When To Visit The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
There is no bad time to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, just times of the year when it may be more crowded or pretty darn hot. Dont overly stress over the choice of dates. Just check expected crowd levels at calendars like the ones from Undercover Tourist and TouringPlans.com and then use some strategies like skip-the-line passes, VIP tours and early starts to evade crowds if you need to .
Stay At A Universal Orlando Hotel
The first method is to stay at one of Universals hotels, which include Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, Royal Pacific Resort, Sapphire Falls Resort, Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Aventura Hotel, and Endless Summer Resort. All guests staying at a Universal resort, regardless of how they booked their rooms or which venue they chose, will get EPA as a benefit, including on both their check-in and check-out days. Just make sure to have your room key-card ready to show as you enter the park.
Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey
The original Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction and still one of the most popular rides in Hogsmeade! Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is located inside of Hogwarts castle and is a one of a kind ride which will allow you to experience the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry on your very own broomstick. This used to be the most popular attraction with the longest line in the parks however they have not been as bad ever since Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure opened last year.
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Book A Universal Orlando Vacation Package
The second way to get Early Park Admission is to book a Universal Orlando vacation package, which must include, at the very least, accommodations and theme-park tickets. As far as accommodations go, you can choose from over 20 Universal partner hotels, which tend to be mid-range and quite affordable. With such a broad selection, you should be able to find something to match your budget and style, so check out our guide to Universal vacation packages for more information.
We must emphasize that staying at a partner hotel alone is not enough to get EPA you must book a Universal Orlando vacation package, which includes both that hotel stay and park admission, to be granted the benefit. There are many third-party travel agents who can sell you a vacation package, in addition to going through Universals own website. However, if you arent booking directly with Universal, make sure you get an E-Travel Document that states your Early Park Admission eligibility.
Is The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter A Separate Ticket
It is important to know if youre planning a trip to Harry Potter World, access to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is included with any valid Universal Orlando ticket. It is important to know that, if you purchase a one day ticket ticket to Universal Studios, then your entry to Diagon Alley will be included in that ticket. If you purchase a one day ticket to Islands of Adventure, your entry to Hogsmeade will be included in that ticket.
If you want to visit both parks in the same trip, consider buying a park-to-park ticket to Universal Orlando. Plus all of discount one day Universal Orlando tickets that we sell will include Early Park Admission to the Harry Potter rides!
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Phase : Universal Studios Florida
The opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter saw attendance at Islands of Adventure rise by as much as 36% in 2010. According to Jason Garcia of the Orlando Sentinel, this saw resort executives pondering “when to expand Wizarding World and how to keep business balanced between Islands and Universal Studios Florida”. In April 2011, Brady MacDonald of the Los Angeles Times speculated that an expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter would see attractions such as Diagon Alley and a Gringotts-themed dark ride replace Islands of Adventure’s Lost Continent themed area.
On December 6, 2011, Universal Parks & Resorts announced that they would be expanding The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The expansion was described as “significant” by officials however, no further details were released at the time. The announcement came just four days after Universal Studios Florida announced that they would be closing their Jaws ride on January 2, 2012. On January 25, 2012, the Los Angeles Times stated that Universal Studios Florida’s Jaws ride would be the site of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion. The aforementioned attractions would be complemented by a replica of the Hogwarts Express to transit guests between the two parks.
Are There Any Blockout Dates For Early Park Admission
Early Park Admission is always at the discretion of Universal and is subject to change, so be sure to check with the company for any updates on which park are eligible for early entry during your vacation. But with that said, yes, Preferred annual passholders do have seasonal blackout dates when it comes to EPA, as outlined by Universal.
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We Recently Asked Our Readers On Facebook: Hogsmeade Or Diagon Alley
We got a lot of responses, mostly along the lines of Why do we have to pick? However, a lot of you had great insight as to why you prefer one area of the land over the other, so lets go through what you said!
Some of you vouched for Hogsmeade because it tends to be less crowded than Diagon Alley: Hogsmeade, even when its busy, it still always seems less crowded than Diagon Alley. We definitely prefer having space to breathe at theme parks, so Hogsmeade is good for getting your Harry Potter fill in without all of the people!
Others picked Hogsmeade because of the rides! Hogsmeade has the bulk of the attractions in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter including Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Flight of the Hippogriff, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and a Hogwarts Express stop. If you like rides, Hogsmeade is definitely the place to go!
A lot of our readers said they preferred Diagon Alley! While it doesnt have all the rides that Hogsmeade does, its got some incredible theming and tons to see. Some of our readers said that Diagon Alley wins for the snacks and shopping alone. Only one has Florean Fortescues. Thats all that needs to be said about that.
Some of our readers also noted that Diagon Alley is great for avoiding the sun! The alley tends to be a bit darker and more shaded, which makes it great for escaping that Florida heat, Im a fragile skinned ginger, so I love the darkness of Diagon.
Tourist Attraction Discount Passes
There are currently four tourist passes in Los Angeles that offer discounts on general admission at Universal Studios Hollywood.
The first and most popular option is the Go Los Angeles Card, which offers admission to the theme park with every 3, 5 and 7-day all-inclusive pass.
This pass also includes admission to dozens of additional attractions while it is valid, including the Warner Bros. Studio tour which features a Harry Potter tour.
- 3-Day Pass: $258/Adults | $222/Children
- $86/day for Adults | $74/day for Children
At $57 per day with the 7-day pass, youd literally be paying less than half the price of general admission tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood.
The Starline Attraction Pass is another all-inclusive pass that offers admission to this theme park at a discounted rate.
Much like their competitors, you have to purchase at least a 3-day pass for access to this activity.
Unfortunately, while the Go Los Angeles Card includes both Universal Studios Hollywood and the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, you must choose one or the other with this tourist pass.
If youre looking for a discount service that focuses primarily on theme parks, the Los Angeles CityPASS is an excellent option.
This tourist pass includes attractions like Disneyland, SeaWorld and more.
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What Attractions Are Open During Volcano Bays Early Park Admission
The following slides are available to start your morning with a good soaking when you arrive at the Waturi peoples island oasis, Volcano Bay:
- Ohyah of Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slides
- Ohno of Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slides
- Honu of the Honu Ika Moana
- ika Moana of the Honu ika Moana
- Krakatau Aqua Coaster
- Waturi Wave Pool
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.
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Flight Of The Hippogriff
Flight of the Hippogriff, dubbed a family-friendly coaster, is across from the lockers at Hogwarts Castle.
The twists, turns and drops reminded me of a slightly tamer Big Thunder Mountain Railroad from Disney Worlds Magic Kingdom. My husband is not a fan of roller coasters and didnt want to ride this one even if it is just a junior coaster so I went alone. Plenty of little kids were riding and loving it children have to be just 36 inches tall or taller to ride.
This ride is super quick, so I had to ride a few times to take it all in. The track is elevated so you get a nice view of Hogsmeade. The queue is neat, too, as you walk by Hagrids Hut and on to an open area where youll recognize the Care of Magical Creatures class site.
The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Schedule
Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure are open 365 days a year. Opening hours usually start at 9:00 am and closing times vary. Arrive early and try to be the first person. If they open at 9 am, wait in line at 8:30 a.m. Make sure that your admission ticket is ready beforehand. You do not need to book a Universal hotel, but youll want to apply for the Universal Studios packages, which include accommodations in Orlando hotels, and vacation homes rentals.
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Tour London Right Outside Diagon Alley
Before or after you enter the famous Diagon Alley, take in the sights of London, including the Knight Bus, Hogwarts Express: Kings Cross Station, snacks, shopping, and some magical surprises. I must admit, every time I come here, I wish I could visit the half-price bookstore, but its never open I know, typical Ravenclaw!
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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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.
Rumors And Official Announcement
In January 2007, About.com reported a rumor from a “highly credible source” that the Lost Continent area within Universal’s Islands of Adventure park was 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 the new area would involve Harry Potter, and was being developed under the name “Project Strong Arm” in reference to the KUKA robotic arm technology it would utilise.Nikki Finke reported her own confirmation of the Potter park plans in April, followed shortly by a story in The Scotsman both reports were widely relayed by other media sources. On May 31, 2007, Universal officially announced the 20-acre addition recreating Hogwarts, the Forbidden Forest and Hogsmeade, with a planned opening in 2009.
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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.
Hogwarts Express Kings Cross Station
When youve thoroughly explored Diagon Alley and the streets of Harry Potters London, its time to make your way to Kings Cross Station, where youll board the Hogwarts Express and ride the train to Hogsmeade. Remember: You can only ride the Hogwarts Express if you have a Park-to-Park ticket. If youve got one-day, one-park tickets, there is no way to experience this attraction.
The wait queue is convincing and it appears as if you are waiting for a train in London. Pay attention to everything as you near the train platform. A neat mirror trick makes it look like you burst through a brick wall to reappear unharmed on Platform 9 3/4. The train whistle builds excitement, and when you see steam escaping from the locomotive, youll know youre almost ready to board.
Eight passengers are loaded onto each car and it truly looks as if youre departing London on your way to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The rides spectacle takes place on the train windows. Be prepared to see some Dementors on the four-minute trip to Hogsmeade. The show is slightly different on the return trip, so be sure you ride it both ways.
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Board The Hogwarts Express: Kings Cross Station
Unlike Harry Potter before his first year at Hogwarts, you know how to reach Platform 9 ¾: walk straight through a brick wall. Then ride the train to Hogsmeade Station to get to Hogwarts. En route youll encounter familiar faces and unexpected creatures.
Youll need a Park-to-Park ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express between Diagon Alley in Universal Studios and Hogsmeade in Universals Islands of Adventure.
Harry Potter And The Escape Of Gringotts
This one of a kind indoor rollercoaster is themed exactly like the Gringotts wizarding bank found in the books and movies. Opening in 2014 it quickly became one of the most popular attractions in Universal Studios. On the downside because it is so popular it tends to have one of the longest wait times in the parks.
Thats why we recommend Early Park Admission to our clients so much! If you take advantage of entering the park one hour earlier than other guests you can ride Harry Potter and the Escape of Gringotts and save time later on in the day!
Be sure to check out our Universal Orlando tickets page to learn how we can help you get EARLY PARK ADMISSION without staying on Universal property!
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