Starting last month, Universal Studios Japan introduced a slate of new Magical Creatures greetings around Hogsmeade within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Guests can enjoy a short skit by a magical creature expert followed by lots of photos and even the chance to pet the creatures all day long with a Niffler, a Pygmy Puff, and a baby dragon! So we stopped in to enjoy the experience for ourselves.
Hogsmeade draws travelers from all walks of life in the wizarding world, and traders of less than legal artifacts are certainly no exception. This particular trader brings with him a very special and dangerous creature to the village — a baby dragon!
You see, the breeding of dragons has been prohibited by the Ministry of Magic, so our very secret and anonymous dragon dealer is trying to hide from any Aurors who might be around.
The dragon he brings along today is a freshly hatched Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon, said to eventually become the largest of any dragon species known in the wizarding world. He sneaks in trying to hide from the authorities before settling right next to the station, conveniently across from the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade. He eventually acquiesces to letting nearby visitors to the village pet the dragon and take some photos.
Incidentally, the Ukranian Ironbelly is the type of dragon seen in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” when Harry, Ron, and Hermione break into Gringotts, the wizard bank. A fully grown dragon is visible atop the replica of Gringotts at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida.
But beware if you get him in the shot, he may place a hex on your camera!
Our next magical creature is found not with an expert, but an unwitting postman. On his way to drop off the day’s mail at the Owl Post here in Hogsmeade, he stops stops by to say hello to visiting witches and wizards.
But before long, he’s interrupted by some rattling and rustling in his belongings. What could it be?
Why, it’s a Niffler, of course! These lovable black-furred creatures with duck bills are known for their fascination with shiny objects. They often pilfer these belongings in a pouch within their belly. Nifflers were first seen in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” but were introduced in the books in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”
The postman immediately begins inspecting the Niffler’s pouch, first finding gold galleons sent in the post.
Before long he also produces a long pearl necklace, which he fights briefly with the Niffler for before retrieving it.
Sensing that the nearby witches and wizards would like to take a photo, he poses in front of his mail cart before realizing they want to see the Niffler too.
Guests then get to go up and pet the Niffler on the head and take some photos.
The mail cart contains plenty of packages and posts, including a trunk, a wrapped chocolate frog, and packages labeled both for Flourish and Blotts, the bookstore, as well as Borgin and Burkes, a dark arts shop.
The caretaker for Pygmy Puffs has likely the shortest show of all. She brings out a basket of Pygmy Puffs along with one on her shoulder, and introduces herself as a worker from the nearby Zonko’s Joke Shop. She then picks guests to come and pet the creature while taking photos.
You can watch all three of these character encounters in the video below.
You also can’t miss the new Hippogriff encounter show just a few steps away. Let us know what you think in the comments below!