The Simpsons Ride Universal Studios Hollywood
The Simpsons ride in the universal studio is a thrill ride with a minimum height of 40. Riders under 48 need to be accompanied by a supervising companion. Grab a seat on the ride and smash through the park with maggie, Lisa, Bart, Marge, and Homer in a non-stop adventure. The action feels real because of the indoor simulation, and you should watch for cameos of Simpson characters as you fly across Springfield.
Head Straight For Diagon Alley
There are loads of worthwhile attractions at both parks. Nonetheless, skip the Flaming Moe and head straight for Diagon Alley. The level of immersion here is unlike anything else youll find at the park. Stand by the opening into the alley near the Leaky Cauldron and watch the unbridled joy that spreads across each visitor’s face as they enter. Its that stunning.
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“Watch in awe from Hogsmeade village as projections are cast against the majestic backdrop of the castle,” reads Universal’s description of the show. “Embrace your Hogwarts pride as the four houses are celebrated in stunning light and sound. Its a beautiful way to end your day at Universals Islands of Adventure.”
Universal Studios Hollywood is also bringing back its Special Effects Show from July 1 to August 16 . While not Harry Potter-themed, the show takes guests through how some of the effects seen in movies are done.
As in previous years, it will be at the park’s Castle Theater but will be updated to feature effects from some of the most recent films.
“The Special Effects Show has been a long established part of Universal Studios Hollywood’s Theme Park history,” Universal writes of the show. “With various different renderings over the years, the newest update features some fan favorites from past versions and some brand new, never-before-seen special effects, including a thrilling stunt performers by some of Hollywood’s best.”
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Awards Honours And Recognition
The Harry Potter series has been recognised by a host of awards since the initial publication of Philosopher’s Stone including a platinum award from the Whitaker Gold and Platinum Book Awards , three , two Book Awards , the inaugural , the , among others. In 2000, was nominated for a , and in 2001, won said award. Honours include a commendation for the , a short listing for the , and numerous listings on the notable books, editors’ Choices, and best books lists of the , The New York Times, , and .
In 2002, sociologist Andrew Blake named Harry Potter a along with the likes of and . In 2003, four of the books were named in the top 24 of the BBC’s survey of the best loved novels in the UK. A 2004 study found that books in the series were commonly read aloud in elementary schools in . Based on a 2007 online poll, the U.S. listed the series in its “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children”. named Rowling as a runner-up for its 2007 award, noting the social, moral, and she has given . Three of the books placed among the “Top 100 Chapter Books” of all time, or children’s novels, in a 2012 survey published by : Sorcerer’s Stone ranked number three, Prisoner of Azkaban 12th, and Goblet of Fire 98th. In 2012, the of the in featured a 100-foot tall rendition of Lord Voldemort in a segment designed to show off the UK’s cultural icons. In November 2019, the listed the Harry Potter series on its list of the .
What Universal Park Is Best For Harry Potter
The first thing you need to know about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida is that it is at two different theme parks located right next to each other. Diagon Alley is at Universal Studios theme park and Hogsmeade is at Islands of Adventure. Visit both for a perfect Florida weekend getaway.
Both have incredible Harry Potter theming and offer slightly different experiences. Im just a tiny bit partial to Hogsmeade, but well talk about that later in the article.
Guests can ride the Hogwarts Express in between the two parks, which is more than just transportation its a ride in itself with a different experience each way.
However, to do this, you must have a ticket that allows you to visit both lands within a single day.
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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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Which Park Is Better: Diagon Alley Or Hogsmeade
If youre looking for Harry Potter rides, the Hogsmeade area in Islands of Adventure has three of them compared to just one ride at the Diagon Alley area in Universal Studios Florida . On the other hand, Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida has more shops and restaurants.
In the end, though, theyre both great and it probably comes down to personal preference. Do you have a favorite scene or location from the Harry Potter books? If so, you may find yourself drawn to one area more than another, but you should absolutely experience both parts of the Harry Potter theme park in Orlando.
Universal Studios Hollywood Annual Pass
You can get an annual pass to universal studios Hollywood and save $10 when purchasing it through their website. The annual passes include the California Neighbor Pass for $179, the Silver Annual Pass for $8 monthly, the gold annual pass for $13 monthly, and the platinum annual pass for $26 monthly.
What If I Cant Get Early Park Admission
Guests without Early Park Admission can still get some advantage over everyone else, if theyre willing to get to the front gates just as early. If early admission is at Universal Studios Florida, team members will usually though not always start processing visitors through the turnstiles during the EPA period and allow them to queue in the front of the park, typically by Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. This enables two time-saving strategies: if Despicable Me Minion Mayhem is operational that morning, guests can actually ride it right away, before the park officially opens and then, afterwards, they can start lining up for Rip Ride Rockit, Shrek 4D, or Transformers: The Ride 3D. Considering how long Minion Mayhems line can grow as the day goes on, this can really save you a good chunk of time.
For more tips and strategies for visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, we recommend that you read through our page on making your trip to the Wizarding World a success.
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Alcoholic Drinks In Diagon Alley
Now that we have covered the basics lets start to look at the individual parks and the next most popular question we receive which is, is there alcohol in Diagon Alley? And both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade serve different varieties of Harry Potter beer and Harry Potter mixed drinks. With the most popular alcoholic drinks in Diagon Alley being the Wizards Brew and the Dragon Scale beer.
What To Know About The Hogsmeade Shops At The Harry Potter Orlando Theme Park
There arent nearly as many shopping locations in Hogsmeade as there are in Diagon Alley, but there are more than enough to meet all your wizarding needs.
Honeydukes sells many of the same treats found at Sugarplums Sweet Shop in Diagon Alley. If candy isnt your thing, go for the Butterbeer Fudge or Cauldron Cakes in the bakery case.
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Ollivanders Wand Shop
To ensure there are enough wands to go around, there are Ollivanders locations in both of the Harry Potter lands at Universal Orlando. Both locations have stacks upon stacks of interactive and non-interactive wands, and both hold wand selection ceremonies throughout the day.
Dervish and Banges
Dervish and Banges is your home for Golden Snitches, brooms, and Hogwarts clothing and accessories. Dont forget to check out the real live textbook, The Monster Book of Monsters. Luckily, its in a cage because this book bites!
Filchs Emporium of Confiscated Goods
This is another good souvenir stop where youll also find authentic-looking replica props from the Harry Potter films.
In addition to letter-writing supplies, you can mail letters and postcards to your friends and family with a real Hogsmeade postmark.
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How Has Universal Been Doing Lately
After a lull in the early days of the pandemic, theme parks have seen a surge of demand from people tired of restrictions and looking for something fun.
As a result, popular theme parks have been trying to one-up each other by offering visitors something that the other doesn’t have.
For Universal, most recent new feature announcements include two escape rooms modeled after “Back To The Future” and “Jurassic World.”
Disney , meanwhile, recently opened new rides like “Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure” and the “Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind” rollercoaster in Epcot. It is also in the process of testing the much-discussed Tron Lightcycle Run roller coaster at Orlando’s Magic Kingdom.
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.
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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.
What Are The Beers In Harry Potter
Hogs Head at Universal was the first exclusive beer that was created for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Its only found at, you guessed it, Hogs Head Pub Universal Studios in the middle of Hogsmeade Village. If you like the taste of Killians Irish red, then youll most likely enjoy this smooth red ale.
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What Is Early Park Admission
Guests with Early Park Admission have the benefit of entering either Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure and, additionally, Volcano Bay an hour before the parks open to the general public. For most of the year, this early-entry period at the theme parks starts at 8:00 am, meaning everyone else will be allowed in around 9:00 am. During the busier seasons, Universal may open one or more of the parks an hour before that, with EPA starting at 7:00 am and allowing other guests in at 8:00. And during the peak season, Universal may opt to have EPA at both theme parks simultaneously.
Even with Early Park Admission, we recommend arriving at the turnstiles 30 minutes before the gates open, although you may want to get there 45 minutes or a full hour beforehand if youre heading to one of the most popular rides or if youre visiting during a busy period.
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. The interior of Gringotts and Forbbin Journey are some of the most immersive scenery youve have ever seen.
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 practical jokes in Weasleys Wheezes and get ready for the dark arts in Borgin and Burkes, which is in the darkness of Knockturn Alley.
Butterbeer: Butterbeer, is a sweet and irresistible drink that is delicious to all magicians. Available in frozen, cold, or hot, even as ice cream or fudge, butterbeer sure quenches the thirsty palate. You can even get a souvenir cup for your drink.
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Ride The Hogwarts Express In Both Directions
As long as were on the topic: ride the Hogwarts Express in both directions. This magical train is more than just transportation between parks: Youll pass through a pillar to enter Platform 9¾ and the sights you’ll see are different in both directions, making it well worth riding twice, even if you dont have to.
Where To Buy The Must
You already know theres plenty of places to purchase wands, robes, sweets, and souvenirs in the Wizarding World, but if you want to be extra prepared you can purchase many of these items on Universals website before you even arrive at the Harry Potter theme parks.
You can also get them in your hotel, at the large souvenir stores at the entrance to both Universals Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida, or at the Universal Studios Store at CityWalk. The biggest benefit to buying your merch outside of the park areas is that youll have more time to experience the rides and appreciate the attention to detail that went into making the areas feel like Harry Potters world. Window shopping and browsing is more fun than standing in line, anyway.
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Get Lost In The Plot Of The Tales Of Beedle The Bard
Youre never too old for storytime! The Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts uses a trunk full of props and puppets to retell the famous wizarding fairytales: The Fountain of Fair Fortune and The Tale of the Three Brothers.PRO TIP: Download The Official Universal Orlando Resort App to see the latest showtimes and find out when you can catch a concert or a story.
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.
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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.
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.
Do You Have To Pay Extra For The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
No, the Harry Potter theme park areas are included in your ticket price for whichever Universal Studios park youre visiting . However, to get the full Wizarding World experience, youll need to purchase a Park-to-Park pass that includes same-day admission to both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida. Thats because the Hogwarts Express ride connects the two parks and can only be accessed by those who have passes to both.
You should also consider splurging on a Universal Express Pass that will let you skip the long lines at the rides in Harry Potters Wizarding World in order to have the very best experience. And, you may want to consider staying at a Universal Premier hotel in order to take advantage of Universals Early Park Admission perk. Because the only thing more magical than the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is having the whole theme park practically to yourself.
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