There is so much to see and do in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. Even if you’ve never seen the movies or read the books there is plenty to enjoy. A fire breathing dragon, a thrilling coaster, tasty treats, who doesn’t love all of that?!
There are two sections, Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. Diagon Alley is in Universal Studios and Hogsmeade is in Islands of Adventure. The Hogwarts Express connects the two lands and parks so to ride it you’ll need a Park to Park ticket. The Hogwarts Express is not to be missed so getting the Park to Park ticket is a must! Plus you need to ride it both ways because the ‘show’ is unique each way.
You’ll want to purchase an interactive wand. They are not cheap, so if getting one for everyone is outside of your budget, think about purchasing one for your party and have everyone take turns performing spells. You can choose a replica of almost any witch or wizards wand. I saw Cho Chang, Luna Lovegood, Voldemort, Hermione and of course Harry Potters just to name a few. Or if you want to the full experience visit Ollivander’s where you might be chosen!
There are so many fantastic attractions in both sections. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts were my favorites. Flight of the Hippogriff is great for younger children with a 36” height requirement.
One word, Butterbeer! You have to try the Butterbeer. There are so many variations I need to go back and try more. I loved cold butterbeer more than the frozen and the fudge was really good but I want to go back and try hot butterbeer which is only available during the winter months. I also really enjoyed the Pumpkin Juice, it’s not as sweet as the Butterbeer but really refreshing. Then the quick service locations serve traditional English fare.
Finally, just wander around and take it all in. The shops in Diagon Alley are unbelievable. It feels like you walked right out of Order of the Phoenix. Head down Knock Turn Alley, look around Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes or choose a post card and have it mailed from the Owl Post. Be sure to check out 12 Grimmwauld Place and knock on the door, then check the window to see who is at home. Then stop and talk to the Knight Bus conductor, it’s one of two of the buses used in the film the Prisoner of Azkaban. And give yourself some time to watch a show. The Triwizard Spirit Rally and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees are just two that take place in each of the lands.
Melissa Lenox is a Vacation Specialist with Coasters & Castles Travel. She is a former entertainment cast member, loves Star Wars, Chip 'n Dale, dining at Walt Disney World and planning trips for others! Follow her at www.facebook.com/MelissaLenoxCoastersandCastlesTravel or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org to plan your next adventure!