Are you a Harry Potter fan? Have a child who has read the Harry Potter books more times that you can recall? Have you seen at least one Harry Potter movie? Yes? Then you need to grab some floo powder and get yourself to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort!
In June 2010 Universal Orlando opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade with much fanfare in their Islands of Adventure park. In July 2014 Universal expanded The Wizarding World of Harry Potter by opening Diagon Alley at their Universal Studios park. These amazingly detailed lands allow you to be immersed in the world of Harry Potter. You will journey from the muggle streets of London to Diagon Alley, through Hogsmeade all the way to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!
Hold onto your broomsticks as we share the top 5 reasons you’ll want to get to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter faster than a golden Snitch zooming across a Quidditch field!
Here you’ll enter the enchanted castle where Harry Potter finally finds a place where he belongs. Walk the corridors and through rooms such as Dumbledore’s office, the Gryffindor common room, and more. There is a thrill ride within the castle called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. This ride is unlike any ride you’ve ever experienced before at a theme park! It is both thrilling and breathtaking. It is not to be missed.
After walking through the scenes of London (including the iconic purple, 3-decker Knight bus) you’ll enter Diagon Alley through a brick wall just as Harry does with Hagrid for the first time in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Here you’ll find everything from sweets and treats at Florean Fortescue’s, to silly gag gifts at Weasleys’ Wizards Wheezes. Shop for new house robes at Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions. You can even exchange your muggle money for wizard currency at Gringotts Bank! Are you brave enough to take a jaunt down the dark streets of Knockturn Alley and step into Borgin and Burkes? Maybe you’ll stop in at the Leaky Cauldron for a little lunch. If you hear a growl be prepared to look up to see the dragon atop of Gringotts Bank breathe fire. Capping off Diagon Alley is an amazing ride through Gringotts Bank! There is so much to see and do in Diagon Alley you could spend a whole day exploring the details.
One of the exciting attractions that opened with Diagon Alley is the Hogwarts Express. You can actually take a ride (or two) on this beautiful scarlet and black steam train. You’ll “walk through” platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station to board the Hogwarts Express to travel to Hogsmeade, or you can travel the reverse route from Hogsmeade to London/Diagon Alley! The ride is different each way so you’ll want to be sure to allow enough time to experience the ride in both directions. Important Tip: Because the ride takes you from one park to another you will want to make sure you purchase a park-to-park ticket
4. Ollivanders Wand Shop
Curious….very curious. Ollivanders Wand Shop can be found in both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. This popular shop and attraction leads you through the process of the “wand choosing the wizard”. During each show one or two guests are selected to have their wands choose them. At the end of the experience all guests havethe opportunity to purchase a wand in the shop. We recommend spending a little extra for an interactive wand.
As any fan of the Harry Potter series will tell you, butterbeer is a staple in the wizarding world. Thus, it should be no surprise that a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter would not be complete without trying this sweet treat! Not only can you try butterbeer, but it comes in a variety of styles. You can sample regular cold butterbeer, frozen butterbeer, butterbeer fudge, butterbeer hard pack ice cream, butterbeer soft serve, butterbeer potted cream, and, in cooler months, hot butterbeer!
These are my top 5 reasons to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but there are many, many more! The amount of detail in Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley, and London is phenomenal. I hope you and your Harry Potter fans will love it as much as I do.
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