2 Days of Magic: Wizarding World of Harry Potter Tips & Recommendations

2 Days of Magic: Wizarding World of Harry Potter Tips & Recommendations

After competing in Cotopaxi Questival in San Francisco, one of my oldest friends and I almost immediately jetted off to Orlando, Florida for some much needed pool time, shopping, local exploration, and most importantly – to get lost in the wonders of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I had high expectations, but it was even better than I dreamed. As lifelong Harry Potter fans, we nerded out to say the least. The amount of detail at the theme park is truly spectacular and we never wanted to leave! We had a lot of questions about the logistics of the Wizarding World prior to our trip so I hope to provide some essential Wizarding World of Harry Potter tips and recommendations if you’re planning to visit.


Wizarding World of Harry Potter Basics 

  • The Wizarding World now resides in 2 Universal Orlando Resort theme parks: Diagon Alley is at Universal Studios Florida and the newer Hogsmeade and Hogwarts attractions are at Islands of Adventure. This means you have to pay for 2 separate theme parks.
  • The Hogwarts Express can take you from Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade and Hogwarts and vice versa. You have to pay for two parks to take the train.
  • Buying tickets for Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure means you can see all the other attractions in those theme parks (e.g. Jurassic Park, Springfield).
  • There are 3 rides at the Wizarding World:
    • Escape from Gringotts (4D ride at Diagon Alley)
    • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (4D ride in Hogwarts)
    • Flight of the Hippogriff (very short rollercoaster in Hogsmeade)
  • There are 2 places for meals, 1 place for dessert, and 1 bar at the Wizarding World:
    • The Leaky Cauldron (Diagon Alley) – British fare
    • The Three Broomsticks (Hogsmeade) – British fare
    • Florean Fortescu’s Ice Cream Parlour (Diagon Alley) – they have butterbeer ice cream!
    • The Hog’s Head (Hogsmeade) – beer and alcohol




Wizarding World of Harry Potter Tips & Recommendations

  • It is cheaper to visit during the week! We paid $271.57 USD (with taxes) for a 2-day-2-park pass. We visited on a Tuesday and Wednesday. You can view pricing options here.
  • I recommend 2 days at the Wizarding World so you’re not rushed. You will want to check out all the nooks and crannies of the theme parks.
  • The lines for rides will take up most of your time. They can be over an hour even during the off-season when we went! I highly recommend heading to the rides first thing in the morning. Escape from Gringotts and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey are musts if you’re ok with 3D effects. We went on both twice! You can purchase VIP Experience passes to enter the much shorter VIP line at rides.
  • Interactive wands are $50 and non-interactive are $45 and I highly recommend the former. Interactive allows you to “perform spells” at certain points around the Wizarding World.
  • Lineup for a wand demonstration at Ollivander’s.
  • Butterbeer is available at numerous places around the Wizarding World. They also have frozen butterbeer, which is a must try as well! Each are just over $7.
  • Prepare to become a big spender at the Wizarding World if you’re a fan. One chocolate frog costs $10  and a children’s hoodie runs $50 (I bought a children’s size large).
  • If you leave the Wizarding World and still want to buy Harry Potter merchandise, Universal stores at both parks still offer many of the same apparel, accessories, and memorabilia.

Have any questions about the Wizarding World? Let me know in the comments!


The Wizarding World in Photos…

wizarding world of harry potter tips

Jumping for joy in Diagon Alley

wizarding world of harry potter tips

Just looking at Hogwarts through this photo still gives me chills

wizarding world of harry potter tips

Casting spells in Diagon Alley

wizarding world of harry potter tips

Touching wands on the mini Hogwarts Express

wizarding world of harry potter tips

Wintery Hogsmeade while it’s 30C outside

wizarding world of harry potter tips

The entrance to the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride

wizarding world of harry potter tips

Butterbeer ice cream! It was good.

wizarding world of harry potter tips

Butterbeer and frozen butterbeer!

wizarding world of harry potter tips

Where we purchased our butterbeer in Diagon Alley

wizarding world of harry potter tips

A fountain that spits water out when you use your interactive wand properly on it (we saw so many people unexpectedly get splashed!)

wizarding world of harry potter tips

Find your toys at Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes in Diagon Alley!

wizarding world of harry potter tips

All the wands at Ollivander’s!

wizarding world of harry potter tips

Get your chocolate frogs at Sugar Plum’s Sweet Shop in Diagon Alley

wizarding world of harry potter tips

The sweets menu at Sugar Plum’s

wizarding world of harry potter tips

Hagrid’s motorbike! (Formerly Sirius Black’s)

wizarding world of harry potter tips

Waiting to board the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade from Diagon Alley!

wizarding world of harry potter tips

We dined on British fare at the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade

wizarding world of harry potter tips

All the sugary goods at Honeydukes in Hogsmeade

wizarding world of harry potter tips

More shops at Hogsmeade (note that not all shopfronts are actual shops)

wizarding world of harry potter tips

Grimmauld Place is one of the first things you’ll see at the Wizarding World

wizarding world of harry potter tips

The Knight Bus!


Interested in something else British? Here’s my guide to 3 days in London.


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Comments ( 24 )

  1. ReplyAmberLynn
    Interestingly enough, I have never been the biggest fan of Harry Potter anything, which is weird, because a lot of people around me are. When they speak about the books and the movies, and what house they're in, I'm like... gah! I don't know what none of this means. Anyway, I have still been wanting to check this out at Universal Studios. It looks like you had a great time, and I will definitely go in the week like you did.
    • ReplyAuthorEmma @ theweekendabroad.com
      I have a few friends who are in the same boat as you so you're not alone! However, I highly recommend Universal and the Wizarding World even if you're not a fan. There's still so much to see and do (and for all ages!). Thanks for your comment, Amber Lynn!
  2. Replyfeastandlore
    I love the Butterbeer! Universal really outdid themselves recreating the Harry Potter world, you are truly immersed when you go there.
    • ReplyAuthorEmma @ theweekendabroad.com
      So did I! Absolutely - you really feel like you're in the actual Wizarding World. Can't wait to go back.
  3. ReplyJulie I Aloha Lovely
    This place looks amazing! Can't wait to take my girls here.
  4. Replybackpackingdetours
    This looks like so much fun! I think it's definitely a Bucket List experience. I really appreciate you listing the prices, I had no idea the cost of some things was so high.
    • ReplyAuthorEmma @ theweekendabroad.com
      I'm so glad it helped! Theme parks are incredibly expensive these days! Which I understand because of all the maintenance and production that goes into it. I highly recommend it though!
  5. ReplyMaryal
    This looks like SO much fun, and I'm not even that into Harry Potter! The pics are also super, super cute. I love how excited you look! Thanks for sharing such a fun trip! - Maryal www.LoveandSpecs.com
    • ReplyAuthorEmma @ theweekendabroad.com
      Thanks so much, Marya! So glad it looks like fun to you despite not being a Harry Potter fan!
  6. ReplyMudpieLullaby
    WOW. The details of the place look mind bending! That looks like a lot of fun!
  7. ReplyMonica
    Okay you are too cute, loving your poses in some of these photos!!! Looks like you had so much fun!!
    • ReplyAuthorEmma @ theweekendabroad.com
      Haha thanks so much, Monica! <3 Was too quirky and unique of a place to just do some normal/boring poses!
  8. Replylovelyluckylife
    These are great tips! I've never even read a HP book - can you believe that?!
    • ReplyAuthorEmma @ theweekendabroad.com
      It IS hard to believe! Harry Potter was my entire adolescence! I believe that anyone would have a great time here despite not having read the books.
  9. ReplyJuli // Once Upon a Cheerio
    I was there a few years ago and absolutely loved it! I had a baby with me at the time so I didn't get to explore like I would normally but OMG I loved the place! I can't wait to go back when my kiddos are older!
    • ReplyAuthorEmma @ theweekendabroad.com
      So glad to hear, Juli! You absolutely should go back once your kids are older. I'm excited for all of you!
  10. Replyanchoredmommy
    This is a great review! I've been dying to go there!
  11. ReplyLisa
    These are great photos! My kids would love this!
  12. ReplyGLENNY (@glennymah)
    I love how detailed you are with your post! I remember coming here a few years ago but didn't really fully digest my time being here, but i remember it still being magical ;)
    • ReplyAuthorEmma @ theweekendabroad.com
      Thanks so much, Glenny! <3 It is so easy to forget what you saw at the Wizarding World because there are seriously so many details! Thank god for photos. I'm glad you had a magical time as well!

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