Visit The Parks At Night
Lastly, early park entry is great, but there’s also something magical about visiting Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley after dark.
This won’t be possible every night , but be sure to check the opening hours of each park for every day of your trip to see if you can catch either of these parks after dark.
I promise it’s worth it!
You can read Stephen’s post about our weekend here.
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Enjoy A Harry Potter Sweet Treat
After seeing London, make your way back to Diagon Alley for an ice cream cone at Florean Fortescues Ice-Cream Parlour.
Here you can get just about any flavor you can think of as either hard-pack ice cream or soft-serve ice cream. Our favorites are butterbeer,sticky toffee pudding, and earl grey and lavender.
Buy An Interactive Wand
Don’t think this one is just for kids! If you’re going to go to Ollivander’s to get a wand of your own, be sure to get the interactive version!
Throughout both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, there are interactive shop windows, fountains, and statues where you can wave your wand and bring something to life.
It was so fun to watch faces of both kids AND adults light up when they made something move or made a fountain spring to life with the correct flick of a wand.
I didn’t know about this feature of the parks before arriving the first time , but thought it was genius and a fantastic way to make people feel like they were really part of the magical world.
Once I got a wand of my own, it only made the Harry Potter parks feel more magical. I had so much fun following my map to all the spots where I could cast a spell and cause it to rain or make a feather float. So. Much. FUN.
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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
Two Amazing Lands At Two Theme Parks
Please note that youll need admission to Universal Studios Florida and Universals Islands of Adventure to experience all of the wonders of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. A Park-to-Park admission ticket or an Annual Pass will grant you access to both parks, as well as the Hogwarts Express.
Travel Tip: Staying at one of Universal Orlando Resorts official hotels will allow you to enter The Wizarding World of Harry Potter up to one hour before the parks open with Early Park Admission.
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Hogwarts Express Kings Cross Station
This train station is just near the Diagon Alley entrance and features a neat trick you can capture from the top landing, of someone walking through the doorway beyond as they disappear. Lines are typically long at this station, so have your phone, or camera, ready at the top landing if you hope to grab a photo of it happening.
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.
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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.
The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Tips
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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Benefits Of Buying Your Universal Orlando Tickets Online
Save $10 off the gate prices
FREE Early Park Admission
FREE Wizarding World of Harry Potter Guide with every ticket order
Save time by printing your tickets at an electronic kiosk at Universal Orlando vs the long ticket lines
Call Destinations in Florida at 877-918-8941 or Message Via FB Messenger to Book Your Universal Orlando Tickets
Where To Get Butterbeer
Butterbeer is a famous drink from the Harry Potter books. It is a very sweet drink that is a cross between cream soda and butterscotch flavor. It is not alcoholic, unless adults specifically order an alcoholic version.
Butterbeer comes in several different varieties in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. These include:
- Frozen Butterbeer
- Cold Butterbeer (found at Leaky Cauldron, Hogs Head, The Hopping Pot, Fountain of Fair Fortune, Three Broomsticks and food service carts
- Hot Butterbeer
- Butterbeer Ice Cream
- Butterbeer Fudge
- Potted Cream
You might be able to get your Butterbeer served in a souvenir tankard if you choose the cold or frozen varieties.
Be aware, you cannot buy butterbeer outside of Wizarding World of Harry Potter. There are no other locations to purchase the drink at Universal Orlando Resort. You cannot buy butterbeer at Disney World, either.
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Where To Get Harry Potter Wands At Universal Orlando
There are two different types of wands at Wizarding World of Harry Potter:
- Interactive wands
- Standard wands
Interactive wands have a half-sphere tip at the end. It looks like see-through plastic. These wands have state-of-the-art technology that allows you to cast spells throughout Harry Potter land. Of course, these will be more expensive than the standard wands that have no technology in them.
The only place to get interactive wands that magically work throughout the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is at Universal Orlando Resort. While you can buy wizard wands outside of the theme parks, they will not have interactive tips.
Interactive wands will come in a box with a map of spell locations in both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. There are 34 official spell-casting spots in total between the two lands, but there are some extra bonus spots not on the map.
The most popular place to buy Harry Potter Wands is at Ollivanders Wand Shop. This wand shop is located in both lands, Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.
Other locations to purchase official Harry Potter wands include:
- Wands by Gregorovitch
- Universal Orlando gift shops at the front of each theme park
- Universals Official Merchandise Store Online
Prices of interactive wands start at $59. Standard wands start at $55.
If you dont need the interactive wands, consider buying one from , where you can save more than 50% on wands. You can also have it shipped to your hotel to save space in your luggage.
Why You Should Go
You don’t have to be a huge Harry Potter fan to appreciate the genius of the magnificently whimsical Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which invites muggles to lose themselves in JK Rowling’s imagination. First opened in 2010 and expanded in 2014, this is theme park development at its absolute best. Not since Cinderella Castle has there been such a fantastically realized experience, and today its only rival for imaginative scale and attention to detail is the recently opened Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Alan Gilmore and Stuart Craig, art director and production designer for the films, collaborated closely with the Universal Orlando Resort engineers to create what is without exception the most fantastically realized themed experience in Florida. The detail and authenticity tickle the fancy at every turn, from the screeches of the mandrakes in the shop windows to the groans of Moaning Myrtle in the bathroom.
One hour early admission is available for guests at Universal Orlando Resort hotels.
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How To See More Of The Wizarding World In Less Time
I wont lie to you. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter gets very crowded.
We visited Universal at what is a slower time of year and the attractions in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley were still jammed. If you want to see as much of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter as possible in the shortest amount of time, there are some strategies you probably need to employ.
First, you can use Universals Express Pass. This is a skip-the-line pass that works on most attractions at Universals two theme parks. This includes within The Wizarding World, with the exception of Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.
There are three ways to get an Express Pass. The easiest way is to book one of Universals on-site Premier hotels. If you stay at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel or Loews Royal Pacific Resort, youll get a free Express Pass Unlimited to use throughout your visit. If you have a Premier-level Universal annual pass, youre entitled to Express Pass access beginning at 4 p.m.
Otherwise, you can purchase Express Passes:
Be aware that the list of participating rides and attractions is subject to change, so check with Universal Orlandos website before you purchase an Express Pass to make sure the rides youre most interested in are included.
The best strategy to ensure you do as much as possible within the World of Harry Potter, short of a VIP tour, is to rope-drop Hagrids at the parks opening and then use your Express Pass for all the other attractions.
Butterbeer: Offered In A Few Varieties
- Cold Butterbeer
- Diagon Alley: Leaky Cauldron, The Hopping Pot
- Hogsmeade: Three Broomsticks, Hogs Head, Butterbeer Street Carts
- Hogsmeade: The Three Broomsticks and Hogs Head
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Universal Orlando Resort Parking And Getting To The Parks
If youre traveling to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and not within walking distance of the parks, then youll need to pay for parking and enter through Universal CityWalk. This area of Universal Orlando Resort includes shops, restaurants, and more all available without the need for a park ticket. In fact, Universal CityWalk is one of the best places to visit if youre just looking for something fun to do. That said, you can find Harry Potter merchandise in the gift shops, pizza places, specialty shops, and restaurants, you will want to make time for. Check out the Universal CityWalk map for a list of the places to peruse. Once youve taken in CityWalk, you can venture to either of the two parks ahead Universal Studios Florida, or Islands of Adventure.
Visiting The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter For The First Time
Hopefully, this guide has helped you get a handle on ALL THE THINGS you can do, see and eat at the Universal Orlando Wizarding World of Harry Potter. From Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley to the Hogwarts Express, there is so much to do. We hope you take some time to take in the magic and love it as much as we do!
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Otros Items De Inters
- En la entrada de The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, hay una recreación de la estación de Hogsmeade en la que se encuentra al conductor de la locomotora del Expreso de Hogwarts en determinados horarios.
- Estudiantes de Beauxbatons y Durmstrang realizan una coreografía similar a la vista en la película Harry Potter y el cáliz de fuego llamada “Triwizard Spirit Rally” en los terrenos de Hogwarts. El anfitrión es un Prefecto.
Coreografía de Durmstrang.
- Estudiantes del coro de Hogwarts cantan canciones de las películas de Harry Potter.
- Se encuentra un banco ATM de Gringotts .
- La voz de Myrtle la Llorona puede ser oída en los baños de Hogsmeade.
- Un poster en movimiento de Sirius Black puede ser visto en las afueras de Las Tres Esbobas.
- Un robot Buckbeak también puede ser visto en la atracción Flight of the Hippogriff.
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.
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.
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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Slink Around The Infamous Knockturn Alley
Youre a mess, Harry, skulking around Knockturn Alley. Dodgy place. Dont want no one to see you there. Rubeus Hagrid, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
If the Dark Arts are your thing, youll love wandering these dark corridors. Be sure to stop by the notorious Borgin and Burkes, home to powerful Dark Arts objects. In the courtyard around the corner from the shop, look for a bird in a cage in a window and use your Interactive Wand to see the magical effects on the bird. More on Borgin and Burkes and Interactive Wands below.
PRO TIP: Knockturn Alley is the coolest place in Diagon Alley, literally. The sun never seems to shine on this dark street, which means its nice and cold. The perfect spot to come to and escape the heat.