Ride The Hogwarts Express In Both Directions
As long as were on the topic: ride the Hogwarts Express in both directions. This magical train is more than just transportation between parks: Youll pass through a pillar to enter Platform 9¾ and the sights you’ll see are different in both directions, making it well worth riding twice, even if you dont have to.
Ride As Many Rides As Possible
The Flight of the Hippogriff isnt anything particularly special, and its probably best suited to younger visitors. But the other three rides are worth enduring the long lines. In fact, youll probably want multiple trips on the Forbidden Journey and Escape From Gringotts, both of which have been ranked among the worlds top five dark rides at the Golden Ticket amusement park awards.
You’ll also absolutely want to try out Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, an outdoor coaster that streaks through the Forbidden Forest. It’s not only the newest but easily the most thrilling of the Potter rides.
Wands At The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
Guests can purchase interactive wands at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. These work at Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. They also can be used on multiple visits.
We have had our wands that we purchased in 2018 and have used on many visits since. If you have issues with your wand, and it is not working properly, you can talk to the team members at Ollivanders Wand Shop to assist you.
There are Ollivanders locations in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.
You can also experience an interactive wand experience where one lucky guest will get picked by a wand.
As of writing this wands cost $63.00 each. You can purchase a standard wand or an interactive wand. Standard wands cost $55.00 and do not work at the spell stations.
If you are traveling with a large group you can share the wands. It may take a bit more time as you stop at each spell station but it will allow you to save on the cost of the wands.
There are numerous spell locations in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. There is a map of the Wizarding World you will receive when you purchase your wand to assist you in finding the spell locations.
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Dine Out Enjoy A Drink And Go Shopping
You cant truly say youve seen Hogsmeade until youve had a meal at the Three Broomsticks or grabbed a drink at the Hogs Head bar next door .
At Three Broomsticks, many families opt for The Great Feast, which includes a salad plus a combination of rotisserie smoked chicken, spareribs, corn on the cob and roast potatoes.
You can also buy British favorites like fish n chips, beef pasties, smoked turkey legs and shepherds pie, and there are soups and salads on the menu at both lunch and dinner. Kids ages 9 and younger pick from fish n chips, chicken fingers, chicken legs and mac n cheese each entree is $7.49.
Nonalcoholic Butterbeer is $7.99, while pumpkin juice and pumpkin fizz are $4.99. Two draught beers on tap are Hogs Head Brew and Dragon Scale .
Three Broomsticks also serves breakfast daily until 10:30 a.m.
When youre ready to roll out of Three Broomsticks, get ready to do a bit of shopping. Honeydukes is a sweet shop filled with confections like Exploding Bonbons, Cauldron Cakes, Fizzing Whizzbees, Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans and Chocolate Frogs.
You can mail postcards or letters from the Owl Post, complete with an official Hogsmeade postmark. You can also purchase all kinds of writing implements as well as owl-themed souvenirs.
Get your Hogwarts uniforms and robes, Sneakoscopes, Quaffles and Golden Snitches at Dervish and Banges.
Wizarding World Of Harry Potter In One Day
If youre wondering how you can squeeze the Wizarding World in during your Walt Disney World vacation, are only able to afford one days worth of tickets, or just really dont feel like spending a ton of time in a theme park, never fear. Its actually not that difficult to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in one day. Heres how we recommend you do it!
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Buy A Wand But Skip The Robes
The stores throughout the park are beautiful, and inside each, there are a lot of magical, alluring toys for sale. But transforming yourself into a wizard gets mighty expensive.
Wands are one of the few toys that might be worth the price. They run around $55, but you get more than a run-of-the-mill souvenir: At both parks, brass markers indicate spots where you can cast a spell and “magically” make things happen. Youre essentially buying an extra attraction.
The wands are fun, but you can skip the show in Ollivanders Wand Shop. Only one person in each group is selected to be paired with their wandeveryone else just has to watch. Go into the store next door to discuss what kind of wand you want with, uh, one of Ollivanders assistants. You arent missing much.
Although it’s tempting to complete your Hogwarts uniform with a robe, they cost about $114, dont get you anything special in the park , and you can find one for much cheaper online. You should still visit the talking mirror inside Madam Malkins for a nice confidence boost, though.
Complete Guide To Planning A Trip To Harry Potter Universal Orlando
Complete Guide to Planning a Trip to Harry Potter Universal Orlando
Complete Guide to Planning a Trip to Harry Potter Universal Orlando
This page is your complete guide to planning a trip to Harry Potter World in 2023! It is also the perfect starting point for any muggle getting ready for their Universal Orlando trip! Youll find that there is so much to do in Universal Orlando at Harry Potter World! With incredible restaurants, shops and attractions that bring you right into the Harry Potter Universe, it truly feels like youre in another world.
So, what is the best way to see Harry Potter at Universal Orlando? Thats exactly what we are about to break down for you. Well also fill you in on how to make the most of your time with Universal Early Park Admission.
So if youre planning a trip to Universal Studios Harry Potter World read on!
SPECIAL NOTE: If you need help picking the best time to visit Universal Orlando for your next vacation be sure to check out our Universal crowd calendar!
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Top Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Tips
Get the Park to Park pass
To start off, in order to access everything both wizarding worlds offer, make sure you get the Park to Park pass.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is split between the two Universal Florida parks, with Hogsmeade in Universal Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios. The parks both have unique shops, rides and experiences, so youll want to go to both. Youll also need a Park to Park pass to ride the Hogwarts Express!
Try to visit for at least two days
It is possible to visit both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley in one day, but youll likely be rushed, and youll miss a lot of the carefully crafted details. Youll also miss everything else both parks have to offer.
If you can, take at least two days to visit, and dont forget about the Park to Park passes. Even better, right now Universal has a fantastic special, where you get ONE extra day FREE if you buy a two day Park to Park pass. See all of the Universal Orlandos deals here.
Weve heard great things about buying passes in advance on Undercover Tourist. Unlike a lot of other sites, taxes are included up front , AND shipping is free. Plus, youll save $42 over paying at the gate.
Get the Official Universal Orlando® Resort App
Tip! If you dont have a data plan, dont worry, theres free WiFi available throughout the park!
Get The Park To Park Pass At Universal Studios
This is really non negotiable. The only way to see all of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in one day is to have the park to park pass. If you dont, youre going to miss one of the parks, its that simple. You will need a park to park ticket to ride the train between Hogsmeade Station and Kings Cross Station.
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What Does A Vacation Package Include
A Harry Potter vacation package includes hotel, tickets, early park admission, and extra benefits associated with staying on the property. You can also add a dining plan and front-of-the-line passes.
Deciding if you want a Harry Potter vacation package does play a big role in your Harry Potter planning because if you decide to stay onsite it allows you to get into Harry Potter World an hour earlier which gives you more time to play.
The Disadvantage Of Express Unlimited
There was also one other downside to the pass. You move through the queues extremely fast. Some of the queues are themed. I almost wanted to get out of the line at one point so I could wait in line and walk slowly through Hogwarts Orlando castle to take it all in.
Well, almost. Ill be honest. I loved that ride so much, that maximizing the times I could do it was so worth it!
Please note that the pass has variable rates, so the more crowded it is, the more you are going to have to pay. I hope that helps your Harry Potter vacation planning!
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The Hogwarts Express Both Ways
The Hogwarts Express train is a super convenient way to get between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure allowing the two sections of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to feel like one cohesive and fully immersive experience. However to hop aboard the Hogwarts Express you will need a two park ticket. You catch the train at either the Kings Cross Station in the London section of Universal or the Hogsmeade Station in Islands of Adventure. You will ride in a train compartment with 4-6 other passengers but no matter where you sit it will feel like Harry and friends are just outside the cabin doors. Keep your eyes peeled for He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named outside Draco Manor.
The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley
If you are staying at any of the on-site Universal hotels, you can get into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour earlier than general admission.
Which park opens early varies by day and sometimes both parks open early. The front desk agent should give you this information at check-in or you can check the Universal Orlando website for the most up-to-date information.
No matter which park is opening early, plan to arrive at the front gates at least 15 – 30 minutes before the Early Park Admission opening time. It’s the only way to beat the crowds and make the most of your extra time.
Only certain attractions open during Early Park Admission, but this typically includes all of the Wizarding World attractions. The ones you will most likely want to knock out are Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Islands of Adventure and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts at Universal Studios Florida.
For Hagrid’s, head to Islands of Adventure, take a right after passing through Port of Entry and head toward Seuss Landing. Universal team members will be on hand to scan your hotel keycard and allow you to go deeper into the park. Continue through Seuss Landing to The Lost Continent and you should see team members directing you toward the start of the line for Hagrid’s.
Be careful not to overshoot and walk past the somewhat hidden entrance to Diagon Alley. When you see an opening in a brick wall, you know youve found it.
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Tip #: Purchase Early Access Or Arrive Early
If you have the whole day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, start it early. Harry Potters magical world is by far the most popular part of both Universal Studios and lines form right away. Arrive before park opening time to get in line first or purchase a VIP early-access pass if you can.
Should you purchase express access too? While Ive never purchased Express Access before, Im not sold on it. Most importantly, Express Access cuts off parts of some of the rides so youll miss out on part of the experience! Instead, Ive got tips to help you enjoy the rides and save some time.
Splurge On The Universal Express Pass If You Can
The Universal Express Pass works on every ride in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter except Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. It can be pricey if you have a large party or are visiting for multiple days, but since its included with Universal Premier hotels, you might actually save money by staying at one of Universals high-end properties.
At any attraction that accepts Universal Express, you simply show your ticket to the attendant and they will direct you through a separate line for Express passholders. Because theyll need to scan your ticket, make sure you dont leave it behind with your other belongings on rides that require you to store your belongings in a locker.
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What To Know About The Diagon Alley Shops At The Harry Potter Orlando Theme Park
There are quite a few shops in Diagon Alley and they are many of the same ones you see in the Harry Potter books and movies. Pop into a few even if you dont plan on making a purchase because the theming is so on point. Here are the shops you can visit in Diagon Alley.
Weasleys Wizard Wheezes
Fred and George Weasley are well known for their mischievous pranks. This shop has love potions, Bombtastic Bombs, and everything else you need to pull off your own practical jokes.
Madam Malkins Robes for All Occasions
Youll look like you stepped right off the pages of J.K. Rowlings books in the robes, school uniforms, and other finery available here.
Wiseacres Wizarding Equipment
Wiseacres is a great shop for souvenirs like Harry Potter T-shirts, ornaments, mugs, and glassware. The shop also carries a selection of must-have wizarding world supplies.
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This is the place inside the Harry Potter theme park to adopt your very own unicorn, owl, or Pygmy Puff. Dont miss the large snake in the window outside the store.
Quality Quidditch Supplies
If your family is looking for an alternative to matching Hogwarts robes, why not matching Quidditch jerseys? Get them here along with other sporty paraphernalia.
From parchments to journals to quills and ink, this Harry Potter theme park shop is a writers dream.
Sugarplums Sweet Shop
Wands by Gregorovitch
Gringotts Money Exchange
Option : Getting There By Tour Operator
As you might expect, there are a large number of tour operators offering their services to get you safely to the studios from central London Most of the available options bundle an entrance ticket with a bus transfer from various central London locations.
Weve shopped around and we think the best selection of options can currently be found on Viator.
Before you book, check that the deal you like the look of is good value.
To do this, total the following costs
- The current entrance ticket price on the official website.
- The cost of a return train ticket from wherever you are in London to Watford Junction. You can use the National Rail website to find this out.
- The cost of a journey on the shuttle bus .
Once you have this figure, compare it with the prices on offer from the tour operators.
We very much hope you found this post useful. If you have any questions or you have information to share about your visit, please let us know in the comment below.
Have you been to Harry Potter Studios? Do you have any tips to add to mine? If so, drop a comment into the box below.
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Tips For The Best Experience To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
Experience the two uniquely different lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Step inside a world where magic is real. Within Universals Islands of Adventure theme park, you can visit the iconic Hogwarts castle and explore Hogsmeade village. And at Universal Studios Florida theme park, you can enter Diagon Alley to enjoy a thrilling ride deep underground, unique magical experiences and more. Get ready to explore more of Harry Potters world than ever before!
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Where To Buy Souvenirs
As for souvenir shopping, guests at the Harry Potter theme park should definitely visit all the shops you’ll find familiar from the books:
- Honeydukes and Sugarplum’s Sweet Shop for candy
- Owl Post, where you can send mail
- Dervish and Banges which is crammed with robes, Gryffindor scarves, Ravenclaw t-shirts and all manner of merchandise for sale, and also has delightful details such as a caged biting book
Note, however, that all of these shops are small and can get very crowded. For an alternative, try shopping at Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods, in the lower regions of Hogwarts Castle: a much bigger store with some different merchandise.Some Harry Potter merchandise is also available at the large Port of Entry shop near the entrance/exit for Islands of Adventure however, not all items can be bought there. Wands, for instance, are only available in the Harry Potter theme park itself.
There are several places to eat in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
In Diagon Alley, the Leaky Cauldron is a quaint pub serving a menu of traditional British food including cottage pie, fish and chips, and bangers and mash, in addition to butterbeer and other signature drinks. There’s also a children’s menu with staples such as chicken fingers and mac and cheese.
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