On the Road to the Wizarding World Hollywood: Zonko's Joke Shop

November 30, 2015, 11:37 AM · The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens at Universal Studios Hollywood next spring. To get you ready for the Wizarding World's west coast debut, we will profile all of the land's new shops, restaurants, and attractions over the next 12 weeks here on Theme Park Insider.

And we will start today with the a location that you won't find if you visit the original Wizarding World at Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando. Well, at least, you won't find it any more.

Zonko's Joke Shop

Zonko's Joke Shop opened in Orlando with the rest of Hogsmeade village in June 2010, only to close in 2014 to make way for an expansion of the Honeydukes sweet shop next door. (We will take a look at Honeydukes next week.)

In the Harry Potter books, Zonko's was a favorite of mischievous Hogwarts students looking to buy dungbombs, nose-biting teacups, and other tricks to cause mischief back at school after a Hogsmeade trip. Needless to say, the store was a favorite of Fred and George Weasley, who considered buying its site for a second location of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes after Zonko's closed during the Second Wizarding War.

Inside Universal Orlando's version of Zonko's you found a rather cramped store, filled to the rafters with gags, tricks, and toys from the books or at least inspired by the mischief of the Weasley twins and other fun-loving Hogwarts students.

Inside Zonko's

Look up in those rafters, as you step through the transition into Honeydukes next door, and you can see several Extendable Ears, listening in on the customers below.

Extendable ears

The outer windows promoted many of these items, including Puking Pastilles candy, with animated displays. Today, many of these animated windows throughout the Wizarding World are interactive, and can be triggered by casting spells with Universal's interactive souvenir wands.

Zonko's window

Zonko's remains open in the Universal Studios Japan version of the Wizarding World, but visitors to Orlando looking for a joke shop instead need to visit Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida, which effectively replaced Zonko's in 2014.

Coming up on the "Road to the Wizarding World Hollywood":

Replies (3)

November 30, 2015 at 12:31 PM · Zonko's...that shop was pretty cramped looking back on it...kinda miss it though. Nice to see that USH is getting it, but hopefully it won't be as cramped.
November 30, 2015 at 5:47 PM · Great review! Any idea when Universal may have its soft opening for WWoHP:H?
November 30, 2015 at 10:16 PM · Based on annual pass blackouts, I am guessing mid-March for an official opening. Given what happened in Orlando, that would mean softs could start sometime in February. But construction seems to be moving along well, so -- who knows? -- maybe they could soft-open before that.

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