What Time Does Harry Potter World Open
The first step is to decide how early to arrive at Universal Studios for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? We always recommend to arrive as early as possible to avoid long lines later on in the day. This is true even if you are spending a few days at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
This is why Early Park Admission is so important as it allows you entry into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter up to one hour before regular park guests! Your family can hop on a ride such as Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and save two to three hours later on in the day. Thats why early park admission is one of the best ways to visit Harry Potter World in one day!
If you are not staying in a Universal hotel and still want Early Park Admission check out our Universal Orlando Tickets Page!
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.
Do Universal Studios Florida Or Islands Of Adventure Do Anything For Christmas
Yes! Each holiday season, the Universal Orlando Resort gets all decked out for Christmas, from special events and regular entertainment with a festive twist to seasonal drinks and dishes and limited-time merchandise. This years Universal Orlando Christmas dates officially fall on .
And with holly-jolly offerings available at both theme parks as well as Universal CityWalk Orlando and many of the Universal hotels, theres no shortage of yuletide treasures for you and your crew to enjoy this Christmas season. The only question is figuring out when to visit.
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Use The Universal Studios App
Did you know that Universal Studios has an app? Well if you didnt, now you do! The Universal app is free and so helpful for a lot of things and can store your tickets, payment method, and show wait times for attractions. This is a great tool to help you plan your day as it also shows you when certain shows like the Frog Choir and Tales of Beedle the Bard are being shown.
We highly recommend using this app if youre trying to do the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in one day itll help you stay more organized and keep up to date on the latest wait times.
Best Overall: The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Hogsmeade
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade is the most transportive of the Harry Potter worlds. The replica of Hogwarts Castle, along with the cobblestone, shop-lined streets, are brilliant. Plus, the dark ride Harry Potter and Forbidden Journey is a state-of-the-art indoor motion ride filled with high-flying fun.
Even if youre not a huge fan of Harry Potter, its hard to deny the sheer awesomeness of this immersive section of the park. So, grab a butterbeer and prepare to be impressed!
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Macys Holiday Parade & Other Christmas Events At Universal Studios Florida
Whether youre hoping to indulge in a buffet of seasonal treats or Christmassy entertainment, youll find it at Universal Studios Florida.
Just like the Macys Thanksgiving Parade is one of the highlights of Turkey Day, with its supersized balloons ushering in the festive season, Universals Holiday Parade featuring Macys is one of the stars of Universal Studios during Christmas. Floating past every night at 5:30 PM , Macys Holiday Parade not only incorporates their famous balloons. It also stars cheery dancers and lovable characters like those from Shrek, Madagascar and Despicable Mes Minions. Unfortunately, since guests are unable to actually meet Santa at Universal Studios Florida in 2021, this is the only place that guests will be able to spot jolly old St. Nick at Universal Orlando this year.
The Holiday Tribute Store at Universal Studios Florida is another holiday headliner and your destination for Christmas-themed merchandise, yuletide treats and other seasonal swag. Here youll find a tempting selection of Universals festive food items and souvenirs sprinkled throughout four themed rooms, including:
- Ornaments and plushies at Santas Workshop
- Squirrel-inspired knick-knacks and sweet treats like fudge, cookies, spiced nuts, macarons and hot cocoa bombs at Earl the Squirrels Christmas Curios Museum & Emporium
- Grinchy gear at the Whoville Sanitation Department
- And Wizarding World merchandise at Harry Potters Yule Ball
Spend Time At Citywalk
CityWalk is the area kind of in between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. It’s where Universal’s main parking deck is, and also where all the shuttles will drop you off if you get transported from your hotel.
CityWalk is also an entertainment hub in and of itself.
There are tons of restaurants , a movie theater, a mini golf course, shops, and theaters where groups like The Blue Man Group perform.
CityWalk is open much later that the theme parks, meaning this is a great place to hang out and grab drinks with friends after dark.
So what do you think? Which Universal Orlando park would YOU most want to visit?
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*Note: Thanks to Universal Orlando Resort for inviting me to the opening of Volcano Bay, and for providing support during previous visits to Universal. As always, all opinions and tips are 100% my own.
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Hogsmeade Vs Diagon Alley For Early Park Admission
Did you know everyone who purchases their Universal Orlando Ticketsfrom The Park Prodigy receives early park admission at Universal Orlando? Yep, thats right you will get into either Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley one hour before regular park guests. But which one is better to use for Early Park Admission?
When trying to decide between Diagon Alley Vs Hogsmeade for early park admission we are going to look at which park will help you save the most time later on in the day. Because thats the whole point of using the early park admission anyway.
Overall we would always lean towards Hogsmeade for early park admission. The main reason is Hogsmeade is home to two of the most popular rides at Universal: Hagrids Magical Motorbike Adventure and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Taking advantage of that extra hour in the morning can save you up to three hours later on in the day!
Dont Try Doing It All In One Day
If you have one day to spend in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you can get the majority of things done, while enjoying the rest of the theme park attractions. But, if you truly want to get the full wizarding world experience without feeling rushed, I recommend dedicating a day in Hogsmeade and a day in Diagon Alley .
The Best Rides At Volcano Bay
Volcano Bay currently has 18 different rides and slides. Some of the most popular include:
Krakatau Aqua Coaster I mean, it’s a water roller coaster how can it not be fun??
Ko’okiri Body Plunge This trapdoor-like slide is located at the very top of the volcano, and drops riders 125 feet at a 70-degree angle.
Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slide These body slides include either a 4-foot or 6-foot plunge into a pool at the end.
Honu ika Moana There are two slides to choose from here. My pick? Go on the blue Honu slide with 3 or 4 friends. Your tube goes up two massive walls and truly is thrilling.
TeAwa The Fearless River Forget the lazy river. Grab a tube and ride this fast-flowing river instead.
Best Thrill: The Incredible Hulk Coaster
Get ready to hulk-out on The Incredible Hulk Coaster®, the soaring, loop-filled Islands of Adventure attraction. The cant-miss green steel coaster bursts out the gate, reaching speeds up to 40mph in two seconds flat. Its such an amazing attraction, its one of our favorite coasters not just at Universal Orlando Resortbut anywhere.
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The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter In Universal Studios Japan
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Japan is best known for the replica of magical locations from the movies. These include an extremely detailed recreation of Hogwarts castle interior and exterior as well as Hogsmeade.
Before you actually see the Hogwarts castle youll be greeted by the replica of Hogwarts Express. This feature is an amazing introduction to what awaits you further into the park. This experience is made even better by friendly conductors on the site who are always happy to take photos with you to make the visit even more magical for you.
If you ever wondered what it would be like to attend Hogwarts this is the perfect place for you. The almost to-scale replica of the castle offers a realistic experience of walking through the castle. The attraction includes corridors filled with moving paintings, Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, and even Dumbledores office.
To make sure your experience is complete there is also a plethora of interesting attractions in Hogsmeade. The small section of parc includes a few different shops where you can get anything your Potterhead heart could possibly desire and two restaurants from the movies if you want to grab something to eat in the middle of your Harry Potter adventure.
Both rides are centered on different elements from the series
Is Base Or Park
Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay are on the same property and within walking distance of each other, making the Park-to-Park Ticket a popular choice. Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure are right next door to each other, so it’s super easy to hop between them. Universal’s Volcano Bay is not quite as close, but it is walking distance from these two parks. Water taxis and buses from Universal CityWalk are also available. It’s super easy to hop between all of these parks!
The Universal Park-to-Park Ticket types give you more flexibility than the Base Ticket type. Plus the Park-to-Park ticket is the only way to experience the Hogwarts Express, which takes you between both Wizarding Worlds. It’s also a different experience in each direction. The Universal Park-to-Park ticket is a good choice when one park closes earlier than the others. For instance, if Universal Studios Florida closes at 5 p.m. and Universal’s Islands of Adventure closes at 7 p.m., the Park-to-Park ticket allows you to leave Universal Studios Florida and have two hours to enjoy the rides at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
The Universal Base Ticket is a good choice if you are traveling with little ones and one park per day is plenty, you don’t care to experience the Hogwarts Express or you just want the lowest-priced ticket.
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Universal Studios For Kids
Full disclosure: I do not have children, so I can’t speak from experience as to what kids would like the most at any of these parks. BUT, I can tell you what there is to do for kids at Universal, along with what I think I would have loved as a kid.
At Universal Studios, kid-friendly rides include Kang & Kodos’ Twirl n’ Hurl, Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster, the Hogwarts Express, E.T. Adventure, and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. For littler kids, there are themed play areas , and plenty of character encounters, including ones with Shrek and Donkey, the Transformers, SpongeBob SquarePants, and more.
You can also book a character breakfast a Despicable Me character breakfast if the kids are in love with the Minions the breakfast happens every Saturday morning at Loews Royal Pacific Resort.
Harry Potter World Universal Studios Vs Islands Of Adventure
Before I wrote everything out I would have said hands down Islands of Adventure Hogsmeade was the best Harry Potter World experience. The rides are amazing! So If you are going for rides Islands of Adventure wins.
After writing about the wand experiences, shopping, and shows I feel like Universal Studios wins.
I am more of a ride person so Islands of Adventure will always have my heart.
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Harry Potter World Differences
One of the biggest questions we get here is: which Universal park has Diagon Alley? Because when youre trying to pick a park at Universal, a lot just depends on whether you want to go to Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade.
Although they are both part of the same Potter-verse, they are completely different experiences, with different rides, restaurants, and shops. Well break it down for you so that you can decide: is Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley better for your trip to Universal.
Diagon Alley Restaurants At The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter In Orlando
Theres only one sit-down restaurant in Diagon Alley, but there are plenty of spots to get Butterbeer, Fishy Green Ale, sweet treats, and even beers specially brewed for the Harry Potter land.
Fashioned after the pub and inn from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Leaky Cauldron is Diagon Alleys only table-service dining option. You can order traditional British fare such as bangers and mash, fish and chips, and a full English breakfast. Dont worry, there are also plenty of picky-eater-approved options like pancakes and macaroni and cheese. To save time, place a mobile food order before you arrive at the restaurant. When you arrive, your server will find you a table and fill your order.
Florean Fortescues Ice-Cream Parlour
Butterbeer ice cream is certainly the most popular menu item, but dont sleep on the shops other unique flavors like Earl Grey and Lavender, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and Chocolate Chili. Better yet, spend a few days exploring Harry Potter world in Orlando and try all the flavors.
The Fountain of Fair Fortune
When youre ready for something a bit stronger than Butterbeer, stop at the Fountain of Fair Fortune. Theres a variety of non-alcoholic drinks, but adults can pop in here for a Wizards Brew or Dragon Scale beer, which are only available in the Diagon Alley area at Universal Studios Florida.
The Hopping Pot
Eternelles Elixir of Refreshment
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Visiting The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter At Universal Studios Orlando
As a native Floridian, I was instantly charmed by the snow-capped buildings sweetly nestled on the cobblestone street when I stepped into Hogsmeade Village, a fictional town from the book series. Florida suffers from a pervasive heat that bakes you down to your soul. But visually, walking through the Harry Potter World is an amazingly detailed trip through the intricacies of J.K. Rowlings imaginative wizarding universe.
And if youre observant, if you carefully read the books, Hogsmeade rewards you with fun nuance and deep layers to search for when youre in the Wizarding World. Theres hidden writing on the walls, and small details etched into every aspect of Hogsmeade. The subtleties of the experience are what makes it stand out above my expectations. There is a bit of something for everyone, from the diehard fan to the casual theme park lover. There is no doubting that Universal Studios took time and great thought into crafting the world, adding details throughout the Wizarding World that only true Harry Potter fans would find and appreciate.
Is Ollivanders In Hogsmeade
But the biggest souvenir, the one that is almost impossible to turn down, is a wand. Especially if the wand has chosen you! That means that youll probably want to visit the park that has Ollivanders Wand Shop. Lucky for you, there is an Ollivanders in each of the parks when comparing Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade! Although book purists may be quick to point out that, technically, Ollivanders is only located in Diagon Alley, youll find a wand shop at either park. So the Hogsmeade Diagon Alley debate wont be decided by a wand!
Other shops, however, do vary.
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Should You Go To Orlando
There already are rumors that Diagon Alley will apparate in Universal Studios Hollywood if the parks attendance jumps this summer because of Wizarding World. Early odds have the WaterWorld show slipping beneath the waves to make room.
But even if construction started tomorrow, the new land would be two years away.
Arizonans with more time than money will want to wait and hope for the best.
But hard-core Harry Potter fans who could use a goblin to keep track of all their money may want to splurge on a journey east to the capital of Wizarding Worlds.
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Plan The Day Properly
Far too many people visit the Wizarding World expecting to spend a few hours there. Although it is just one aspect of Universal Studios it definitely isn’t a land that can be completed in a few hours. Most Harry Potter fans will argue it takes more than a day to appreciate.
When planning out a trip to Universal Studios, especially at the Orlando Park, it’s important to know that it cannot be factored in alongside other attractions. It’s a beast unto itself and should be treated as a separate event arrive early, stay till after dark and maybe even grab lunch there!
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