Guide To The Harry Potter Rides In Hogsmeade
Hogsmeade is the Harry Potter theme park land to visit in Orlando if youre most interested in experiencing the different Wizarding World-themed rides. There are three of them here.
Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
The Wizarding Worlds newest ride is arguably the best of them all. Billed as a story coaster, this Harry Potter ride follows a haphazard motorbike lesson with Hagrid. Ride it twice so you can experience both the motorcycle and the sidecar.
This is the only attraction in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter that doesnt utilize Express Pass, but it does often use a virtual queue rather than a typical line. Check the Universal Orlando app or ask a Harry Potter world team member for assistance joining the virtual queue. The minimum height for Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is 48 and, as with most of the other Wizarding World rides, child swap is available.
Flight of the Hippogriff
This kid-size coaster has a minimum height requirement of only 36, but its thrilling for kids of all ages . Its a very quick ride and the wait to board through the normal queue can stretch for hours on busy days. With an Express Pass, though, you can often do the ride as many times as you want with very little waiting.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
You cant miss the entrance to this Harry Potter ride because its actually inside Hogwarts Castle, which towers over the Hogsmeade area from on high in true Wizarding World fashion.
Dining Shopping And Other Attractions
Other than the main rides, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is also home to gift shops, restaurants and other tourist attractions. Several of these are re-creations of locations in the Harry Potter books while others have been created specifically for the park. A recreation of Hogsmeade exists in Islands of Adventure with a recreation of Diagon Alley currently under construction at Universal Studios Florida.
Ollivanders wand shop
In the book series, Ollivanders wand shop is located in Diagon Alley, not Hogsmeade however, installations of the shop are present in both areas of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The Hogsmeade attraction re-created the shop as Ollivanders, portraying it as a branch of the original where Harry purchases his wand in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone . Unlike other shops in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visitors are admitted in groups of 20 to experience the premise from the Potterseries, that “the wand chooses the wizard”. Similar to the first film, the wand keeper and a selected guest test a variety of wands until the right one is found. Effects include flowers drying out or a thunder storm erupting inside the shop. After experiencing the attraction, souvenir wands can be purchased.
Madam Malkins Robes For All Occasions
Location: Diagon Alley
Build your wizarding wardrobe at this cheerfully appointed shop. You can buy authentic replicas of Hermiones Yule Ball gown. Youll also find Hogwarts uniforms, ties, scarves, hats, and cardigans as well as jewelry.
Pro Tip: Model your potential purchase in front of the mirror and it just might talk back to you.
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Whats The Difference Between The Wizarding Worlds In Orlando And Hollywood
While just as magical, Universal Studios Hollywoods version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter only features the Hogsmeade area and is significantly smaller than the Harry Potter world in Orlando. Theres still plenty of shopping, you can dine at Three Broomsticks, get a drink at Hogs Head, and ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff at the Hollywood park, though.
Dedicate A Day To Each Side Of The Wizarding World
In order to make guests really feel immersed in the world, there is SO much to do in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley that they could easily take you a full day each. While we all cant help but feel like an excited First Year running to Hogwarts for the first time when we enter the parks, youll want to plan to spend a day in each side of the Wizarding World on its own.
Instead of rushing through everything to make it to both parks, designate certain days to visit each areas unique attractions, stores, and restaurants . If you spend more time in each park, youll actually be able to spot more details than you would if you were hurrying through one to get to the other!
Plus, youll have more chances to ride certain attractions or head to park-specific restaurants when you dedicate a full day to either Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley.
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Try A Visit During Christmas
The theme park is a stunning location all year round, but there’s something extra magical about visiting during the festive period. Christmas brings out the best in the Wizarding World, with each street and Hogwarts Castle itself decorated for the holidays with reefs, lights, and other assorted displays.
There’s a unique flavor to the designs of these Christmas exhibitions, inspired hugely by the source material. Other unique features include warmed Butterbeer, changes to the menus, and unique performances that result in an experience unlike anything else. Fans should definitely try to drop by at the end of the year!
Flight Of The Hippogriff
Flight of the Hippogriff is the transformation of the Flying Unicorn ride. Guests are told that Rubeus Hagrid, the gamekeeper and Care of Magical Creatures teacher at Hogwarts, is teaching students how to ride hawk-like birds known as Hippogriffs by making them ride fake replicas he constructed. A replica of Hagrid’s hut is in the queue, as well as a scene featuring Hagrid explaining to them how to approach a Hippogriff properly .
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Buy 1 Interactive Wand
Every young wizard dreams of walking into Olivanders and letting the wand choose its master. If you go this route , then arrive early and go to their flagship store at Diagon Alley instead of Dervish and Banges . This store will have shorter lines and a wider selection to choose from.
Half of the fun of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are the dozens of opportunities to cast spells using interactive wands sold at shops like Olivanders. Once you have a wand, search for the small brass plaques in the ground. The plaques will show you what motion to make with the wand to trigger the spell.
The trick is, no matter how many people in your group, you can all share one wand, since only one person can cast any of the spells at a time. You can even bring a wand back for each of your future trips to the Wizarding World so theres no need to ever buy another wand.
Pro Tip: If your wand is ever damaged, or even if you just dont like it anymore and want to try another, you can head back to any of the wand shops and ask for a Wand Repair. Theyll exchange your wand for a brand new one.
Definitely Worth A Visit
Overall, it was a great experience to visit Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. The trip was magical for my son, an avid Harry Potter fan. For him, walking around Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade with his robe and wand made him feel like he was following in Harry Potters footsteps. Im not a big Harry Potter fan, but even I got caught up in how much detail went into both areas. Long story short, a trip to Harry Potter’s world will have its highs and lows, but it’s well worth the visit.
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Stop Using Muggle Money
Muggle money or US dollars are certainly acceptable tender across the Wizarding World, but there’s something satisfying and immersive about purchasing a Zonko’s product using Galleons. Luckily guests can actually exchange their currency for coins more appropriate.
Head into Gringott’s Bank and someone will be able to help with the transaction, maybe even a Goblin. They are also great collector’s items, so even if a guest has exchanged too much they could be kept as a great keepsake or even to return to the park with in the future.
Spend An Entire Day In Each Of The Parks
You can experience the majority of the rides and other attractions. However, you will not be able to experience the whole wizardry of both theme parks. It is better to spend the whole day in Diagon Alley and another day in Hogsmeade.
Purchase Park Hopper Passes so you could ride the Hogwarts Express which connects both theme parks. You can also save money with these passes if you are visiting the theme park on multiple days.
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Universals Islands Of Adventure
Those of you familiar with the books or movies will know Hogsmeade is the little town located near Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
I love walking into Hogsmeade with its snow covered roofs and quaint shops. It is fun to imagine Harry, Ron and Hermione wandering through the town on weekend visits.
The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Coming Soon To Universal Studios Hollywood
A new magical world is lying in wait. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens on 7 April at Universal Studios Hollywood.
And to celebrate, Harry Potter actors Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Evanna Lynch, James Phelps and Oliver Phelps will be on the red carpet at the Grand Opening on 5 April.
Theyll also be joined by a very special guest: Oscar-winning composer John Williams, who scored the first three Harry Potter films, including the iconic Hedwigs Theme.
The attraction has been five years in the making, and features a stunning recreation of Hogwarts castle as well as Hogsmeade village.
Following in the footsteps of Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Japan, the Hollywood attraction will bring back some of the fans favourite rides, as well as a few new surprises.
For example, the ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey which is featured at both the Orlando and Japan theme parks will bring new state of the art 3D-HD technology for the first time in the US, promising visitors a trip with a, well, whole new dimension. The Flight of the Hippogriff will be Universal Studio Hollywoods first outdoor rollercoaster.
Fans will be able to literally walk to Hogsmeade and visit all of Harrys favourite haunts, such as Honeydukes, Three Broomsticks and Zonkos Joke Shop. Oh, and if you havent let your wand choose you yet, make sure you stop by Ollivanders, obviously.
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Things To Do At The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
Rides the Hogwarts Express between parks: this rides at The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter is a fun ride and it saves you the trouble of walking from park to park.
Enjoy the rides: The golden goblin statue in Diagon Alley marks the entrance that will take you to Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. If the notices you receive when a route starts you leave, you have the option to leave the line before surrendering. Go for a walk even if you plan to leave the line. Its good to see the detailed interiors of Gringott, the goblin, and everything else!
Use a Wand: You can buy standard wands that are wands certain characters use through the movie series. You can also buy interactive magic wands in also from various gift shops of the theme Park. If you head to Olivanders wand shop, you can experience the magic just like Harry Potter did in the movie when selecting a wand. Purchasing the wand selected for you is not necessary.
Go to the gift shop: Youll find a variety of fantastic books and magical items in the gift shops. You can find many souvenirs from the movie series. The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade stores are almost as fun as the rides. Get acquainted with April fools jokes in Weasleys Wheezes and get ready for Halloween in Borgin and Burkes, which is in the darkness of the Knockturn Alley.
Buy Tickets In Advance And Go To Both Parks
The deluge of options at Universal Studios can be panic-inducing. There are multiple parks, and each requires its own ticket. Harry Potter attractions are split between two parksUniversal Studios and Islands of Adventuremeaning that you’ll need to buy two tickets to see it all, a double-whammy that starts at $115. And beyond the steep price, you know what super-sucks? You’ll absolutely want to visit both.
At Universal Studios, youll find Diagon Alley, the Escape From Gringotts ride, and the fire-breathing dragon that sits atop Gringotts Wizarding Bank. Over at Islands of Adventure, you can stroll through Hogsmeade, catch street performances , and ogle the massive Hogwarts Castle. This is also where youll find the Flight of the Hippogriff coaster, the Forbidden Journey ride, and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, the newest Wizarding World ride.
The two parks are connected by the Hogwarts Express, which you can only ride if you have the two-park pass. If you love rides and can only visit one park, Islands of Adventures might be the way to go. But Gringott’s is a great ride, and Diagon Alley is a wildly impressive setting.
Since you want to see everything, its worth buying tickets in advance. Youll save a few dollars by doing so, and you can get a calendar view of admission prices, which vary by day. You’ll typically save money by going early in the week.
Grab An Interactive Wand
Wands are a crucial part of Wizarding life and Warner Bros. has guaranteed that they are still an important part of the experience in the parks. Fans should make sure to pick up a wand at one of the shops although Ollivanders is of course the best opportunity to do so, the Wand Carts are often far more convenient.
The wands interact with places across the Wizarding World, allowing guests to cast spells of their own. All of the wands, no matter the core or wood, are accompanied by a map showcasing the aforementioned locations, and guests should definitely try to find them all to experience the true magic of Harry Potter.
Plan Your Vacation To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
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About Lindsay Brookshier
Lindsay is a college English instructor and has years of writing experience through various nonprofits, charities, newspapers, and online magazines. As the editor of Mickey Visit, she oversees article content and leads our fantastic team of writers to meet guest vacation needs. You can still find her writing weekly content to help make your Disney Parks trip fantastic here on Mickey Visit and writing Disney culture pieces on DisneyDose.com- you can also view her recently featured posts on Disney Parks travel on Nerd Wallet and SFGate. Lindsay comes from a dedicated Disney family and enjoys taking her son to the Disney parks as often as possible.
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Hogwarts Express: Kings Cross Station
Location: London Outside of Diagon Alley
Enter Kings Cross Station and walk straight through a solid brick wall onto Platform 9 ¾ to board the Hogwarts Express. Remember, youll need a park-to-park ticket to board the train in either direction.
Pro Tip: If you want to journey in Harry Potters footsteps, do some shopping in Diagon Alley and then hop on the Hogwarts Express toward Hogsmeade to start your next term!
Pay Attention To Shop Windows
One of the benefits of visiting the Wizarding World is that fans can explore the businesses and shops of both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade first-hand. It’s a transformative moment walking down these iconic streets for the first time, but guests should make sure to try to take it all in.
It would be easy to brush past minor details in favor of some of the larger spectacles of the films. While the famous castle is certainly exciting, there’s a whimsicality to looking through the shop windows and noticing some of the magical scenes that have been created for those paying attention.
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How Many Days Do You Need For Harry Potter World
Plan to spend parts of at least two days at the Harry Potter theme parks in Orlando if you want the complete experience. Arrive early, try to see and do as much as you can before the crowds fill in, then enjoy the other parts of Universal Studios Florida and Universals Islands of Adventure for parts of the afternoon before returning to the Harry Potter theme parks for the evening. After all, you havent fully experienced Harry Potter world until youve seen Hogwarts Castle lit up at night.
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