Hogsmeade Vs Diagon Alley: Based On The Shopping
No one goes to a theme park just to shop. But once youre there, its hard to say no to a souvenir or three. This is especially true at Universal, with all of its exclusive Harry Potter merchandise! And if youve been sorted into a Hogwarts house, you can choose from everything from hoodies to backpacks to school supplies in your colors.
Afternoon: Take The Hogwarts Express Train To Diagon Alley
Here, youll find one attraction, plenty of shops, our favorite ice cream shop, and a decent spot for lunch.
Is Galaxys Edge Better Than The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
Weve explored ten different aspects of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter vs. Galaxys Edge, but which one is actually better?
Well, the truth is that youre probably going to enjoy the one whose franchise you enjoy the most. Are you a die-hard Harry Potter fan? Well, youll probably enjoy casting spells in Diagon Alley.
Are you a certified Star Wars geek? Youll likely enjoy checking pilot the Millenium Falcon off your bucket list.
If you love both franchises, youll probably love both parks. Theres no reason why you cant visit both, right?
I grew up watching Star Wars, and even though The Wizarding World has things that are better, I would personally choose Galaxys Edge.
Although I love Harry Potter, I didnt really get into it until I was a young adult so there isnt as much nostalgia.
That said, wed be having a different conversation if you asked me if Universal Studios was better than Hollywood Studios. Thats another blog post for another day!
If you have a favorite, let me know in the comments at the bottom of the post.
If you want more Disney and Universal vacation ideas, make sure to check out some of our blog posts below:
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Disney Builds Another Immersive Land: Star Wars Galaxys Edge
It also seems likely that without the inspiration of The Wizarding World, Disney wouldnt have gone as far as it did with Star Wars, which it purchased outright when it bought LucasFilm in 2012 for $4 billion.
Disney opened the impressive Galaxys Edge section of its Hollywood Studios Park in 2019.
Galaxys Edge is the premier theme park immersive land, besting even The Wizarding World to most fans. But that launch hasnt been without issues, either.
Launching with only one of its two major rides open, Galaxys Edge reportedly underperformed in its early years. Some of that lack of performance is due to the parks temporary closing in 2020.
But if crowd size is any indication, Galaxys Edge is now more than making up for lost time.
The latest salvo in the IP wars something the people at Universal have to be watching intently is Disneys massive gamble on a Star Wars-themed hotel.
The Galactic Starcruiser is designed to emulate a landlocked cruise ship. Guests are encouraged to spend their time onboard, take advantage of the Star Wars-themed entertainment options and go ashore to visit Galaxys Edge.
Set to open in March 2022, the cruiser is only available for two-night stays. A single two-night stay will reportedly cost nearly $5,000 for two guests.
If Disneys ambitious gamble pays off, Universal Studios Florida could build something similar while learning from Disneys mistakes for its Harry Potter world.
Snacks And Drinks In Wizarding World
There are lots of choices of snacks and drinks in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.
The Hogshead in Hogsmeade, is much better than the pub in Diagon Alley, The Fountain of Fair Fortune, given that its a place weve actually seen in the Harry Potter movies.
Plus, there are more places to sit.
Both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley have a number of stands that serve Butterbeer.
An advantage that Diagon Alley has over Hogsmeade is its very own ice cream parlor.
Florean Fortescues Ice-Cream Parlor serves a variety of unique flavors including Butterbeer, Orange Marmalade, Toffee, and many more.
In case it sounds familiar, Harry Potter spends a lot of time at Fortescues in the third book Prisoner Of Azkaban while he is staying at the Leaky Cauldron.
Thats what I love about Wizarding World: it has a good mix of both books and movies, meaning that every fan will be satisfied in some way.
Overall, I prefer the dining at Diagon Alley given that there are couple more options and there are more locations based on the movies and books.
Diagon Alley wins!
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When Is The Best Time To Visit Universal Orlando
If youre not sure when to plan your next Universal vacation, Our Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar is the best tool to help you get the most out of your time in the parks. We breakdown the park crowds, park hours of operation, ticket prices by day, and average temperature.
Guests can also beat the crowds with our Universal Orlando tickets! All guests who purchase their tickets from The Park Prodigy will get Early Park Admissionto Universal Orlando! This could save you a ton of time in the parks and avoid buying express passes!
Visit During Special Events
While always magical, a few times during the year the Wizard World becomes even more magical. First, you have the Celebration of Harry Potter, which include celebrity guests, panel discussions, and more.
Around the holiday season, you will also see Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as a part of the Holidays at Universal Orlando Resort. This includes not only beautiful decorations, but also special food options and performances.
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The Shops At Universal Studios
- Weasleys Wizard Wheezes: Puking Pastilles and other prank items devised by the Weasley twins
- Gringotts Exchange: trade U.S. currency for Gringotts bank notes, which can be used in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade
- Borgin & Burkes: Death Eater masks and movie replicas
- Globus Mundi: passport holders, luggage tags, and other necessities for your magical travels
- Madame Malkins Robes for All Occasions: clothing and jewelry
- Magical Menagerie: plush toys featuring magical creatures, including fan fave Buckbeak
- Wiseacres Wizarding Equipment: unique house merchandise
Is Harry Potter Disney Or Universal
Disney did have a chance to get in on the Harry Potter franchise by adding the theme to Disney Parks, but they let it slip away. In the early 2000s, Rowling was prepared to sign a deal allowing Walt Disney World to use her theme in the Magic Kingdom theme park.
Unfortunately for the Walt Disney World Resort, they could not make an offer that met Rowlings vision for her Wizarding World franchise. So, Disney World and their Magic Kingdom missed out on the magical world of Harry Potter Land.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
On the other hand, Universal Studios offered more money and space in their theme parks to create her vision. So instead, Rowling signed a deal with Universal Studios, allowing them exclusive rights to use her ideas in their theme parks to develop The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Where is the Harry Potter Theme Park?
Universal Studios created the ultimate Wizarding World theme park at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood, which quickly became one of the best Wizarding World properties. As a result, fans can experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in a way they could only imagine.
What Can You Do at the Harry Potter Theme Park?
When visiting the theme parks, the most popular experiences include Diagon Alley and Leaky Cauldron.
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Is It Worth Going To Harry Potter Land
Definitely! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is one of Orlandos Top attractions and well worth the trip. In fact, Trip Advisor lists the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as the #1 attraction or thing to do in the entire Orlando, Florida area. Thats very impressive when you consider that Orlando is one of the top travel destinations in the World.
The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Hogsmeade: A History
The first slice of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was announced by Universal in May 2007, after author J.K. Rowling signed a deal to bring her popular book and film franchise to Islands of Adventure, the second theme park at Universal Orlando Resort. The new lands development and construction would be overseen by two Harry Potter movie franchise alumni Stuart Craig, the production designer of all eight installments, and Alan Gilmore, the art director for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakaban and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire . Ground would break on the project that summer, with a scheduled opening date of late 2009.
The news could not have come at a better time for Universal between 2004 and 2007, attendance had been dropping at its resort, with many criticizing the company for not introducing new excitement after completing its Orlando expansion just a few years before . In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, the president of Universal Orlando, Bill Davis, stated that we think is going to have a huge impact on all our constituencies: our guests, our team members, our management team everybody. This is absolutely huge. Were just thrilled and excited we were selected for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
The plans Ive seen look incredibly exciting, Rowling herself said in a prepared statement. I dont think fans of the books or films will be disappointed.
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The Rides At Hogsmeade Overview:
If youre going to determine which Harry Potter world is best solely on rides, well have to give it to Islands of Adventure! For starters, there are three rides, compared to Universal Studios having just one. And of the three, two are actual roller coaster type rides. For this reason we also recommend starting your day here for anyone looking to buy discount Harry Potter world tickets.
The most exciting of the three is Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. Visually, it isnt nearly as stunning as Escape from Gringotts. But once the ride starts, whoa! On Hagrids motorbike or in its sidecar, youll twist, turn, drop, and roll onto your side. The 1-mile track makes it the longest coaster in Florida. If youre an adrenaline junkie, this ride alone could decide the question of which is the best Harry Potter theme park for you.
Next up is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, another mostly 3-D ride. This time, Harry, Ron, and Hermione save you from a boring lecture about the Defense of the Dark Arts and take you on an adventure through Hogwarts. The ride is fun, but the really exciting part is entering Hogwarts. Its a dream come true for any Potter fan, and for many people this alone settles the question of which Harry Potter world is the best.
For younger riders, or those who prefer a milder ride, the Flight of the Hippogriff is ideal. Its a bit of a kiddie coaster, but it does go high enough to give you great views of the Hogwarts castle.
Star Wars Land Vs Harry Potter World
Before I start comparing Star Wars Galaxys Edge vs. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, lets go over how I will compare them.
One more thing, this is not comparing Disneys Hollywood studios vs. Universal Orlando. That is another post that might happen later we will see. Speaking of Hollywood Studios, make sure to check out the best things to do at Hollywood Studios.
I am also not comparing The Wizarding World vs. Hollywood Studios as a whole. Im not sure how that could possibly be a fair comparison.
I will use ten factors to compare Harry Potter World vs. Star Galaxys Edge. They include:
- Better for adults
If some of the factors dont make sense, dont worry. I will explain more below. When youre done here, dont miss our 2023 Universal Orlando Planning Guide.
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Star Wars Land Vs The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
We try not to get controversial on this blog, but that ends today. Today, we will dive deep into some serious controversy and compare Star Wars Land vs. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Now, technically its Galaxys Edge vs. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but for whatever reason, everyone calls it Star Wars Land, so I am going with that.
Yes, Im going there. CONTROVERSY!
First, let me say that this is my opinion, so if the fandom on either side could please not come at me, that would be great.
I LOVE Star Wars and Harry Potter, and both The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Star Wars Galaxys Edge are incredible places to visit.
I have tattoos on my body for both Harry Potter and Star Wars so that I wont be hating either here today.
Side note, I recommend having a car in Orlando. Especially if you plan to visit both Disney and Universal. I recommend renting a car from Discount USA Car Rental.
While they dont offer flying cars or spaceships, they offer the best rates available whether youre flying into Orlando or Sanford.
Is Ollivanders In Hogsmeade
But the biggest souvenir, the one that is almost impossible to turn down, is a wand. Especially if the wand has chosen you! That means that youll probably want to visit the park that has Ollivanders Wand Shop. Lucky for you, there is an Ollivanders in each of the parks when comparing Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade! Although book purists may be quick to point out that, technically, Ollivanders is only located in Diagon Alley, youll find a wand shop at either park. So the Hogsmeade Diagon Alley debate wont be decided by a wand!
Other shops, however, do vary.
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Ride Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts
When youre done browning around, get in line for the premier attraction in this area, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.
The 3-D roller coaster attraction takes you through the depths of the wizard bank before trying to break free due to the presence of Voldemort and his motley band of Death Eaters.
In the process, youll also attempt to free the dragon thats been held in the banks basement for years.
Getting From Your Walt Disney World Resort Hotel To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
I recently had a comment from Dave on this page:
How long from Disney resorts to Universal, and whats the cheapest way to get back and forth?
I told him that it takes 20-50 minutes, depending on which resort and on I-4 traffic, and said that Id find out about the cheapest way and post on it.
Heres the post!
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Which Rides Are In Each Harry Potter Park
It is important to know which attractions are in each of the Harry Potter parks so that you can see which you would prefer to experience if you can only visit one park.
The question of which Universal Park is better for Harry Potter really is ultimately personal preference but that is going to have a lot to do with the rides in each area.
So Which Harry Potter Park Is Better
It comes down to personal preference.
Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Park is best for people who want to take in the atmosphere and those who have always wanted to explore the world of Harry Potter for themselves.
Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure is for thrill-seekers looking for groundbreaking, jaw-dropping attractions.
No matter which way you go, youll get an amazing Harry Potter experience.
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The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Diagon Alley: A History
On the same day that Universal Studios Hollywoods Hogsmeade was revealed, Universal also announced that the Wizarding World in Orlando would be getting an expansion, although it would be nearly a year-and-a-half before it would finally clarify just what that expansion would entail: on May 8, 2013, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley was confirmed to be arriving at next-door Universal Studios Florida.
Much like Hogsmeade before it, Universal tried to keep everything as top-secret as possible, but nearly every major attraction, restaurant, and shop leaked out into the rumor mill months, if not years, before the company officially tipped its hand. This was primarily due to Diagon Alleys preliminary design work having started before even Hogsmeade was completed Stuart Craig, the movie seriess production designer, started sketching the layout of a Leaky Cauldron restaurant after he completed the blueprints for The Three Broomsticks, and Universal Creative began toying around with the idea of a real, live Hogwarts Express that would connect its two Orlando parks as far back as 2010.
When the announcement on December 2, 2011 was made that Amity, the home of the beloved Jaws ride, was going to be imminently shut down, it was received by the world at large as being the very first confirmation that Diagon Alley was, indeed, going to be inserted at Universal Studios.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
|Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure|
|Entrance to Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure|
|June 13, 2019|
|Trains||12 trains with 7 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in a single row for a total of 14 riders per train.|
|Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at RCDB|
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