Universals Great Movie Escape
Opening: Fall 2022Location: Previous Location for the groove
A new category of adventure will soon be arriving in the form of Universals Great Movie Escape. Two escape rooms will be offered and themed to the films Back to the Future and Jurassic World. Use logic and teamwork to solve puzzles that will aid in your escape no brain-wave analyzer needed.
What Are The 3 Harry Potter Rides At Universal Islands Of Adventure
Another common question we receive is, what are the 3 Harry Potter rides at Universal Islands of Adventure? The 3 Islands of Adventure Harry Potter rides are Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Flight of the Hippogriff, and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Its also important to note that Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida share a ride in the Hogwarts Express.
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Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey
Forbidden Journey takes you soaring around Hogwarts, where youll enter the Forbidden Forest, the Chamber of Secrets, and more. Youll encounter dementors, the whomping willow, and other terrifying monsters from the world of Harry Potter.
The best way I can describe this ride is its like a Harry Potter Greatest Hits Album. Youll experience many of the iconic moments from the movie in the span of just a few minutes.
The thing that puts this above the rest is how realistic it is. This ride uses a Kuka arm ride vehicle which perfectly simulates the feeling of flight. Also, the sets and special effects are stunning, and truly make you feel like youre in a Harry Potter movie.
This ride also has one of the best-themed queues Ive ever seen. It takes you through some of the iconic locations in Hogwarts, including Dumbledores office, the Gryffindor Common Room, and more.
The queue is almost the best part of the experience.
Keep in mind, this one might be too frightening for some. You cant reach out and touch them, but some of the monsters get very close.
The dementors and giant spiders can feel especially close.
Personally, I think this adds to the experience and makes it more realistic, but I can see why some might not be so keen If you dont want to go on the ride but still want to see the queue, there is a walk-through experience where you can just go through the queue and not have to go on the ride.
It doesnt go upside-down and its not fast, but its uncomfortable.
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Escape From Gringotts Has The Best Ride Queue Of The Potter Rides And Is A Bit Darker Than The Other Rides
Ride length: Five minutesWait time when I rode: 20 minutes.
The first time I rode Escape from Gringotts in 2014, I was left wanting a little more from the ride. I guess I was expecting something closer to the actual adventure in the books where fans would be following Harry through the bank vaults. Instead, you’re on a tour with one of the Weasley brothers while Harry, Hermione, and Ron happen to be breaking in as well. What timing?!
Years later, the ride is much better than I remember with a welcome addition of Voldemort, who doesn’t appear on any other ride . Escape from Gringotts is the most high-stakes ride in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. A drop in the coaster and some illusions make you feel like you’re free falling at points. The only downside? If you’re not a fan of 3D glasses, you do have to wear them on this ride.
Queue grade: A+
This is easily the best ride queue at either Universal Park in Florida. When the ride queue is long, you have to wait outside, but when you are finally let indoors you’re welcomed into the Gringott’s bank with working goblins and real chandeliers. It’s gorgeous and so unexpectedly breathtaking that you’ll probably be convinced for a moment that you’re actually at the wizarding bank.
The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
|Hogwarts Castle, which houses Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, at Universal’s Islands of Adventure|
|June 18, 2010|
|July 8, 2014|
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a themed area spanning two theme parksIslands of Adventure and Universal Studios Floridaat the Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida. The area is themed to the Harry Potter media franchise, adapting elements from the film series and novels by J. K. Rowling. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was designed by Universal Creative from an exclusive license with Warner Bros. Entertainment.
The second phase was initially announced on December 6, 2011, as a significant expansion of the existing Wizarding World of Harry Potter. On May 8, 2013, it was officially announced that a substantial portion of phase two would be constructed in the adjacent Universal Studios Florida theme park with a full scale working replica of the Hogwarts Express taking guests between the two lands. This phase’s flagship ride is Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, a 3D dark ride/simulator based on Gringotts Bank, the wizarding bank that appears in the book and film series. Its design is similar to Transformers: The Ride and the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man rides but built on a roller coaster track. The remaining features are themed around London and Diagon Alley. Diagon Alley officially opened on July 8, 2014.
Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
In June 2010, Universal Orlando Resort opened their newest attraction The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
And the verdict? It does not disappoint. People of all ages are raving about the detail that the designers put into the area. Its being hailed as the best theme park addition in history! Harry Potter fans are coming in droves to enter this new attraction. On opening day, crowds gathered outside for hours in advance just to be among the first to experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in person.
You really feel like you are in the wand store where Harry and his special wand found each other. What an experience! Even though the crowds are usually dense and the lines are long, dont get discouraged. If you are a Harry Potter fan, or even a casual fan, this is worth the wait. Universal has done its best to make the waiting experience as entertaining as possible. There is really a lot to see while moving through the lines.
The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Diagon Alley At Universal Studios Florida
Experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley as you walk the familiar streets of London, passing buskers, red telephone booths and Kings Cross Station. You will know youre close to Diagon Alley once you see the Knight Bus. Just pass through the brick archway and catch your first glimpse of this hidden magical marketplace.
Once inside, grab a cup of Butterbeer or Pumpkin Juice from iconic establishments like Leaky Cauldron, the Hopping Pot and other themed dining options, or even from a passing street vendor. Several Diagon Alley venues also have wizard-friendly eats.
Of course, its not the wizarding world without adventure, and youll find plenty of it at Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. Keep a watchful eye on the roof of Gringotts Money Exchange while youre there, though the 60-foot Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon is known to breathe fire!
Next, its time to gear up on everything youll need to make your time at Hogwarts a success. Find the perfect wand at Ollivanders, get sized for your school uniform at Madam Malkins Robes for All Occasions, prepare for the big game at Quality Quidditch Supplies, or just stock up on side-splitting gags at Weasleys Wizard Wheezes, among other shopping opportunities. And if you have the nerve to brave Knockturn Alley, Borgin and Burkes is your source for Death Eater masks and other merchandise coveted by members of House Slytherin.
Orlando’s Only Official Website
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Top Things To Do At Hogsmeade
- Ride the Hogwarts Express# between both lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Taste Butterbeer and Pumpkin Juice: Head to the Three Broomsticks and the Hog’s Head pub to sample some iconic wizarding food and drinks!
- Send a letter from the Owl Post and get it stamped with the Hogsmeade postmark!
- Stock up on Hogwarts school supplies and magic sweets at the shops in Hogsmeade village
- See a wand choose its wizard at Ollivanders wand shop
If youre planning on visiting both parks, its a good idea to ride the Hogwarts Express as its the best way to stay immersed in the magic as you travel between King’s Cross Station in Universal Studios Florida and Hogsmeade Station in Universals Islands of Adventure.
And as the sun begins to set, its recommended you make your way back to Hogsmeade to watch The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle.
Dont forget the train journeys are different depending which way youre travelling, so make sure you also take the train both ways!
Insider Tip: Get Early Park Admission!
If youre staying at a Universal Orlando hotel youll get the added bonus of EARLY PARK ADMISSION* to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter or Universals Volcano Bay.
Breeze into the Parks before regular guests every morning and enjoy more ride time, more free time and more family time every day of your holiday!
Two Amazing Lands At Two Theme Parks
Please note that youll need admission to Universal Studios Florida and Universals Islands of Adventure to experience all of the wonders of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. A Park-to-Park admission ticket or an Annual Pass will grant you access to both parks, as well as the Hogwarts Express.
Travel Tip: Staying at one of Universal Orlando Resorts official hotels will allow you to enter The Wizarding World of Harry Potter up to one hour before the parks open with Early Park Admission.
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Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts
Now were getting to the really good stuff!
Escape From Gringotts is based on the opening of Deathly Hallows Part 2 where Harry and his friends break into Gringotts Bank and obtain a Horcrux from Bellatrix Lestranges Vault.
Bill Weasley takes guests on a tour of Gringotts, not knowing that Harry is planning the heist at the exact same take time
Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts is a chaotic 3D roller coaster where youll come face-to-face with a dragon, trolls, and even the Dark Lord himself
My favorite part of the attraction is actually the queue.
They replicate the iconic Gringotts bank set from the movies, complete with animatronic goblins. It really feels like youve stepped inside the movie and it never ceases to blow me away.
The ride itself is also a lot of fun. Youre constantly in danger, whether thats being attacked by trolls or falling down into the abyss.
This ride is one-of-kind as again, its a 3D roller coaster. It is basically a combination of Revenge of the Mummy and Transformers: The Ride 3D, with a roller coaster much like the Mummy and 3D effects from Transformer.
Dont worry, the roller coaster portion of the ride isnt that long, and nor is it that intense.
There is however one steep drop, but its really short. If you really dont like drops, then request the front row, as its less intense in those seats.
As a long-time Universal fan, I was impressed by the effects, but not that impressed.
Harry Potter Rides Universal Orlando 2022 Ranked
In this next section, we will be ranking Harry Potter rides at Universal. When we typically talk about the best rides in Universal, we rank them by assessing the storyline/theme, queue and overall experience that guests have while enjoying these attractions. So without further delay, here are the best Universal Studios Harry Potter Rides ranked!
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Moving The Idea To Epic Universe
Originally rumored as an expansion for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida, there was talk surrounding Universals desire to bring this iconic location from the films into the park. While it may have been planned to replace the Fear Factor Live stage in its early iterations, the concept was eventually moved somewhere where they have much more room to work with instead.
Universal wasted no time preparing their newly acquired plot of land near the Orange County Convention Center back in 2017, and officially announced a new theme park in 2019, named Epic Universe.
Official concept art for the new park appears to feature four themed lands branching out from a central hub area. While Universal has not yet confirmed it, we do believe one of these lands will be another Wizarding World, the 3rd such land in Orlando.
Possible layout for Wizarding World based on permits and rumors
Consider An Express Pass
If you are visiting during a really busy period, it would be well worth considering anExpress Pass. Unless you are visiting at the peak times like Christmas and Easter, or busy Holiday weekends, wait until you are inside the park to check the wait times. Express Passes are available throughout the parks at many locations. Prices fluctuate depending on demand.There are two types available: Express Pass and Express Pass Unlimited.See full details here: Universal Express Pass
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Hogwarts Express: Hogsmeade Station
The Hogwarts Express allows visitors to travel between Universal Orlando’s two parks without leaving the magic of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which makes it a must-experience if you plan to visit both parks in one day. The Hogsmeade side of the Hogwarts Express is just as fun as its King’s Cross counterpart.
Diagon Alley Restaurants At The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter In Orlando
Theres only one sit-down restaurant in Diagon Alley, but there are plenty of spots to get Butterbeer, Fishy Green Ale, sweet treats, and even beers specially brewed for the Harry Potter land.
Fashioned after the pub and inn from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Leaky Cauldron is Diagon Alleys only table-service dining option. You can order traditional British fare such as bangers and mash, fish and chips, and a full English breakfast. Dont worry, there are also plenty of picky-eater-approved options like pancakes and macaroni and cheese. To save time, place a mobile food order before you arrive at the restaurant. When you arrive, your server will find you a table and fill your order.
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Florean Fortescues Ice-Cream Parlour
Butterbeer ice cream is certainly the most popular menu item, but dont sleep on the shops other unique flavors like Earl Grey and Lavender, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and Chocolate Chili. Better yet, spend a few days exploring Harry Potter world in Orlando and try all the flavors.
The Fountain of Fair Fortune
When youre ready for something a bit stronger than Butterbeer, stop at the Fountain of Fair Fortune. Theres a variety of non-alcoholic drinks, but adults can pop in here for a Wizards Brew or Dragon Scale beer, which are only available in the Diagon Alley area at Universal Studios Florida.
The Hopping Pot
Eternelles Elixir of Refreshment
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Tips For Visiting Hogsmeade At The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter In Orlando
In the Harry Potter series, Hogsmeade Village is the charming snow-capped village near Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. At Universal Orlando Resort, Hogsmeade is located inside the Islands of Adventure park theme park.
In addition to shops, dining, and rides, theres a small stage near Hogwarts Castle where you can watch the Frog Choir and Triwizard Spirit Rally shows multiple times each day.
Skull Island: Reign Of Kong
This trackless dark ride based on King Kong is a fairly polarizing attraction the animatronics are incredible and the queue is well-themed, but the screen-based portion is a little lackluster, similar to Fast & Furious Supercharged at Universal Studios Florida.
Elizabeth Rhodes is an associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure who loves all things theme parks. Follow her adventures on Instagram @elizabetheverywhere.
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Every Harry Potter Universal Ride Ranked
Universal well and truly snapped with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The intellectual property has lands in Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Orlando, and Universal Islands of Adventure in America. Internationally, there are Wizarding Worlds in Universal Studios Japan and the newly opened Universal Studios Beijing. The Wizarding World ties in closely to the Warner Bros. movies heavily using the actors and relying on the films’ production designer and art director, Stuart Craig and Alan Gilmore. “It was almost like another movie,” Gilmore told Architectural Digest. “We had no preconceived notions of what a theme park should be, so we approached it as taking the film sets and making them real. We wanted to create a story and a logic for everything.”
Of the many Universal resorts with a Wizarding World, Orlando’s is the most elaborate. They have a Hogsmeade land complete with Hogwarts at Islands of Adventure, as well as a recreation of Diagon Alley at Universal Studios. If guests have tickets to both theme parks, they can travel between them on a Hogwarts Express train/simulator ride. There are five Harry Potter rides between these two parks along with musical performances, an Ollivander’s Wand Shop magic show, several shops and restaurants, and a nighttime projection mapping light show. We’ve ranked all five rides, from worst to best, to help out all the muggles planning their next vacation.