting Hat was deciding upon Draco’s fate, an almost immediate decision. While in the books Harry assumes this is due to Draco being the most evil eleven year old that ever did live, in reality he may just have been a little more self-assured?

The Sorting Hat Chat thinks that there are primary and secondary motivations, which may be why the hat sometimes takes longer. According to this blog: “Slytherin primaries are all about loyalty to themselves and their own.”


The Hogs Head

Hogs Head Pump

What an establishment, far more interesting than the more credible Three Broomsticks. Run by Aberforth Dumbledore, Albus’ younger brother, it is by all descriptions dirty and disreputable and yet it is the epicentre of key events. The interview of one Sybil Trelawney was conducted here by Albus Dumbledore, and overheard by Severus Snape. This caused the death of Harry’s parents, and many other events due to the prophecy Sybil made.

Hagrid won Norbert (a dragon) in a game of cards at The Hogs head, while Hermione decided that it was the perfect setting for the first DA meeting, and in the battle of Hogwarts, the passage that allowed students and ex-students in and out of Hogwarts, was from The Hogs Head.

Thankfully The Hog’s Head in the park has a better standard of hygiene (Flitwick strongly advises Hermione to bring her own mugs in the book), it also serves beverages found only in the Wizarding World of Harry potter, such as Gillywater, Pumpkin Juice and Butterbeer, as well as an exclusive Hog’s Head Brew. There is also a secret menu that really made Lee from UUoPodcast’s trip:

“I was a bit nervous about ordering the drinks - after all, I'd only read about them online and they weren't featured on the drinks list mounted on the side of the bar. I was ready for a blank look, but luckily the bartender knew straight away what I was talking about. Phew. I ordered a Hog's Bite for me (Strongbow cider topped up with Hog's Head Brew) and a Hog's Tea for my wife (an extremely strong concoction which is basically a Long Island Ice Tea featuring every spirit going and using a sweet raspberry iced tea instead of cola)."



Ollivanders sign

Every witch and wizard is very attached to their wand, and who wouldn’t be seeing as they are magical? But the question of wand loyalty connects Harry, Draco, the Elder Wand and Lord Voldemort. While a proper study of wands would take years, and the complexity of the subject is made as simple as possible for the books, Draco’s disarming of Dumbledore, and Harry’s victory over Draco leaves the Elder wand owing its allegiance to Harry.

Even Harry comments that Draco’s wand feels more friendly, Draco’s’ wand is 10” long, made of Hawthorne and Unicorn Hair and is noted to be reasonably pliant. The Hawthorne wand is as responsive as Hermione’s under Harry’s mastery and what that says about their compatibility, we wouldn’t want to comment. There are two versions of Ollivanders in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (one in Hogsmeade and one in Diagon Alley) and as many Slytherin characters are named, more than Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw, there are many character wands to choose from. 


Borgin and Burkes

Borgin and Burkes front

In the books, this seems the perfect haunt for any self-respecting Slytherin who would clearly opt for Knockturn Alley over the brighter Diagon Alley. The reality is very different, however in the books it is always connected to Slytherin events. Borgin and Burkes specialised in items that have an affinity to the dark arts, and Tom Riddle worked here after finishing at Hogwarts. Borgin and Burkes bought and sold the Slytherin Locket that Tom Riddle killed for (along with the Hufflepuff cup) as well as the Vanishing Cabinet that was key to Malfoys unsuccessful plot in the Half Blood Prince.

Though Knockturn alley is thought to be full of shady sorts, Harry ventures there by mistake with a poorly enunciated floo powder request, however it is Hagrid that ushers him back to safety, his own presence in Knockturn Alley explained by flesh eating slug repellent. Though there is a far less shady version Knockturn Alley in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Borgin and Burkes can be accessed from Diagon Alley. 


Other Places of Note

12 Grimmauld Place

Each self-confessed Slytherin will find different areas of importance in The Wizarding World of Harry potter, however there are a couple more sites that could be of interest on this Slytherin tour. 


Dervish and Banges

The Diagon Alley version of Borkin and Burkes, this establishment sells sneakerscopes and other equally vanilla wizarding goods. Though only briefly mentioned in the books, it warrants its own shop in Diagon Alley in the park and features Draco’s Broom. 


12 Grimmauld Place

Home of the most elitist and purist Slytherin family, there is no way you can excuse the Black family up until the last generation. While Sirius may have made it to Gryffindor, Regulus Black followed the family tradition, even joining Voldemort’s cause until he changed his mind and began the destruction of Lord Voldemort with the removal of the first Horcurx.

While many may consider Regulus as weak and easily swayed, when you consider the brothers in light of their treatment of House elves, Regulus comes off as a much nicer person, while Sirius appears to be arrogant. 12 Grimmauld place is nestled in the London Waterfront that conceals the magical Diagon Alley from view.


Madame Malkins

Robes are an important aspect of the Wizarding World, a cool billowy school uniform that can take you to even the most formal functions. Madame Malkins Robe Shop is the scene for Harry and Draco’s first meeting. Yes Draco is rude (particularly so about Hagrid) and we are struggling to excuse that (nerves? Only child syndrome?) but it is an important location none the less. It is also where you can buy your own Slytherin robes so everyone can identify your house of choice.

Image Credit: taymtaymMarco BecerraJeremy ThompsonJeremy ThompsonThe Community- Pop Culture GeekPop Culture Geek FPRATheme Park TouristSam Howzit


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