Have you recently visited Pottermore to be sorted into your Hogwarts house? Are you enthusiastic about all things wizard?
Then there is one place you need to go: WHIMSIC ALLEY!
This hidden magical gem is nestled in the heart of Los Angeles’ Museum Row. In fact, it is so hidden, I first came across it completely by accident.
My friends and I were on our way to see a play, stuck in traffic on Wilshire during a hot summer day, when I looked to my right and saw what I believed to be a mirage: Dobby, the Harry Potter house elf, was looking at me from a window display filled with broomsticks and Hogwarts house robes…
Blinking, I focused as the light turned green, and as the car started to move away I realized that I had found Diagon Alley in L.A.!
“STOP THE CAR!” I shouted. “It’s DIAGON ALLEY!”
My confused friends pulled the car over, thinking the horrendous traffic was to blame for my fuss.
As soon as we parked, I ran.
“Whimsic Alley,” the sign read.
Immediately, I knew I had found a place Harry Potter fans like myself could only imagine going to. I was awestruck, and when my friends followed me in, they were too.
Little shops line the alleyway entrance, each with their own specialties. In one shop, you can get fitted for robes in your house colors; in another you can select your very own wand. Everywhere, you can find all the Harry Potter merchandise you could ever want.
At the end of the alley is a “Wanted” poster of Sirius Black, next to a candy selection worthy of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes filled with Bertie Botts, Every Flavor Beans and chocolate frogs.
After trying on hats and death-eater masks, as well as picking up a button that read “Horcruxes Got Soul,” the group had finally recovered from the initial bewilderment that such a place has existed that we didn’t know about.
However, our mental recovery was short-lived: We were next led down a corridor to a room that left all of us absolutely astonished.
Because when we looked up and saw floating candles, we realized we were in THE GREAT HALL.
What’s better yet? They actually host an annual Yule ball in the Great Hall. Oh, and did I mention you can rent it out for a private event?
Going to Whimsic Alley is truly a unique experience that every Harry Potter fan will appreciate. You will want to walk out with EVERYTHING!
Ready to buy your supplies for Pottermore in person? Head down to Whimsic Alley, and don’t forget to check out their upcoming wizarding events!
Wizard Crafts Faire
May 26-27, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Free
Amazing handmade crafts and wares.
June 16, 3 p.m., Ticketed
Featuring magician Jonathan Castile
July 29, 3 p.m., Ticketed
Harry Potter's Birthday Bash