More Harry Potter Secrets Outside Diagon Alley In London
Listen for the bricks moving. As you walk in or out of Diagon Alley, you can hear the bricks moving.
The number is on the phone in the red phone booth outside Kings Cross. Stay on the line for a message directly from the Ministry. The best part of this simple attraction has nothing to do with Harry Potter though. The real fun is watching kids try to figure out how to use a telephone, like a real telephone, not a cell phone. Its better than seeing them get an earwax Bertie Botts Every Flavor Bean.
Disappear onto Platform 9 ¾. As you walk through the cue to get onto the Hogwarts Express at King Cross station, stop at the top of the stairs when you see the luggage and let another member of your party walk ahead. You can watch them disappear onto platform 9 3/4.
Find Krecher at Grimauld Place. Knock on the door of 12 Grimmauld Place and then look up. You may just find the house elf Kreacher peering out to see who is there.
Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Tips For Diagon Alley
Diagon Alley is the newest of the Wizarding World parks. There is a large section of this area that has a glass roof, making it a perfect place to visit if its raining too. Wondering where to begin? Read on.
Ride Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. This is the only ride in Diagon Alley, and the line can be formidable, so get to the park early and ride this first.
Then go back through and enjoy the theming and details. The first thing that caught my eye were the enormous crystal chandeliers. It wasnt until my gaze dropped that I saw the goblins counting their money. Along the way we took an elevator down to the depths, eavesdropped on a conversation between Harry, Ron and Hermione, and passed the offices of Griphook and Ragnuk.
Harry Potter Secret Tip: Trade Chocolate Frog cards with staff at the retail locations.
Visit Ollivanders Wand Shops. You can go into the shop to pick a wand but we recommend taking in the wand ceremony too. During this short performance, Ollivander picks one person from the audience to choose a wand. Its a fun five-minute show where the chosen wizard tries out a few wands before finding the one. Remember, the wand chooses the wizard. The line can get very long, so if this is something you want to do, go here early. You can experience the wand ceremony at either Ollivanders location, the one at Hogsmeade or the one in Diagon Alley.
Universals Loews Portofino Bay Resort
Rates start at: $312.00 per nightTransportation: Boat, shuttle, walkway
- Pros: This resort has the largest amount of guest rooms on both Disney and Universal property. Guests also receive the Universal Express Pass, which lets you skip the regular queue lines. The resort is massive with plenty of dining and entertainment options.
- Cons: The restaurants are a bit pricier than you will find throughout most of the other resorts and even at Universals City Walk.
- Whats the vibe? Romantic and picturesque relaxation in a the beautiful city of Portofino, Italy.
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The Ultimate Guide To Visiting The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Orlando
- 11 minute read
If youre visiting Universal Studios Orlando, be sure to read this ultimate guide to visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Unlock the secrets and find out how to save money on your stay and get the most out of your time in this magical place.
Frog Choir / Triwizard Spirit Rally
If you are a fan of music, keep an eye out for the Hogwarts Frog Choir where four students and a conductor sing a cappella also with giant croaking frogs.
The Triwizard Spirit Rally features performances by students from Beauxbatons and Durmstang as they get ready for the Triwizard Tournament.
These shows are held right outside of Hogwarts Castle on a small stage near the entrance to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Showtimes vary throughout the course of the day but are typically held once an hour.
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More Details On Where To Stay For Your Visit To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
Adding another hotel night is expensive. One night at the Royal Pacific will cost you, including tax, $250 to more than $375, depending on the price season and any discounts you can find. Rooms at Cabana Bay are much less expensive
However, doing so grants you unique early access privileges to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, letting you in to the park as much as an hour before everyone else. This can save you hours of waiting.
Universal has given remarkable free early access and front of the line privileges to guests staying in one of the three Universal deluxe hotels the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel, and the Loews Royal Pacific Resort. Guests at Cabana Bay get free early access but dont get front of the line passes.
This set of privileges, the Universal Express Program for Universal resort guests, allows Universal deluxe hotel guests to move to the front of almost every rides waiting line as many times as they wish, beginning as soon as the parks open.
However, you can use this privilege neither to enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, nor to go to the front of the line of its rides.
For these, you use your privilege of early entry insteadyou will be able to enter the park up to an hour before non-hotel guests can.
All in, the best way to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, if you can at all afford it, is to book a night at the Royal Pacific or Cabana Bay
Plan A Hogwarts Orlando Feast For Your Family
No Harry Potter vacation is complete without a Hogwarts Feast with costumes. We hired a private chef and decided on the meal in advance so that I could print Hogwarts-style menus in advance.
Our meal featured a goat cheese and beet salad, mushroom risotto,filet mignon, popovers, and grilled broccolini.
Were foodies and have some very accomplished cooks in the family.To be truthful, the meal was fine, but we all decided that if we had each takenan item from the menu to prepare, the meal would have been much better. Insteadof hiring the chef, I would reach out to a catering company for a mealassistant to help serve the meal and take care of cleanup instead. .
Also, the Whole Foods in the Doctor Phillips neighborhood has areally excellent prepared foods department compared to all of our Whole Foodsstores at home. We supplemented the kids meals with rotisserie chicken andmacaroni and cheese, and I might look into having them cater next time.
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Head To Owl Post And Send A Letter
Owl Post is a cute little shop in Hogsmeade that sells stationery, writing supplies, and owl plushes. Guests can also mail a letter or postcard from this location. When you do so, you will receive a special Hogsmeade postmark that proves the letter was actually mailed at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Fly deep into the wilds of the Forbidden Forest, beyond the grounds of Hogwarts castle, on a thrilling roller coaster ride that plunges into the paths of some of the wizarding worlds rarest magical creatures. To be honest, I have been a Walt Disney World annual pass holder for years and this ride single handedly convinced me to purchase a Universal annual pass. ITS THAT GOOD! It is a must when youre figuring out what to do at Universal Studios Harry Potter.
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Planning A Trip To Universal Studios Harry Potter 2022
So now that you know what tickets to buy for Harry Potter World, lets plan your perfect Universal Studios Harry Potter Itinerary!
Not everyones Harry Potter Itinerary will be the same though. Some might prefer to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in one day and others might have a full weekend. We are going to start with the basics tips for visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and then break down the best way to visit Harry Potter World based on your trip length.
Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
Magic comes to life at Universals Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Step inside Harrys world, where you can explore the mysterious Hogwarts Castle, the cute Hogsmeade village and the bustling Diagon Alley. How do you get between these wizarding places? The Hogwarts Express, of course! Pick up your ticket and head down to platform 9¾ to start your adventure.
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Eternelles Elixir Of Refreshment
Location: Diagon Alley
Here, you can try a variety of colorful elixirs. All you need to do is choose your elixir, pour it into Gilly Water, and watch it transform into a tasty beverage. You can pick from Fire Protection Potion, Babbling Beverage, Draught of Peace, and Elixir to Induce Euphoria.
Pro Tip: Not only are they delicious, but theyre a fun gift to bring home for your Muggle friends.
Stay At Universal For Early Park Access
One of my biggest tips for visiting Universal Orlando is to stay at one of the park-associated hotels. There are seven of them the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, the Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, the Aventura Hotel, and the new Endless Summer Resort Surfside Inn and Suites.
Staying at any of these hotels will give you access to both Universal parks one hour before they officially open meaning this is the best way to see Diagon Alley without any people, or to get in line for the Gringotts ride when there’s no wait.
I love staying at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, which is a funky, family-friendly hotel that opened in 2015. It has two pool areas, a lazy river, a Starbucks right inside the hotel, and a free shuttle bus to take you to CityWalk and back that operates from 7 a.m. 2 a.m. every day. And the prices are more than reasonable we paid an average of $125 per night.
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Flight Of The Hippogriff
The Flight of the Hippogriff is a themed family-friendly roller coaster that is located right next to Hogwarts Castle. This attraction was originally known as the Flying Unicorn but was rethemed when the area was transformed into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade.
As guests make their way through the queue line they will pass Hagrids hut leading to the area where the Care of Magical Creatures Class is taught. After riders will board a 2-person train they will pass the Hippogriff and get a chance to say hello. There is an amazing view at the top of the lift where guests can see almost all of Hogsmeade.
This one-minute ride is perfect for the first time roller coaster rider or those that are are not fond of the more dynamic coasters at Universal. There is one small drop and speeds are less than 30 miles per hour.
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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Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Tips For Hogsmeade
After visiting both parks, I have to say that Im still a little partial to the first Wizarding World location Hogsmeade. Maybe this park has had time to mature, or maybe its something else, but here are my tips and secrets for Hogsmeade.
Ride Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. I do not give the following praise lightly. This is hands down, the BEST roller coaster Ive ridden. EVER. Stay on property. Get up early. Be one of the first at the turnstiles. Then head with as much speed as safely possible to this ride as soon as the park opens, because you want to experience this and wait times can be two hours plus, pretty much all day long, and as of this writing, you cant use an Express Pass for this ride.
Why is Hagrids so good? You are either on Hagrids motorcycle or in the sidecar on a three-minute ride through the Forbidden Forest. Its a real roller coaster, not the simulator rollercoaster like the Forbidden Journey or Gringotts. Its super smooth and has moments of instant acceleration similar to Rockin Roller Coaster or Slinky Dog at Disney. There are twists, but the thrill isnt in going upside down and corkscrews. You go forwards. Backward. And one move that was totally unexpected!
We rushed through the first time, did the ride and then went around again much slower. The attraction itself is pretty intense and a combination of simulator and ride. If you have it, use your Express Pass once youve seen the queue.
Dressing Up For Harry Potter World
You are allowed to dress up for Harry Potter world, including wearing Harry Potter robes. However, you must adhere to Universal Orlando Resorts costume guidelines, as state below:
No costume masks, veils, long trains, live animals, swords or weaponry are permitted. Face coverings worn for medical or health reasons are permitted. Any home-crafted wands must be rounded on either end and must be appropriate in nature.
Costumes cannot exceed 28 wide x 80 high to meet Universal Orlandos metal detection regulations. Costumes are subject to secondary x-ray screening. Universal Orlando will have sole discretion to decide whether an item is permissible. Any item deemed inappropriate will be turned over by the owner and may be retrieved at the end of the day at the Universal CityWalk hub.
If a guest is spotted in a costume that is not deemed permissible, he or she will be asked to either remove the costume and change into something more appropriate, or exit the park.
Costumed guests may not give the impression that they are Universal Orlando Team Members.
To ensure guests safety, some costumes may not be permitted on certain attractions.
You may enter the theme park wearing costumes and outfits for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This is a great idea if you want to save money by buying a Harry Potter robe before you get to the theme park, or if you want to bring your own wand into Harry Potter land.
Visit The Gringotts Money Exchange
Stop into the Gringotts Money Exchange when you are in Diagon Alley. There you will be able to chat with the goblin banker at the counter and exchange your regular muggle currency for authentic Gringotts banknotes.
They are available in denominations of $10 and $20, come in a Gringotts Bank sleeve, and can be either used to make in-park purchases at stores and restaurants or kept as a souvenir.
Best Ways To Book Universal Orlando Hotel Stays
You have more options for booking Universal Orlando hotels with points than you do with Disney resorts.
Heres an example of pricing in cash and points for a Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholder booking at Surfside Inn and Suites within Universals Endless Summer Resort.
With the Sapphire Reserve, you get a return of 1.5 cents per point spent on travel via the Chase booking portal, so a $107 room would cost about 7,100 points for the night with that card.
Or, you can use a card that awards miles you can use to wipe out the travel charge. For example, with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card or the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, travel charged to the card will net you 1 cent in value per mile earned. That means a $300 hotel stay charged to your eligible Venture card could be offset by redeeming 30,000 of your Venture miles.
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The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Hogsmeade At Universal’s Islands Of Adventure
Its the one-and-only, all-wizarding village of Hogsmeade, and youll only find it at Universals Islands of Adventure! The main attraction here is Hogwarts castle, which comes to majestic life on select evenings for The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle spectacular.
Looming over Hogsmeade, Hogwarts also features Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, an attraction that will take you soaring high above the castle grounds. For more airborne adventures, hop aboard the family-friendly Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster, which youll find at Hagrids hut.
Speaking of Hagrid, he takes center stage in Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. Sending you deep into the Forbidden Forest for up-close encounters with a menagerie of wondrous creatures, this innovative attraction combines state-of-the-art coaster technology and gripping storytelling for one of Universal Orlando Resorts most incredible experiences yet!
High Street a popular hangout for Hogwarts students and professors alike is brimming with enchanted shops. Send magical mail to family and friends at Owl Post, load up on sweets at Honeydukes, or get your very own Sneakoscope at Dervish and Banges, among other arcane retailers.