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Which Harry Potter Theme Park Is Best

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Guide To Harry Potter World Hogsmeade Shops

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In our opinion one of the coolest aspects of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is how much attention to detail went into everything. This couldnt be more true for the shops located in Hogsmeade as they are right out of the books and movies. Here is a list of the shopping things to do at Wizarding World of Harry Potter:

Harry Potter World California

California is easy to get to. Flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane go to Los Angeles daily on Qantas, Virgin Australia, Delta and United. The flight time is reasonable 14 hours from Australias east coast.

Harry Potter World is at Universal Studios Hollywood. The theme park is just 20 minutes from West Hollywood, less if you fly on a Nimbus 2000. It is much closer than Disneyland.

Inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter California, kids can explore Hogsmeade and Hogwarts and take a ride on the popular Flight of the Hippogriff rollercoaster.

Kids can explore Dumbledores office, the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, the Gryffindor common room, the Room of Requirement in Hogwarts castle.

Kids can buy wands at Ollivanders and cast spells all over the land. Harry Potter World has two new spell locations this year, taking the total number in California to 15.

Make sure you watch the Triwizard Spirit Rally. You will see performances from Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang students ahead of the Triwizard Tournament.

Dining options include the Hogs Head and the Three Broomsticks. Butterbeer is essential. We also recommend trying the pumpkin juice.

Head to Honeydukes shop for Acid Pops, Exploding Bonbons, Peppermint Toads, Fudge Flies, Fizzing Whizzbees, and Chocolate Frogs. Send a letter via the owl post. Then pop into Zonkes joke shop for gifts and toys.

Into Diagon Alley Darkly

The expansion opened to huge fanfare two years ago. If Hogsmeade is the bright and shiny side of the wizard coin, Diagon Alley is a shadowy maze that whisks you from reality. This is where wizards concoct nefarious plots and negotiate black-market deals.

A sense of foreboding starts at the entrance. While an archway welcomes all to Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley is hidden by a pair of offset walls, mimicking the mysterious entry described in the J.K. Rowling books.

Once inside, towering buildings and walls swallow visitors, the structures appearing to lean in ever so slightly to lend an ominous feeling.

A handful of paths veer left and right, swerving amid shops dealing in subversive items .

And visible from much of the park is a reminder that this is not your grand-wizard’s village a dragon perched upon a tower, its talons dug into concrete and mortar. With wings splayed, the dragon stretches its neck toward the passing crowd, head just high enough that when flames erupt from its gaping mouth , no one is burnt to a crisp.

The more you wander, the more you feel sealed off from the rest of the park, if not the world at large. Its the kind of immersion in which rival Disney specializes, yet this is even better thanks to its shadowy nature.

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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

Guide To The Harry Potter Rides In Diagon Alley


Theres only one ride in Diagon Alley, and it sits just below that fire breathing dragon inside Gringotts Bank. But what a ride it is!

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

The conceit for this Harry Potter ride is that youre there to take a tour of Gringotts, but, as so often happens on theme park rides, things go awry. Thanks to ride vehicles that can tilt and spin, 3-D glasses, and other special effects, this Harry Potter ride is a step up from your everyday coaster. The minimum ride height is 42, but there is a child swap room where one parent can wait with anyone who is too young or doesnt want to ride.

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Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey

The industry uses the term E-Ticket attraction as a way of acknowledging the crème de la crème.

Harry Potter and the Forgotten Journey was unquestionably the E-Ticket superstar when The Wizarding World debuted.

Universal constructed Hogsmeade first, and the ride designers plotted a dark ride unlike anything that Muggles had never witnessed before.

The entire experience starts in the line queue. Guests literally enter the real-world representation of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

So, the attraction delivers two experiences at once. Harry Potter fans get to wander this castle-like structure built into the tall rocks.

Inside the building, magic is everywhere throughout the line queue. Statues of powerful wizards and foes adorn the walls.

Magical botanical practices are visible in the exterior sections of the waiting area. Paintings on the walls spring to life, as is true in the books and films.

Finally, youll encounter the three friends who defeated He Who Shall Not Be Named: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley.

Your entire party will feel thrilled before they ever board the ride, which is equally spectacular.

Screen Grab: Attraction Traction

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey plays out as Potterverses Greatest Hits.

Youll watch a Quidditch match, encounter Dementors, and escape from Hagrids misbehaving pet dragon.

Harry Potter Experiences You Need To Have Around The World

JK Rowling first gave us a window into her incredible imagination with the magical world of Harry Potter in 1997. Fans young and old wanted nothing more than to crawl inside the books and live in this world. Twenty years later the books may have come to an end, but the magic lives on, and being a part of it is now a reality. Pack your cloak and wand and get ready to explore the best Harry Potter experiences around the world.

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The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Vacation

In a common misconception that has floated around since opening day, many guests believe that both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are their own theme parks, a misunderstanding probably born from the fact that, in Universals initial marketing push back in 2010, it referred to Hogsmeade as a theme park within a theme park. Its since dropped that language, thankfully enough, and you do not need to buy an additional ticket to visit the Wizarding Worlds. However, if you wish to ride the Hogwarts Express between the two lands, you will need to purchase a park-to-park ticket. Fortuitously enough, Universal has installed ticket booths at the entrances to each station, where guests can upgrade their tickets if they happened to overlooked this caveat.

For our very best vacation planning tips, check out the wealth of informational pages in our Insiders Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including how to beat the crowds, the full rundown on early park admission, and where to find the best food and souvenirs on offer and more!

Buy The Universal Express Pass

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Seriously, do it. Remortgage the house if you have to. Its worth it. Universal Express Passes let you zip through the lines on nearly all of the rides at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, including all of the Harry Potter theme park rides. Express Passes are pricey, but they are unquestionably worth every pennyespecially if this is your first visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Express Passes come in two varieties: Universal Express and Universal Express Unlimited . For me, with a family of four including two children under 11, the Universal Express Passes did more to improve the quality of our trip than everything else combined.

Most rides at Universal have two separate lines: the standard line and the Express line. Express lines are more direct than the standard lines. This means you might wait about 15 minutes using the Universal Express Pass line to board Harry Potter themed rides. In the standard line, the wait times routinely reach 90 minutes to two hours.

For many, visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There are places where it might makes sense to cut corners to save money, but this is not one of them. Pay the extra price and zip through the lines rather than spending most of your day waiting in them.

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One World Two Parks Massive Headache

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter consists of two separate sections of two separate theme parks. Sound confusing? Thats because it is. Instead of creating ONE world contained in ONE theme park, Universal Studios Harry Potter cleverly divided their most popular attractions between TWO theme parks, requiring you to purchase a park hopper ticket to see all of it. Well played Universal, well played!

The two halves of the Wizarding World are divided between Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios and are connected by the Hogwarts Express, which is not only a shortcut between parks, but a ride in itself.

If you want to ride the Hogwarts Express, you MUST buy a park hopper! I made this mistake and bought tickets to spend one day in each park, but since they werent park-hopper tickets, we couldnt ride the Hogwarts Express. We ended up downgrading our tickets to just a one-day park hopper so that we could see both parks in one day and ride the Hogwarts Express. Totally worth it by the way!

If you are coming solely to spend time in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I suggest buying a one-day park hopper ticket, as both sections of the world can easily be thoroughly explored in one day.

Bring A Small Backpack

You can bring backpacks and snacks into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park areas of Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, but you cant bring bags with you on most of the rides.

The park offers free lockers for use during the ride, but there are a few things you should know. First, the lockers are fairly smallso only bring a small backpack or purse with you to the park. Second, the lines to use the lockers can be long and the area around them crowded. If you can avoid bringing a backpack to the park, youll save yourself some time and hassle.

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Exchange Your Muggle Money

Be sure to head over to Gringotts Money Exchange to exchange your Muggle money into Gringotts banknotes that can be used for purchases within Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade and other select locations throughout the resort. Ask the goblin handling the money exchange any question youd like and expect a specific answer.

Best Theme Parks In Orlando For Toddlers

New roller coaster coming for Harry Potter theme park

Best: Magic Kingdom

Hands down, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom offers the most magical experience of all of the Orlando theme parks. Guests of all ages, but especially the toddler set, will be able to enjoy a large number of attractions. They can also meet their favorite Disney characters and wonder at the sights and sounds in each of the different lands. For children who are easily scared, there are plenty of rides where they can sit with Mom or Dad. Start them off with Peter Pan’s Flight and Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

Character meet-and-greets can be like a dream come true for the toddler age group. The variety of Disney characters hanging out in Magic Kingdom is great. Currently, individual character greetings are unavailable due to social distancing measures. However, you can still see your favorite characters marching through the park in cavalcades or occasionally popping up at random locations from a distance. Whether your tadpole is a Mickey Mouse admirer or one of Buzz Lightyear’s Junior Space Rangers, you’re quite likely to find their favorite Disney character somewhere! All of this leads us to rank Magic Kingdom as the best Disney park for the little ones.

Other Good Orlando Theme Parks for Toddlers:

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Buying Tickets To The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter

We like to buy our theme park tickets with Getaway Today. They are a trusted company and have the best deals out there. You can also book your Universal tickets and hotel together in a vacation package, which can save you a lot of money. You can purchase Universal packages here and Universal tickets here.

You Might Want To Repeat The Rides

Opinions vary on which is the best ride inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park, but my kids loved Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts the best. My personal favorite was Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which takes you inside Hogwarts. Even waiting in line for the Harry Potter rides is a fun experience for Potter fans, because the walls inside the castle are alive with moving portraits and other interesting set pieces.

Its worth noting that the Universal Express line and the standard entry line inside Hogwarts take different routes to the rides starting point. If youre a huge fan, you might want to wait in the standard line at some point just for the experience. Get there early for the standard line entry and then go again with your Express Pass.

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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.

The Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour

Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park Places

Location: Watford, near London, UK.

This is Harry Potter World in England. Although the whole country is dotted with filming locations and places of interest to Harry Potter fans, this is the big Harry Potter attraction in the UK. Its not really a theme park, more a collection of sets, props and items from the Harry Potter movies.

Do you want to walk down Diagon Alley, climb aboard the Night Bus and take a lesson in wand technique? Then you need to visit Warner Bros Studios for the Harry Potter Experience. Weve been, it was off-the-scale-fabulous and is something that will stay with the kids and I, always. The link will take you to our post, we have loads of great photos.

You can get to the studios in your own vehicle or hop on a bus tour from central London.

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When Is The Best Time To Visit The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter

The truth is there really isnt a bad time to visit Harry Potter World especially when you are with your family. But on the flip side waiting in long lines is a bigger disappointment than Neville Longbottom in herbology class.

One of the best ways to visit Harry Potter World is to plan around the crowds. Luckily ourUniversal Orlando Crowd Calendarbreaks down the expected crowds, average temperature, and even theme park ticket prices. We find that the least crowded times of year tend to be early fall and right after New Years Eve!

If you prefer a few great dates we have outlined them below.

Where To Buy The Must

You already know theres plenty of places to purchase wands, robes, sweets, and souvenirs in the Wizarding World, but if you want to be extra prepared you can purchase many of these items on Universals website before you even arrive at the Harry Potter theme parks.

You can also get them in your hotel, at the large souvenir stores at the entrance to both Universals Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida, or at the Universal Studios Store at CityWalk. The biggest benefit to buying your merch outside of the park areas is that youll have more time to experience the rides and appreciate the attention to detail that went into making the areas feel like Harry Potters world. Window shopping and browsing is more fun than standing in line, anyway.

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