The Complete Guide To Hogsmeade Vs Diagon Alley At Universal Orlando
The Complete Guide to Hogsmeade vs Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando
The Complete Guide to Hogsmeade vs Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando
If youre planning a trip to Universal Studios, youre probably wondering which is better: Hogsmeade vs. Diagon Alley. They both have thrilling rides, delicious butterbeer, and wands for every aspiring wizard. But, just like in the books, they are distinctly different. Each park is filled with uniquely tailored theming that brings the the pages of the Harry Potter books to life. So, which Harry Potter world is better?
If youre not sure where to start, dont worry. Our ultimate guide is here to help! Our side-by-side comparison will help even the biggest Potter fan figure out which Harry Potter theme park is best for your vacation.
We hope you find this post helpful. Our goal at The Park Prodigy has always been to help you save time and money on your next Universal Orlando vacation. This includes access to the cheapest Universal Orlando tickets, as well as FREE park plans to save up to three hours in the parks!
SPECIAL NOTE: If you need help picking the best time to visit Universal Orlando for your next vacation be sure to check out our Universal crowd calendar!
Which Is Bigger Hogsmeade Vs Diagon Alley
- Both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley were built on about 20 acres of land. But Hogsmeade takes the cake by a few hundred square feet!
Hogsmeade is bigger than Diagon Alley, however we believe its more important to focus on which park has the best rides, shows, and restaurants which we will break down below.
Diagon Alley Touring Tips
Diagon Alley is still the queen of the hop in the theme park world more than two years after its debut. Because of the crowds, experiencing Diagon Alley without interminable waits is a challengeif you visited The Wizarding World of Harry PotterHogsmeade during its first three years at IOA, you know of which we speak. Hogsmeade opened with three rides and Ollivanders now it has four rides plus the wand shop. Diagon Alley has another upsized Ollivanders and only two rides, one of which, Hogwarts Express, it shares with Hogsmeade in IOA. Because only half of each days total train passengers can board at the Studios station, Diagon Alley in essence has only one-and-a-half rides, plus Ollivanders and the various shops, to entertain the expected masses.
In other words, it’s crazy, y’all.
When early park admission is offered USF admits eligible on-site resort guests one hour before the general public, with the turnstiles opening up to 90 minutes before the official opening time. Early entry is a tremendous perk if youre staying on-property, but youll still be competing with thousands of other resort guests, so arrive at least 30 minutes before early entry starts during peak season, showing up on the very first boat or bus from your hotel is recommended. If youre a day guest visiting on an early park admission day, Diagon Alley will already be packed when you arrive.
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Board The Hogwarts Express: Kings Cross Station
Unlike Harry Potter before his first year at Hogwarts, you know how to reach Platform 9 ¾: walk straight through a brick wall. Then ride the train to Hogsmeade Station to get to Hogwarts. En route youll encounter familiar faces and unexpected creatures.
Youll need a Park-to-Park ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express between Diagon Alley in Universal Studios and Hogsmeade in Universals Islands of Adventure.
Q: Which Park Is Hogwarts Castle In
A: Another common question we receive is, which park at Universal Orlando has Hogwarts castle? And Hogwarts castle would be at Islands of Adventure which is Hogsmeade. Theres even a ride that takes place inside Hogwarts castle, so youll actually be able to enter the hallowed halls of Harrys alma mater.
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Diagon Alley Oi Fun Facts
With the success of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade, an expansion of the property was almost inevitable and, indeed, as soon as Hogsmeade was open, the rumors began to circulate. Many assumed that any new addition would continue to creep into the Lost Continent area at Islands of Adventure however, it wasnt until December 6, 2011 that Universal officially announced that the planned expansion would actually come to Universal Studios Florida, just days after the permanent closure of the popular Jaws ride was announced. Progress on this parcel of land was painstakingly slow, as the demolition and infill of the Jaws lagoon took several months, complicated by both weather and the fickle nature of Central Floridas permeable soils, before construction could even begin.
In May of 2013, almost everything was made official: Diagon Alley was, indeed, the theme for the new land, and it would come replete with the Hogwarts Express attraction, which would transport guests between parks to visit both sides of the Wizarding World. An opening year of 2014 was even dropped as part of the announcement.
Q: Should I Go To Hogsmeade Or Diagon Alley First
A: Now that we have discussed the best Harry Potter park, you might be wondering should I go to Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley first? And as a general rule of thumb we always suggest visiting Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure first. This is especially true when using early park admission as the wait times for Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey will always be longer than the Escape from Gringotts later in the day.
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Diagon Alley Interactive Experiences
The Knight Bus
Meet and interact with the Knight Bus Conductor and his sidekick, the shrunken head hanging from the rear-view mirror, of the bus that provides emergency transport for stranded witches and wizards.
Gringotts Money Exchange
Muggles will have a chance to interact with a Gringotts bank goblin as they exchange their Muggle money for Wizarding Bank Notes, which can be used throughout the park to purchase snacks and merchandise.
Universal will be selling a specially made wand that guests will be able to use throughout Diagon Alley. Guests will be given a map of where to find designated medallions throughout the area. When they stand on a designated medallion, wave the wand and say the magic words, a special effect will unfold before their very eyes!
Shutterbutton’s Photography Studio
At this studio, you can take your very own moving portrait and purchase it as a souvenir!
There you have it — all of the experiences inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley! What’s your favorite thing to do at Diagon Alley? Let us know in the comments below!
Do Your Banking With A Goblin
Among the most astonishing features at Diagon Alley are the animated goblin tellers in the lobby of Gringotts bank. They are some of the most sophisticated and realistic animatronic characters ever developed. Guests can get very close to the goblins as they pass them on the way to board Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride.
Note that the attraction is a combination roller coaster and dark ride. If you fret that it may be too thrilling, read my article, “Could You Handle Escape from Gringotts?”
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Tour London Right Outside Diagon Alley
Before or after you enter the famous Diagon Alley, take in the sights of London, including the Knight Bus, Hogwarts Express: Kings Cross Station, snacks, shopping, and some magical surprises. I must admit, every time I come here, I wish I could visit the half-price bookstore, but its never open I know, typical Ravenclaw!
The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Diagon Alley
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What Is The Best Harry Potter Park In Universal Orlando 2023
- Hogsmeade Islands of Adventure
Why did we pick Hogsmeade?:
- Rides To put it simply, no other ride in Orlando can come close to the experience you receive from Hagrids Motorbike Adventure. This ride is worth a trip to Universal alone!
- Food There is nothing like walking into, and dining in The Three Broomsticks. The Leaky Cauldron , is fantastically themed. But any true Potter-Head has always dreamed of sipping Butterbeer in Hogsmeade at The Three Broomsticks.
- Shopping Although Diagon Alley won this round individually, we really like that the shops are more spread out in Hogsmeade. It gives a better shopping experience in our opinion.
- Overall Experience Who could turn down the chance to actually walk into Hogwarts Castle? The fact that theres a really great ride inside just makes it even more fun.
We hope ourHarry Potter World comparison helps you decide which Harry Potter theme park is best. They are both excellent parks and you will have fun wherever you go, but in our opinion, Hogsmeade is the clear winner!
Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts 2023
The main Harry Potter rideat Universal Studios Florida 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.
Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts
Min Height: 42/3ft 6″/106cm
You definitely dont want to miss this ride.
The adventure begins before you even enter Gringotts bank, as you pass beneath the massive fire-breathing dragon at the far end of Diagon Alley!
Inside, walk past the hard working Goblins in the banks detailed marble lobby and keep a look-out for the 4 chandeliers that are made up of nearly 62,000 crystals!
The inside of the bank is exciting enough, but just wait until you get to the vaults…. Youll be taken on a perilous journey through cavernous passageways that lead deep underground, trying to evade malicious villains along the way.
Return Of The Dark Lord
- “The colourful, glittering window displays of spellbooks, potion ingredients, and cauldrons were lost to view, hidden behind the large Ministry of Magic posters that had been pasted over them… A few windows were boarded up, including those of Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour. On the other hand, a number of shabby-looking stalls had sprung up along the street.”
- Description of Diagon Alley’s gloominess
Diagon Alley during the Second Wizarding War
Following Voldemort’s return to power in 1996, wizards and witches no longer felt safe wandering out in public, and Diagon Alley changed dramatically. The once-crowded streets stood virtually empty, faces of Death Eaters plastered the fronts of once-bright shops, and street vendors popped up, hawking anti-Dark devices.
Within another year and Voldemort’s taking over of the Ministry of Magic, a large number of shops had closed, replaced by others devoted to the Dark Arts, and the street was filled with Muggle-borns who had been cast aside by the new system. Ollivanders and Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour were closed.
Presumably, after Voldemort’s eventual downfall and the installation of Kingsley Shacklebolt as Minister for Magic Diagon Alley eventually returned to its splendour of old.
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Dine At The Leaky Cauldron
Just like Hogsmeade, the Diagon Alley area has its own restaurant: The Leaky Cauldron. But Universal Orlando made the wise decision not to simply repeat the same menu over in Diagon Alleythe Leaky Cauldron has its own unique menu with various items you cant get at Hogsmeades Three Broomsticks. Theres bangers & mash, fishermans pie, toad in the hole, and even a mini pie combination. Even the desserts are delightfully English, from sticky toffee pudding to chocolate potted cream. And yes, you can enjoy the Wizarding Worlds own alcoholic beverages like Wizards Brew or Dragon Scale here, as well as a variety of non-alcoholic drinks.
Its the attention to detail that makes all the difference, and the fact that the Leaky Cauldron is an entirely different dining experience from The Three Broomsticks makes Diagon Alley feel like a wholly unique corner of the Wizarding World. At the Three Broomsticks, youre surrounded by old paintings and photographs of witches and wizards from the past, and towards the back of the restaurant theres a giant hearth where a huge cauldron rests. Its all a sight to behold while youre scarfing down delicious food.
Guide To Diagon Alley In The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter At Universal Studios Florida
Welcome, Harry, to Diagon Alley. Heres where you get your quills and your ink, and over there all your bits and bobs for doing your wizardry. Rubeus Hagrid, Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone
Just like Diagon Alley was one of Harry Potters first glimpses of the Wizarding World, working the VIP Preview for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida was one of my first experiences as a team member at Universal Orlando Resort. Ill never forget the moment I first passed through the bricks and saw the iconic street all aglow!
Theres so much to see and do here, from the thrilling ride beneath Gringotts Wizarding Bank, to the Wizarding Worlds most famous shops. You wont want to miss a thing, so heres everything you need to know.
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Which Has Better Rides When Comparing Hogsmeade Vs Diagon Alley 2023
- Hogsmeade Islands of Adventure
The Verdict: For starters, there are three rides, compared to Universal Studios having just one. And of the three, two are actual roller coaster type rides. If youre deciding which Harry Potter park is better in Orlando based on the rides alone, well have to give it to Islands of Adventure and Hogsmeade.
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What Shops Are At Islands Of Adventures Hogsmeade 2023
- Honeydukes: Exploding BonBons, Chocolate Frogs, and Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans
- Dervish & Banges: Magical items, broomsticks, and your Hogwarts uniform
- Filchs Emporium of Confiscated Goods: Treasures seized by the surly caretaker, plus more
- Owl Post: Writing equipment and a place to mail letters with a Hogsmeade postmark
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Variety Of Poster Frame Colors And Sizes Available
Our Harry Potter posters are printed on high-quality poster paper, so they look great hanging as is â or you can add a frame for that perfect finishing touch! We are proud to offer a variety of poster frame colors and size options, so you can choose a framed poster that fits your wall space and matches your home decor perfectly. Our framed posters feature a premium satin finish and are lightweight and easy to hang using the attached sawtooth hanger, so youâll be able to enjoy your new Harry Potter poster in no time. You’ll love the finishing touch a poster frame adds to your new favorite HP poster.
Interactive Wands And Spell Casting Locations
With the opening of Diagon Alley, Universal also introduced interactive wands to the parks, supplementing the nonfunctional replica wands that continue to be sold at Ollivanders and in the smaller selection at Wands by Gregorovitch. Interactive wands are available in 13 Ollivanders Original styles inspired by the Celtic calendar interactive wands modeled after those wielded by a variety of characters are also available. The widest selection of wands is found in the two Ollivanders shops. Stores outside of the Wizarding World at the entrance of each park, as well as CityWalk’s Universal Studios store and gift shops at each hotel, carry a limited variety of interactive and non-interactive wands. Wands can also be ordered from Universal Orlando’s merchandise website.
Note that the price of the interactive wands includes unlimited activations of the hidden effects you don’t have to pay to “recharge” your wand on subsequent visits, or even replace a battery. If you encounter a spell-casting location with a sign saying it currently has an anti-jinx in place, just move along to the next one that’s Potter-speak for it’s broken.
Weve received positive feedback so far on the interactive wands,like this praise from a New York, New York, family:
On the other hand, a cost-conscious dad from Rigby, Indiana, sends this advice:
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