In June 2010, Universal Orlando Resort™ opened their newest attraction… The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
And the verdict? It does not disappoint. People of all ages are raving about the detail that the designers put into the area. It’s being hailed as the best theme park addition in history! Many people thought Islands of Adventure™ needed some new life breathed into it. It was number 16 on the list of most popular Orlando theme parks. That is something Universal™ was not proud of. Harry Potter fans are coming in droves to enter this new attraction. On opening day, crowds gathered outside for hours in advance just to be among the first to experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ in person.
You really feel like you are in the wand store where Harry and his special wand found each other. What an experience! Even though the crowds are usually dense and the lines are long, don’t get discouraged. If you are a Harry Potter fan, or even a casual fan, this is worth the wait. So far, there are only three major rides in this section of Islands of Adventure, so you only have to suffer the really long lines three times. Universal™ has done its best to make the waiting experience as entertaining as possible. There is really a lot to see while moving through the lines.
Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure™ are open 365 days a year. Opening hours usually start at 9:00 am and closing times vary. Arrive early and try to be the first person. If they open at 9 am, wait in line at 8:30 a.m. Make sure that your admission ticket is ready beforehand. You do not need to book a Universal hotel, but you’ll want to apply for the Universal Studios packages, which include accommodations for Orlando hotels, and vacation homes rentals with pools in Orlando.
Rides the Hogwarts Express between parks: this rides at The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter™ is a fun ride and it saves you the trouble of walking from park to park.
Enjoy the rides: The golden goblin statue in Diagon Alley™ marks the entrance that will take you to Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™. If the notices you receive when a route starts you leave, you have the option to leave the line before surrendering. Go for a walk even if you plan to leave the line. It’s good to see the detailed interiors of Gringott, the goblin, and everything else!
Use a Wand: You can buy standard wands that are wands certain characters use through the movie series. You can also buy interactive “magic” wands in also from various gift shops of the theme Park. If you head to Olivander’s wand shop, you can experience the magic just like Harry Potter did in the movie when selecting a wand. Purchasing the wand selected for you is not necessary.
Go to the gift shop: You’ll find a variety of fantastic books and magical items in the gift shops. You can find many souvenirs from the movie series. The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Diagon Alley™ and Hogsmeade™ stores are almost as fun as the rides. Get acquainted with April fool’s jokes in Weasley’s Wheezes and get ready for Halloween in Borgin and Burkes, which is in the darkness of the Knockturn Alley.
Butterbeer: Butterbeer, a sweet and irresistible drink that is delicious to all magicians. Available in frozen, cold, or hot, even as ice cream or fudge, butterbeer sure quenches the thirsty palate. You can even get a souvenir cup for your drink.
The Hogwarts Express: Visitors can ride Hogwarts™ Express as a method of transportation between Diagon Alley™ and Hogsmeade™. It takes you from one park to the other, plus it recreates the train in such a great and amazing detail.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey: This ride takes you on a magical ride through Hogwarts as you follow Harry Potter on a broomstick flying through a Quiddich match, being chased by a dragon, and more.
Flight of the Hippogriff: A lower intensity roller coaster that is ideal for younger children. This is a thrilling ride for young magicians that will take you pretty high off the ground.
Harry Potter and Escape from Gringotts: Undoubtedly the jewel of Diagon Alley™. The big fire-breathing dragon that sits atop of the Gringotts bank is a hard-to-miss landmark. Approximately every 15 minutes the Gringotts dragon roars and blows a fireball. Once inside, you see all of the elves that work hard to keep the ledgers and balance accounts. This is an amazing experience you don’t want to miss!
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures the Motorbike Adventure: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ is the latest ride in the Universal Orlando Resort™. The Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure™ is definitely worth the wait. Experience high-speed action while riding on Hagrid’s magical motorbike! This is truly a unique experience.
Best ride for your little children:
Flight of the Hippogriff: Although this is still technically a thrill ride, it is not as intense as your average roller coaster.
Hogwarts Express: Parents and children will love the laid-back immersive experience that takes you right into the pages of J.K. Rowling’s magical world. It is a real-life recreated train with sophisticated special effects that transports you from Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade.
Please read the health advisories posted on each attraction before riding. Attractions such as the Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey and Escape from Gringotts™ may be too intense.
How to avoid long lines: Arriving early may help you avoid long lines during the first hour of the morning. During the day, however, the lines grow long, and purchasing Express Passes may be a better option to avoid the lines.
Take a bunch of pictures: Yes, the attractions are fun, but the incredible attention to detail is what makes The Wizarding World of Harry PotterCorvonero shirts memorable. Why not take as many pictures as possible to capture and cherish the moment forever?
Renting a locker: Some attractions that prohibit backpacks or purses offer free temporary lockers to hold your items. You can save some time and jump on another ride more quickly if you rent a locker, ride a few attractions back-to-back, then come back and pick up your items.
If you want to buy souvenirs, as guests of the Harry Potter amusement park, you should visit all the stores that you know about books:
Sweetshop Honeydukes and Sugarplum for desserts.
Zonko’s joke shop.
Owl Post where you can send e-mail.
Dervishes and the Banges, which is full of robes, Gryffindor scarves, Corvonero shirts, and all kinds of items for sale, as well as fun details like books with cage bites.
However, keep in mind that all these activities can be small and get very crowded. Buy items confiscated from goods at Filch’s Emporium in the lower regions of Hogwarts Castle which is a much larger store that sells a variety of items. Some Harry Potter items are also available at the large Port of Entry store near the entrance/exit to Islands of Adventure™.