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