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Harry Potter World Orlando is the nickname for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. You can explore the world of Harry Potter at Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. We share 14 of the must do’s during your visit for any Harry Potter fan.
We do love the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in our house! We are certainly a House divided with one Slytherin, two Hufflepuffs, and a Gryffindor. How about you?
No matter the House, we all love Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWoHP) at Universal Orlando Resort. Are you a Harry Potter fan? If you are, Harry Potter World Orlando (as it is nicknamed) is an epic family vacation.
The Harry Potter World in Orlando is located at both Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios theme parks. You will find Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. Each section has a main focus from the Harry Potter books and movies. The main focus at Hogsmeade is Hogwarts Castle and main attraction at Diagon Alley is Gringotts Bank with the dragon perched on the roof.
Must Do’s at Wizarding World of Harry Potter
There are so many things to do at Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We share the best of the best. These are the must do’s during your vacation.
Let’s all say at once…YUM! You have to get a Butterbeer when visiting Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You can get a regular, frozen, or even hot Butterbeer at both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.
Our favorite location is in Diagon Alley. This little bar is called the Hopping Pot. I like to grab a Butterbeer and sit in front of the stage to watch the next stage show.
Don’t forget to get that mustache selfie! #selfie
Interactive Wand Spells
We love the interactive wand spells at both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. This is a great activity, without a wait. We will sometimes take the wands and just hit the spells at Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
The best location for the spells is in Diagon Alley. We love the spells in scary Knockturn Alley and by Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. It is fun for kids of all ages. You do have to purchase a wand to take advantage of the interactive wand spells. You will also get a map with all of the spells, includes some secret spell locations.
Every wizard needs a wand. One of the shows at Harry Potter World Orland is at Ollivanders Wand Shop. There is an Ollivanders at Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. We recommend the Diagon Alley location. There are more rooms, so you do not have as long a wait at this location. After the show, you can spend some time browsing the wands.
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
This is the thrill ride at Diagon Alley!
It is quite popular, but it is so much fun. We share a ton of tips for beating the line for Escape from Gringotts in the video.
Gringotts Money Exchange
In Diagon Alley, you may miss the Gringotts Money Exchange, because it just looks like a store front. It is an actual attraction and a must do! You can ask the Goblin questions about Gringotts Bank.
You can even purchase bank notes. The bank notes are like gift certificates. They are good at either Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade.
In King’s Cross, you will see the purple triple decker bus. This is the Knight Bus. You will see the driver next to the bus, but there is also a shrunken head inside the bus that will interact with you. This is such a fun pic and video experience. Have those cameras ready!
This is a Must Do at Wizarding World of Harry Potter that a lot of people miss! In King’s Cross, you will see the black building with the door that says 12. Look for the window (above door 12), you will see Kreacher pull open the curtains.
Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes
As you walk into Diagon Alley, you will see this super fun store on your right. You have to go into this shop. You can purchase all kinds of crazy treats, stuffed plush, insane toys, and more. All of the craziness that only the Weasley brothers can come up with! You can even adopt a Pygmy Puff!
After wandering through Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, wander through the other connecting stores. One of the stores is Sugarplum’s Sweet Shop. You can find sweet treats in this shop (similar to Honeydukes) like Harry Potter Chocolate Frogs, Exploding Bonbons, Fizzing Whizzbees, Butterbeer fudge, Pumpkin Juice, Gilly Water, Bertie Bott Every Flavour Beans, and Pumpkin Pasties.
The Hogwarts Express is another Must Do at Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You can take the train ride from Hogsmeade to King’s Cross Station in London and then from King’s Cross Station back to Hogsmeade.
You will see a lot of your favorite Harry Potter characters during the show. If this is your first time riding the Hogwarts Express, make sure you ride in both directions. The show is different for a ride from Hogsmeade to King’s Cross and King’s Cross to Hogsmeade.
To ride the train in both directions, you must have a Universal Orlando park admission ticket that allows you to park hop between the parks. This ticket is called a Park to Park ticket. You will need a Park to Park ticket to you can ride the Hogwarts Express. You can purchase this discount ticket with our friends at Official Ticket Center.
Use the Restrooms!
You have to “use the restroom” when visiting Hogsmeade. You may hear Moaning Myrtle in the restroom. It is hysterical!
Mail from Owl Post
Bring your own postcards or letters with stamps to Hogsmeade at Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You can then get an Owl Post postmark stamp and mail them from Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This would be such a fun surprise, when you get home.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
A brand new ride at Harry Potter World Orlando is a must do! Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is a thrilling roller coaster. On this ride, you will zoom through the Forbidden Forest, see some magical creatures, escape a centaur’s bow, and so much more. If you like Harry Potter and roller coasters, you cannot miss this ride!
This ride does get super popular, since it is brand new. Download the Universal Orlando app to your smart phone. You can make a reservation using the Virtual Line on the app. Even with the Virtual Line reservation system, it does book up. Make sure you book your Virtual Line early in the morning or wait until around 3 PM and book one in the later evening.
Nighttime Castle Show
This is still a newer show, but spectacular. You can watch this projection show in the evening (every 20 minutes) from dust to close.
Here is a video with this new show.
There are so many things to do at Harry Potter World Orlando, we wanted to share a few honorable mentions.
Flight of the Hippogriff
The Flight of the Hiippogriff is a family roller coaster ride. You will get a great view of Hogsmeade and you may even see a few surprises (like Hagrid’s Hut and an animatronic Hippogriff).
We do love this ride, but it can get super long wait times. This one made our honorable mention list, because it is a lot of fun. However, the ride is super quick so waiting 60 minutes for a few second ride is not really worth it. If there is a short wait, I would go ahead and ride. It is a lot of fun!
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Inside Hogwarts Castle hides a ride called Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. You will join Harry, Ron, and Hermione on an adventure through Hogwarts, up close with a Whomping Willow, and even through a Quidditch match.
This ride did not make our must do list, but should get recommended in our honorable mention list. Is is a really fun ride and truly unique experience. There are a few things to know before you ride. The seats are a bit snug, so not everyone can even fit in the ride vehicle. Universal Orlando has a sample ride vehicle outside, before you even get into the queue. You can test it to make sure you can fit. This ride is very scary with Dementors and huge spiders (as big as the ride vehicle). Many kids and some adults get really scared on this ride. Finally, this ride spins you around during the experience. If you get car sick, you will want to skip this one.
Dine at Three Broomsticks or Leaky Cauldron
If you have time and the restaurants are not crowded, you may want to grab lunch or dinner at one of the Harry Potter local establishments. You can dine at Three Broomsticks at Hogsmeade or the Leaky Cauldron at Diagon Alley. The menus are very similar between the restaurants. They have a lot of healthy choices, too. If you are dining at the Three Broomsticks, you may want to wander next door to Hog’s Head Bar to grab one of the local beers.
We love the outdoor entertainment across from Hogwarts Castle. You may get to see the Frog Choir or Triwizard Spirit Rally.
Both are amazing Harry Potter entertainment. This one is not a must do, but if you are around during the show go ahead and stop to watch it.
If you are staying at one of the three Universal Orlando Hotels (Portofino Bay Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, or Royal Pacific Hotel), you get the Universal Express for free. This means you use your room key to get front of the line access on rides and attractions at both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. This is a huge timesaver during your Universal Orlando vacation and at Harry Potter World Orlando.
Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour
If you love ice cream, you may want to pop into Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour for a snack. This quaint shop serves ice cream and drinks. You can even purchase Butterbeer Ice Cream! YUM!
You get Universal Express pass for free, but you can also purchase it along with your Universal theme park tickets.
Harry Potter World Orlando FAQ
We get a lot of questions about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Here are a few of the FAQ.
How do we get from Disney World to Universal Orlando? You can take a taxi, Uber/Lyft, or rent a car. Universal Orlando also offer an option of purchasing your tickets with shuttle transfers included. We love this ticket and sell it a lot for our Disney World guests. You can call Destinations in Florida at 877-918-8941 and ask to purchase the Universal Orlando tickets with shuttle transfers. They can give you all of the details about purchasing these tickets with the transportation to and from Universal Orlando.
Can you see Wizarding World in one day? Yes! If you are only planning on visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley) you can certainly get through both sides in one day. However, if you are planning on visiting more of Universal Orlando, you may want to plan at least two days to see more of the fun.
Can you buy tickets to just Harry Potter world? Unfortunately, no. You do have to purchase the Universal Orlando tickets. One of the areas inside Universal Orlando is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. To visit all of Harry Potter World Orlando, you will want to purchase a ticket with the Park to Park option. This allows you to take the Hogwarts Express between Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.
Does it cost extra to ride Hogwarts Express? It does not cost extra to ride the Hogwarts Express. However, you do need to have a ticket with the Park to Park option. This option allows you to visit both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.
How many times can you ride the Hogwarts Express? As often as you would like! We once rode Hogwarts Express from Hogsmeade to King’s Cross. We got off the train, walked right around and got back on to go back to Hogsmeade. You can ride as much as you like. Just remember, you need to have the Park to Park option on your tickets.
These are our Must Do’s at Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Muggles, what did you think of our list? Did we miss anything?
These are our Must Do’s at Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Are you a fan of WWoHP? What is your must do?