Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Which Harry Potter Park Is Better At Universal Studios

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Stay Late In The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter

Harry Potter World Is Better Than Disney World

Youre in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, why would you want to leave? We actually notice a lot of people leaving around 5ish every time weve been there. And as a result, a lot of the lines go down quite dramatically. We were able to ride Hagrids Magical Creatures with only about a 15-minute wait at the end of the day.

Universal Studios Vs Islands Of Adventure: Characters To Meet

Universal Orlando Resort is always surprising us with new and fun characters to meet at the parks. I shared 65+ characters to meet at Universal Orlando and I am always updating it with the latest additions.

Universal Studios has some of the classic movie characters like Marilyn Monroe, Scooby Doo Gang, Beetlejuice as well as The Simpsons, Despicable Me characters and Transformers.

Islands of Adventure has The Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2, as well as Spider-Man, Wolverine, and other Marvel characters. You can also meet a Raptor in the Jurassic Park area.

Universal Studios is going to take this one because there are so many places to meet characters and you will meet more inside this park than Islands of Adventure.

Winner: Universal Studios

The Rides At Universal Studios :

The main Harry Potter rideat Universal Studios is Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. This ride is just beautifully imagined, down to every last detail. If the line is really long, youll be waiting outside for a while. But once you get inside, oh my! Its a breathtaking replica of Gringotts, the bank of the goblins. If youve ever wondered what is Harry Potter world like? this is it! Every breathtaking detail is perfectly rendered to make you feel like youve been transported into the magical world.

This ride isnt a roller coaster in the truest sense, however. Most of the time, you are watching 3-D screens that simulate the drops, twists, and turns. And it does take place in the dark, with some close encounters with bad guys, so there is a thrill factor.

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Differences Between Universal Studios Orlando And Universal Studios Hollywood

The main difference between Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood is that Universal Studios Hollywood is described as an LA experience with the working set and Universal Studios Orlando is a theme park. The overall atmosphere is different between the two Universal parks.

Here are some of the other differences between Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood

World Famous Studio Tour Located at Universal Studios Hollywood

Diagon Alley While Universal Studios Hollywood has a Hogsmeade, though slightly smaller it also doesnt have a Diagon Alley. Universal Studios Orlando has both.

Seus Landing There isnt a Seus Landing at Universal Studios Hollywood, alternatively there is Super Silly Fun Land with the Minions from Despicable Me.

WaterWorld, Special Effects Show & Animal Actors Show Universal Studios Hollywood is all about the theatrics and shows and so it is home to some of the best shows that Universal Studios Orlando doesnt have.

Red Carpet As part of the overall atmosphere Universal Studios Hollywood have a red carpet that is put out daily for guests to arrive and walk on into the park.

  • Price One of the biggest differences between the parks is the price, as Universal Studios Orlando is larger and also has 2 parks it is considerably more money compared to Universal Studios Hollywood which is very doable in one day.

Be sure to contact us if you have a question or for more information.

Universal Studios Vs Islands Of Adventure: Which Is Your Favorite

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There you have it! Thats the best of each Universal Orlando Resort theme park. As you can see, each has a different appeal. In years past, Universal Studios Florida has been tops in our book. But lately, Universal’s Islands of Adventure is our favorite Universal Orlando Resort theme park. Which park is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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Butterbeer In All Forms

Everyone knows the refreshingly cold, frothy Butterbeer. But did you know it also comes frozen, as a fudge flavor, and as a delicious ice-cream flavor? Plus, if youre lucky enough to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter during Christmas, you may also be able to wrap your hands around a nice hot Butterbeer as you appreciate the scenic atmosphere.

What About Water Rides

Is your travelling party more interested in getting soaked? Then Islands of Adventure is, without question, the place for you with Jurassic Park: River Adventure, Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls, Popeye & Blutos Bilge-Rate Barges, and the childrens play area of Me Ship, the Olive all available, you will not only get dripping wet, youll also have a blast doing it, being exposed to a surprising variety of watery experiences along the way. Universal Studios Florida, on the other hand, essentially has nothing at all to compete against these, making the choice a complete no-brainer .

Theres a drawback to this aquatic dimension, though, and its worth keeping in mind: while having a small-but-still-sizable selection of water rides means that its easy for guests to get their splashy fill, it also means that a decently-sized swath of the park will close when weather is inclement, potentially greatly impacting your touring plans. This is absolutely something to keep in mind, one way or the other.

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Single Rider Line At Wizarding World Of Harry Potter

We didnt take advantage of the single rider lines here, but you can save a lot of time by using the single rider line. If youre traveling with a group of people where this makes sense, you should! I recommend at least going through the regular queue once at both Forbidden Journey and Gringotts though because they are both extremely impressive.

Cost Of Harry Potter World Tickets


If youre wondering, just how much are tickets to Harry Potter World Orlando?, the answer is a little bit complicated. With Harry Potter lands in both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, if you want to visit the entire Wizarding World in Orlando, you cant just buy standard Universal Orlando tickets. Youll need either a 2-Park 1 Day Ticket or a multiday ticket.

If you only have 1 day at Universal Orlando and you want to go to both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, Park-to-Park access is key, as it allows you to get into both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure on the same day. 2-Park 1 Day Tickets start at $164 for adults and $159 for children ages 3 to 9.

If you have multiple days in the Wizarding World and the rest of the Universal parks, then getting a Park-to-Park ticket is nice, but not necessary. 2-Park 2-Day Tickets start at $106.50 per day for adults and $101.50 per day for children. 2-Park 2-Day Tickets start at $136.50 per day for adults and $131.50 per day for children.

In general, if youd like to spend some time in Harry Potter World as well as going on rides in the rest of the parks, especially if this is your first time visiting, wed recommend you spend at least one day each at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. If this isnt your first time to Universal Orlando and the Wizarding World, all you care about is Harry Potter World, or you simply dont have the time, then you can get by with only one day as long as you can park hop.

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What Tickets To Buy For Harry Potter World

As we discussed the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is in two different parks which mean you will need the right tickets especially if you plan on visiting both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade There are a few different ways to purchase the correct Universal Orlando tickets including Harry Potter World . Below are the most common questions we receive when purchasing Universal tickets to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter:

Guide To The Harry Potter Rides In Hogsmeade

Hogsmeade is the Harry Potter theme park land to visit in Orlando if youre most interested in experiencing the different Wizarding World-themed rides. There are three of them here.

Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

The Wizarding Worlds newest ride is arguably the best of them all. Billed as a story coaster, this Harry Potter ride follows a haphazard motorbike lesson with Hagrid. Ride it twice so you can experience both the motorcycle and the sidecar.

This is the only attraction in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter that doesnt utilize Express Pass, but it does often use a virtual queue rather than a typical line. Check the Universal Orlando app or ask a Harry Potter world team member for assistance joining the virtual queue. The minimum height for Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is 48 and, as with most of the other Wizarding World rides, child swap is available.

Flight of the Hippogriff

This kid-size coaster has a minimum height requirement of only 36, but its thrilling for kids of all ages . Its a very quick ride and the wait to board through the normal queue can stretch for hours on busy days. With an Express Pass, though, you can often do the ride as many times as you want with very little waiting.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

You cant miss the entrance to this Harry Potter ride because its actually inside Hogwarts Castle, which towers over the Hogsmeade area from on high in true Wizarding World fashion.

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Start At Diagon Alley

If youre not starting at Hogsmeade, that means youre starting at Diagon Alley! Once you get to Diagon Alley, take a few minutes to take a few photos without all the people and head over to Escape from Gringotts. This is one of our favorite rides in the Wizarding World. The queue for this ride is absolutely amazing, and another one youll want to really take in all the details. Youll also need to store your stuff for this ride, so throw your stuff in a free locker and head to the bank! During slower times, this ride tends to have lower wait times during most parts of the day, but during peak hours, you will be glad you got to ride this one first.

Diagon Alley is SMALL and it gets very crowded very quickly. Since shopping is a huge part of the experience in Diagon Alley, my recommendation is to head straight to the shops after youve had your fill of being chased by Bellatrix and Voldemort at Gringotts.

Tips For The Best Experience To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter

Harry Potter Theme Park

For the most up-to-date information on Universal Orlando Resort safety guidelines, please visit: New Safety Guidelines. Same Fun.

Experience the two uniquely different lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Step inside a world where magic is real. Within Universals Islands of Adventure theme park, you can visit the iconic Hogwarts castle and explore Hogsmeade village. And at Universal Studios Florida theme park, you can enter Diagon Alley to enjoy a thrilling ride deep underground, unique magical experiences and more. Get ready to explore more of Harry Potters world than ever before!

Save on discount tickets: Universal Orlando Resort

Please note: Depending on the timing of your visit, some experiences may be temporarily modified. Learn more about healthy travel, and check with your favorite Universal Orlando Resort theme parks and other venues for their current status.

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So Which Has The Best Shops When Comparing Diagon Alley Vs Hogsmeade

The Verdict: As tempted as you may be by the chocolate frogs, theres really no contest here. When it comes to which Harry Potter park is better at Universal, Diagon Alley in Universal Studiosis the clear winner. They have more shops, more merchandise, and the fun of trading your money for Gringotts bank notes. Plus, the younger kids will love the stuffed animals at the Magical Menagerie!

Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey Is Still A Classic But The Visuals Feel A Bit Dated And You’re Prone To Get The Most Dizzy On This One

Ride length: Four minutes and six secondsWait time when I rode: 45 minutes/under 20 minutes for express ticket holders

Forbidden Journey was my favorite “Harry Potter” ride for the longest time, but as you get older, the tossing and turning of the vehicle may leave you a bit dizzy and disoriented.

While riding the “Potter” rides back-to-back, it’s easy to see how aged the graphics in the ride video have become, especially when compared to those on 2014’s newer Escape from Gringotts ride, which also uses video screens. The latter’s graphics are crisper and clearer. Still, the ride’s animatronic dragon and Dementors still frighten me every time I ride. There’s also nothing quite like walking through a real-life Hogwarts castle for the first time. The length of the ride and detailed ride queue make up for any qualms on the actual ride.

Queue grade: A

What’s not to love? Universal built the Hogwarts castle and brought the hallways to life. More than that, there are real moving and speaking portraits in the castle, just like in the films and books. Dumbledore, Ron, Hermione, and Harry all appear so the ride queue never feels boring. There’s always something to look at.

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Comparing Universal Studios Hollywood And Universal Orlando Resort

Universal operates three theme parks in the U.S. Universal Studios Hollywood in California and Universal Studios Florida and Universals Islands of Adventure in Florida. While there are certainly many similarities between the east and west coast experiences, there are also several clear-cut differences.

Meredith Wallace of Minnie Memories Travel, a travel advisor specializing in theme parks, says she usually explains the difference with three basic questions: Are roller coasters a must? You want to go to Orlando. Do you want to see active movie sets and maybe a star or two? You need to go to Hollywood. Are you a Harry Potter fan hoping to visit Hogwarts and Diagon Alley? You have to go to Orlando.

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Dennis Quinn, vice president of destination sales for Universal Studios Hollywood, describes it this way:

The biggest difference between Orlando and Hollywood is not necessarily the qualitative difference between the parks its the fact that Orlando is a theme park family destination, whereas Hollywood is about an L.A. experience, he says.

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If You Only Have One Day Which Universal Park Is Better

EVERY RIDE at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter | Universal Studios Orlando

Decisions, decisions. If you only have one day, we highly recommend the Park-to-Park ticket so you can experience both parks. But if you’re only going to pick one to visit, which Universal park is best? It really depends. Universal’s Islands of Adventure has slightly more rides than shows, including more thrill rides, as opposed to Universal Studios Florida. It is also the only park with water rides . Universal Studios Florida has plenty of thrills, but there are slightly more shows and kid-friendly attractions. If you have children under age five, you might consider Universal Studios Florida over Universal’s Islands of Adventure. We explore this more in our look at the best Orlando theme parks by age group.

Which Universal Orlando park do you love the most? Share in the comments below! For even more tips, hop over to our What to Do in Orlando page inside the Orlando Planning Timeline!

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Keep hopping!

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The Rides At Islands Of Adventure :

If youre going to determine which Harry Potter world is best solely on rides, well have to give it to Islands of Adventure! For starters, there are three rides, compared to Universal Studios having just one. And of the three, two are actual roller coasters.

The most exciting of the three is Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. Visually, it isnt nearly as stunning as Escape from Gringotts. But once the ride starts, whoa! On Hagrids motorbike or in its sidecar, youll twist, turn, drop, and roll onto your side. The 1-mile track makes it the longest coaster in Florida. If youre an adrenaline junkie, this ride alone could decide the question of which is the best Harry Potter theme park for you.

Next up is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, another mostly 3-D ride. This time, Harry, Ron, and Hermione save you from a boring lecture about the Defense of the Dark Arts and take you on an adventure through Hogwarts. The ride is fun, but the really exciting part is entering Hogwarts. Its a dream come true for any Potter fan, and for many people this alone settles the question of which Harry Potter world is the best.

For younger riders, or those who prefer a milder ride, the Flight of the Hippogriff is ideal. Its a bit of a kiddie coaster, but it does go high enough to give you great views of the Hogwarts castle.

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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