Ah, Harry Potter. One of the greatest things on earth. I don’t know about you, but I pretty much breathe everything Harry Potter. I’m constantly reading the series, watching one of the movies at least a couple (or few) times a month, scroll through multiple Harry Potter Facebook groups, you get the idea… So when Brandon agreed to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter during our quick stop in Orlando before heading to Aruba for a honeymoon, I was pretty much in heaven.
Universal Studio’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter did NOT disappoint. We only made it to Diagon Alley for lack of time, but still worth every
penny galleon. We even waiting in line for almost 3 hours to board the ride “Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts”. You guys, I almost cried after this ride because it was like a childhood dream coming true! (More on that below).
So first, I would plan on at least one entire day or two just to be safe that you cover all grounds at both parks! There are two parks connected by the Hogwarts Express. Diagon Alley is inside the park and Hogsmeade is out on the island. Since we only had a limited time we opted for just Diagon Alley so we could explore it with the rest of the park. If you have to choose, I would suggest Diagon Alley because you have to pay for the Hogwarts Express as well, so it’s definitely the cheaper option.
You enter Diagon Alley from the streets of London feeling like a true muggle turning eleven and discovering that “yer a wizard ‘Arry”! It’s SO COOL! Here’s what it looks like on the outside:
Next thing you know, you’re in Diagon Alley! Now go get yourself a wand ya wizard! Stop at Ollivanders Wand shop and choose a famous wizard’s wand or opt for the interactive one!
This is something I wish I would’ve planned ahead of time. Here’s why: I thought that if you were buying a wand that you could do the whole “the wand chooses the wizard” thing. But it’s actually chosen at random sometimes for a quick show while everyone is in the shop. The other thing is you can only buy wands from other famous witches and wizards, where I thought it would be all kinds of wands you could choose from. So I went for Harry’s wand and to this day I still wish I would’ve gone for Dumbledore’s wand (the Elder Wand). That’s okay, though, looks like I will just have to start collecting them all… 😉
The wand isn’t cheap, I believe it was $40 and not interactive. You can buy an interactive wand which is SUPER cool! Basically, it comes with a map to interact with things around the park. For example, there might be a feather in a shop window that you can make levitate. I would suggest this if you’re planning on spending a lot of time there to give you optimal time to explore all the secret wand places. Oh, and I suggest getting your wand early on to start your wizarding experience right!
One of the best parts! Bring an appetite and empty belly because there are a LOT of food and drink options everywhere you look. They have lots of little pop-up shops for drinks and candy that are so much fun to check out! I of course, snagged a butter beer with an upgrade to a collector’s cup! Gotta be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of it but I still drank it because I just wanted to sip out of that cup! We also had lunch at The Leaky Cauldron which was one of the coolest experiences. The entire place is so realistic, it’s incredible what they did to build that entire park. So many details and it just feels like everything you’ve watched and read is right in front of you.
Expect The Leaky Cauldron to be pretty busy all the time, but they actually move quick and get you in fast. It helps that there was just two of us so we could squeeze in. So if you’re in a larger group, you might need to save a little extra time for it. I had fish and chips and they were DELICIOUS!
Bahaha! That meme will never get old. Diagon Alley is one heck of a place at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! The shops, food, everything. It’s just pure perfection! They do have one ride, “Harry Potter and the Escape to Gringotts” and holy crap it’s so awesome. You will most likely wait awhile in line to get in but it’s worth the wait. They use holograms and… I don’t want to give away anymore! But let’s just say you will feel like you are in the movie. It’s amazing. I almost shed a tear after it.
I don’t really have much more to say other than YOU NEED TO GO IF YOU HAVEN’T YET! I would be sure to plan lots of time if you can (it’s a busy place) and save money so you don’t have to hold back on anything like an interactive wand and trying all the foods you see 🙂
I want to hear! Have you visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? What was your favorite part?! Any tips?