Universal Studios has always been one of my favorite theme parks to visit. Years ago when I used to visit with my family the backlot tours, informational shows about horror makeup or the Alfred Hitchcock Presents show gave movie fans a glimpse behind the curtains. But over the years the focus as with other theme parks has been to give guests a more immersive experience and nowhere is that more apparent than in the highly successful Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The details in these areas of the parks is really beyond words between the state of the art attractions, themed shops, clothing, food, butter beer and even wands that allow guests to connect with their inner wizard and cast spells at designated locations.
Recently a new collectible has made an appearance at the parks that all levels of wizards can attempt to acquire. They have released a special set of Spell Coins or what they are calling Spell Markers.
To help you store these coins once you start collecting them is a special trip-fold map. When I opened mind it reminded me of the material used to create a Monopoly game board. It’s made of cardboard but has a couple layers pressed together. There are circle cutouts that when removed will allow the spell coins to fit snuggly in place but we will look at that a little later. At the time of this post the map was $22 but also note that there are separate maps for the different Harry Potter areas, Diagon Alley in Universal Studios, and Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure.
It would have been fun if these coins needed to be earned by showing you could cast the specific spells, but obviously these are just another souvenir. Each coin (at the time of this post) cost $8. For Diagon Alley there are a total of 8 coins to collect, and for Hogsmeade there are 9 total coins.
Taking a closer look at the spell coins you can see they are based on the spell markers found throughout the parks that lets guests know where they can try to cast a spell to trigger a reaction in the environment. Above is the Aguamenti market on the right and does include the wand movement needed to trigger the spell. The coin on the left has the same information, it also does list Diagon Alley and the reverse side of the coin has The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Universal Studios logo. This reverse image is the same on all the coins.
These coins do appear to made of some combination of metals. A few of the coins have a darker appearance that seems to be by design not necessarily a manufacturing flaw.
Unlike the elongated coin machines that are spread out all over the parks, these coins can all be found inside the main Universal Studios gift shop. Just note that this store will only have the Diagon Alley coins available, if you want the Hogsmeade coins you’ll have to head over to Islands of Adventure and you can see those in an upcoming post.
The spell coins are quite a bit larger in diameter than a US Cent and even a US Quarter, but only slightly thicker.
Here is a look at the Diagon Alley map with all the spell coins inserted and on display. They are nicely secured in the cutout sections, but could be knocked out if this is dropped. I was personally thinking about using some 2×2 cardboard flips to store these coins for my collection, but I really like the way they look in these maps so will probably just keep them there and try to see if I can mount it in open in a frame to hang on my wall. I think these are a really fun new souvenire, but between the cost of the map and each coin this can be quite an expensive collection to complete.