Universal Studios Changing How ‘harry Potter’ Fans Make Magic
- Publish date: Aug 10, 2022 7:32 PM EDT
A visit to Comcast’s Universal Studios just isn’t the same without a visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
If you’ve been, you probably already know the delight of losing yourself to the magic of the hit films for a day as you wander through this special part of the parks.
You can take a ride on the legendary Hogwarts Express, explore the wizarding village of Hogsmeade, wander down Diagon Alley, and even have a Butterbeer at the Leaky Cauldron.
Another really fun part of visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is that it’s highly interactive.
While it’s not required for the experience, visitors can buy their wands at several locations within and just outside the parks, including CityWalk and the Universal gift shops on site. The wands can then be used at 16 interactive locations within both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, effectively enabling guests to “cast spells.”
Naturally, the business of wands also makes a killing. Not only are they collector’s items but they enhance park visits as well. Wands retail starting at $59 and can go as high as $75 for collectors editions.
The wand system is a lot of fun for fans of the books or just general visitors in the mood to cast some of their own magic. But it can be fussy, requiring a very exact kind of movement to get the desired result — and one that may not be easy for kids or disabled people to manage.
Universal now has a change in the works that could solve that problem.
The Time Of Year Youre Visiting
Depending on the time of year youre visiting the crowd levels inside the park may vary.
The best time to visit Universal Studios Orlando for lower crowd levels is between January and May and September .
Alternatively, if you cant afford to be flexible as to the time of year in which you visit the park then try to avoid Fridays through to Sundays and instead visit between Monday and Thursday.
While smaller crowd levels often mean youll spend less time waiting for the parks most popular rides, weve still gone during peak-crowd levels and had a fantastic time!
How Many Days Do You Need To Plan At Harry Potter World
Another popular question we receive, is how many days should I plan at Harry Potter World? And as you can imagine there are so many amazing things to do in each section, you should give yourself at least two days to experience everything the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has to offer. Thats not saying that you cant see a ton of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in one day, however we find the best way to see Harry Potter in Universal Studios is to not feel rushed. As even guests who purchase the Universal park-to-park ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express will want to ride the train twice as the attraction is different going both ways.
Two days at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will also allow families to enjoy some of the other experiences such as the Harry Potter interactive wands and also all of the fun themed shops. Taking your time will allow your family to take everything in and bring the magic of Wizarding World of Harry Potter home.
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Harry Potter And The Escape Of Gringotts
This one of a kind indoor rollercoaster is themed exactly like the Gringotts wizarding bank found in the books and movies. Opening in 2014 it quickly became one of the most popular attractions in Universal Studios. On the downside because it is so popular it tends to have one of the longest wait times in the parks.
Thats why we recommend Early Park Admission to our clients so much! If you take advantage of entering the park one hour earlier than other guests you can ride Harry Potter and the Escape of Gringotts and save time later on in the day!
Be sure to check out our Universal Orlando tickets page to learn how we can help you get EARLY PARK ADMISSION without staying on Universal property!
Best Water Ride: Dudley Do
If youre looking to escape the Florida heat, climb aboard Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls®, a themed log-flume ride set in the Canadian mountains. Experience a 75-foot drop, then plummet below water level for a real rush! Be warnedthis ride will leave you soaked.
Still haven’t made your decision yet? Try perusing our Ultimate Guide to Universal Orlando Resort for the best coupons, discounts and deals to help save you time and moolah.
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Best Overall: Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts
This 4D ride brings one of the classic movie scenes to life. As the featured attraction of the Diagon Alley section of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you wont want to miss it.
After you get your adrenaline rush on the ride, youll be ready to explore the rest of Diagon Alley, preferably with a Butterbeer in hand. Grab an English bite at The Leaky Cauldron before heading to Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC, where youll be picked out by your wand. Yes, we said that right — only true fans will know what we mean.
Best Shops For The Newest Holiday Merchandise In Diagon Alley 2022
Are you looking to purchase something for yourself or for a holiday gift? No problem! There are no shortage of gift shops in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Harry Potter Christmas at Universal has some of the prettiest Christmas vibes. We hope this article has helped you plan your next Universal Orlando vacation!
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The Rides At Hogsmeade Overview:
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 coaster type rides. For this reason we also recommend starting your day here for anyone looking to buy discount Harry Potter world tickets.
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.
Best Shops For The Newest Holiday Merchandise In Hogsmeade 2022
- Honeydukes sweets shop offering Chocolate Frogs, Acid Pops, Fizzing Whizzbees, Pumpkin Pasties, Cauldron Cakes and more!
- The Owl Post stationary shop featuring quills, ink, stamps, seals, and an array of owl merchandise for feathered friend lovers.
- Ollivanders Wand Shop a replica of the famous Ollivanders which offers any witch or wizards wand you can dream of.
- Dervish and Banges your Hogwarts House shop with all of the themed clothing and home-goods you could ask for!
- Filchs Emporium of Confiscated Goods find more oddities and unique collectables here, like the Sorting Hat, mugs, and even a Golden Snitch!
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The Problems With Ultra
Wizarding World’s impressive immersion, however, sometimes comes at the expense of theme park practicality. Hogwarts Castle, the Forbidden journey ride, and Hagrids coaster have been designed to handle enormous crowds. But the shops are all built to scaleto serve the story, no doubtand the tight quarters can’t comfortably accommodate the hordes of muggles who visit on busy days.
Another quibble: The coaster, Flight of the Hippogriff, seems a bit out of place in the otherwise meticulously themed land. It is a repurposed holdovers from Wizarding World’s previous incarnation as Islands of Adventure’s Lost Continent.
We also suspect that the remains of the park’s truncated Lost Continent is destined to be lost forever, since Universal is likely to have more Potter plans up its robed sleeve. Should that happen, muggles will no doubt clamor to be immersed in more of The Wizarding World.
The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Souvenirs
If you want to buy souvenirs, as guests of the Harry Potter amusement park, you should visit all the stores that you know about books:
- Sweetshop Honeydukes and Sugarplum for desserts.
- Zonkos joke shop.
- Owl Post where you can send e-mail.
- Dervishes and the Banges, which is full of robes, Gryffindor scarves, Ravenclaw shirts, and all kinds of items for sale, as well as fun details like books with cage bites.
However, keep in mind that all these activities can be small and get very crowded. Buy items confiscated from goods at Filchs Emporium in the lower regions of Hogwarts Castle which is a much larger store that sells a variety of items. Some Harry Potter items are also available at the large Port of Entry store near the entrance/exit to Islands of Adventure.
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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.
Harry Potter Rides Universal Orlando 2022 Ranked
In this next section, we will be ranking Harry Potter rides at Universal. When we typically talk about the best rides in Universal, we rank 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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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.
Wizarding World Of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley
Diagon Alley is located in Universal Studios, Florida.Or rather at the back of the park.
It is full of buildings, shops and even a certain bus that will be totally familiar if youve seen the movies. But the best part about it is the entrance .
Universal Studios recreated the brick wall behind the Leaky Cauldronthat leads into Diagon Alley!!! Remember, its three up and two across. Off you go!
Diagon Alley Rides
The Diagon Alley section of Harry Potter World only has one attraction that truly classifies as a ride. But boy, what a ride that is!
Im talking about the famed Escape from Gringotts ride featuring fire-breathing dragons, talking goblins and an appearance by the infamous Deatheater Bellatrix Lestrange and he who must not be named. Dont tell me I didnt warn you!
This is a ride you will not easily forget!
Hipster Power Tip: The Hogwarts Express is also considered an attraction in Diagon Alley.
The Entertainment in Diagon Alley at Universal Studios
With numerous shows lined up, there is hardly a lack of entertainment in Diagon Alley. From the glamorous Celestina Warbeck to a puppet show telling the Tales of the Beedle and the Bard, theres no way you will ever be bored.
If you have had your fill of shows, you can head to the only triple-decker purple bus you are ever going to see the Knight Bus. Here you can talk to the friendly conductor and his best bud a severed head!
The Diagon Alley Shops
Diagon Alley Food
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Dining Shopping And Other Attractions
Other than the main rides, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is also home to gift shops, restaurants and other tourist attractions. Several of these are re-creations of locations in the Harry Potter books while others have been created specifically for the park. A recreation of Hogsmeade exists in Islands of Adventure with a recreation of Diagon Alley currently under construction at Universal Studios Florida.
Ollivanders wand shop
In the book series, Ollivanders wand shop is located in Diagon Alley, not Hogsmeade however, installations of the shop are present in both areas of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The Hogsmeade attraction re-created the shop as Ollivanders, portraying it as a branch of the original where Harry purchases his wand in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone . Unlike other shops in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visitors are admitted in groups of 20 to experience the premise from the Potterseries, that “the wand chooses the wizard”. Similar to the first film, the wand keeper and a selected guest test a variety of wands until the right one is found. Effects include flowers drying out or a thunder storm erupting inside the shop. After experiencing the attraction, souvenir wands can be purchased.
What Else Is New At Universal
Considering all that Universal has on its plate right now, it’s impressive that it’s had time to think about quality-of-life changes to its wand system.
The company has been hustling to construct its newest park, Epic Universe, which would contain Super Nintendo World, a Nintendo-themed park that currently exists only in Japan.
Currently the opening date on the official Super Nintendo World website is early 2023.
But in Comcast’s Q4 earnings call on Jan. 27, 2022, Chief Executive Brian Roberts had said the company was expecting to open Epic Universe in 2025. So how Comcast plans to handle that part of the picture with Epic Universe not yet complete is unclear.
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If You Want To See All Of The Harry Potter Orlando Theme Park Arrive Early And Make A Plan
The Hogsmeade area and Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure often open early for Universal hotel guests as part of Universals Early Park Admission perk. If youre staying onsite or can get to the park close to opening time, your best bet is to tackle Hogsmeade early in the morning. Its not as large as Diagon Alley and can get crowded as the day wears on. If it gets too crowded, hop over to Diagon Alley and come back to Hogsmeade in the early evening.
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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.
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