No Hogwarts Acceptance Letter No Problem
Not many franchises have the universal, timeless appeal of Harry Potter. After all, Potterheads of all ages exist all around the world, reading and rereading J.K. Rowlings beloved works . Whether youre a Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Slytherin or Gryffindor, we can all agree: the Wizarding World has a special kind of magic.
Now, Harry Potter fans will have the chance to step into that wonderful fictional universe . Theres a new Harry Potter theme park being built, and its HUGE!
Keep An Eye On The Upstairs Window Of 12 Grimmauld Place
Another little secret to look out for in the London area is hidden in the window above the row of houses past the entrance to Diagon Alley. If you take a look in the second floor window of 12 Grimmauld Place, a house-elf peeks out every few minutes. Harry Potter fans will recognize the address as the home of Sirius Black, and the house-elf peering out as Kreacher. If you time it right, you can take a photo on the stoop with Kreacher looking out from the window above.
If You Want To See All Of The Harry Potter Orlando Theme Park Arrive Early And Make A Plan
The Hogsmeade area and Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure often open early for Universal hotel guests as part of Universals Early Park Admission perk. If youre staying onsite or can get to the park close to opening time, your best bet is to tackle Hogsmeade early in the morning. Its not as large as Diagon Alley and can get crowded as the day wears on. If it gets too crowded, hop over to Diagon Alley and come back to Hogsmeade in the early evening.
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Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey
Another mostly 3-D ride, Harry, Ron, and Hermione save you from a boring lecture about the Defense of the Dark Arts. Madness ensues and you get taken on an adventure through Hogwarts and its grounds. 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.
Previous Universal Harry Potter Attractions
A Harry Potter themed attraction at a Universal Studios park or a Disney park was rumored in 2003. However, the rights to the Harry Potter franchise had been acquired by Warner Bros., which denied all rumors. In January 2007, About.com reported a rumor from a “highly credible source” that the Universal’s Islands of Adventure park’s Lost Continent area at Universal Orlando Resort was going to be re-themed “to the stories and characters of one of the most popular children’s franchises”. Other sources followed up in the next few days with unofficial confirmation that the new area would involve Harry Potter. On May 31, 2007, Universal, in partnership with Warner Bros., officially announced that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter would be added to Islands of Adventure.
After a 2+12-year construction period, the area officially opened to the public on June 18, 2010. This resulted in attendance at the park jumping approximately 50% in its first year of operation. On July 8, 2014, Universal opened an expansion to the Wizarding World at Universal Studios Florida, Diagon Alley, which was placed in the former Amity Island area of the park. This expansion also included the new ride experience: The Hogwarts Express, in which a train travels between the two Universal Florida Parks, from the Hogsmeade area to Kings Cross Station . A week later, on July 15, 2014, Universal opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan.
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My Final Thoughts On Your Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Itinerary
And there you have it!
I hope you enjoyed this full touring plan for your next Wizarding World of Harry Potter adventure.
Do you think this Wizarding World of Harry Potter itinerary is doable in only one day? Did I leave something out? Leave your comment below!
Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!
When Will It Open
If you have your heart set on visiting The Making of Harry Potter, the first thing you should know is that its located in Tokyo. It will be on the grounds of the Toshimaen Amusement Park.
Now, if youre OK with booking a flight to Tokyo, it looks like there will be a limit to how many people can enter in a day. Because the park wont be operating at max capacity, it seems likely that tickets will sell out, especially in the first few months after opening!
But take heart, Harry Potter fansyouve got a while to plan and save up. The park isnt set to open until 2023. And if youre looking for Wizarding World attractions closer to home, check out this epic Airbnb.
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You Can Call The Ministry Of Magic
The red telephone box in the London area between Kings Cross Station and the hidden entrance to Diagon Alley is more than just clever decor. If you step inside and dial M-A-G-I-C , you’ll be connected directly to the Ministry of Magic. You’ll hear a funny message from the Ministry and, if you have kids along for the trip, you can show them what a rotary phone is.
Free Early Park Admission
For a limited time, book your Universal Orlando tickets with us and get FREE Early Park Admission. The Early Park Admission treats you like a VIP. You get into Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure one hour before the gates open to the general public.
You can visit Wizarding World of Harry Potter or ride VelociCoaster without a wait. It is the best time to visit Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
You cannot get this free perk with Universal Orlando or at the ticket windows. You can only get this free perk when you pre-order your tickets with us.
If you are ready to book your tickets, call Destinations in Florida at 877-918-8941 or message them on FB Messenger.
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What Park Is Harry Potter World In At Universal 2023
First, lets be really clear on the most important question: What park is Harry Potter world in? There are two parks at Universal Orlando: Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. And both of them contain theWizarding World of Harry Potter! So whichever park you go to, youll get to experience the Harry Potter universe.
Halloween In The Wizarding World
Lastly , the Halloween season also makes for a magical visit to the Wizarding World. Although the Harry Potter parks dont go through much of a spooky transformation, Universals main Halloween event, Halloween Horror Nights, yields a special Harry Potter-related opportunity.
Guests can enjoy smaller daytime crowds during their September or October visit to begin with, but they can also find a quiet haven in Diagon Alley during the nighttime festivities.
While most guests are wrapped up in the late-night Halloween Horror festivities at the Universal Studios park, Diagon Alley remains open to visitors much later than usual.
True Potter fans will relish the chance to walk the streets of this wizarding marketplace in peace and quiet.
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All The Shop Windows And Facades
I mention this separately because each of the shop windows is really a treasure. They are highly themed to the stores inside and often loaded with animation such as the self knitting needles and screaming Mandrakes. Many of the storefront facades dont lead into an actual shop but are worth taking in too, like the House Elf House Placement Agency, Flourish and Blotts and my favorite the The Daily Prophet where you can hear the wizard reporters inside working away. There are also a few fun Easter eggs to be found. For example the area that is now Diagon Alley occupies what was once the ride Jaws. In the window at Mr. Mullpeppers Apothecary, youll find a set of sharks teeth in tribute to the retired ride.
Overview Of The Orlando Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
The Orlando, Florida, Wizarding World of Harry Potter is located in Universal Studios .
Universal Studios is a vast property that includes three theme parks:
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is set up as two towns located in two of the three Universal theme parks:
- Universal Studios, which contains Diagon Alley and
- Islands of Adventure, which contains Hogsmeade.
Additionally, the Hogwarts Express train is a ride that runs between the two Harry Potter theme parks for those with a Park to Park ticket.
or buy separate tickets for each park and walk back and forth.)
Tip: I definitely recommend buying the Park to Park ticket because it saves the time and energy of walking between the parks, and its fun to ride the Hogwarts Express!
Lets talk about what Harry Potter rides and attractions are in each park.
Guide to the Harry Potter Rides in Diagon Alley
In this section of my guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter are the main attractions in Diagon Alley. As mentioned, Diagon Alley is located in the Universal Studios park.
There is a VERY non-descript entrance right next to Kings Cross train station, where the Hogwarts Express train is located.
Once you enter, this non-descript entrance, find yourself immersed in Diagon Alley!
Diagon Alley has one ride: Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts . It is located in the building containing the large fire-breathing dragon, so you cant miss it.
Guide to the Harry Potter Rides in Hogsmeade
Hogsmeade vs. Diagon Alley
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Which Has Better Rides When Comparing Hogsmeade Vs Diagon Alley 2023
- Hogsmeade Islands of Adventure
The Verdict: For starters, there are three rides, compared to Universal Studios having just one. And of the three, two are actual roller coaster type rides. If youre deciding which Harry Potter park is better in Orlando based on the rides alone, well have to give it to Islands of Adventure and Hogsmeade.
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Arrive To The Park Early
Get there early. Like,before-it-opens early. Leave now if you can. Once the park opens, walk directly to the Harry Potter area without stopping for anything. I cant stress this Harry Potter theme park tip enough: If you want to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter without shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, you must arrive before everyone else does. Theres no other way.
With the Universal Express Pass, you can get onto virtually every ride in both parks in pretty short order. But Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley arent ridestheyre open areas with shops, restaurants, vendors, and all of the design details you dream about when you imagine your visit. So naturally they are quickly overwhelmed by the crowds.
Casting a successful spell in a virtually empty Diagon Alley is magical being 10th in line to perform the same trick is frustrating and a bit ludicrous.
When you arrive at the parks, go directly to Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley, wander around, take it all in, maybe browse the shopsenjoy the scenery and the atmosphere of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter before everyone else gets there. Then, once the rest of the world arrives, use your Express Pass to quickly hop on the various Harry Potter-themed rides.
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There Are Many Types Of Butterbeer At Universal Orlando Resort
Though cold and frozen Butterbeer are the most popular versions , there are even more ways to enjoy this butterscotch and shortbread-flavored treat. You can get Butterbeer Fudge at Honeydukes and Sugarplums, Butterbeer Potted Cream at Leaky Cauldron and Three Broomsticks, and Butterbeer Ice Cream at Three Broomsticks, Leaky Cauldron, Florean Fortescues The Hopping Pot, and various snack carts.
You Can Mail A Letter From Hogsmeade
Yes, it really is possible to send mail through the U.S. Postal Service from Hogsmeade, complete with a Hogsmeade postmark stamped on it. Just stop by the Owl Post, which also carries stationery, quills, ink, and Harry Potter-themed stamps. The postage will obviously cost you, but the postmark stamp is free. Located just next to Ollivanders wand shop, you can bring your own letters and postcards or purchase them from the Owl Post and then drop them straight into the letter box to be mailed.
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How Can I Skip The Lines
Universal offers front-of-line Express passes that offer access to a priority line for each attraction. If you dont want to spend that much money, though, waiting in line for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is totally bearable: Weve typically seen wait times between a half hour and an hour.
What Youll Find In Wizarding World
Youve got six rides to plan on:
Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Flight of the Hippogriff
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
As noted above, you want to ride Hogwarts Express in both directions. The ride is different in the two directions. The simplest approach is to start and finish your day in the same portion of the land, so either:
Start at Diagon Alley
Ride Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade
Ride Hogwarts Express back to Diagon Alley
or vice versa.
Theres entertainment in both lands. To be honest, I dont consider the entertainment an essential part of a visit to either of these lands, but it can be enjoyable and if you have a full day youll likely have time for it. You can find the schedule of entertainment in the Universal Orlando app.
You can get your own interactive wand. You can buy a wand that can interact with different elements of the land. While this can be quite fun, the popularity means some of the spots will have several people in line and a long wait as everyone tries to get the spell cast just right.
Shopping / Eating / Butterbeer. And of course, both lands are filled with stores and treats, including Butterbeer.
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Which Has Better Food When Comparing Hogsmeade Vs Diagon Alley 2023
- Diagon Alley Universal Studios
The Verdict: Diagon Alley wins this round only because of the amount of options you have to choose from! The classic spots are in Hogsmeade, yes, but we also have to give honorable mention to Weasleys Wizard Wheezes! Not only do they serve trinkets and souvenirs, but most candy that can be found at Honeydukes! But it was a close call, we would say dont decide which Harry Potter park is better at Universal Studios based on the Harry Potter food!
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What Shops Are At Islands Of Adventures Hogsmeade 2023
- Honeydukes: Exploding BonBons, Chocolate Frogs, and Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans
- Dervish & Banges: Magical items, broomsticks, and your Hogwarts uniform
- Filchs Emporium of Confiscated Goods: Treasures seized by the surly caretaker, plus more
- Owl Post: Writing equipment and a place to mail letters with a Hogsmeade postmark
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Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Best Ride At Universal Florida 2023
If youre going to determine which Harry Potter world is best solely on rides, well point you in the direction of Hagrids Motorbike Adventure! Once this 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.
Best Ride: Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey wowed me. The journey through the queue alone is fully a part of the experience. Im an avid theme-parkerI grew up an hour from Orlando, how could I not be? I had a season pass to Universal Studios for my four years studying at nearby UCF. I have a high bar for theme park rides.
As I waited in line and wound through Hogwarts Castle, the level of detail, interaction, and care put into the experience made my inner geek smile at all the inside jokes. There are many delightfully geeky Harry Potter details. If you have kid fans with you, they will stay plenty occupied looking for the hidden details . We luckily had just 20 minute waits for each of the rides since we had Early Park Admission thanks to a shared room at the Hard Rock Hotelnone of us minded sharing beds and using the pull out couch because it meant we were able to do most of Hogsmeade before the crushing crowds.
One of the coolest parts of the Forbidden Journey ride is the holograms. The interior castle decorations have the best holographic technology Ive ever seen.
The ride itself is nothing short of innovative. Or should I just give in and say its magical? In all seriousness though, words dont do it justice except to say even the hours of queuing are worth it for the end result.
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A Little Declaration Hogsmeade & Butterbeer Rocked My Socks At Universal Orlandos Harry Potter World
Im shucking my mantle of sophistication to admit Im a Harry Potter geek. And as a Florida native-born and raised, it overjoyed me when I first learned that Universal Studios Orlando had bought the rights to develop a Harry Potter World. Yes, please! I wasnt always a huge fan I caught onto the series later than some, but earlier than many. When the book series first gained popularity , I pooh-poohed the trend and refused to join the masses in the Harry Potter craze. Then, my best friend handed me Book 1 with pointed instructions to shut my face and just read the book.
Fast forward three years, and I happened to accidentally stumble uponjust by chance, of coursea Barnes & Noble midnight release party for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The series had hooked me, and I was giddy with anticipation as I waited hours in line behind a doe-faced eight-year-old Hermione look-alike. Then, I read the book in one sitting .