Thursday, April 30, 2015

Joke Shop No More ~ Remembering Zonkos

I remember the first pop of scarlet and red in my face when I entered the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the first time in my life. The scarlet was the Hogwarts Express engine on my right and the red was a fun looking shop to my left. The next year when I was fortunate enough to visit, Abbie and I enjoyed our visit to the red shop again. The following year when we visited for the third time though, it was gone. The display remained but we could no longer enjoy our visits inside anymore. Zonko's Joke Shop had been closed and replaced with an extended Honeydukes following the park's extension through Diagon Alley over on the Universal Studios side. We were one of those fortunate Potterheads to have witnessed and experienced the magic of Zonkos!

This entry belongs to the Bestie Times and the Potterhead labels

My favorite part about Zonko's were those fun displays I found inside the shop. Upon entering from the front door we could hear some really crazy funny laughter that made us look around to see who had been laughing, only to find nobody in particular; it was something that happened whenever the door was opened I think, or maybe something that kept happening randomly. The insides as I remember today were all green, purple, and mostly red. There were shelves behind shelves stacked with the most peculiar funny joke stuff I had seen. You could find all the crazy things mentioned in the books here and the ceiling and wall displays were all great photo opportunities!
Let me recall the amazing displays first ...

A large sized wizard's chess display sat in the window of the shop. The knight kept moving towards the queen in this animated display and made Abbie and I crave to have our own wizard's chess. Sadly, they weren't selling one here!

Large sized fire crackers' dragons could be found randomly placed around the shop. They were kind of creepy to me (just a personal opinion), nevertheless they added a perfectly classic circus-y touch to the shop's atmosphere!

The shelves that were higher up and out of reach of the visiting Potterheads had all kinds of crazies displayed for me to photograph. Creepy weird doll like somethings hung from the shelves. We also spotted sneakoscopes and boxing telescopes. Other totally crazy things were just beyond me!

Somewhere while walking and exploring Zonko's Abbie nudged me and said, "Sara, look!" She was pointing at the ceiling above us and I followed her gaze to find a giant ugly hideous disastrously pathetic and disgusting hairy SPIDER right above me. Shudders .. why were those beasts even created and WHY were they displayed here?! I loved the crazy eyed pumpking near the spider though!

Everywhere our eyes landed there was something crazy or the other displayed. Is that a monkey?!

Whoever put the shop's display together had a fantastic sense of overlaying and piling stuff without making it look all messy! I loved how neat and fun the displays were! This place was fantastic!

Did you not hear me when I said some of the displays were just beyond me? *laughs*

And then my eyes fell on this wall and my heart immediately classified this as a favorite! "Please do not walk on the wall" and those footprints all around it! LOVED THIS! It was also a fantastic background for getting our pictures taken against!

Another teasing wizard's chess set that was only for display! I'd so wished they'd sell this, but sadly ... not for sale!

The shelves that were within reach had actual for-sale merchandise stacked just as neatly on them as the higher ones that were display-only. The joke stuff Zonko's was selling was hilarious to explore! Abbie and I weren't interested in buying anything for pranks (we aren't the pranksters' kind) but we were going absolutely crazy looking at all they had and imagining what all it would be used for!
Let me remember some of the products on sale ...

The undefeated one on my list of favorites! U NO POO bottles. The constipation sensation that's gripping the nation! Inserts constipation joke targeted at Abbie here. Yes yes, this was the coolest merchandise they had, our favorite, and super funny! You know what? I might just buy this next time I get to visit because now that I look at it again I see how I can turn this into a candy jar even after those candies inside are finished. Some constipation relieving candy anybody?

 As much as we wondered how the Extendable Ears would ever come in handy for muggles, we still loved that something out of the books and movies was sitting in front of us for real! THE MAGIC WAS REAL!

 Again some stuff that was totally beyond me!

 The cutest display and possibly the only corner that looked girly was the one that had the pygmy puffs! I fell in love with them the first time round but I only got to buy one the third time I visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Which side are you going to pick?

While all the merchandise that was once available at Zonko's is now available at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes (in Diagon Alley, the new extension over at the Universal Studios) these mugs obviously have been discounted. The Zonko's mugs looked pretty classic but Abbie and I found them to be really plain and we wanted to spend on the really wowing stuff instead. So we decided not to buy these! Sad that they are no longer around!

Even though the exact same display (the style mostly) is now at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, Zonko's is something that will be dearly missed! 

What used to be a joke shop once, is now an extended section of Honeydukes (the sweets shop right beside it). Previously Zonko's used to connect to Honeydukes from inside and now when you enter the red Zonko's door you simply find yourself standing inside Honeydukes. I am glad that Honeydukes was extended because it was really popular and always so crowded that you'd have a hard time admiring all the details. Especially because some people barely have been taught manners and they like to bump and push ... obviously sorry isn't a word in their dictionary.
The new arrangement works really well .. but Zonko's shall always be missed!
Abbie and I are two of those Potterheads who are proud to have seen Zonko's while it was there!


  1. I have really enjoyed your blog through this whole challenge. I am going to still stop by after.

    1. Thanks Thea, that is great to know! :D
      Hope I'll continue to post awesome stuff!

  2. I was looking forward to this post all month! When I saw it on your list during the theme reveal, I was intrigued because I never knew it was open. I only went this past January when it was just a display. How cool -- if a bit odd! I would have loved to see it in person, but thanks for sharing virtually! :)

    And congrats on finishing -- this series has been A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

    1. Hey Kaitlin!
      It's still super awesome because the expanded Honeydukes is a blessing! That shop was always so packed I had a hard time even getting to the chocolate frogs! As I said all the stuff is still available in Weasley's Wizard Wheezes in Diagon Alley, so thankfully you haven't missed the awesome merchandise (except for the Zonko's mug!).
      Thanks a lot for stopping by! I am so happy you loved the series :D

    2. By the way! I still have some stuff to cover so there will be more Harry Potter entries coming up :D


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