Tips for Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Harry Potter fans have one goal: Get to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort! The Wizarding World is truly a dream come true for lovers of the book series. It’s so special that it can be found in two of Universal Orlando Resort theme parks: Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida. Islands of Adventure is home to Hogsmeade, while Diagon Alley can be found in Universal Studios Florida. You absolutely cannot do one and not the other, so I’ll give you tips on how to make the most of your time in this enchanting place.
Purchase the Right Ticket!
We’ve all wanted to take a ride on the Hogwarts Express, and now we actually can! In order to do it, you will need to purchase a Park-to-Park ticket. The train runs to both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida and since you will be entering a different park at the end of the journey, you will need a ticket that allows entrance in both. If you do not have a Park-to-Park ticket, you will not be able to board the train.
The really cool thing about this ride is that there is a different experience for each direction. The journey to Hogsmeade will not be the same as the one to Diagon Alley. The interior of the train is authentic to the movie, with velvet, pale blue fabric on the seats and large windows to gaze out of, so you’ll really feel that you are on your way to Hogwarts! So get the right ticket and don’t miss out!
Universal Express Passes
The Universal Express Pass allows you to skip the ride and attraction lines (at participating locations) and decrease wait time significantly. These passes can be added to your theme park ticket. There are two kinds of Express Passes – the Universal Express Pass allows you express entry once per ride/attraction per day, while the Universal Express Unlimited allows you to skip the regular lines at participating rides an unlimited amount of times per day.
The unlimited pass is pricer than the regular pass. Prices also vary based on the time of year you are visiting and the amount of park day tickets you are purchasing the passes for. The more passes you purchase, the cheaper they are per day. If you can swing the added cost, this is a great way to ensure that you are making the most of your time in the parks. As you can imagine, the Wizarding World rides are some of the most popular rides in the parks. Wait times in regular lines can eat up so much valuable park time!
If you are traveling with young Potter fans, you’ll want to take note of the height requirements for the rides. It’s better to know and plan ahead of time for those that aren’t tall enough to ride, than to get there and be disappointed. You could take advantage of the Rider Swap, which would allow your party to enter together. One adult takes the child to a waiting area ( Harry Potter movies are usually playing there!) and the rest of the party goes off to enjoy the ride. Once they’re finished, the adults switch places without having to wait in line. Everyone gets a turn and you only wait once! Here are the height requirements for the current Wizarding World rides:
Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure
- Forbidden Journey: minimum of 48 inches
- Flight of the Hippogriff: minimum of 36 inches
- Dragon Challenge: minimum of 54 inches (now permanently closed)
Diagon Alley at Universal Florida
- Escape from Gringotts: minimum of 42 inches
Allow Time to Browse
The rides are the main attraction, but there is so much to do in the Wizarding World. I could spend hours of my park day in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, but I don’t like to feel rushed while I’m there by thinking about the other things in the park that I’d like to experience too. You might consider planning at least half a day to explore the entire Wizarding World. If you have your Park-to-Park ticket, you can just hop on the Hogwarts Express once you are satisfied and spend a few hours taking in all things Potter that the other park has to offer.
You’ll want to taste the Butterbeer (both regular and frozen), take a creepy walk right through Knockturn Alley, listen to the Hogwarts Frog Choir perform acapella (with their huge frog pals), and check out all the silly ways to cause mischief at the Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes joke shop. Don’t miss out on anything these truly immersive lands have to offer.
Purchase a Wand
You know you want to! Universal has interactive wands! At various spots throughout both lands in the Wizarding World, you can experience what being a wizard is like by casting spells and seeing the magic happen right in front of you. Ollivander’s Wand Shop is a small shop, but it’s just as you would imagine it to be, jam packed with boxes of wands everywhere! You can find an Ollivander’s in both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Here, you can pick out a wand that is meant just for you…or maybe the wand will choose you! Remember to experience a wand ceremony!
Stop to Chat with Characters
While there aren’t meet and greet experiences with the main characters here, you can still have a chat with a few smaller character from the books.
- The Knight Bus conductor and his sidekick, the shrunken head
- The Hogwarts Express train conductor
- The goblin at Gringotts Money Exchange in Diagon Alley
New Ride Coming to Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is coming to the Wizarding World on June 13th! Take a ride through the Forbidden Forest on a magical motorbike. You’ll have to avoid danger at every turn and experience close encounters with magical creatures while trying to steer clear of the Devil’s Snare. Wizarding World rides never disappoint and I cannot wait to check this one out for myself!
There is so much to pack into a trip to the Wizarding World. Whether you’re a huge fan who will come decked out in a robe or just a theme park guest looking for a thrill ride, you’re sure to have a great time in these magical lands. Are there any tips that you have that would make a first timer enjoy their trip even more? Please let us know down below in the comment section!
Check out more tips about Universal Orlando Resort:
- Ultimate Tips and Tricks for Universal Studios