Climb Aboard To Continue The Journey
Travel between Kings Cross Station in the London area of Universal Studios Florida and Hogsmeadeâ¢ Station in Universals Islands of Adventure, Each way is a different experience. From the thrill of walking through Platform 9 Â¾â¢ to seeing characters and creatures featured in the films, this is not your everyday train ride. Additional restrictions apply.
Youâll need a Park-to-Park ticket to ride the Hogwartsâ¢ Express and visit both lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potterâ¢. The train travels between Hogsmeadeâ¢ in Universalâs Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alleyâ¢ in Universal Studios Florida
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stoneâ¢, Harry Potterâ¢ meets his two best friends, Ron Weasleyâ¢ and Hermione Grangerâ¢, on his first journey to Hogwartsâ¢ on the Hogwartsâ¢ Express
One of the most anticipated things coming to Universal Orlando is the upcoming Epic Universe expansion. This expansion will include some incredible rides and attractions as well as a ton of entertainment and dining options. Not too much is known about the land but it is expected to include some rides themed to the classic Universal Monster movies as well as other famous properties.
Are you disappointed about the Hogwarts Express being closed? What is your favorite ride at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter? Let us know in the comments below!
Universal Studios Orlando Rides
Beyond the more extensive Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida, there is also a lot more rides. There are two separate theme parks plus an extensive themed water park, so it makes sense that Florida has a lot more ride options.
In addition to extra Harry Potty attractions that arent in California, here are a few more family favorites from Orlando:
- Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit
- Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
- Woody Woodpackers KidZone
- Kang & Kudos Twirl n Hurl
- Men In Black Alien Attack
- Pteranodon Flyers
- Cat in the Hat Ride
- High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train
- One fish, Two fish, Red fish, Blue Fish
- Dooms Fearfall
- Popeye and Blutos Bilge-rat Barges
- Dudley Do-Right Ripsaw Falls
- Skull Island: Reign of Kong
Where To Buy Universal Tickets
You can purchase your tickets directly from Universal. Alternatively, you can buy from well-respected third-party vendors like Undercover Tourist. This can be an especially good idea right after a ticket price hike. Often, Undercover Tourist will have some tickets left over at the lower price for a few days or weeks after a ticket price increase.
Additionally, ticket purchases from Undercover Tourist typically code as travel for the purposes of earning or redeeming credit card points. Bookmark that site and comparison shop whenever you are buying tickets for Universal or other theme parks like Walt Disney World.
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Can You Bring Your Own Wand To Universal
Yes, you can bring wands with you into Universal Studios.
There are inexpensive wands on Amazon that are perfect to bring if you dont want to cast spells.
You may be able to find discounted wands at thrift shops or on Ebay, too. If you are able to find an interactive wand for sale outside of the theme parks, they should still be able to work at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Take A Break And See A Show
After enjoying the rides, it might be a good time to see one of the shows staged in Hogsmeade throughout the day.
When we visited, we saw the Frog Choir and the Triwizard Spirit Rally. The stage is small but we never had trouble getting a close-up spot as long as we arrived a few minutes before showtime. Check the paper guide given out at the park entrance or the Universal Orlando app for showtimes.
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Harry Potter Restaurants Universal California Vs Florida
Next, lets compare the Universal Studios Harry Potter World restaurants Florida vs California. Craving fish n chips or an ice cold butterbeer? Dont worry, you can find all sorts of delicious wizards fare at both Wizarding World locations at Universal Orlando Vs Hollywood. Both parks have incredibly themed quick service locations that are a must do for a complete Potter trip!
The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Diagon Alley At Universal Studios Florida
Experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley as you walk the familiar streets of London, passing buskers, red telephone booths and Kings Cross Station. You will know youre close to Diagon Alley once you see the Knight Bus. Just pass through the brick archway and catch your first glimpse of this hidden magical marketplace.
Once inside, grab a cup of Butterbeer or Pumpkin Juice from iconic establishments like Leaky Cauldron, the Hopping Pot and other themed dining options, or even from a passing street vendor. Several Diagon Alley venues also have wizard-friendly eats.
Of course, its not the wizarding world without adventure, and youll find plenty of it at Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. Keep a watchful eye on the roof of Gringotts Money Exchange while youre there, though the 60-foot Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon is known to breathe fire!
Next, its time to gear up on everything youll need to make your time at Hogwarts a success. Find the perfect wand at Ollivanders, get sized for your school uniform at Madam Malkins Robes for All Occasions, prepare for the big game at Quality Quidditch Supplies, or just stock up on side-splitting gags at Weasleys Wizard Wheezes, among other shopping opportunities. And if you have the nerve to brave Knockturn Alley, Borgin and Burkes is your source for Death Eater masks and other merchandise coveted by members of House Slytherin.
Orlando’s Only Official Website
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The Untold Truth Of The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the hugely successful themed area within Universal Studios’ theme parks. It is, of course, inspired by the best-selling children’s book series by author J.K. Rowling, and the eight film adaptations produced by Warner Bros between 2001 and 2011, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint.
The first Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in Orlando, Florida at Universal’s Islands of Adventure park in 2010, via the Orlando Sentinel. After extreme success, they expanded by building another area at their other Orlando park, Universal Studios Florida, which opened in 2014. Following closely behind, a version opened at Universal Studios Japan the same year, and at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2016. Universal Studios Beijing is currently construction their own Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which, according to their website, is expected to open in 2021.
Harry Potter fans are known for being devoted and highly knowledgeable of the universe the books are set in, and if you are a fan yourself, you might think you’ve already heard all there is to know about the books and movies and in turn, the theme parks that spawned from their success. You’d be wrong. With so many versions of this park all over the world, and more sure to come, here are some little-known facts about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Universal Studios Plans To Expand The Wizarding World In Their New Epic Universe Park
It was first reported by Orlando Sentinel, last October, that Universal Studios planned to open a new theme park the first addition to Orlando in 20 years. Named Epic Universe, it was initially planned to open in 2023. There were few details available when it was first announced, but Universal confirmed this past January that Super Nintendo World would be a part of this new park.
Orlando Weekly analyzed the official Epic Universe concept art, and it seems there will likely be four different areas of the park, suspected to be Super Nintendo World, a section devoted to How to Train Your Dragon, one for Universal Classic Monsters, and the fourth to be centered around Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the new film series set in the Harry Potter universe. According to theories, the area will be themed around Paris, France, in the 1920s, a setting featured in the second film of the series.
Of course, the spread of COVID-19 put a real damper on all these plans, and now it’s unclear what Universal hopes to do with their Epic Universe. The construction is on hold indefinitely, and they will probably have to cut things, and shift their plans around. But given how successful the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been for them, Universal is likely to make the upcoming Fantastic Beasts expansion a high priority.
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Dine At The Leaky Cauldron
If you didnt eat breakfast before heading to Diagon Alley, now may be the right time to grab a table at the atmospheric Leaky Cauldron. Breakfast is pricey, but where else can you dine among witches and wizards? Breakfast plates for adults all ring in at $17.99 and include a small beverage .
- Traditional Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, sausage links, black pudding, English bacon, baked beans, grilled tomato, sauteed mushrooms and breakfast potatoes.
- American Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, potatoes, crisp bacon, sausage link and a croissant.
- Pancake Breakfast: Three buttermilk pancakes, crisp bacon, sausage link and a croissant.
- Egg, Leek and Mushroom Pasty: Pastry-wrapped scrambled eggs, mushrooms and leeks served with potatoes and fruit.
- Apple Oatmeal Flan with Yogurt & Fruit.
The kids breakfast plate traditional, pancake or American is $12.99. Pumpkin juice will set you back $4.99.
If youre not a breakfast eater, leave this stop for lunchtime instead where you can order things like fish n chips , a ploughmans lunch for two , bangers and mash or a beef, lamb and Guinness stew . Kids entrees include things like mac n cheese and fish n chips for $7.29. Desserts sticky toffee pudding, Butterbeer potted cream or chocolate potted cream shouldnt be missed.
Harry Potter World Orlando Hogsmeade
Here is where we are going to see our biggest difference between Florida vs California Harry Potter Worlds. While a lot of shopping is jammed into Hogsmeade in Hollywood, these shops are spread out a lot more in Orlando between the two parks. So if youre planning on only visiting Hogsmeade in Florida, you will miss out on some shops that are in Hollywoods Hogsmeade.
- Wiseacres Wizarding Equipment
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Early Park Admission At Harry Potter Universal Studios Hollywood Vs Orlando
So, when deciding between Universal Studios Hollywood or Universal Orlando for early park admission, which one is better? Well, this is actually an easy one as only Universal Orlando offers a Harry Potter early park admission. But should this be the deciding factor between the two?
Overall we would say dont make the decision to visit Harry Potter World Orlando or Hollywood just based on an extra hour in the morning. But we would pay more attention to the actual rides that are included with the early park admission. Specifically the Universal Orlando early park admission does include some of the most popular Harry Potter rides including Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts which is not a ride that can be found at Universal Hollywood.
Is Universal Orlando Better Than Universal Hollywood
Beyond the additional Harry Potter rides there are quite a few additional attractions at Universal Orlando that just arent available in California. In fact Universal Orlando is so big, it is actually two different theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. Three parks, if you count the water park, Volcano Bay.
I wont declare either a true winner over the other though. I think which park is better for you really depends on your family. What your family likes, where your family lives, and how much time you have to visit the park, all factor into which park experience is best for you.
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Buying The Right Ticket For Harrys World
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade is part of Islands of Adventure while The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley can be found at Universal Studios, this is important when it comes to choosing your ticket.
Splitting this land into two sections was a brilliant move on Universals part since it means you need to purchase the upgraded Park-to-Park admission ticket if you wish to see both parts of Harrys world on the same day.
That also means holding a Park-to-Park ticket or a Universal annual pass are the only ways you can ride the Hogwarts Express train attraction between the two lands. The Hogwarts Express is more than just a mode of transportation it’s an attraction in and of itself. Leave time to take the train in both directions because the experience is different depending on which way you’re headed.
You can use single-day one-park tickets to visit each land separately, but theres no way to use those tickets to board the Hogwarts Express.
You can buy Universal tickets for one, two, three, four or five days.
Universals website sometimes offers special promotions for multiday passes that throw in extras like a skip-the-line Express Pass, discounted admission to the Volcano Bay water park or a free day at Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure.
When buying Universal tickets, look at all the combinations and prices to determine which is the best deal for your family.
Related: TPGs complete guide to Universal Orlando
Hogwarts Express Hogsmeade Station
When youre ready to leave this part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, walk through the arch toward Hogsmeade Station and get in line for the Hogwarts Express.
The train will take you back to London at Universal Studios. The experience is a bit different in each direction, so be sure to hop on even if you rode the train from London to Hogsmeade earlier in the day.
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Who Owns The Rights To Harry Potter
Like other franchises of its size, the Harry Potter franchise has various rights distributed to appropriate candidates. The list below includes a breakdown of who owns which rights to the Harry Potter franchise:
A More Thorough Breakdown of the Rights
Intellectual Property Rights: Owned exclusively by JK Rowling.
Publishing Rights: Scholastic owns publishing rights in the US, and Bloomsbury owns publishing rights in the UK.
Film Rights: Warner Brothers
Theme Park Rights: Universal Studios
Things To Do At The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter
Rides the Hogwarts Express between parks: this rides at The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter is a fun ride and it saves you the trouble of walking from park to park.
Enjoy the rides: The golden goblin statue in Diagon Alley marks the entrance that will take you to Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. The interior of Gringotts and Forbbin Journey are some of the most immersive scenery youve have ever seen.
Use a Wand: You can buy standard wands that are wands certain characters use through the movie series. You can also buy interactive magic wands in also from various gift shops of the theme Park. If you head to Olivanders wand shop, you can experience the magic just like Harry Potter did in the movie when selecting a wand. Purchasing the wand selected for you is not necessary.
Go to the gift shop: Youll find a variety of fantastic books and magical items in the gift shops. You can find many souvenirs from the movie series. The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade stores are almost as fun as the rides. Get acquainted with practical jokes in Weasleys Wheezes and get ready for the dark arts in Borgin and Burkes, which is in the darkness of Knockturn Alley.
Butterbeer: Butterbeer, is a sweet and irresistible drink that is delicious to all magicians. Available in frozen, cold, or hot, even as ice cream or fudge, butterbeer sure quenches the thirsty palate. You can even get a souvenir cup for your drink.
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Universal Studios Hollywood: Lard Lad Donuts
Springfield, U.S.A. is a great stop in either park for any Simpsons fan. The whole area is completely immersive, featuring locations youd expect Homer or Bart to visit on the show.
The Lard Lad Donuts in Hollywood features the iconic Big Pink donut, plus several other gigantic varieties that change daily.
We tried a couple of different crazy huge donuts during our visit, they were delicious. Lard Lad Donuts in Florida only offers the giant pink donut, you can also buy other varieties of regular sized donuts in Florida.
6. Super Nintendo World Under Construction
Super Nintendo World is under construction right now in the lower lot at Universal Studios Hollywood. We caught a sneak peek of the work underway behind the Halloween Horror Nights Stranger Things maze entrance.
My boys are super excited about this new area coming to Universal Studios Hollywood. An opening date hasnt been announced yet, I will update this post when we have a better idea on when Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood is set to open.
The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley
If you are staying at any of the on-site Universal hotels, you can get into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour earlier than general admission.
Which park opens early varies by day and sometimes both parks open early. The front desk agent should give you this information at check-in or you can check the Universal Orlando website for the most up-to-date information.
No matter which park is opening early, plan to arrive at the front gates at least 15 – 30 minutes before the Early Park Admission opening time. It’s the only way to beat the crowds and make the most of your extra time.
Only certain attractions open during Early Park Admission, but this typically includes all of the Wizarding World attractions. The ones you will most likely want to knock out are Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Islands of Adventure and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts at Universal Studios Florida.
For Hagrid’s, head to Islands of Adventure, take a right after passing through Port of Entry and head toward Seuss Landing. Universal team members will be on hand to scan your hotel keycard and allow you to go deeper into the park. Continue through Seuss Landing to The Lost Continent and you should see team members directing you toward the start of the line for Hagrid’s.
Be careful not to overshoot and walk past the somewhat hidden entrance to Diagon Alley. When you see an opening in a brick wall, you know youve found it.
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