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Harry Potter World Florida: Secrets For The True Fan

How to Experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Enter Harry Potter World Florida theme park at Universal Islands of Adventure. Your ticket is your portkey into the storybook world of JK Rowling.

In the Harry Potter series, a portkey is an ordinary object that has been charmed to transport those who touch it to another place. Once you reach the enchanted world, youll need these Wizarding World of Harry Potter tips to ensure a magical day.

Make sure you read all the way through. Weve sprinkled in some Harry Potter secrets you wont find elsewhere and are sure to be a magical experience for Harry Potter fans!

Your portkey brings you to either Universal Studios Florida Diagon Alley, or Islands of Adventure Hogsmeade. Diagon Alley is the shopping mall of the wizarding world where young wizards go to get their schoolbooks and other supplies for the upcoming school year.

Hogsmeade is the wizarding village where upperclassman at Hogwarts go to enjoy some time away from their studies and do a little shopping for candy at Honeydukes or relax with friends over a butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks.

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!

@andrealyssa

How Many Days Do You Need At Wizarding World Of Harry Potter

If youre traveling to Universal Orlando Resort and trying to figure out how many tickets, or how many days you need at Universal Studios, heres our take. If youre on a time crunch or working with a tight vacation budget, then wed highly recommend fitting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in One Day. However, if youre a devoted Harry Potter Fan, and hope to really immerse yourself, then you should plan for one park per day. One day at Diagon Alley and one day at Hogsmeade. Two days total. Though a third day, with a park-to-park ticket, could help you get to all the magic you didnt have time for the first two days.

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Get There Super Early

Youre on vacation. You dont want to set an alarm. Thats understandable. But if you want a couple of rides on Escape From Gringotts, beat the crowds and arrive early to enjoy shorter lines during the park’s morning hours.

If seeing the sunrise isnt your jam, theres always the Express Pass, which allows you to jump to the front of lines that would otherwise require an hour-plus wait on weekdays. While it undoubtedly improves the experience, the Express Pass does make for an even more expensive trip , so know that you can still get through both parks in a single day without it.

Whats The Best Way To Do Harry Potter World

Top 5 Wizarding World of Harry Potter Attractions in Orlando

To get the most out of your visit to Harry Potter World, stay onsite at one of the Florida hotels at the Universal Orlando Resort.

There are eight Universal Orlando Resort Hotels: The Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, Lowes Royal Pacific Resort, Lowes Sapphire Falls, Aventura Hotel, Universals Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Surfside Inn and Suites, and Dockside Inn and Suites. Here are a few reasons it pays to stay on property.

Early Admission. Of all the Wizarding World of Harry Potter tips, this is the most important. Universal Studios Parks and Resorts guests are eligible to enter Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure an hour earlier than anyone else on select days.

Note that early admission is only for one park each day, so check to see which park has early admission the day you are going. And by early, we dont mean arrive when the park opens, we mean arrive 30 minutes to an hour earlier that the early entry time.

Why arrive so early? Guests are admitted to a holding area until the theme park gates open and then the attendants need to scan your tickets. Ticket scanning is quick, but if there are a lot of people, they can only scan tickets so fast and generally not all ticket booths are open. Plus, depending on who is working that day, they may allow guest in even earlier than the stated time

Tip: Universal hotel guests receive early admission on the day you check-in, as well as the day you check out.

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Harry Potter & The Forbidden Journey Inside Hogwarts Castle

The imposing Hogwarts Castle is the main landmark of Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure and home to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. This motion simulator experience will have you following Harry and his friends around the castle on a broomstick while dodging dragons and dementors. The line for this ride is almost more amazing than the ride itself. Though it may be tempting to blast through the que to get on the ride I recommend that you take the time to enjoy the back story and surprise character experiences. You will see many iconic pieces from the castle such as the mirror of Erised, the Fat Lady and other talking portraits, the notorious Sorting Hat and if you listen closely at the door of the Potions classroom you can hear a lecture from inside. Be sure to soak in every detail.

Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Cost

How much does it cost to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? Here are the items to consider in your Wizarding World Budget.

  • Wizarding World Tickets- Park to Park. $100- $170/per person, per day.
  • Parking Fees at Universal Orlando Resort. $27-$30/per day
  • Express Passes. $80- $100/ per person, per day.
  • Resort Lodging. $90- $400/ night. Explore Hotels.
  • Food and Drinks. $15- $25/ per person, per meal.
  • Souvenirs and Misc.

We typically recommend buying your ahead of time. As well as any Harry Potter outfits, so you can save money in the shops. And if youre looking for ways to save even more money check out our Wizarding World of Harry Potter on a Budget post.

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Tips For Shopping In The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter

  • The majority of the gift shops are small and narrow inside and can get crowded easily. Be aware of your surroundings to mind others’ space! Filchs Emporium of Confiscated Goods can get especially packed if it starts raining while you’re riding Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.
  • Most frog families will head straight to the rides. If getting an interactive wand is a top priority, make a beeline to Ollivanders in Diagon Alley first thing in the morning when the shop is less busy.
  • If staying at a Universal Orlando hotel , use Early Park Admission to get a hop on the crowds. Depending on the day, you can either ride Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts OR ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey AND Flight of the Hippogriff plus catch a show at Ollivanders in Hogsmeade.
  • Feeling a little claustrophobic? Get your souvenirs from the kiosks in Carkitt Market in Diagon Alley, or right outside Hogwarts Castle and Ollivanders in Hogsmeade.
  • Harry Potter merchandise can also be found at the main gift shops near each of the park entrances, Universal Studios Store in Universal CityWalk and every Universal hotel gift shop.
  • Visit the Gringotts Money Exchange at Diagon Alley to turn your muggle money into Gringotts banknotes that you can use within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
  • On-site hotel guests can have purchases delivered to their rooms.
  • Buy chocolate treats and sweets closer before you leave, so they dont melt in your bags!

Hoppy planning!

What Harry Potter World Ticket When Visiting On The Same Day

EVERY RIDE at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter | Universal Studios Orlando

The only ticket that will allow guests to visit both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeadein the same day is the Universal Orlando park-to-park ticket. Its important to note that this is also the only ticket which will allow guests to ride the Hogwarts express!

Its important to note that if you are looking for the least expensive tickets will allow you to visit one theme park per day. We suggest asking these questions when deciding which ticket is the best fit for your family. Do you plan on going and exploring the other rides at each Universal theme park? If so, then you will have plenty to do while visiting one park per day. Or do you plan on spending all of your time in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? If so, you might be better off purchasing a Universal park-to-park ticket so you can explore both Harry Potter World lands.

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Tips For Visiting Diagon Alley At The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter In Orlando

Your Harry Potter Orlando experience actually begins outside of Diagon Alley in the London waterfront area of Universal Studios Florida. Its worth spending a few minutes in this area adjacent to the Harry Potter world to chat with the Knight Bus conductor and search for Kreacher the house-elf in the upstairs window of 12 Grimmauld Place before heading into Diagon Alley.

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When youre ready to enter the Wizarding World, you may be wondering where to find the entrance to Diagon Alley. To better keep out muggles, its hidden behind a brick wall just past Leicester Square Station.

Once inside the Harry Potter theme park, youll be staring right at the large Ukranian Ironbelly dragon that sits atop Gringotts Bank. It really does breathe fire . If you want to catch a photo or video of the fire-breathing dragon in action, listen for the dragons low growl and youll know hes warming up for his next performance.

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First Stop: Diagon Alley At Universal Studios Or Hogsmeade At Islands Of Adventure

Alright, youve got your tickets now, which park should you visit first? It really depends on you and what youd like to see first. If going on the Wizarding Worlds newest ride, Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, is a priority , then wed recommend going to Islands of Adventure first so you can get that out of the way first as the line can get exceptionally long.

Otherwise, I like going to Diagon Alley at Universal Studios first, then ending the day at Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure. Why? Well, because its the same thing Harry did, of course! Think of this as your introduction to the magical world before experiencing the wonders of Hogwarts.

Remember, whichever park you decide to go to first, as long as you have a Universal ticket with park-hopping, getting to the other part of the Wizarding World is easy with the Hogwarts Express.

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Get Candy At Honeydukes Or Ice Cream At Florean Fortescues

You of course can’t go to Hogsmeade without visiting Honeydukes, the famous wizarding candy shop. Pick up a Chocolate Frog, some Fizzing Whizzbees , and of course some Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans.

Play a fun game with your Every Flavor Beans: don’t look at the flavor guide, and simply hand them out to your friends and have them guess the flavor!

If ice cream is more your speed, be sure to stop into Florean Fortescues Ice-Cream Parlour in Diagon Alley they even sell butterbeer-flavored ice cream, which is very popular.

Dont Skip Knockturn Alley

Orlando Florida

Knockturn Alley is a little spooky area tucked away down one of Diagon Alleys dark corridors. Its easy to miss. The shop within Knockturn Alley is called Borgin and Burkes and is filled with skulls, Death Eater masks, and other spooky souvenirs that sinister wizards may enjoy. Here you can also view the Vanishing Cabinet from the Harry Potter films.

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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.

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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

Are The Wands At Universal Studios Worth It

To enjoy all that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal has to offer then yes! We have visited numerous times and always bring our interactive wands, but even if visiting the one time, you can cast spells, join in the fun and have a great souvenir to bring home.

Whilst it isnt hard to find toy wands and collectibles online, Universals interactive wands are in a league of their own.

Interactive Harry Potter Wands at Universal Studios use animatronics and special effects to help you cast real spells throughout The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Use them to make magic happen at more than two dozen locations at the Universal Florida parks!

The interactive wands bought at Ollivanders are also worth every penny due to their durability. The interactive wands dont need batteries and if the reflective tip stops working, Ollivanders offer a free wand repair which takes less than a minute, so you can be back casting spells in no time!

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Can I Switch Around The Days

The key to this plan is making four visits to the Wizarding World, either first thing in the morning or in the evening, before the park closes. You could certainly do this itinerary with four morning visits only, but you would be missing the ambiance of evening-time in Diagon Alley and The Nighttime Lights at Hogsmeade.

The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Tips

FULL TOUR of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter | Universal Studios Orlando

How to avoid long lines: Arriving early may help you avoid long lines during the first hour of the morning. During the day, however, the lines grow long, and purchasing Express Passes may be a better option to avoid the lines.

Take a bunch of pictures: Yes, the attractions are fun, but the incredible attention to detail is what makes The Wizarding World of Harry Potter memorable. Why not take as many pictures as possible to capture and cherish the moment forever?

Renting a locker: Some attractions that prohibit backpacks or purses offer free temporary lockers to hold your items. You can save some time and jump on another ride more quickly if you rent a locker, ride a few attractions back-to-back, then come back and pick up your items.

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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.

The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter

For the most up-to-date information on Universal Orlando Resort safety guidelines, please visit: New Safety Guidelines. Same Fun.

So, you never got that letter from Hogwarts? Youre not alone. If youve ever fantasized of ditching your Muggle status and joining the ranks of wizards and witches and surrounding yourself with all things Harry Potter in the process prepare to have your dreams come true at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort!

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Too wildly imaginative and expansive to be contained by any one theme park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is split between Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida and Hogsmeade at Universals Islands of Adventure, with the Hogwarts Express connecting the two. Before you know it, youll be casting spells, quaffing Butterbeer, going to a Quidditch match and even facing off against Lord Voldemort himself.

In short, its the fantasy adventure of a lifetime and its waiting for you exclusively at Universal Orlando!

Please note: Depending on the timing of your visit, some experiences may be temporarily modified. Learn more about healthy travel, and check with your favorite Universal Orlando Resort theme parks and other venues for their current status.

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