Hotels Near The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
If youre traveling to the Universal Orlando Resort its important to be strategic about where you stay. For instance, if youre hoping to get access to Early Theme Park Admission for the parks, consider staying at a Universal Orlando Hotel. We loved Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, which was both within walking distance and has boat transportation available. Plus, the Walking Path from Universal Studios to Resort Hotels connects other local hotels as well and offers a budget-friendly way to avoid parking fees. But of course, there are plenty of places nearby to stay. If youre also doing Walt Disney World during this stay, you can easily stay at any Disney Resort and simply drive over on your Wizarding World day.
Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey
Soar above the castle grounds as you join Harry Potter and his friends on an unforgettably thrilling adventure, while encountering an array of magical creatures.
Pro Tip: Take your time in the queue for this one so you can appreciate all the details of the Hogwarts corridors, including Dumbledores office, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, the Gryffindor common room, and more.
Wiseacres Wizarding Supplies And Scribulus
All kinds of Wizarding wares can be found at Wiseacres. Its veritable one-stop-sorcery shop from crystal balls, and binoculars to purses and apparel. Pay attention to the amazing telescopes and globes overhead. Muggles looking to follow in J.K. Rowlings footsteps should also shop at the connected store Scribbulus for quills, journals and stationary.
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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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Seasonal: Christmas In The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
Location: Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley
Diagon Alley, London, and Hogsmeade are transformed with festive décor and brilliant lighting during the holidays. Not only do the shows incorporate some favorite holiday tunes, but look out for special treats and drinks! The atmosphere is simply brimming with excitement.
Pro Tip: Plan some time to take in all the detail of the beautiful decorations.
Stay At A Universal Hotel
There are several advantages to purchasing a Universal Orlando Vacation Package and staying at one of Universals hotel properties.
For one, you will be much closer to the theme parks so you will have easy, through complimentary transportation or walking paths, access to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and all of Universals attractions. This is especially convenient if you do not have a car.
If you stay at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel®, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, your Universal Express passes are included and complimentary for each day of your visit, as well as priority seating at select restaurants throughout the resort.
All Universal on-site guests receive Early Park Admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour prior to the parks opening.
You can compare the Universal hotel perks here.
Pro Tip: Universals Unlimited Express Pass is included from the day of check-in until the day of check-out, so you can get 2 days of Express Pass for your family for just the cost of a 1-night stay at a Premiere Resort. If youd like help planning and booking your Universal Orlando Resort vacation package, please contact the totally free Orlando vacation specialists at The Vacationeer. today!
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If I Use Early Park Admission Do I Still Have To Get To The Park Early
Yes, we cant stress this enough! In the case of Diagon Alley, and with the intention of riding Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, we recommend that you get to the turnstiles at least 30 minutes before Early Park Admission starts. Universal occasionally begins to let guests into the park a little before the official opening time, and you dont want to be at the back of the pack, especially if youre trying to hit a headliner first thing.
Hogsmeade Vs Diagon Alley: Based On The Rides
A big part of the fun at Universal is the roller coasters. Unlike Disney or other parks, which mostly focus on family-friendly rides, Universal is known for its thrilling coasters. Not just in the Wizarding World, but all throughout the parks, there is an emphasis on adrenaline-fueled coasters that speed, flip, and twist. So when comparing Diagon Alley vs. Hogsmeade Universal, it just makes sense to start with the rides.
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Practical Tips & Getting Around
11. Download Orlando Studios Apps
Make the most of your time at the Universal Orlando Resort with 3 apps that will help you navigate the park. This isnt just part of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter tips, these apps are for the entire park and well worth downloading.
Wondering how to use the apps if youre travelling without a phone plan? Well
12. Use Free Park Wifi
Just sign on the park wifi! The free network is called UNIVERSAL and can be accessed from anywhere in the park. Refresh ride wait times and pull up your tickets when you board the Hogwarts Express.
13. Ride the Hogwarts Express
Youre going to walk a lot anyways, so spare yourself the trek from Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade. When the wait for the Hogwarts express was 40 minutes, we decided to walk. It turns out that this takes about an hour. Enjoy the stroll if you like, but know that walking is not faster than the taking the train if the wait is 60 minutes or less.
Learned the hard way for me I walked, muggle move. Heres hope these Wizarding World of Harry Potter tips can spare you some hassle!
14. Watch the Light Show
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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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 Ultimate Guide To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter At Universal Orlando
From Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley, here’s everything you need to know about the Harry Potter rides, restaurants, and shops at Universal Orlando.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort consists of two immersive lands based on the Harry Potter books and films. The Diagon Alley area is located in Universal Studios Florida and Hogsmeade is located in Islands of Adventure. The two Harry Potter theme park lands are connected by the Hogwarts Express.
Both of the Harry Potter lands at Universal Studios have themed shops, rides, dining, and entertainment, and the best way to travel between the two is on the Hogwarts Express train. If you want to hop on the train or visit both lands in one day, youll need to purchase Park-to-Park tickets that include both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure for your visit.
Both Harry Potter Orlando theme park lands accept Express Passes, an add-on to your regular park ticket that lets you skip the line on many rides and attractions. You can purchase Express Passes online or inside the park, and its included as a free perk if youre staying in a Universal Premier hotel.
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 Do I Go About Using Early Park Admission On My Check
The answer to this question depends on whether you are staying at a Universal property or at one of the independent partner hotels.
If you are at the former and want to use Early Park Admission on your check-in day, we recommend arriving at your resort one to two hours before early entry officially starts. Although your room will most likely not be available just yet, guests may still check in to receive a room key for each member of his party, to serve as proof of your hotel stay . Leave your cell number with the front desk so that they can text you when your room is ready, and drop your bags at luggage services. If you need theme-park admission, you can visit the Universal ticket desk at the venue to purchase them . Thats it youre ready to hit the parks!
The Shops At Universal Studios
- Weasleys Wizard Wheezes: Puking Pastilles and other prank items devised by the Weasley twins
- Gringotts Exchange: trade U.S. currency for Gringotts bank notes, which can be used in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade
- Borgin & Burkes: Death Eater masks and movie replicas
- Globus Mundi: passport holders, luggage tags, and other necessities for your magical travels
- Madame Malkins Robes for All Occasions: clothing and jewelry
- Magical Menagerie: plush toys featuring magical creatures, including fan fave Buckbeak
- Wiseacres Wizarding Equipment: unique house merchandise
Early Park Admission To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
Typically, Early Park Admission will allow guests into either The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure or The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida. To find out if you will have EPA at Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade during your visit, click on the relevant dates in our crowd calendar.
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Universal Studios Early Admission
Universal Studios Orlando Resort Guests and other select guests get access to Early Admission at Universal Orlando Resort. Which season youre traveling can make a difference in which Park will offer Early Admission so its very important that you check before you plan. Especially if youre hoping to make the most of your days at Wizarding World.
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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Take A Break And See A Show
After enjoying the rides, it might be a good time to see one of the shows staged in Hogsmeade throughout the day.
When we visited, we saw the Frog Choir and the Triwizard Spirit Rally. The stage is small but we never had trouble getting a close-up spot as long as we arrived a few minutes before showtime. Check the paper guide given out at the park entrance or the Universal Orlando app for showtimes.
What To Know About The Diagon Alley Shops At The Harry Potter Orlando Theme Park
There are quite a few shops in Diagon Alley and they are many of the same ones you see in the Harry Potter books and movies. Pop into a few even if you dont plan on making a purchase because the theming is so on point. Here are the shops you can visit in Diagon Alley.
Weasleys Wizard Wheezes
Fred and George Weasley are well known for their mischievous pranks. This shop has love potions, Bombtastic Bombs, and everything else you need to pull off your own practical jokes.
Madam Malkins Robes for All Occasions
Youll look like you stepped right off the pages of J.K. Rowlings books in the robes, school uniforms, and other finery available here.
Wiseacres Wizarding Equipment
Wiseacres is a great shop for souvenirs like Harry Potter T-shirts, ornaments, mugs, and glassware. The shop also carries a selection of must-have wizarding world supplies.
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This is the place inside the Harry Potter theme park to adopt your very own unicorn, owl, or Pygmy Puff. Dont miss the large snake in the window outside the store.
Quality Quidditch Supplies
If your family is looking for an alternative to matching Hogwarts robes, why not matching Quidditch jerseys? Get them here along with other sporty paraphernalia.
From parchments to journals to quills and ink, this Harry Potter theme park shop is a writers dream.
Sugarplums Sweet Shop
Wands by Gregorovitch
Gringotts Money Exchange
If You Want To See A Show Get There Early
It’s probably not the main reason you’ve come to the Wizarding World, but its street shows are a nice diversion while you toss back a butterbeer. But they’re almost always crowded, so keep an eye on the showtimes posted throughout the park and find a spot early.
The Triwizard Spirit Rally is ripped right from the frames of The Goblet of Fire and it’s performed several times throughout the day, making it easy to catch. Plan to close your day in Hogsmeade with the Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts in Islands of Adventure, an incredibly photogenic experience.
My personal favorite, however, is the Tales of Beedle the Bard. Puppeteers perform “The Tale of the Three Brothers” and “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” the former bearing some resemblance to the Deathly Hallows movie version. It’s a welcome change of pace inside a park that’s generally focused on King Kong-sized experiences.
Dustin Nelson is a News Writer with Thrillist.
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Should I Go To Hogsmeade Or Diagon Alley First
Now that we have discussed the best Harry Potter park, you might be wondering should I go to Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley first? And as a general rule of thumb we always suggest visiting Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure first. This is especially true when using early park admission as the wait times for Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey will always be longer than the Escape from Gringotts later in the day.
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