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 2022! 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!
Buying The Right Ticket For Harrys World
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade is part of Islands of Adventure while The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley can be found at Universal Studios, this is important when it comes to choosing your ticket.
Splitting this land into two sections was a brilliant move on Universals part since it means you need to purchase the upgraded Park-to-Park admission ticket if you wish to see both parts of Harrys world on the same day.
That also means holding a Park-to-Park ticket or a Universal annual pass are the only ways you can ride the Hogwarts Express train attraction between the two lands. The Hogwarts Express is more than just a mode of transportation it’s an attraction in and of itself. Leave time to take the train in both directions because the experience is different depending on which way you’re headed.
You can use single-day one-park tickets to visit each land separately, but theres no way to use those tickets to board the Hogwarts Express.
You can buy Universal tickets for one, two, three, four or five days.
Universals website sometimes offers special promotions for multiday passes that throw in extras like a skip-the-line Express Pass, discounted admission to the Volcano Bay water park or a free day at Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure.
When buying Universal tickets, look at all the combinations and prices to determine which is the best deal for your family.
Related: TPGs complete guide to Universal Orlando
What Is The Best Way To Do Harry Potter World
Everyone has their own way that they enjoy exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, however below are some of the best tips and tricks we have learned over the years to get the most out of your day. As youll see there is so much more to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter than just rides and having a solid game plan is key to seeing everything these two lands has to offer.
- Always use Early Park Admission
- Start out at Islands of Adventure over Universal Studios Florida if only visiting for one day
- Always start with Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
- Upgrade to the Park-to-Park ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express
- Be sure to ride the Hogwarts Express both ways
- Dont forget about the interactive wands
- Make sure you leave room for a Butter Beer
- Be sure to make a visit to Knockturn Alley in Diagon Alley
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Who Should Go On Escape From Gringotts
Universal expressly designed the Potter ride to be accessible to a wide audience. Its height restriction is a relatively low 42 inches, as opposed to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the featured attraction at the Hogsmeade land of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter over at Islands of Adventure, which has a 48-inch height restriction. This means children who meet the height requirement can also go on the ride. Take note that if a child in your party does not meet the minimum height requirement, Child Swap is available.
Despite pre-ride warnings about high-speed thrills, Escape from Gringotts is a “family” coaster that most visitors, other than those with excessive scaredy-cat tendencies, should be able to tolerate and enjoy. It is most certainly not too scary for children. Remember: Thrill rides are supposed to be thrilling the fear and anticipation is part of the fun.
What About Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
With the runaway success of the newest family coaster in the Wizarding World, Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is not only regularly reaching capacity early in the day but is also requiring some extra maintenance to keep it running smoothly. The best way to find out what is happening with Hagrid on the day of your visit is to use the official Universal Orlando app for your smartphone, which will list the current wait time, whether the line is at capacity, or if its virtual queue has been activated in which case, you can get a spot in the virtual line right on your phone. You can even set an alert to be notified when the ride opens!
If you are intent on riding Hagrids Motorbike Adventure, our best advice is to try to keep an eye on what is happening every day via the app for a few days before your trip sometimes, the coaster opens later on in the afternoons. If the attraction is opening with the park, go straight there on your Islands of Adventure morning conversely, if you are okay with skipping Hagrid, proceed through our plan as follows.
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How Many Days Do You Need To Plan At Harry Potter World
Another popular question we receive, is how many days should I plan at Harry Potter World? And as you can imagine there are so many amazing things to do in each section, you should give yourself at least two days to experience everything the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has to offer. Thats not saying that you cant see a ton of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in one day, however we find the best way to see Harry Potter in Universal Studios is to not feel rushed. As even guests who purchase the Universal park-to-park ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express will want to ride the train twice as the attraction is different going both ways.
Two days at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will also allow families to enjoy some of the other experiences such as the Harry Potter interactive wands and also all of the fun themed shops. Taking your time will allow your family to take everything in and bring the magic of Wizarding World of Harry Potter home.
One Last Change In The Plans
This is not the end of the story though, as one more major change appears to have happened to this ride concept in the last few years: the ride vehicle itself.
Rather than simply utilizing a suspended ride system, the current rumor is that this new ride will instead use a modified version of the SCOOP vehicle from The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal Parks.
The ride is still expected to utilize elevators, but instead of using suspension cables to raise and lower the riders, they can incorporate the elevator technology they already use on Transformers: The Ride 3D.
Ministry of Magic lift as seen in Harry Potter films, Photo: Warner Bros.
The Transformers ride has a split level design to maximize its use of space, and to get riders from between levels, the cars actually rise up and come back down seamlessly during two different scenes on the ride. The media projected in front of you follows your car, so its difficult to notice your upwards and downwards motion.
On the new Ministry attraction, they could utilize the rising and lowering feature from Transformers, but this time allow us to see that were actually moving up and down. And with this ride vehicles full range of motion, we could also move forward and backwards, and left and right, just like the elevators we saw in the Potter movies.
The new Ministry attraction is not expected to utilize 3D glasses, Photo: Universal Orlando
Concept art for courtroom chamber in Harry Potter films, Photo: Warner Bros.
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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.
Amazing Adventures Of Spider Man
Put on your 3-D glasses for this high-flying virtual reality ride. Guests get to join Spider Man as he soars above the streets chasing bad guys.
Who loves it?Classic Marvel character fans who dont get motion sick. This one is a doosie.
Height Requirements?Minimum height is 40 but anyone under 48 will need to have a supervising companion.
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Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
This is one of the newest Universal Orlando rides and so long as youre in New York, you might as well stop by and watch the Jimmy Fallon show with Hashtag the Panda and the Ragtime Gals. But once you take your seat, be prepared to race through, below, and above New York with Jimmy Fallon on a motion-simulator ride.
Who loves it? Fans of Jimmy Fallon will enjoy his classic jokes and general craziness. This ride is family-friendly without any scare factors so everyone who can fit in the ride will enjoy it.
Height Requirements? Minimum height is 40 but anyone under 48 will need to have a supervising companion. This ride also has safety restraints that may restrict people of certain sizes to ride. Those with a waist size of more than 40 may not be able to ride.
Take In A ‘harry Potter’
While youre finishing breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron, take a look at the Universal Orlando app and find out when the shows in Diagon Alley will take place.
During our trip, we saw two shows here, including “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” complete with puppets and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. Theres seating around the stage if you arrive early enough, or theres always plenty of standing room.
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Can You Bring Your Own Wand
Yes. You can bring any wand you like but it will need to be the special Universal wand to work the magic at the parks. Any Universal wand that you buy at the park can be taken home and brought back during another visit to the Universal parks. Homemade wands and wands from other platforms are welcome as well, as long as it meets the health and safety regulations outlined by Universal Studios.
Re-using wands is the best way to save money when you have little Potterheads with you, so once you buy a wand, make sure to hang on to it.
Birthday Wands Aka Wands From The Wand Choosing Ceremony At Ollivanders
The 13 types of unclaimed wands are based on the Celtic tree calendar that Rowling used when deciding on wood types for each character. You can purchase them alongside the other character wands and of course, one may choose you at the Wand Choosing Ceremony at Ollivanders.
The various wood types represent different attributes like birth date. For instance, if you were born between Jan 21 and Feb 17, you might be an imaginative type, making the Rowan wood wand the best match. If you share Harrys birthday of Jul 31, then you are steadfast, and the Oak wand is said to suit you best. The vine wand is yours if you are persistent like our favorite heroine Hermione.
Here are the 13 wood types that wands are made of based on your birthdays or attributes from the Celtic tree calendar.
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Can You Take Wands On Rides At Universal
While Harry Potter wands can be carried onto Universal rides, its best to use the ride locker facility for safe-keeping if the ride is an intense one: when ALL belongings must go in a locker, eg Hargrids, Gringotts, Velocicoaster etc. However, carrying the wand on lower-intensity rides like Spider-Man, shouldnt be an issue. Lockers can be rented in different sizes but the smaller free version will fit your wand in or out of its box. The wand, even in its box fits inside the small lockers.
Wearing a wizarding robe or cloak not only increases your chances of getting selected at Ollivanders but also gives you a built-in place to tuck away your wand: a wand pocket! Another way to carry your wand is to fashion or buy a wand holder. Much like a holster, this contraption can be clipped to your belt or strap.
Ollivanders Wand Choosing Experience
A wand is one of the most important things in a wizards life. Even broken, Hagrid cannot do without his umbrella wand!
Getting picked by a wand at Ollivanders is one of the most exciting and ecstatic feelings a young witch or wizard can have. You cant miss out on this magical experience where your kids will get to experience exactly what eleven-year-old Harry felt when his wand chose him at Universal Studios. The interactive experience at the Ollivander store gives Potterheads the opportunity to try multiple wands before being picked by one of them. Just like in the books and movies, there will be a burst of light to indicate that they have been chosen!
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How Crowded Will The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Be
The first step to successfully planning your vacation to Universal Orlando Resort is to be aware of the season in which you are visiting. If you havent already, check out our free 12-month Universal crowd calendar to learn how crowded we expect the theme parks to be during your visit. Make a note of what time the parks will open and close, bearing in mind that Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida may shutter at different times and may have different special events taking place.
Below, we will discuss the ideal setup for your visit to Universal and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Please be aware that the advice given on this page is based on two fundamental assumptions: that fully experiencing Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley is your primary objective at the resort, and that you are going to Universal when crowd levels are expected to be busy or very busy when the headline attractions, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, have wait times over two hours and the newest ride, Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, regularly reaches capacity.
When Is The Best Time To Plan A Visit To Harry Potter World
Picking the best time to plan a visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter isnt too difficult. As a general rule we typically say to avoid any major school breaks whenever possible. Next we have found one the best ways to visit Harry Potter World and plan around the crowds is to use our Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar. This free tool breaks down the expected crowds, average temperature, and eventheme park ticket prices. We find that the least crowded times of year tend to be early fall and right after New Years Eve!
One of our favorite tips is also to pay attention to Universal Orlando theme park ticket pricing. Just like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando theme park tickets now fluctuate based on the time of year you visit. So one of the easiest ways to pick the best time to visit Universal is to compare the cheapest Universal Orlando ticket prices. The cheaper the tickets the more likely it is that the parks wont be as crowded during that time of year. If you prefer a few great dates we have outlined them below.
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