Insiders Guide To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter consists of two different areas in two different theme parks. Hogsmeade, located in Islands of Adventure, recreates the only all-wizarding village in Scotland, replete with the majestic Hogwarts Castle Diagon Alley, snuggled inside Universal Studios Florida, is a hustling, bustling city block consisting of several side streets, all dominated by the imposing Gringotts Wizarding Bank. Both are, simply put, amazing areas, with so many unique attractions and experiences hidden around every corner that it just wasnt enough to give you the basic information on the rides, shops, and eateries we have taken it to a whole new level with our Insiders Guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
This page includes a history of the development of the Wizarding World at Universal Orlando Resort, a description of the lands layouts, and some vacation-planning tips.
Harry Potter World Rides Universal Florida Vs California
Soaring through the Forbidden Forest or roaming the halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the Universal Studios Harry Potter rides are amazing. So, to start our Harry Potter World coast to coast comparison, lets start with what rides are offered at Hogsmeade. The Harry Potter rides in both Universal parks are mostly the same when it comes to Hogsmeade, but Orlando definitely has gotten some updates over the years. So what are the difference in rides when comparing Harry Potter World Hollywood Vs Orlando?
Try The Fun Treats But Theyre Not All Great
The most exciting part of Harry Potter World, for me, is all of the fun wizarding treats
I made it my personal mission to try as many of the treats as possible, and many were very good! However, some were also super disappointing.
But as a quick preview:
- Definitely have lunch at the Leaky Cauldron or the Three Broomsticks
- Have butterbeer ice cream from Florean Fortescues Ice-Cream Parlour
- Drink butterbeer at the Hogshead
- Have a Fizzy Orange Juice at the Hopping Pot
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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!
Accio Tips And Tricks
More than a decade into its existence, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has become a must-visit attraction at Universal Studios Orlando. For the Potter devout, its Mecca. For people who honestly don’t give a damn, the park’s enormous castle and winding streets are still magical. And whether you grew up alongside Harry, Ron, and Hermione or can barely pronounce petrificus totalus, it’s guaranteed to be a wildly immersive experience.
As any muggle might expect after being cast into the world of wizards, theres a lot to take in, and your first trip can be more overwhelming than discovering your pet rat is actually an old man. Fortunately, there are plenty of tips and tricks that’ll help you discover the best of the Wizarding World. Here’s what to know.
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Get Your Wands And Spellbooks Ready
Seriously, if youre a fan of Harry Potter, this Airbnb, called Wizards Way, is the perfect getaway. The rooms seem like theyve all been copied and pasted from the chapter illustrations they mimic house common areas, the Forbidden Forest, the Whomping Willow, Platform 9-3/4 and more.
See for yourself:
A post shared by The WDW Couple on Jun 7, 2020 at 5:45pm PDT
Of course, the incredible detail in the rooms isnt the only talking point. The place offers some serious interactivity, including ambient lighting or steam from the Hogwarts Express smokestack. Theres also a pool in which you can pretend to open your Triwizard Tournament egg, and a theater, where you can binge-watch all the movies . Youd definitely want to make a few of these magical Harry Potter recipes in the kitchen, too.
The villa is located at the Champions Gate Resort grounds, so visitors can also use the resort amenities, like golf courses and a waterpark.
If youre a Harry Potter fan, youll want to hear Daniel Radcliffe read the first chapter of The Sorcerers Stone.
Eat Lunch Early To Miss The Lunch
The service at both the Leaky Caldron and the Three Broomsticks is relatively quick, likely due to the semi-limited menu. However, the lines get very long around 12pm.
In order to avoid waiting in line for lunch, I recommend going early, around 11am, or later in the day, after 3pm.
The food at these restaurants isnt gourmet or life changing, but its such a fun experience to eat at both. I definitely recommend making time for it!
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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
Guide To Diagon Alley In The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter At Universal Studios Florida
Welcome, Harry, to Diagon Alley. Heres where you get your quills and your ink, and over there all your bits and bobs for doing your wizardry. Rubeus Hagrid, Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone
Just like Diagon Alley was one of Harry Potters first glimpses of the Wizarding World, working the VIP Preview for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida was one of my first experiences as a team member at Universal Orlando Resort. Ill never forget the moment I first passed through the bricks and saw the iconic street all aglow!
Theres so much to see and do here, from the thrilling ride beneath Gringotts Wizarding Bank, to the Wizarding Worlds most famous shops. You wont want to miss a thing, so heres everything you need to know.
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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.
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.
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The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Diagon Alley At Universal Studios Florida
Experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley as you walk the familiar streets of London, passing buskers, red telephone booths and Kings Cross Station. You will know youre close to Diagon Alley once you see the Knight Bus. Just pass through the brick archway and catch your first glimpse of this hidden magical marketplace.
Once inside, grab a cup of Butterbeer or Pumpkin Juice from iconic establishments like Leaky Cauldron, the Hopping Pot and other themed dining options, or even from a passing street vendor. Several Diagon Alley venues also have wizard-friendly eats.
Of course, its not the wizarding world without adventure, and youll find plenty of it at Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. Keep a watchful eye on the roof of Gringotts Money Exchange while youre there, though the 60-foot Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon is known to breathe fire!
Next, its time to gear up on everything youll need to make your time at Hogwarts a success. Find the perfect wand at Ollivanders, get sized for your school uniform at Madam Malkins Robes for All Occasions, prepare for the big game at Quality Quidditch Supplies, or just stock up on side-splitting gags at Weasleys Wizard Wheezes, among other shopping opportunities. And if you have the nerve to brave Knockturn Alley, Borgin and Burkes is your source for Death Eater masks and other merchandise coveted by members of House Slytherin.
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Dos Increbles Zonas En Dos Parques Temticos
Ten en cuenta que necesitaras la entrada a Universal Studios Florida y a Universals Islands of Adventure para experimentar todas las maravillas de The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Una entrada a dos parques por día o el pase anual te darán acceso a ambos parques, así como al Hogwarts Express.
Consejo de viaje: Alojarte en uno de los hoteles oficiales de Universal Orlando Resort te permitirá entrar en The Wizarding World of Harry Potter ¡una hora antes!, con admisión temprana.
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Makers Of Fine Wands Since 382 Bc
This is the wand shop where wizards and witches can be chosen by their wand.
Ollivanders has a special collection of unique wands, as well as the original favourites. Some of the wands youll find here include:
- Interactive Wand: With this wand you can actually cast spells around different areas in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeadeand see the magic come to life before your eyes!
- Collectible Wands: Take home an authentic replica of your favourite characters wand
- Special Wand Collections: Sometimes special limited-edition wands are available to commemorate the year or a special season.
Make sure you get to see the wand experience, where a lucky guest has the opportunity to try out a few spells with various wands until the right wand chooses them!
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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Check Out All The Shops
I could spend all day at Harry Potter World walking around and checking out all of the fun and unique shops. A few of my favorites are definitely Sugarplums Sweet Shop , Weasleys Wizard Wheezes and Honeydukes All of these are candy/sweet shops so I think its pretty clear what my favorite kind of store is!
However, in addition to the fun candy shops, there are also lots of souvenirs you can buy, including wands, robes and other collectables.
Many of the shops in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade sell similar items, but each shop has its own unique souvenirs. I recommend checking out all of the shops first, and then going back to buy your favorite items.
PRO TIP: When purchasing items in Universal Studios and Island of Adventure, ask for them to be sent to the front of the park. This means that your purchases will be sent to City Walk and will be waiting for you after you leave the park for the day!
I highly, highly recommend this option! It makes it so much easier not to have to carry tons of bags around the park with you.
If youre staying at an on-site hotel, and are staying for multiple days, you will also have the option to have your purchases sent directly to the hotels front desk! This is another fantastic option, and something to absolutely take advantage of.
Harry Potter Rides Universal Orlando 2023 Ranked
In this next section, we will rank the 2023 Harry Potter rides at Universal. When we typically talk about the best rides in Universal, we tag them by assessing the storyline/theme, queue, and overall experience that guests have while enjoying these attractions. So without further delay, here are the best Universal Studios Harry Potter Rides ranked!
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What Ride Is In Hogwarts Castle
The primary Harry Potter ride, located in Hogwarts castle, is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Guests will enter this attraction through the towering castle gates and make their way down the familiar passageways and corridors of Hogwarts. Then each guest will soar above the castle grounds as they join Harry and his friends on a thrilling adventure. Its important to note that the queue for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is almost as cool as the ride itself and something that every Harry Potter fan will want to see. Guests taking advantage of the Universal Orlando single-rider linewill not be able to experience the entire walk-through inside of Hogwarts castle.
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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.
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Final Thoughts On The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
Lastly, since this guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been so informational, I wanted to also share some personal thoughts with you.
We loved the rides . We were so impressed by how it all looked and felt in person . We also enjoyed the themed food, shops, and magic so much!
And, when we were there, it never felt too overwhelming or burdensome to manage crowds, weather, etc.
I recommend it so highly for a magical day for older children and adults.
That concludes my guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
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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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.