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The Complete Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley

EDITOR’S NOTE: This blog was originally published in February of 2019 and then underwent extensive updates and editing in the fall of 2020 to remain current and relevant.

Many people have been waiting their entire lives to experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter . After reading the books and watching the films, actually stepping foot into the stories is a phenomenal experience.

There are two unique lands to explore at Universal Orlando Resort – Hogsmeade, located in Universal Islands of Adventure , and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida . Each land has unique attractions, experiences, food, merchandise and more, all of which is inspired by the Harry Potter films and books. Whether you’re a big fan, or this is your first taste of the Wizarding World, there’s so much to do and see! You’re going to want to plan on a few days to experience it all along with reading this guide where we’ve listed out each and every activity you can enjoy during your trip to the theme parks.

Choose from the links below to head straight to that section:

ATTRACTIONS   |   EXPERIENCES   |   FOOD & DRINK   |   SHOPPING   |   SHOWS   |   HIDDEN GEMS

Attractions, hagrid’s magical creatures motorbike adventure.

Location: Hogsmeade

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Fly deep into the Forbidden Forest, beyond the grounds of Hogwarts castle as you join Hagrid on a thrilling roller coaster ride to discover magical creatures you’ve never faced before.

Pro Tip: Make sure you know if you want to ride the sidecar or motorbike first.  

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Soar above the castle grounds as you join Harry Potter and his friends on an unforgettably thrilling adventure, while encountering an array of magical creatures.

Pro Tip: Take your time in the queue for this one so you can appreciate all the details of the Hogwarts corridors , including Dumbledore’s office, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, the Gryffindor common room, and more.

Flight of the Hippogriff

Flight of the Hippogriff

Bow to Buckbeak as you board this family-friendly roller coaster that spirals and dives around the pumpkin patch, and then swoops past Hagrid’s hut.

Pro Tip: This ride is great for little witches and wizards who might be a bit spooked by Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey or Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.

Hogwarts Express: Hogsmeade Station

Board the famous train and head toward King’s Cross Station in London. (You’ll need a park-to-park ticket for this one.)

Pro Tip: The experience is completely different on the way back from King’s Cross Station to Hogsmeade (see below), so you’ll want to ride it twice. Learn more about riding the Hogwarts Express .  

Hogwarts Express: King’s Cross Station

Location: London Outside of Diagon Alley

Hogwarts Express in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Enter King’s Cross Station and walk straight through a solid brick wall onto Platform 9 ¾ to board the Hogwarts Express. Remember, you’ll need a park-to-park ticket to board the train in either direction.

Pro Tip: If you want to journey in Harry Potter’s footsteps, do some shopping in Diagon Alley and then hop on the Hogwarts Express toward Hogsmeade to start your next term!  

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Location: Diagon Alley

Take a journey aboard this mind-blowing, multi-dimensional ride through the cavernous passageways of Gringotts bank. You may even find yourself coming face-to-face with Harry Potter’s biggest foes!

Pro Tip: For those looking for a more intense ride, ask the attendant if they can accommodate you toward the back of the ride vehicle. However, all seats offer a thrilling adventure!

EXPERIENCES

See a wand choose a wizard at ollivanders.

Location: Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley

Ollivanders in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Step inside this iconic shop and watch an Ollivanders wandkeeper go through the process of pairing a witch or wizard with just the right wand.

Pro Tip: Play your cards right and you might be the lucky witch or wizard chosen. (Note: The person chosen has the option whether or not to purchase their wand.)

Cast Spells With Your Interactive Wand

Interactive Wands in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Look for medallions on the ground throughout Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley for opportunities to practice your magic. Simply follow the spell directions at your feet and look out for amazing surprises.

Pro Tip: You’ll need an interactive wand for this one, and inside the box is a map telling you where all the spells are located. Check out our guide on all of the interactive wands you can get and how to use them .

Meet the Hogwarts Express Conductor

Hogwarts Train Conductor in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Oftentimes you can find this jolly gentleman next to Hogsmeade Station welcoming you to Hogsmeade.

Pro Tip: Take a photo with him to remember your Hogwarts Express journey.

Send a Letter Through Owl Post

Here, you can mail a letter complete with a special wizarding world postmark.

Pro Tip: This is a great way to let your friends and family know you’re thinking about them during your trip in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Meet the Knight Bus Conductor

Knight Bus Conductor in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

On the London embankment, you’ll find this three-storied bus and its amiable driver.

Pro Tip: You can also chat up the shrunken head hanging over the steering wheel.

Exchange Your Muggle Money at the Gringotts Money Exchange

Have a conversation with the goblin behind the counter before trading your U.S. currency for Gringotts bank notes in $10 or $20 denominations.

Pro Tip: The bank notes can be used for purchases within Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, and at select locations throughout the theme parks.

Check Out Dark Magic in Knockturn Alley

Knockturn Alley in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley

Inside Knockturn Alley, you can get a taste of the dark magic in the wizarding world. Visit Borgin and Burkes for gruesome trinkets, and use your interactive wand on some secret spells that are only visible in the darkness.

Pro Tip: Try and keep your eyes peeled for all kinds of subtle, hidden details like singing shrunken heads and a wanted poster for Bellatrix Lestrange.

SEASONAL: Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Diagon Alley, London, and Hogsmeade are transformed with festive décor and brilliant lighting during the holidays. Not only do the shows incorporate some favorite holiday tunes, but look out for special treats and drinks! The atmosphere is simply brimming with excitement.

Pro Tip: Plan some time to take in all the detail of the beautiful decorations.

Get Your Moving Photograph at Shutterbutton’s

Create a portrait of yourself that actually moves and purchase a collectible photo album in commemoration of your trip.

Pro Tip: Borrow props and costumes or bring your own. Explore more of the experience.

FOOD & DRINK

You simply can’t come to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and not try Butterbeer! This concoction is reminiscent of butterscotch and shortbread. Find it at many of the restaurants listed below and various snack stands throughout Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.  

Pro Tip: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has several ways to enjoy that delicious Butterbeer flavor , so prepare your taste buds in advance.

Three Broomsticks

Great Feast from Three Broomsticks

This cozy, snow-capped inn offers tasty British fare including Fish and Chips, Shepherd’s Pie, Cornish Pasties, Turkey Legs, and Fresh Vegetables. View a breakfast menu and a lunch and dinner menu .  

Highly Recommend: The Great Feast – A platter of scrumptious food for four, featuring fresh garden salad tossed with a signature vinaigrette dressing, rotisserie smoked chicken, spareribs, corn on the cob, and roast potatoes.

This pub in the back of the Three Broomsticks is the perfect place for a Butterbeer and Pumpkin Juice, along with domestic and imported beers, the pub’s exclusive Hog’s Head Brew, Gillywater (bottled water), specialty drinks, wine, spirits, and mixed drinks.

Pro Tip: Pay attention to the stuffed hog’s head over the bar — it just might snarl at you.

Leaky Cauldron

Leaky Cauldron in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley

A small, grubby-looking pub and inn where you’ll find foods like Bangers and Mash, Fisherman’s Pie, Toad in the Hole, Ploughman’s Platter, and more. View a breakfast menu and a lunch and dinner menu .

Highly Recommend: Ploughman’s Platter – A selection of English cheese, crusty bread, field green salad, roasted tomatoes, cornichon pickles, apple beet salad, branston pickle and scotch eggs. Perfect for sharing!

Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour

Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream Parlour

In this ice-cream parlour, witches, wizards and Muggles of every age can indulge in scoop and soft-serve ice-creams with fantastic flavors like Butterbeer, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Chocolate and Raspberry, and more.

Pro Tip: Keep an open mind…some unusual flavors may surprisingly delight you! Our recommendation is to try the Chocolate Chili or the Earl Grey and Lavender for something different.

The Hopping Pot

Nestled within Diagon Alley, you can cool off with a variety of delicious drinks at this walk-up counter like Butterbeer, Tongue Tying Lemon Squash, Otter’s Fizzy Orange Juice, Fishy Green Ale, and more.

Pro Tip: This is a great place to grab a snack while watching a show in Carkitt Market.

The Fountain of Fair Fortune

Fountain of Fair Fortune

Named for one of the fables in The Tales of Beedle the Bard , this location serves a variety of beers, like the exclusive Wizard’s Brew, Dragonscale, and a handful of non-alcoholic beverages.  

Pro Tip: You can also get Butterbeer ice cream here.

Eternelle’s Elixir of Refreshment

Here, you can try a variety of colorful elixirs. All you need to do is choose your elixir, pour it into Gilly Water, and watch it transform into a tasty beverage. You can pick from Fire Protection Potion, Babbling Beverage, Draught of Peace, and Elixir to Induce Euphoria.

Pro Tip: Not only are they delicious, but they’re a fun gift to bring home for your Muggle friends.

London Taxi Cart

Location: London outside of Diagon Alley

Jacket Potato from London

Before hopping aboard the Hogwarts Express or wandering into Diagon Alley, stop by this cart for a Jacket Potato snack. Choose from Loaded, Broccoli and Cheddar, Bean and Cheese, or Shepherd’s Pie toppings.

Pro Tip: After getting your potato, check out the buildings behind you. You may see a familiar face peeking out the windows.

Ollivanders

Ollivanders-in-The-Wizarding-World-of-Harry-Potter

In search of the most essential wizarding item? Look through the thousands of boxes filled with wands waiting to choose their wizard.

Pro Tip: There are many variations of wands in addition to character wands, and make sure to check out the interactive options.

Dervish and Banges

This shop offers it all from brooms, Hogwarts clothing, journals, and stationery to magical items like the flying Golden Snitch and Quidditch supplies like Quaffles.

Pro Tip: Discover your Hogwarts house before arriving so that you’ll know which product will best show your house pride.

Honeydukes Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The shelves of this legendary sweet shop are lined with all manner of colourful treats including Acid Pops, Cauldron Cakes, Fizzing Whizzbees, Chocolate Frogs, and Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans.

Pro Tip: Every Chocolate Frog comes with a wizard trading card, so look out so you can collect them all!  

Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods

Peruse items taken from students who got on the wrong side of the school’s resident caretaker, Argus Filch. You’ll find Hogwarts t-shirts, shoulder bags, caps, scarves, house crest banners, and stationery.

Pro Tip: Keep your eyes peeled for the Marauder’s Map and watch as inhabitants move about Hogwarts castle.

Here, you’ll find correspondence materials like stationery, quills, seals, and ink. This is also where you can send a letter with a special Hogsmeade postmark.

Pro Tip: Just like Harry Potter found Hedwig, you can even pick out your very own owl plush to take home.

Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

Weasleys' Wizard Wheezus

This colourful emporium is the novelty joke shop run by identically ingenious prankster twins Fred and George Weasley. Shop for all manner of mischief such as magical jokes, tricks, and toys. Check out our 9 must-haves!

Pro Tip: Don’t miss the dazzling display of never-ending fireworks exploding on the ceiling and a few other fun finds you may recognize from the films.

Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions

Madam Malkin's Robes for Every Occasion

Build your wizarding wardrobe at this cheerfully appointed shop. You can buy authentic replicas of Hermione’s Yule Ball gown. You’ll also find Hogwarts uniforms, ties, scarves, hats, and cardigans as well as jewelry.

Pro Tip: Model your potential purchase in front of the mirror and it just might talk back to you.

Magical Menagerie

Purchase a variety of plush toys including Crookshanks, Fang, Buckbeak, Fluffy, and Scabbers. Also available are Cornish pixies, ferrets, Pygmy Puffs, and an assortment of owls, including Pigwidgeon and Hedwig.

Pro Tip: Try out your Parseltongue when you peek in at the snake in the window from outside the store.

Borgin and Burkes

Borgin and Burkes In Diagon Alley

This dark and dusty Knockturn Alley shop is infamous for shady patrons. As you walk among the dimly lit shelves and displays teeming with malevolent relics, you’ll find Death Eater masks, skulls, apparel, accessories, jewelry, and collectibles.

Pro Tip: Look (and listen) for the Vanishing Cabinet just like the one Draco Malfoy once used to sneak Death Eaters into Hogwarts.

Quality Quidditch Supplies

This is the destination for everything you need to play the most popular sport in the wizarding world, including Quidditch sweaters, brooms, Golden Snitches, Bludgers, Bludger bats, Quaffles, and more.

Pro Tip: You can even pledge your allegiance to professional teams like the Holyhead Harpies or the Chudley Cannons, Ireland or Bulgaria.

Sugarplum’s Sweet Shop

Sugarplum's Sweetshop in Diagon Alley

Discover a wealth of wizarding treats. Every nook is stocked with tasty temptations like Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans, Acid Pops, Exploding Bonbons, Pink Coconut Ice and more.

Pro Tip: Feed Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans to unsuspecting friends and family and brace yourself as they just might end up with a flavor like earthworm or earwax.

Find all the authentic writing supplies a witch or wizard could need including ink and inkwells, feather quills, parchment, journals, stationery sets, seals, bookmarks, and backpacks.

Pro Tip: Everything here is perfect for back-to-school or your office.

Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment

Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment in Diagon Alley

Browse a variety of apparel and accessories from your Hogwarts house, as well as a variety of fun Butterbeer-themed items.

Pro Tip: You can have packages delivered to the front of the park or your Universal Orlando hotel room so that you don’t have to carry them all day in the theme parks.

Wands by Gregorovitch

This long-time rival to Ollivanders also creates some exceptional wands. Here, you can choose from a wide assortment of Harry Potter character wand replicas.

Pro Tip: Boxes with gold labels are interactive and will help you practice magic in the theme parks.

Globus Mundi

Globus Mundi In Diagon Alley

Globus Mundi is a travel agency of the wizarding world. Stop into their shop over by Carkitt Market where you can get all your travel essentials for your next magical journey like luggage tags, wallets, sweatshirts, and more.

Pro Tip: Look around the shop and you’ll see a gorgeous wall of ticking clocks representing different time zones and some of the coolest posters and maps from around the world.

Hogwarts Frog Choir

Frog Choir Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Hear the vocal stylings of this small choir of Hogwarts students, accompanied by the smooth bass rumbles of their giant throaty frogs.

Pro Tip: Look in your park map or on the official Universal Orlando Mobile App for times.

Triwizard Spirit Rally

Triwizard Spirit Rally in Hogsmeade

Cheer on the colourful procession of students from the legendary wizarding schools of Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang as they lead the excitement for the Triwizard Tournament.

Pro Tip: Stick around after the show for a potential meet-and-greet opportunity.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Tales of Beedle the Bard

Watch as adept players perform a trunk show using stylized scenic pieces, props, and puppetry. See them retell two famous tales of Beedle the Bard, a 15th-century author of wizarding fairytales, including The Fountain of Fair Fortune and The Tale of the Three Brothers .

Pro Tip: This stage is right near The Hopping Pot in Carkitt Market (see above), so grab a snack and enjoy!  

Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees

Celestina Warbeck in Diagon Alley

Sway and groove to the dulcet tones of wizarding world sensation, Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. The swinging show features never-before-heard songs including “A Cauldron Full Of Hot, Strong Love,” “You Stole My Cauldron But You Can’t Have My Heart,” and “You Charmed The Heart Right Out Of Me.”  

Pro Tip: Visit during the holidays and enjoy four hits from Celestina’s chart-topping holiday album, including “My Baby Gave Me a Hippogriff for Christmas.”

HIDDEN GEMS

Call the ministry of magic.

Magic Telephone Booth in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Try entering the telephone booth in London and dialing 62442 (`MAGIC`) to see what you get connected to.  

See 12 Grimmauld Place

Keep an eye out for the Black family`s loyal house-elf, Kreacher – you might just see him.

Watch Out for The Monster Book of Monsters

The Monster Book of Monsters

A Book with Bite! Stop inside Dervish and Banges to view this beastly required reading for Hogwarts students taking the Care of Magical Creatures class. It’s caged for a reason.

Discover the Heavily Jeweled Shell of a Fire Crab

Fire Crabs are one of the magical creatures that Hagrid used to create Blast-Ended Skrewts. You may be able to catch a glimpse of one of these creatures’ massive jeweled shells in the queue of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.

Be sure to keep an eye out for all the hidden gems inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort.

So much to see and do! Where to first? Tell us in the comments below.

To have the ultimate Harry Potter experience, book our exclusive The Wizarding World of Harry Potter vacation package .

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Kelsey Shea Weinrich

Kelsey is a Content Representative at Universal Orlando Resort. She considers The Mummy (1999) a perfect movie and doesn’t tolerate Hufflepuff slander.

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18 comments.

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You should go to Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and to Flight of the Hippogriff also.

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My husband and I want to plan a trip to Hogwarts’s. What motel accommodations are available?

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Take a look at our on-site hotels here: http://bit.ly/2IPOqHj

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Hi My family and I will be visiting during Halloween, are there any special attractions. We want to spend the entire day at the Harry Potter Wizarding World. Also, How do I purchase tickets in advance and how much are they. Looking forward to the attractions. Sounds amazing.

Hi Theresa!

We do have Halloween Horror Nights beginning September 6th – November 2nd, 2019. To purchase regular park tickets, please visit our website at http://bit.ly/2JjVa0y . We currently have a Halloween Horror Nights special under Deals & Specials on the page as well.

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Planning to come Feb 20 and maybe 21st, 2021. Two adults, may only do one park. Will you also be having Mardi Gras Parades?

Hi Madison! There will not be a Mardi Gras parade this year, however a fleet of spectacular Pirate Treasure themed floats will be on display throughout Universal Studios Florida along with a collection of Universal’s classic Mardi Gras floats!

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I’m bringing my daughter for her birthday. We have the flights and clerk hotel but I’m totally confused about how and where to buy tickets. She loves Harry Potter….I figure two parks in two days…. is that the best way to do it?

Hi Theodora! We’re so excited you’ll be celebrating with us! You can purchase tickets and look at all of our options online here: https://bit.ly/3sGy6Lp

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Hi, afternoon~ if we are going in May, is there any sorting hat experience in either dragon alley or Hogsmeade? thank you

Hi Amanda, we do not offer this type of experience at either of our parks. We apologize for any disappointment this may cause.

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Hello, my daughter and I (61/38 you don’t have to be a child, to have fun), will be visiting this weekend (November 10-12 2023) and we can’t wait to get started. There is so much to see and do and, we’ll do our best to get thru it all. Thanks for all the work you do in describing the parks, especially the “Pro Tips”. We’ll come back and let you know, how everything went on our trip. Harry Potter and all the other rides, shops and food, here we come!!! Is it very busy at this time of year and if so, should we purchase the express pass? (I have a bit of a mobility issue) Thank you in advance, for your responses. See you soon!

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Hi Dianne. We are so excited to hear about your upcoming visit and can’t wait to welcome you! While you are here, we definitely recommend stopping by Mythos Restaurant for a delicious dining experience. Additionally, while crowd patterns can be hard to predict, holidays and school breaks are typically our peak attendance seasons. Our Universal Express Pass options are designed to give our Guests an enhanced theme park experience as a limited number of passes are sold in order to minimize the wait time in the express queues. We can’t wait for your visit!

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My adult children and I are coming on February 2 for the day. Will it be busy? Do we need the express pass? what tickets will we need to enjoy both Harry Potter parks and a ride on the Hogwarts Express? We are huge Harry Potter fans and are looking forward to this!

Hi Linda! We’re happy to learn about your visit! While attendance does fluctuate throughout the year, historically, we find it that February is a very pleasant time to be at the parks! Additionally, Universal Express Passes are a great way to enhance your visit, however, it is not required in order to enjoy our attractions. Lastly, a Park-To-Park ticket will be required for all Guests that are looking to ride the Hogwarts Express. You can find more information about tickets by visiting this page. https://bit.ly/3HEvV48

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Are there any activities suitable for toddlers in the Harry Potter world? I’m planning a visit with my 3yo daughter, she is really into wizards and magic themed but she doesn’t know Harry Potter yet, I wonder if it’s too early and she’ll get bored or if it’s a great start for a new fan.

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Hi, my girlfriend and I are visiting in June for the first time! My girlfriend is a huge Harry Potter fan and I want to give her the best experience except due to other arrangements we are only able to visit the park for one day. which park would be the best to visit?

Hey, Hunter! We can’t wait to see you! Each park features an immersive land including attractions, entertainment, dining, and shopping. For the full experience we recommend Park-to-Park Admission for the day if possible. However, if you are only able to choose one we encourage you to explore our interactive website to make the most informed decision. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Guest Services at (407) 224-4233 if you have any further questions!

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Complete Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando

The Harry Potter worlds at Universal Orlando make you feel like you’re an incoming student at Hogwarts who is seeing the town, castle, and shops for the very first time. Exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will leave you with a sense of déjà vu — buildings, pubs, and streets are identical to what they were in the movies, making you feel like you’ve been there before.

Hogwarts Castle at Wizarding World of Harry Potter

These highly-themed areas rank at the very top of our list of the best destinations for Harry Potter fans because they fully immerse you in the books and movies we all love. So read on for our complete guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. We’ll take you through each of the Universal Orlando Harry Potter worlds — their rides, experiences, dining, and more — so you can plan ahead and make your vacation as special as possible.

Prefer to Speak With Someone? Get Free Help From Our Favorite Universal Travel Agent!

In This Article:

  • Where is Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter?

Rides in Hogsmeade

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Going to the Harry Potter worlds/lands at Universal is the highlight of our family visit to the resort almost every time we go. And that’s really saying something considering we plan to visit Universal a few times each year! As a family, we’ve read all the books together and seen the movies. There is something so magical about the story and Universal found a way to bring that magic to life in a way that you must see to believe.

Where is Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter?

The Harry Potter themed worlds are located within Universal’s major theme parks — Harry Potter is not a separate theme park at Universal, and it’s not part of Disney World .

Universal has two main theme parks: Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios . A third park, Epic Universe , is under construction and due to open sometime in 2025. Each of these parks has a Harry Potter component.

  • Hogsmeade — Islands of Adventure
  • Diagon Alley — Universal Studios Florida
  • Ministry of Magic — Epic Universe ( opening 2025 )

Each experience is different, so I don’t recommend limiting yourself to just one when you go to Universal Orlando. Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley have a huge variety of rides, experiences, and food to enjoy, so I am going to make sure I cover it all so you can plan your trip with as much knowledge as possible.

Let’s begin with the original Harry Potter themed land, Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure!

Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure

Universal Orlando Hogsmeade

Hogsmeade is my favorite of the two Harry Potter worlds currently open at Universal. Between the sweeping views of Hogwarts castle, the world-famous rides , and the Three Broomsticks, this world has it all.

Hogsmeade was built in 2010 and was the first Wizarding World of Harry Potter developed in Universal Orlando. The resort worked hand in hand with J.K. Rowling and filmmakers to make sure that the world of Harry Potter came to life in the most realistic way possible.

Wizarding World Hogsmeade and Hogwarts Signs

The original development of the park was a pioneering move in the realm of creating immersive environments, and you can definitely understand why when you walk around the Hogsmeade and try the rides. The world is centered around Hogwarts castle, which still takes my breath away every time I walk into the park.

The park combines adventure, excitement, and magic in a surreal, immersive experience. If you haven’t been before, you might think that to enjoy Hogsmeade you’ll have to take some time away from the thrill rides of Islands of Adventure. Thankfully that’s not the case!

Hogsmeade has some amazing rides for you and your family to try when you visit — so to my dads out there, make sure you don’t drink too much butterbeer right at the start!

Hogsmeade has great rides spread out throughout the land, and it even has one of the most highly-rated roller coasters in the world. The Harry Potter rides here are:

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

  • Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure

Flight of the Hippogriff

Hogwarts express.

These rides combine the unbelievable surroundings of the castle and town of Hogsmeade, life-like interactions and visuals, and great storytelling to curate an interactive theme park experience that you will never forget.

This ride is not a typical roller coaster. A combination of a twisting/turning track, along with robot arm mounted vehicles, makes you feel like you are completely immersed in the Harry Potter Universe. Forbidden Journey has incredibly high-quality special effects that really help seal the illusion.

On the ride you flash around Hogwarts and you get to see a bit of every part of the castle grounds. Last time my son and I were on it, I remember seeing the Whomping Willow, flying directly through a Quidditch match, zooming through the forbidden forest, and more.

You get to see all the parts of the castle grounds that you will remember from the movie. I’ve heard the ride called a “Harry Potter highlight reel,” and I don’t disagree!

In terms of roller coaster thrill, this ride is definitely in between Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and the Flight of the Hippogriff, but I’d still say that this ride is great for kids of all ages as long as they meet the height requirement .

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

The ride is a journey from start to finish. The story starts while you are waiting in line, where you can see bits of Hagrid’s work as he has cared for hundreds of magical creatures throughout the years. There are writings on the walls from past Hogwarts students and even parts of Hagrid’s nursery to be seen.

Once you get closer to the start of the ride, you can begin to hear the sound of a motorbike revving. I have ridden tons of roller coasters in my life, but that sound gets my heart pumping every time with excitement as I wait for the ride to begin.

After you sit down on your motorbike/sidecar and ride begins, you are fired out of the landing bay. Immediately you start flying through the sky, passing the rooftops of Hogsmeade, zooming around parts of the castle, past a lake, and then toward the Forbidden Forest. You really feel like you’re on Hagrid’s motorbike!

It truly is a must-try when you’re in Universal Orlando. One thing to keep in mind is that this ride often has the longest lines in Hogsmeade, and sometimes even in all of Islands of Adventure. So plan ahead when you want to visit to come during a busier time because the ride is excluded from Universal’s Express Pass because of its popularity!

After Hagrid’s, the Flight of the Hippogriff is a way to take a calmer flight around the grounds of Hogwarts. The ride is definitely on the shorter side and isn’t as fast as Hagrid’s, so it’s a great ride for younger kids !

In the line for the ride you can see an interpretation of Hagrid’s home, including the pumpkin patch, his hut, and more. As the name hints, the ride is supposed to mimic flying on a hippogriff’s back around Hogwarts castle. Just like when Harry rode Buckbeak in the Prisoner of Azkaban , you will be soaring through the grounds, in between buildings, and enjoying some of the amazing views.

There are a few really fun drops and turns, but I do have to admit that the ride is a little short and sweet for my liking.

Again, while this isn’t the most thrilling ride in the park, it still has some great views and is particularly good for kids.

You will remember from the Harry Potter books that the Hogwarts Express is the train that takes the students to and from Hogwarts. And thanks to the magic of Universal, you and your family can ride it! The Hogwarts Express is a unique attraction in that it is both a themed entertainment ride and a practical form of transportation.

Hogwarts Express serves as a way to get between the Harry Potter areas in Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida. It’s really the best way to connect between Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Because the attraction takes you from one theme park to another, you must have the Park-to-Park pass to ride it. I absolutely recommend getting this pass — not only for the chance to ride the Hogwarts Express, but also because it gives significantly more mobility for your day in Universal at only a slightly higher price point.

We love to dedicate a whole day to just Harry Potter and we always get the Park-to-Park pass to do that. We normally start the day in Hogsmeade and then hop on the Hogwarts Express to Diagon Alley in the afternoon.

The Hogwarts Express itself is a special ride, and while on the surface it may appear a bit simple, it’s one of my favorite rides at Universal .

When you board the train in Hogsmeade, you will be traveling toward London’s Kings Cross station. The train journey itself uses life-like visual effects that tell a story around your car as you move. You’ll see some impressive scenery and a few Harry Potter characters through the (video) windows of the train. Meanwhile, shadows of others walking in the train’s corridors will pass by the frosted glass windows of your compartment. The train cars are practically identical to how they were portrayed in the movies, so you’re going to feel as if you just stepped into the movies and novels that you’ve loved for decades.

Tip: Make sure to ride the train in both directions — it’s a different experience each way!

Ollivanders Wand Shop

Wand boxes stacked to the ceiling at Ollivanders

Getting your own wand is a truly magical experience that makes you feel like you’re an incoming first year student at Hogwarts. When my family and I went to Ollivanders , my wife and I didn’t get wands but Ben went through the entire experience, smiling ear to ear the whole time.

Small groups are ushered into the shop and one lucky witch or wizard is selected by the Wandkeeper to participate in an interactive presentation. Of course, pairing the wand with the wizard can be tricky — it doesn’t always go quite right the first or second time.

Luckily, the Wandkeeper is an expert and everything always seems to work out in the end. (Frugal wizards will be pleased to learn that you’re not obligated to purchase the wand, even if you’re chosen to participate).

Everyone then makes their way into a separate sales area to view their own wand options in a more traditional “retail” environment.

Note: if you’ll allow me to step “outside of the magic” for just a moment here — there are Ollivanders wand shops in both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. While Ollivanders at Hogsmeade is probably the most intimate and movie-accurate of the Ollivanders experiences, it’s not necessarily the most practical due to the cramped size of the shop. If you’re going with a larger group, are visiting during peak season, or are simply interested in shopping for a wand, I’d suggest opting for the experience at Diagon Alley / Universal Studios instead. You’ll likely have less of a wait (if any), and a bit more breathing room.

The Frog Choir is a great way to take a break from the rides and enjoy a good show. The performance lasts about 10 minutes, so it won’t take up too much of your time while you’re in the park. I’ve seen the show a few times, and I’ll admit that once you have stood and watched it once or twice, that’s usually enough (though I don’t mind sort of bopping along as I pass by).

You’ll get to hear some great songs inspired by Harry Potter, performed in a catchy a cappella style. The highlight of the performance is Something Wicked This Way Comes , as featured in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban .

It’s a great way to see a moment from the Harry Potter books brought to life. Although, the show itself is tough to compare to any of the world class rides that are right next door.

I’d say that the Frog Choir is particularly good for kids who will find the extra magic in the experience by thinking back to seeing the choir’s performance in the Harry Potter movies.

This show happens several times a day in Hogsmeade, so check the app or ask a Team Member when you should stop by!

Triwizard Spirit Rally

The Triwizard Spirit Rally alternates throughout the day with the Frog Choir, so if you stick around by the stage in Hogsmeade you can see one show after the other! Like the Frog Choir, this is a quick show — a bit under ten minutes — that will put a smile on your face. The show features the different schools that visited Hogwarts for the Triwizard tournament in the Goblet of Fire .

You will get to see the Beauxbatons students spinning and dancing as the Durmstrang students show off their martial arts staff skills, just like in the movie when the schools enter the Great Hall for the first time.

I prefer this show to the Frog choir just because there is a bit more action, and my kids agree!

Because these shows alternate several times a day on the same stage, I wouldn’t worry about planning ahead to see them. You will likely just pass by them at some point while you are in the park!

Nighttime Show

Spectacular lighting effects on Hogwarts Castle

Depending on the time of year, you might be able to catch a nighttime projection and fireworks show at Hogwarts Castle.

  • Hogwarts Always (starting June 14, 2024) — Experience all the iconic moments of a year at Hogwarts including the Sorting Ceremony, House Cup, and more, capped off by one of four different endings saluting each Hogwarts house.
  • Nighttime Lights — Originally started as a part of the Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter program, the show lights up Hogwarts castle with brilliant displays on its walls along with lights in the sky.
  • Dark Arts — Autumn (around the same time as Halloween Horror Nights across the way at the studios park) marks the arrival of a more sinister nighttime show, complete with Dementors, Death Eaters, and You-Know-Who.

Unfortunately, the schedule for these shows can be a bit tough to track down very far in advance, but they always occur after dark at Hogwarts Castle. Keep an eye on the Universal website when it gets close to your vacation date, because they will start to update show times a few days in advance of when they occur.

There are two main places to dine in Hogsmeade: the Hog’s Head or the Three Broomsticks. If these names sound familiar, it’s because both of these taverns are faithful recreations from the Harry Potter books!

Three Broomsticks

The Three Broomsticks is my favorite place to eat during my Harry Potter themed day. I remember the tavern very clearly from the movies, so it was a surreal experience to walk into a building I had never been in before, but felt like I had been there dozens of times. Once I was in, I could order a Butterbeer just like Harry, Ron, and Hermione did when they were students at Hogwarts.

Guests eating inside of Three Broomsticks, with dark pub décor

Image © Universal

One of the main reasons I love coming to the Three Broomsticks is it saves our family a bit of money, while giving us a great experience at the same time. Feeding a family of four at Universal can get expensive and the Three Broomsticks is definitely more cost-effective than the average restaurant in Universal Orlando.

One thing that really surprised me when I went is that Butterbeer is actually good!

A plastic cup of Butterbeer

The flavor of this non-alcoholic drink is really hard to describe — Universal says it’s “reminiscent of shortbread and butterscotch” — but my kids and I both loved it. The tavern also has some great salads, pies, desserts, and more so you and your family can have a full lunch or dinner here after some rides.

Hog’s Head

Hog’s Head is in the back of the Three Broomsticks, and it is definitely more of a bar than a restaurant. Although it’s technically a bar, it’s still very family friendly. Parents could grab a beer or a glass of wine while the kids enjoy some classic drinks from Harry Potter such as Pumpkin Juice or Butterbeer.

Between drinks, snacks, and meals, there is plenty available to spend your entire day in Hogsmeade, or in both Harry Potter worlds with a park-to-park pass (which is what I would recommend).

Get Free Help Planning Your Trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Has all this information left you feeling like you’ve been hit by the Confundus Charm? Feat not — the Universal experts at  The Vacationeer can set you straight!

These Diamond-level Universal Preferred Travel Agents offer completely free help planning your trip to the Wizarding Worlds located throughout Universal Orlando Resort.

Their expect advice is worth its weight in Galleons, helping you find the perfect Universal resort hotel , make dining arrangements , and secure theme park tickets .

Your  Vacationeer will help you decide on how many days you’ll need and when to travel to avoid the worst crowds. They can even book ground transportation , including airport shuttles . And don’t forget to ask them how to get the Universal Express pass at no additional charge !

And of course, your agent will share all the best Wizarding World tips and tricks to make sure your vacation really is magical.

And because they don’t charge any planning fees , your trip won’t cost a single Knut more than if you’d booked it yourself!

Contact The Vacationeer today for a free consultation and no-obligation quote .

Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida

A fire-breathing dragon perches atop Gringott's Bank in Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley opened in 2014 at Universal Studios Florida, just a few years after Hogsmeade had opened at Islands of Adventure. Diagon Alley expands the Harry Potter experience at Universal Orlando Resort by adding locations such as Gringotts, the Leaky Cauldron, and Knockturn Alley.

To reach Diagon Alley, you’ll first head to the London section of Universal Studios, passing by well known Wizarding World landmarks such as King’s Cross Station and 12 Grimmauld Place. From there, look for the opening in the giant brick wall and head inside. Diagon Alley is well-hidden from mere Muggles — you’ll have to really look for it!

The nondescript entrance to Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley has fewer rides than Hogsmeade, but the quality certainly makes up for the lower quantity!

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is a thrill ride that incorporates surreal special effects, amazing designs, and a killer roller coaster to make one of the best rides in the park .

My daughter Ava was too young to ride this one the last time I was in Diagon Alley, so I went with Ben to give it a try. It was his first time on Escape From Gringotts and I think he was more impressed with this ride than any other in the park. He saw the Harry Potter films recently so he clearly remembered the scene when Harry, Ron, and Hermione try to steal the Sword of Gryffindor from Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault.

Like many of the other rides in Universal, the experience for Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts really begins while you are still in line. When you are waiting in line, you are standing in an exact replica of the Gringotts main hall. And when I say exact, I really mean exact! The lobby is identical to what you see in the movie when Harry, Ron, and Hermione are walking down the line of goblins to the main teller so they can try to bluff their way into the vaults.

Goblins hard at work at Gringotts

The grand hallway is filled with animated goblins counting coins, taking notes, and suspiciously starting you down as you walk along — and they are just the first of many life-like animations you will see along the way. Once you get to the end of the hallway, the head teller will sometimes talk to you and instruct you where to go next as you make your way to the start of the ride. They might even “pull you aside” and have you take a security ID photo using a retro film camera.

Once the ride is about to start you put on your 3D goggles and take a seat in the carriages which are reminiscent of those in the film. Right at the start of the ride you have some quick turns and big drops, and then all of a sudden the ride will stop and you will be met with a super high definition screen.

As you continue on with the ride you will see real-life holograms of Ron, Hermione, and Harry as you all run from the dragon together. Its really hard to appreciate just how similar it is to what we have all seen on the screen without trying it yourself. This is a must try if you are going to the Harry Potter worlds throughout Universal.

As mentioned earlier in this article, the Hogwarts Express travels back and forth between Diagon Alley at Universal Studios and Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure.

Here on the Diagon Alley side, you’ll actually need to make your way back out of the brick walls and onto the streets of “London” to enter King’s Cross station. There, you’ll be able to spot fellow travelers actually walking through the brick wall (thanks to a clever Pepper’s Ghost illusion) to reach Platform 9¾.

Guests pass through the brick wall to reach Platform 9 3/4

You’ll pass through too, and then hop aboard the train.

On your journey to Hogwarts, you’ll spot soaring owls and perhaps a flying motorbike just outside the “window” of your train. As the streets of London give way to the countryside, you’ll truly feel that you’re on your way to your first year at Hogwarts. Just watch out for Dementors!

The scenery on this journey is different from the trip going the other direction, so make sure to ride the train both ways!

And remember — you’ll need a Park-to-Park pass because you’re traveling between theme parks. It’s a worthy purchase because it lets you try Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, Flight of the Hippogriff, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and more — all in the same day! Also keep in mind, the rides in the Harry Potter world are only a small part of the total experience of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, and there is so much more to enjoy while you are there!

Diagon Alley may be a bit short on rides, but it’s certainly not lacking for experiences. There’s so much to see and do in the way of live entertainment and interactive activities, that this is a fantastic place to simply while away a few hours. Heck, I could spend all day in here and never really get bored! The fire-breathing dragon alone is worth starting at for quite some time!

Knockturn Alley

This sketchy side street is where dirty deeds get done in the Wizarding World. It’s always nighttime inside this covered (and air-conditioned!) walkway, so it’s a huge relief from the blazing Florida heat .

Stop in at Borgin and Burkes to marvel at the oddities assembled there, and perhaps make your own Dark Arts purchase. If you’re buying an interactive wand , you’ll also find some spell locations here. Some of them are even “secret” spells, but they’ll show up in glow-in-the-dark ink on your wand map. And you can always be on the lookout for medallions embedded in the ground, showing you the correct wand maneuvers.

An emblem embedded in the ground, showing the wand movements necessary to activate special effects

Knockturn Alley is well-hidden. The primary entrance is a tunnel alongside a towering stack of cauldrons just to the right of the Leaky Cauldron restaurant. Another entrance is located to the left of Diagon Alley’s restrooms, directly underneath a giant window full of chandeliers.

Ollivanders

Just like in Hogsmeade, you can walk into Ollivanders at Diagon Alley to get a personalized wand from the Master Wand Craftsman himself. The overall feel of this shop is the same as in Hogsmeade so I won’t rehash all of the details again (if you missed the section on Ollivanders, scroll up and you can read more about it under the Hogsmeade Experiences section). This location does, however, have a higher capacity than the Hogsmeade version, and I find it is a bit more leisurely of an experience, especially if you really want to take the time to “shop” for your wand.

You might remember the Knight Bus as the slim, double decker bus that Harry rides, speeding through London traffic and bending time along the way. Located just outside Diagon Alley on the streets of London, the Knight Bus here is just a prop. So while you won’t get to ride it, it’s still cool to peek inside and perhaps take a photo. You will get to see the little shrunken head hanging at the front of the bus, the cots, and even a chandelier. While it’s definitely not the main attraction in the park, it’s another cool way that Universal brings the magic of Harry Potter to life!

Gringotts Money Exchange

While you are in Gringotts you can actually interact with the Goblins, and this is something my youngest, Ava, was able to get involved in. You can exchange real money for Gringotts money when you speak with the bank tellers.

An animatronic goblin oversees transactions

For all the parents out there, I know that the idea of trading real money for fake money is not the most exciting concept. But thankfully, the Gringotts money can be used for purchases all throughout Diagon Alley! So, you can take your Galleons and purchase a wand, some Hogwarts merchandise, candy, and more.

Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees

Like in Hogsmeade, you can see two shows while in Diagon Alley. The first is a singing production that performs wizard-themed songs. Celestina Warbeck doesn’t actually “appear” in the original books, but she’s certainly mentioned a few times throughout. Universal claims that this group is Molly Weasley’s favorite band, so there you go!

You will get to hear performances of “never-before-heard” songs such as ‘A Cauldron Full of Hot, Strong Love’, ‘You Charmed the Heart Right Out of Me’, and ‘You Stole My Cauldron But You Can’t Have My Heart’. The performance really adds to the atmosphere of Diagon Alley and is a great way to take a break from the rides and shops.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

The Tales of Beedle the Bard is where Harry and his friends first learn about the Deathly Hallows in the book series. In Diagon Alley, you will have a chance to watch these stories performed live on a stage in Universal Studios. The actors use props, puppets, and great sets to bring the story to life. This event is great for kids of all ages, and like the singing performance, is a great way to relax for a bit in between rides and other experiences.

Leaky Cauldron

Jaimie and I love to grab food at the Leaky Cauldron when we’re in Diagon Alley, and it is definitely our favorite place to eat in the park.

DIners at long tables underneath a large gabled ceiling

This restaurant in Diagon Alley may look run down and old (as it was designed to be), but the food is great. You can get food here all day, and generally it’s good pub food that you would expect to be able to get in any bar in London. For example, last time I went I ordered a Beef, Lamb & Guinness Stew and a Butterbeer. The Leaky Cauldron is also reasonably priced so you won’t have to spend too many Galleons to visit!

Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour

An ice cream concoction in a souvenir glass

Wizard and Muggle worlds combine with Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour, where you can get a classic scoop or soft-served swirl of ice cream. Flavors range from the mundane to some great Harry Potter themed flavors. Depending on the menu-of-the-moment, you might find flavors such as:

  • Granny Smith
  • Earl Grey and Lavender
  • Chocolate Chili
  • Sticky Toffee Pudding
  • Salted Caramel Blondie
  • Chocolate and Raspberry
  • Orange Marmalade

Get it in a waffle cone or opt for the souvenir glass. You can also get refreshments like Pumpkin juice, teas, ciders, and more.

Eternelle’s Elixir of Refreshment

One great thing about Diagon Alley is that you will have no shortage of dining experiences. Eternelle’s is a small beverage stand where you can purchase a variety of ‘potions’ and ‘elixirs’. While these drinks look like potions, they still taste great and they make you feel like you are in Snape’s potion class drinking something mysterious that was just made for you. A few of the elixirs you can try may include:

  • Fire Protection Potion
  • Babbling Beverage
  • Draught of Peace
  • Elixir to Induce Euphoria

The Fountain of Fair Fortune

The Fountain of Fair Fortune was named after one of the tales in the Tales of Beedle the Bard. Here you can get drinks like Frozen Butterbeer, Pumpkin Juice, Butterbeer, Gillywater, and more. There’s also an extremely limited snack menu (mainly bags of chips and some soft-serve ice cream).

The Hopping Pot

Like the Fountain of Fair Fortune, The Hopping Pot is a quick service location with beverages and snacks. You can get all the same drinks as the Fountain of Fair Fortune and more, including Otter’s Fizzy Orange Juice, Peachtree Fizzing Tea, Fishy Green Ale, and more. The snack menu is also a bit more robust than Fountain of Fair Fortune’s, with the addition of several “pasties” (hand pies) such as Shepherd’s Pie, beef, or chicken.

Accio Vacation! Start Planning Your Trip Today

Concept art of a large round entrance portal, with a giant golden hand holding a wand overhead.

Universal’s Epic Universe is Universal’s third major theme park, currently under construction and scheduled to open sometime in the 2025. We’re still awaiting most of the major details about the park, but we do know for certain that it will be home to a third Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

This section of the park will include nods to the 1920s Paris setting of the Fantastic Beasts books/films, along with elements of the Ministry of Magic. Universal hasn’t officially released any ride details, but it’s widely believed that you’ll go on an immersive adventure within the walls of the Ministry of Magic .

It’s a safe bet there will also be plenty of live entertainment (possibly a dedicated stage show), tempting food, and of course shopping to be found.

Is it worth delaying your trip to Universal to wait for Epic Universe to open? Probably not. There are already two amazing Harry Potter Worlds at Universal — you can enjoy them right away and save Epic Universe a later visit!

Want a Heads Up When Epic Universe is Ready To Book?

Universal Orlando’s Harry Potter worlds are some of my favorite parts of the entire resort. Both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are unique and fun experiences, and these two areas alone are worth a trip to Universal Orlando. And I can’t wait to see how the new addition at Epic Universe turns out!

People have varying opinions about which Harry Potter World is their favorite, but I always say that when you visit you need to see both. Getting the Park-to-Park pass ensures that you can see all the best sights, rides, and experiences in both parks, and it allows you to ride the Hogwarts Express which is one of my favorite parts of the resort.

Even if you aren’t a Harry Potter fan, you must visit these themed areas when you are in Universal. Although, if you haven’t seen any of the movies yet, I’d recommend watching a few before you go because it will make the visit that much more special!

Ready to book your trip? You don’t need a flying Ford Anglia, a handful of Floo Powder, or the Hogwarts Express — all you need is  The Vacationeer !

Here’s why you should let these Diamond-Level Universal Preferred Travel Agents handle your trip:

  • Expert Advice: They know their way around the Wizarding World, no Marauder’s Map needed!
  • No Hidden Charges: They match Universal’s prices and don’t charge any planning fees
  • The Best Rates: They use their knowledge of discounts and promotions to make sure you don’t miss a chance to save
  • Automatic Savings: If a new promotion is announced, they’ll automatically apply it to your booking
  • Free, No-Obligation Quotes: It’s free to ask and you’re never under any pressure to book
  • One Dedicated Planner for Your Entire Trip: No giant call centers or never-ending phone menus!
  • Stress-Free Vacation Planning: No need to go crazy researching everything — let them help!
  • Care-Free Logistics: They’ll book and organize your hotel, dining, tickets, and ground transport so you can focus on having fun with your family

Contact a Vacationeer today for your free consultation !

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  • FREE Wizarding World of Harry Potter Touring Plan – Accurate & Up-to-Date

Welcome to our Wizarding World of Harry Potter touring plan. We have created what we believe to be the most comprehensive guide available anywhere to experience all of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley , giving families a sense of their true size and scope. Furthermore, using our plan will help you experience these magical venues just as Harry did for the first time.

IMPORTANT: this is not a traditional touring plan in the sense that it will help you avoid crowds. If that is a concern given how busy the parks are projected to be during your visit ( see our free crowd calendar ), we recommend that you use one of our other touring plans for the general framework of when to visit the Wizarding World, and then use this plan to help ensure you don’t miss a thing.

That being said, if you are only planning on visiting Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade during your visit to the parks, and you’re not interested at all in the other lands, then you could definitely use this as your full-day plan. We say that because, even with the Wizarding World being as grand as it is, it still only constitutes two out of a total of 16 lands across Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure .

There are two plans offered below: one for spending the full day at Diagon Alley before making the jaunt over to Hogsmeade, and the other for retracing Harry’s footsteps chronologically – the closest you can come to actually being the Boy Who Lived.

Skip to: Diagon Alley | Harry’s journey

Full-day, “don’t miss a thing” Diagon Alley touring plan

Plan on four hours to all day, depending on crowd levels and your family’s interest in Harry Potter .

1. We usually recommend that, whether or not you have Early Park Admission for Universal Studios Florida, you arrive at the turnstiles 45 minutes before you are able to get in (either as part of EPA or as part of general admission). But considering that your plan is to spend most of the day in the Wizarding World, anyway, it isn’t as necessary for you to be the first in line. (If you’d like to learn more, see our guide to Early Park Admission .)

2. When you are let through the turnstiles, grab a park map and proceed through to Diagon Alley.

London waterfront

The London waterfront that hides Diagon Alley from the rest of the park is more than just a barrier – it features its own set of stops, food, and must-dos, as well as being one of the most lavishly detailed areas of all of Universal Orlando Resort.

3. Stop by the Knight Bus and visit with the Conductor and his shrunken-head compatriot. Be sure to take a look inside the bus, including from the back – it’s one of the best photo-ops in the entire park!

4. Visit the London Taxi Huts. One serves food while the other offers Hogwarts house merchandise . If possible and desirable, grab a little something to snack on while you…

5. Snap a photo of Kreacher, Sirius Black’s house-elf, who periodically pokes his head out from behind the curtains in one of 12 Grimmauld Place’s windows.

6. Visit the telephone booth in front of Leicester Square and dial M-A-G-I-C for a little surprise. Then take a look into the record shop next to this booth for several Easter Eggs, including the Universal Creative department logo and references to Jaws (the attraction that existed here before the Wizarding World).

Once you’ve had your fill, proceed to the entrance of Diagon Alley under the Liecester Square signage.

Diagon Alley

The first street you see stretching out before you is called Diagon Alley. Like a true city block, there are several exits along the road: to the right, past Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes , is Carkitt Market ; to the left, just after The Leaky Cauldron , is Knockturn Alley ; and at the end of the street is Horizont Alley , whose intersection is dominated by Gringotts Wizarding Bank. We recommend doing everything you’d like in the Diagon section first before moving to any of the others.

8. Visit the shops: Quality Quidditch Supplies , Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes , Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions , Ollivanders Wand Shop , and  Shutterbutton’s Photo Studio .

You’ll want to see the mirror inside Madam Malkin’s – it may have something to say about you or what you’re wearing.

If you already have an interactive wand, make sure to check out two of the three secret wand locations here. One can be found within the shop window next to Madam Malkin’s, and the other can be found directly to the right, in the Apocratery window. If you don’t have an interactive wand yet, then…

9. Stop at Ollivanders Wand Shop and see the wand-picking-the-wizard show. You can also shop here on your way out.

Keep in mind there are multiple effects in the show, and not every effect is used in every show. If the wait is very short, consider experiencing the demonstration more than once. There is also more than one Ollivanders employee working at any time, so you could experience a new wand keeper on your second or third trip through the show. This includes the new-to-Diagon-Alley female wand keepers, too.

Want to learn about interactive wands and spellcasting at the Wizarding World? View our guide .

10. Eat a meal at The Leaky Cauldron (open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner).

In case you haven’t seen it already, learn about the food and drinks of Leaky Cauldron and every venue inside Diagon Alley in our  comprehensive guide .

11. Have a snack at Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour (which typically opens bright and early in the morning and remains open all day long).

There is limited space for queuing inside Florean Fortescue’s. Because of this, the ice cream line will often begin outside the door and against the building. Note: if you’re only interested in Butterbeer ice cream, that item is also served next door at The Fountain of Fair Fortune (but, technically, that’s part of Horizont Alley, so we haven’t mentioned it yet!).

When you are ready, backtrack a bit to the entrance of Diagon Alley and head towards Carkitt Market, which is located next to Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.

Carkitt Market

This is a large, (mostly) covered shopping area that is home to a number of street vendors, the new wizarding land’s only outdoor seating area, and, of course, live entertainment.

12. Visit Wands by Gregorovitch – that is, if you didn’t already buy a wand at Ollivanders .

13. Do your shopping at Globus Mundi , the traveling agency of the wizarding world.

14. Stop at The Hopping Pot , a mostly drink-only location, and either sip on your draught beer at the outdoor seating or take it on over next door to the stage so you can…

15. See the live entertainment : The Tales of Beedle the Bard and The Singing Sorceress, Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. These are two separate shows whose performances alternate. (Times are not published in the guide map or online, but they do appear in the Universal mobile app.)

Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees does include crowd participation. If you are a male over the age of (around) 17, stand near the stage about 10 minutes prior to the show for a chance to be selected by a Universal team member to have a small role in the performance.

16. Visit the Gringotts Money Exchange to chat with the fully interactive audio-animatronic goblin teller while he exchanges your muggle cash for wizarding bank notes. You can also pick up some Gringotts merchandise here, as well.

Not interested in buying a bank note? No problem. You may still get in line and experience the goblin teller. It’s also worth noting that wizarding money is not required to make purchases throughout Diagon Alley – it’s simply a souvenir and a way to get gift certificates.

17. Mail home those special packages, for you or those special muggles in your life, at the Owl Post . Don’t forget that you can splurge on fancy wrapping!

When you are ready, head towards the next section, Horizont Alley, which officially starts with the bend in the road, right before Eternelle’s Elixir of Refreshment .

Horizont Alley

Although Diagon Alley is the main section of Universal Studios Florida’s Wizarding World, Horizont Alley is really its heart, with a number of refreshment stands, shops, and, of course, the land’s only ride: Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.

18. Stop by Eternelle’s Elixir of Refreshment , a beverage stand that mixes flavored “elixirs” (really just shots of watermelon or pineapple flavoring) into a bottle of Gillywater (filtered water) right in front of your eyes.

19. Go to Gringotts Wizarding Bank to ride Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts . Exit the attraction with a look through its gift shop, Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment.

Remember to look up in Wiseacre’s to see repurposed remains of the Jaws ride.

20. Adjacent to Wiseacre’s and sharing the same building, you’ll find Scribbulus Writing Implements.

Outside Scribbulus, make sure to see one of the hidden wand experiences found in the window. Results may vary, so you’ll want to try it more than once.

21. Visit Magical Menagerie , full of plush animals found within the Harry Potter books and films. Check out the windows, including one that holds Nagini, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s pet snake and a Horcrux.

22. Next, stroll down to the public conveniences to enjoy the wizarding Easter eggs hidden there. Utilizing a stall? Look above the toilet.

23. If you’re (still) thirsty, stop by The Fountain of Fair Fortune , another drinks-only venue that focuses on both Butter- and draught beer. Because it’s located adjacent to Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour, it also serves Butterbeer ice cream.

Once you exit the pub, turn left and head through the entrance to the last area of the land, Knockturn Alley.

Knockturn Alley

Knockturn may be the smallest section of Diagon Alley, but many consider it the most immersive – and certainly the creepiest. Despite its having only one store, be sure to spend just as much time here, drinking in all the exquisite details and spooky fun (including Diagon Alley’s most fun homage to Jaws and Amity, the land it replaced.)

Note: certain areas of Knockturn Alley will allow you to see otherwise-invisible messages found on your interactive wand map.

24. Visit Borgin and Burkes to explore some of the most unique pieces of wizarding merchandise, including Death Eater masks. There are also familiar items on display, including the vanishing cabinet (from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ) and the Hand of Glory (from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ).

Need a primer on all of the merchandise available inside Diagon Alley, including Borgin and Burkes? Yep, we have a complete guide for that, too!

Once you have finished all of your window shopping and Easter egg-hunting, it’s time to head through Knockturn’s exit next to The Leaky Cauldron.

Then head back towards the brick wall you entered through and exit. You’ll find yourself back in London. Now, just take a right, until you’ve landed at the only attraction in London: King’s Cross Station.

King’s Cross Station

This is it – the grand finale of Diagon Alley. King’s Cross, of course, is the home of the Hogwarts Express , which will take you to Hogsmeade over in Scotland (read: Islands of Adventure).

Once you arrive there, you can either tour that part of the Wizarding World or hop straight back on the Hogwarts Express to experience the journey back to London (which, yes, is different ).

Full-day, “Harry’s journey” touring plan (for both sides of the Wizarding World)

Plan on two to six hours, depending upon the crowds and your dedication to being authentic to Harry’s journey.

1. We usually recommend that, whether or not you have Early Park Admission for Universal Studios Florida, you arrive at the turnstiles 45 minutes before you are able to get in (either as part of EPA or as part of general admission). But considering that your plan is to spend most of the day in the Wizarding World, anyway, it isn’t as necessary for you to be the first in line. If you’d like to learn more, see our guide to Early Park Admission .

3. Stop by the Knight Bus and visit with the Conductor and his shrunken-head compatriot – this is how Harry arrived at London, after all! Be sure to take a look inside the bus, as it’s one of the best photo-ops in the entire park.

4. Visit the cabman’s shelters. One serves food while the other offers Hogwarts house merchandise. If possible/desirable, grab a little something to snack on while you head to Leicester Square Station, the entrance to Diagon Alley.

5. Eat breakfast at The Leaky Cauldron . Harry went through here first before doing his shopping at Diagon Alley.

6. Visit the Gringotts Money Exchange in order to pick up some authentic wizarding bank notes with which to do your shopping (this is just like Hagrid taking Harry to Gringotts Wizarding Bank to withdraw his galleons).

7. Pop into Knockturn Alley for a scare (or a quick spy on the Malfoys and the other Death Eaters). You can even pretend you’re being rescued by Hagrid once you’re done window shopping!

8. Go shopping for your school supplies. We recommend hitting up (a) Ollivanders Wand Shop (on Diagon Alley) for your wand (do the wand-choosing-the-wizard show for the most authentic experience), (b) Magical Menagerie (on Horizont Alley) for your pet owl, (c) Quality Quidditch Supplies (Diagon) for your broom, and (d) Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions (Diagon) for your school robes (of course).

9. Grab a quick bite of ice cream at Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour . Harry ate here often before departing for school.

10. Board the Hogwarts Express at King’s Cross Station to head to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at Hogsmeade (located in Islands of Adventure).

11. Ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey inside of Hogwarts Castle. There’s enough adventure in these five minutes to cover an entire school year of misadventures!

12. Visit Hagrid at his hut and ride Flight of the Hippogriff .

13. Not done with Hagrid yet? Take his Care of Magical Creatures class in the Forbidden Forest at Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure .

14. Have lunch at The Three Broomsticks and dessert at the Hog’s Head Pub. Be sure to try a Frozen Butterbeer here.

15. Enjoy the Frog Choir and the Triwizard Spirit Rally .

16. Pick up your final wizarding essentials at Hogsmeade’s shops, including (most importantly) the Marauder’s Map (at Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods ) and some sweets ( Honeydukes ).

17. Hop back on the Hogwarts Express to experience the return journey to London.

18. Face down Voldemort on Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts inside of Gringotts Wizarding Bank.

Congratulations – you’ve helped defeat Lord Voldemort by destroying his Horcruxes!

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From Butterbeer to magic wands: Everything you need to know about Universal Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Andrea M. Rotondo

Editor's Note

A visit to Universal Orlando to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter had been on my wish list for a while. Suspension of disbelief takes place here every day. Visitors don wizarding robes, grab interactive wands and — at least for a day or two — pretend that they are following in the footsteps of Hermione, Ron and Harry, truly inhabiting the magical world of "Harry Potter."

There are families racing from ride to ride in Hogwarts-style robes and Harry Potter-style glasses. We witnessed the engagement of two fans right in front of Hogwarts Castle. We might even have wondered for a minute or two what it would be like to be able to cast spells and brew potions.

If this sounds like your cup of frozen Butterbeer, here's what you need to know to make the trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando a success.

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The dragon atop Gringotts breathes fire several times a day. (Photo by Andrea M. Rotondo/The Points Guy.)

When to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

There is no bad time to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, just times of the year when it may be more crowded or pretty darn hot. Don't overly stress over the choice of dates. Just check expected crowd levels at calendars like the ones from Undercover Tourist and TouringPlans.com and then use some strategies — like skip-the-line passes, VIP tours and early starts — to evade crowds if you need to (more on that later).

Related: Choosing the best Universal Orlando hotel for your trip

No. It doesn't really snow in Orlando but it does in Hogsmeade. (Photo by Leonard Hospidor.)

How to see more of The Wizarding World in less time

I won't lie to you. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter gets very crowded.

We visited Universal at what is a slower time of year and the attractions in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley were still jammed. If you want to see as much of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter as possible in the shortest amount of time, there are some strategies you probably need to employ.

First, you can use Universal's Express Pass . This is a skip-the-line pass that works on most attractions at Universal's two theme parks. This includes within The Wizarding World, with the exception of Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.

harry potter universal trip letter

There are three ways to get an Express Pass. The easiest way is to book one of Universal's on-site Premier hotels. If you stay at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel , Hard Rock Hotel or Loews Royal Pacific Resort , you'll get a free Express Pass Unlimited to use throughout your visit. If you have a Premier-level Universal annual pass , you're entitled to Express Pass access beginning at 4 p.m.

Otherwise, you can purchase Express Passes:

  • Universal Express: Prices start at $79.99 per person per day for one park and $89.99 for two parks and go up to almost double that amount. This pass lets you skip the regular line one time per participating ride at both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure theme parks.
  • Universal Express Unlimited: Prices start at $109.99 per person per day for one park and $119.99 for two parks, though prices vary quite a bit from day to day. An Unlimited pass lets you skip the regular lines at participating rides as many times as you want at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

Be aware that the list of participating rides and attractions is subject to change, so check with Universal Orlando's website before you purchase an Express Pass to make sure the rides you're most interested in are included.

The best strategy to ensure you do as much as possible within the World of Harry Potter, short of a VIP tour, is to rope-drop Hagrid's at the park's opening and then use your Express Pass for all the other attractions.

harry potter universal trip letter

Speaking of VIP tours, there are two to choose from. You can book a small-group or private VIP experience at Universal. The price, while not cheap, packages together walk-on ride access during the tour, Express Passes and a dinner credit to use after the tour ends.

The small-group VIP tour starts at less than $200 per person while the private tour costs a few thousand dollars for the day. These tours will get you on rides like Hargrids that otherwise don't have short-cut access.

Related: How to get the most out of 1 day at Universal Orlando

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley

If you are staying at any of the on-site Universal hotels , you can get into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour earlier than general admission.

Which park opens early varies by day and sometimes both parks open early. The front desk agent should give you this information at check-in or you can check the Universal Orlando website for the most up-to-date information.

No matter which park is opening early, plan to arrive at the front gates at least 15 - 30 minutes before the Early Park Admission opening time. It's the only way to beat the crowds and make the most of your extra time.

harry potter universal trip letter

Only certain attractions open during Early Park Admission, but this typically includes all of the Wizarding World attractions. The ones you will most likely want to knock out are Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Islands of Adventure and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts at Universal Studios Florida.

For Hagrid's, head to Islands of Adventure, take a right after passing through Port of Entry and head toward Seuss Landing. Universal team members will be on hand to scan your hotel keycard and allow you to go deeper into the park. Continue through Seuss Landing to The Lost Continent and you should see team members directing you toward the start of the line for Hagrid's.

harry potter universal trip letter

If Escape from Gringotts is first on your list, walk straight through Production Central and turn right when you reach the New York section of the park (in front of the Revenge of the Mummy attraction). Continue on until you see a replica of King's Cross Station on your left.

Be careful not to overshoot and walk past the somewhat hidden entrance to Diagon Alley. When you see an opening in a brick wall, you know you've found it.

Walk through the opening in this brick wall to enter Diagon Alley. (Photo by Leonard Hospidor.)

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Once you've entered Diagon Alley, walk straight to Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts indoor steel roller coaster ride. You can't miss it; it's the building with the fire-breathing dragon perched on the roof.

Tip: Find any wizard or witch working in Diagon Alley and ask when the dragon will breathe fire next. The schedule is sporadic so asking is your best bet. Also, when you hear a low growl, that's your signal that this Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon is about to spew some fire.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley. Photo by Leonard Hospidor.)

There are free and paid lockers to the right of the line so you can stash your belongings before the ride.

Children must be 42 inches to ride; be sure your party meets that requirement so you don't get to the head of the line only to be turned away. There is also a "child swap" room where parents can take turns alternating riding or waiting with kiddos not tall enough (or ready) to ride.

There is also a test seat in front of the building where you can confirm whether or not the seating configuration will work for your body style.

Wait times can get long for this ride, but it does have an Express Pass line throughout most of the day. There's also a lot to look at while in line since you'll snake through the Gringotts bank lobby and see a multitude of goblins at work. The four chandeliers that hang inside the bank's lobby are made up of 62,000 individual crystals.

There is a photo opportunity in the line as you pass through Gringotts "security." You can purchase the photo after the ride if you'd like (this photo has been unavailable since the park reopened after a brief closure due to COVID-19).

This attraction was once The Wizarding World's flagship attraction, but it's been eclipsed by Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure (both of which can be found in Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure). What's neat about Escape from Gringotts is the motion-based 3D projections that make you feel as if you're interacting with characters like Bill Weasley and the goblin Blordak.

Related: TPG's complete guide to Universal Orlando

Ollivanders

After exiting the Gringotts ride, you're just across from Ollivanders, so get in line to see the show that depicts how a wand chooses its wizard, if this type of show appeals to you.

It's a very personal process. One lucky guest is picked from the audience and the wizard in residence facilitates the wand choosing. After the show, you're escorted next door to the wand shop where they'll box up the wand for you to take home … assuming you want to spend the $50 or so for the wand, which is optional. You can also forgo the wand that was chosen for you and pick out a replica of your favorite wizard's wand.

You can see the "wand picks the wizard" show at Ollivanders in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. (Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando.)

If you weren't lucky enough to be chosen for the show, you can pick out and purchase your own wand.

Go for an interactive wand that helps you make magic — literally — at many locations in both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. Standard, non-interactive wands are also available if you are looking to save a little cash or your kids are too young to know the difference.

harry potter universal trip letter

Assuming you've purchased an interactive wand, look for brass medallions set into the pavement in both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. These are the spots where you can cast spells and make magic. A map that plots each spot where you can cast spells is included with your wand purchase (including a few unmarked "secret wand spots"). Spells are categorized as easy, medium or hard. You also can order an interactive wand in advance of your trip or pick one up in the hotel gift shop at most on-site hotels.

Note that there is an identical Ollivanders wand experience at Hogsmeade, so feel free to skip the experience here if you'd prefer to see the show there later in your visit.

harry potter universal trip letter

Dine at the Leaky Cauldron

If you didn't eat breakfast before heading to Diagon Alley, now may be the right time to grab a table at the atmospheric Leaky Cauldron. Breakfast is pricey, but where else can you dine among witches and wizards? Breakfast plates for adults all ring in at $17.99 and include a small beverage (yes, you can have Butterbeer for breakfast).

harry potter universal trip letter

  • Traditional Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, sausage links, black pudding, English bacon, baked beans, grilled tomato, sauteed mushrooms and breakfast potatoes.
  • American Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, potatoes, crisp bacon, sausage link and a croissant.
  • Pancake Breakfast: Three buttermilk pancakes, crisp bacon, sausage link and a croissant.
  • Egg, Leek and Mushroom Pasty: Pastry-wrapped scrambled eggs, mushrooms and leeks served with potatoes and fruit.
  • Apple Oatmeal Flan with Yogurt & Fruit.

The kids breakfast plate — traditional, pancake or American — is $12.99. Pumpkin juice will set you back $4.99.

harry potter universal trip letter

If you're not a breakfast eater, leave this stop for lunchtime instead where you can order things like fish 'n' chips ($16.99), a ploughman's lunch (cheese, chutney, bread, pickles and Scotch egg) for two ($21.99), bangers and mash ($13.99) or a beef, lamb and Guinness stew ($15.99). Kids entrees include things like mac 'n' cheese and fish 'n' chips for $7.29. Desserts — sticky toffee pudding, Butterbeer potted cream or chocolate potted cream — shouldn't be missed.

Take in a 'Harry Potter'-themed show

While you're finishing breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron, take a look at the Universal Orlando app and find out when the shows in Diagon Alley will take place.

During our trip, we saw two shows here, including "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" — complete with puppets — and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. There's seating around the stage if you arrive early enough, or there's always plenty of standing room.

Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees

Gringotts Money Exchange

After the show, walk toward the Gringotts ride and you'll come upon the Gringotts Money Exchange. Go inside and don't be fooled. This isn't just a bank. Sure, there is a human clerk assisting with money exchanges here, but there is also a Gringotts goblin behind a teller's desk. Talk to him and he will interact with you. It's a neat experience — especially for curious kids.

The goblin at the Gringotts Money Exchange may frighten young children. (Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando.)

Knockturn Alley

Knockturn Alley is dark, seedy and so well hidden that you might miss it. There are two entrances — one next to the Leaky Cauldron and one next to the Fountain of Fair Fortune.

harry potter universal trip letter

The enclosed space is dark and a cool break from the heat. There are also five neat spots where you can use your interactive wand to cast spells. There's also a shop, Borgin and Burkes, that's oozing plenty of dark magic and a few benches where you can rest a bit before continuing your exploration of Diagon Alley right outside.

Explore Knockturn Alley. It's dark and cool! (Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando.)

Explore the shops of Diagon Alley

Once you've tried casting spells in Knockturn Alley, go back out into the bright Orlando sun to finish exploring Diagon Alley.

Diagon Alley (Photo by Andrea M. Rotondo/The Points Guy.)

Visit all the shops, and be on the lookout for a few "magic moments." Among them is a snake speaking Parseltongue in the window of the Magical Menagerie and a talking mirror in Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions. Be forewarned, she isn't always complimentary of your wardrobe choices.

Related: Unlock more magic: 16 Universal Orlando secrets to know before your next trip

Pick up some souvenirs on Diagon Alley. (Photo by Andrea M. Rotondo/The Points Guy.)

And maybe get an ice cream at Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream Parlour, or a Butterbeer at The Fountain of Fair Fortune or The Hopping Pot.

The Hopping Pot is a nice spot to grab a drink and rest for a bit. (Photo by Andrea M. Rotondo/The Points Guy.)

One word of caution: Harry Potter souvenirs are pretty expensive. You may want to set a budget with your kids before exploring the shops or explain to them why you won't be purchasing certain items. Robes — with the emblem of your house stitched on them — will set you back $125. A Gryffindor Quidditch robe replica is $150, while Hermione Granger's Yule Ball Gown in youth sizes is $99.95. Yowza. No wonder many parents bring robes from home.

Check out the Knight Bus and 12 Grimmauld Place

Once you've seen everything on Diagon Alley, leave this part of The Wizarding World through the opening in the brick wall. Directly across you'll see the Knight Bus. Here you can meet the conductor and the shrunken head that hangs at the front of the bus. Kids and adults love interacting with these two. Sit by the fountain to listen in.

harry potter universal trip letter

Then, look across the way and you'll see a replica of a London street. Upon closer inspection, you'll see 12 Grimmauld Place, the home of Sirius Black (Harry Potter's godfather). He gifted the property to the Order of the Phoenix, which used it as a headquarters. Look up toward the second floor and you may catch a glimpse of Kreacher, the Black family house-elf, peering at you from the window.

Hogwarts Express – King's Cross Station

When you've thoroughly explored Diagon Alley and the streets of Harry Potter's London, it's time to make your way to King's Cross Station, where you'll board the Hogwarts Express and ride the train to Hogsmeade. Remember: You can only ride the Hogwarts Express if you have a Park-to-Park ticket. If you've got one-day, one-park tickets, there is no way to experience this attraction.

Hogwarts Express. (Photo by Andrea M. Rotondo/The Points Guy.)

The wait queue is convincing and it appears as if you are waiting for a train in London. Pay attention to everything as you near the train platform. A neat mirror trick makes it look like you burst through a brick wall to reappear unharmed on Platform 9 3/4. The train whistle builds excitement, and when you see steam escaping from the locomotive, you'll know you're almost ready to board.

Eight passengers are loaded onto each car and it truly looks as if you're departing London on your way to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The ride's spectacle takes place on the train windows. Be prepared to see some Dementors on the four-minute trip to Hogsmeade. The show is slightly different on the return trip, so be sure you ride it both ways.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade

You'll find Hogsmeade inside the Islands of Adventure theme park. Here, you can visit both the town of Hogsmeade and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

harry potter universal trip letter

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

If you have your heart set on riding this thrill coaster, get in line as soon as you arrive in Hogsmeade. Wait times can get intense and the attraction does not accept Universal Express.

Should you miss riding at park opening, then rather than walking to the back of the park where Hagrid's is located, you can check wait times in the Universal Orlando app. You can even set wait time alerts and receive a push notification on your phone when the wait time drops below your designated limit.

harry potter universal trip letter

This is by far the fastest ride in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It reaches speeds up to 50 mph and includes both spikes into the air and fast drops. You need to be at least 48 inches tall to experience it. You'll either ride Hagrid's motorcycle or get in the sidecar.

Either spot will make your heart pound, but I think the ride in the sidecar is a bit easier for anyone that might be nervous.

Hogwarts Castle

While we'll talk about the ride that takes place inside Hogwarts Castle next, I wanted to mention the castle itself first.

You can see Hogwarts from many distant points in Islands of Adventure. It looks magical from afar but even more impressive as you stand beneath its turrets. There is a bridge with wonderful views of the castle as you leave Jurassic Park and enter Hogsmeade. This is where you can grab that quintessential photo of the castle -- don't miss it.

harry potter universal trip letter

We visited during the holiday season and were treated to "The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts Castle." As the sky gets dark, the castle is lit up with projections that include scenes from the books, faux fireworks, lasers and more. It is one of those experiences where your jaw will drop and you'll feel like magic is happening. If you're visiting during the holidays, it's worth it to stick around after dark to see this unique show.

On select nights during other times of the year, Universal shows "The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle," a similar show, but without the holiday music and wintry scenes.

Christmas at Hogwarts Castle

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was my favorite ride in all of Universal and the queue itself is filled with interesting scenes from the books.

When we visited, we zipped right through the line with our Express Passes and were disappointed that we didn't see all the neat things leading up to the ride. We decided to ride a second time and went through the normal wait line. We didn't wait that long (maybe 25 minutes) but we were able to take our time to inspect things like Professor Sprout's herbology greenhouse and Dumbledore's office with his talking portrait and the Mirror of Erised.

There are a lot of details to take in as you wait in line for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. (Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando.)

I was a little worried that I might not be able to ride this attraction since I'm heavyset. Universal's park guide notes that certain body types might not comfortably fit in the seat, which has a safety bar that comes over your head and shoulders to lock into place at your waistline.

For that reason, there is a pair of seats in front of Hogwarts Castle at the entrance for this ride. If you're not sure the seat will work for you, you can try it out before getting in line. If your waist is larger than 40 inches, you might not be able to ride.

There is another set of test seats about halfway through the queue and I did see two people turned away after an attendant tested them. If there's any doubt that you may not fit comfortably in the seat, try it out before waiting in line.

On this ride, you "ride a broomstick" in and around Hogwarts Castle. The attraction is a "robocoaster," where a robotic arm holds your seat above a track and you pivot in a multitude of directions. It makes you feel as if you're flying through the air and, if you are prone to motion sickness, may make you feel like you need to relieve the contents of your stomach when you disembark.

The ride is dark at times, with encounters with dangers like Aragog the spider in the Forbidden Forest, the Whomping Willow and a gang of Dementors. But you'll also screech around the Quidditch field. You must be 48 inches or taller to ride Forbidden Journey. There are lockers to the right of the castle entrance to store your belongings. Trust us, you don't want anything on your head or in your pockets during this ride.

Flight of the Hippogriff

Flight of the Hippogriff, dubbed a "family-friendly coaster," is across from the lockers at Hogwarts Castle.

The twists, turns and drops reminded me of a slightly tamer Big Thunder Mountain Railroad from Disney World's Magic Kingdom. My husband is not a fan of roller coasters and didn't want to ride this one — even if it is just a "junior" coaster — so I went alone. Plenty of little kids were riding and loving it; children have to be just 36 inches tall or taller to ride.

This "junior" roller coaster is a hit with kids and adults. (Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando.)

This ride is super quick, so I had to ride a few times to take it all in. The track is elevated so you get a nice view of Hogsmeade. The queue is neat, too, as you walk by Hagrid's Hut and on to an open area where you'll recognize the Care of Magical Creatures class site.

Related: 7 magical places every 'Harry Potter' fan should visit

Take a break and see a show

After enjoying the rides, it might be a good time to see one of the shows staged in Hogsmeade throughout the day.

When we visited, we saw the Frog Choir (a special version for the Christmas holiday) and the Triwizard Spirit Rally. The stage is small but we never had trouble getting a close-up spot as long as we arrived a few minutes before showtime. Check the paper guide given out at the park entrance or the Universal Orlando app for showtimes.

Triwizard Spirit Rally

If you didn't see the "wand picks a wizard" show at the Ollivanders location at Diagon Alley in Universal Studios, you can get in line to see it here. (See the Diagon Alley section above for a full description of the experience.) After the show, shop for a wand if you don't already have one. There are some neat spots in Hogsmeade where you can cast spells with it.

Dine out, enjoy a drink and go shopping

You can't truly say you've seen Hogsmeade until you've had a meal at the Three Broomsticks or grabbed a drink at the Hog's Head bar next door (serving Butterbeer, beer and spirits).

Hog's Head. (Photo by Leonard Hospidor.)

At Three Broomsticks, many families opt for The Great Feast, which includes a salad plus a combination of rotisserie smoked chicken, spareribs, corn on the cob and roast potatoes. (A platter for four is $69.99; additional servings are $17.99.)

You can also buy British favorites like fish 'n' chips, beef pasties, smoked turkey legs and shepherd's pie, and there are soups and salads on the menu at both lunch and dinner. Kids ages 9 and younger pick from fish 'n' chips, chicken fingers, chicken legs and mac 'n' cheese — each entree is $7.49.

Nonalcoholic Butterbeer (regular or frozen) is $7.99, while pumpkin juice and pumpkin fizz are $4.99. Two draught beers on tap are Hog's Head Brew and Dragon Scale (both $9.49).

Three Broomsticks also serves breakfast daily until 10:30 a.m.

harry potter universal trip letter

When you're ready to roll out of Three Broomsticks, get ready to do a bit of shopping. Honeydukes is a sweet shop filled with confections like Exploding Bonbons, Cauldron Cakes, Fizzing Whizzbees, Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans and Chocolate Frogs.

You can mail postcards or letters from the Owl Post, complete with an official Hogsmeade postmark. You can also purchase all kinds of writing implements (think quills and seals) as well as owl-themed souvenirs.

If you didn't ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, you would have missed Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods since the ride empties into this shop. This is a terrific shop if you're looking for house crest banners, T-shirts, hats or scarves.

Get your Hogwarts uniforms and robes, Sneakoscopes, Quaffles and Golden Snitches at Dervish and Banges.

Hogwarts Express – Hogsmeade Station

When you're ready to leave this part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, walk through the arch toward Hogsmeade Station and get in line for the Hogwarts Express.

Hogsmeade (Photo by Leonard Hospidor.)

The train will take you back to "London" at Universal Studios. The experience is a bit different in each direction, so be sure to hop on — even if you rode the train from London to Hogsmeade earlier in the day.

Hogwarts Express - Hogsmeade Station

Related: Choose the best hotel at Universal Orlando

Buying the right ticket for Harry's world

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade is part of Islands of Adventure while The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley can be found at Universal Studios, this is important when it comes to choosing your ticket.

Splitting this land into two sections was a brilliant move on Universal's part since it means you need to purchase the upgraded Park-to-Park admission ticket if you wish to see both parts of Harry's world on the same day.

That also means holding a Park-to-Park ticket or a Universal annual pass are the only ways you can ride the Hogwarts Express train attraction between the two lands. The Hogwarts Express is more than just a mode of transportation — it's an attraction in and of itself. Leave time to take the train in both directions because the experience is different depending on which way you're headed.

You can use single-day one-park tickets to visit each land separately, but there's no way to use those tickets to board the Hogwarts Express.

Hogwarts Express (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy.)

You can buy Universal tickets for one, two, three, four or five days.

Universal's website sometimes offers special promotions for multiday passes that throw in extras like a skip-the-line Express Pass, discounted admission to the Volcano Bay water park or a free day at Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure.

The least expensive tickets let you explore one park per day. Unless that's the only option on the table, for Harry Potter you really want the Park-to-Park tickets that allow you to visit both theme parks on the same day. That gives you the ultimate in flexibility and access to the Hogwarts Express.

If you plan to visit the parks for more than just a few days, or you think you may visit Universal Orlando twice or more in 12 months, consider a Universal annual pass . I never dreamed I'd become a Universal annual pass holder, but when I planned our trip, I had my eye on a special promotion that gave you an extra day in the parks when you bought a two-day pass.

I thought that was a good deal — but when I looked at pricing for a Florida resident annual pass, I found out it was only $8 per ticket more than the special promotional pass. For just a few bucks more, I went for the annual pass; now we can go back to Universal and get free admission until the pass expires.

When buying Universal tickets, look at all the combinations and prices to determine which is the best deal for your family.

Where to buy Universal tickets

You can purchase your tickets directly from Universal. Alternatively, you can buy from well-respected third-party vendors like Undercover Tourist . This can be an especially good idea right after a ticket price hike. Often, Undercover Tourist will have some tickets left over at the lower price for a few days or weeks after a ticket price increase.

Additionally, ticket purchases from Undercover Tourist typically code as travel for the purposes of earning or redeeming credit card points. Bookmark that site and comparison shop whenever you are buying tickets for Universal or other theme parks like Walt Disney World.

Related: Best credit cards to use for Universal Studios

How to use points to buy Universal tickets

Savvy parkgoers might want to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou points to buy their Universal Orlando theme park admission. But, at least for now, this option may not be available when you search.

If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve , you can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal at a rate of 1.5 cents per point. Or, if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card , you can redeem for travel through the portal at a rate of 1.25 cents per point.

Historically, Univeral Orlando tickets have often been available through the Chase travel portal at rates comparable to Universal's direct pricing. However, as of writing this article, we weren't able to find any Universal Orlando tickets bookable through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal. So, although it's worth checking, don't get your hopes up.

If you've got a stash of Citi ThankYou points , you can use them through the Citi ThankYou travel portal to redeem for activities, including tickets to select attractions and theme parks. However, as of writing, we didn't find any options to redeem for Universal Orlando tickets. This may change though, so check out the Citi ThankYou portal to review your options.

Related: How to use points to save money at Universal Orlando

What credit card to use at Universal

There is no one answer to the question: Which credit card should I use at Universal Orlando? The answer depends on how and where you purchase your theme park tickets and how that credit card codes purchases.

Data points from many travelers tell us that tickets bought at an on-site Universal hotel and charged to the hotel room have coded as "travel," but tickets and VIP tours purchased directly from Universal have coded as "entertainment."

If you know your charge will code as travel, you'll do well to use any of the best credit cards for general travel purchases , including:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve — 3 points per dollar spent.
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card — 2 points per dollar spent.
  • Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card — 2 points per dollar spent.

However, if you think your purchase will code as entertainment, you'll want to use one of the best cards for entertainment spending .

Related: Best credit cards for Disney and Universal vacations

Bottom line

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando is an incredible place to visit for muggles and wizards alike.

The rides and attractions are fantastic. It's fun to watch the daily performances that all relate to an aspect of Harry's magical world, and you must raise a pint of Butterbeer (or one of the beers specially brewed for The Wizarding World) in one of the themed establishments across the land — from the Leaky Cauldron to the Three Broomsticks to the Hog's Head and other neat spots.

To get the most out of your visit, splurge on Park-to-Park tickets and pair that with an Express Pass (might as well throw in valet parking while you are at it). Only then will you be able to get in early and (with a little magic) skip the worst of the lines. The added expense is truly worth it. If you're a "Harry Potter" fan, this is a theme park you'll want to return to again and again.

harry potter universal trip letter

A Muggle’s Guide to Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Whether you’re a long-time Harry Potter fan who’s still waiting on their Hogwarts acceptance letter or a theme-park-loving Muggle who’s just there for the rides, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a must for anyone visiting Universal Orlando. So, grab your Portkeys and your Floo Powder, as we take a trip to Harry Potter World in Florida.

Visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando

At Universal Orlando , you can don your best dress robes and visit two unique places in the wizarding world: Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. While wannabe witches and wizards can walk the hallowed halls of Hogwarts at other Universal Studios theme parks throughout the world including Hollywood, Japan, and the forthcoming location in Beijing, Universal Orlando is currently the only place where Muggles (that’s non-magical folk, if you’re not up on the lingo) can wander the crooked cobblestone streets of Diagon Alley. 

Dragon on top of a bank building

Cost of Harry Potter World Tickets

If you’re wondering, “just how much are tickets to Harry Potter World Orlando?”, the answer is a little bit complicated. With Harry Potter lands in both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, if you want to visit the entire Wizarding World in Orlando, you can’t just buy standard Universal Orlando tickets . You’ll need either a 2-Park – 1 Day Ticket or a multiday ticket. (Oh, Universal and your crafty, moneymaking ways.)

If you only have 1 day at Universal Orlando and you want to go to both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, Park-to-Park access is key, as it allows you to get into both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure on the same day. 2-Park – 1 Day Tickets start at $164 for adults and $159 for children ages 3 to 9. 

If you have multiple days in the Wizarding World and the rest of the Universal parks, then getting a Park-to-Park ticket is nice, but not necessary. 2-Park – 2-Day Tickets (with access to only one park per day) start at $106.50 per day for adults and $101.50 per day for children. 2-Park – 2-Day Tickets (with access to both parks each day) start at $136.50 per day for adults and $131.50 per day for children.

Exterior of Universal Store

In general, if you’d like to spend some time in Harry Potter World as well as going on rides in the rest of the parks, especially if this is your first time visiting, we’d recommend you spend at least one day each at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. If this isn’t your first time to Universal Orlando and the Wizarding World, all you care about is Harry Potter World, or you simply don’t have the time, then you can get by with only one day – as long as you can park hop. 

First Stop: Diagon Alley at Universal Studios or Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure?

Alright, you’ve got your tickets – now, which park should you visit first? It really depends on you and what you’d like to see first. If going on the Wizarding World’s newest ride, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, is a priority (which it should be because the ride is incredible), then we’d recommend going to Islands of Adventure first so you can get that out of the way first as the line can get exceptionally long. 

Exterior of Universal Orlando and Globe

Otherwise, I like going to Diagon Alley at Universal Studios first, then ending the day at Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure. Why? Well, because it’s the same thing Harry did, of course! Think of this as your introduction to the magical world before experiencing the wonders of Hogwarts. 

Remember, whichever park you decide to go to first, as long as you have a Universal ticket with park-hopping, getting to the other part of the Wizarding World is easy with the Hogwarts Express. (More on that later.)

Wizarding World of Harry Potter Musts

When you’re visiting the Wizarding World, there are a couple of things that you should try if you have the chance for the quintessential Hogwarts student experience: Butterbeer and interactive wands. As you’re reading, you’ll also want to keep an eye out for my Magical Tips for Muggles for helpful hints on how to make the most of your time in the Wizarding World and bits of Harry Potter-inspired hidden magic to look for as you’re exploring. 

Wizarding drinks and ice cream

Butterbeer is an iconic treat in the magical world created by J.K. Rowling and the signature drink of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. In the real world, this popular brew tastes like a mix between butterscotch and cream soda topped with a thick, whipped foam which lends the drink most of its sweetness. And don’t let the name fool you, Butterbeer is non-alcoholic. 

As a beverage, you can get either Cold or Frozen Butterbeer, while Hot Butterbeer becomes available in the colder months (which tastes akin to butterscotch-flavored hot cocoa. You can also get the popular flavor in Butterbeer Ice Cream – both soft-serve and hard-packed – as well as Butterbeer Potted Cream and Butterbeer Fudge. 

Interactive Wands

To really live out your Hogwarts student dreams (Gryffindor forever!), you absolutely need an Interactive Wand. Yes, they’re expensive, but if you’re a nerd for all things Harry Potter, then they are also oh so worth it. Not just a souvenir for when you get home, these little beauties are what literally bring the Wizarding World to life, helping you to work your magic to move items, make sounds, and more.

Wand handles on a stand

As you wander through Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, be on the lookout for special Interactive Wand locations notated by special medallions inlaid in the ground (you’ll also receive a map when you purchase your wand). These markers indicate which “spell” you can cast using your wand in that area, showing you which way to face and how to move your wand. Then, just wait for the magic to happen! 

Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida

The only Harry Potter land of its kind, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley packs a ton of atmosphere into a relatively small space. While there are really only 2 rides on this side of the Wizarding World, what Diagon Alley lacks in thrills, it more than makes up for in charm. 

London Waterfront

Train station full of people

As you approach The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the first thing you see is the London waterfront. King’s Cross Station towers to the side, but don’t make a run for Platform 9¾ just yet. The real magic sits behind that brick wall near Leicester Square Station. But hold on to your broomsticks, don’t head through just yet – there are some wonderful details here that deserve to be explored before you really enter the Wizarding World. This is a great time for your first… 

Magical Tip for Muggles:  This may be a Harry Potter theme park, but the Wizarding World is about the journey, not the destination. Yes, there are rides and a few of them are pretty great, but this part of Universal Orlando is really meant to be savored, not rushed through so you can cram as much as possible into your day. 

The Wizarding World is much more than a collection of some rides, restaurants, and shops – it’s an entire literary universe made real. When J.K. Rowling was writing the books, she came up with a literal world of details – many of which have been included in the parks. To make the most of your experience (and that’s what it is: an experience), take some to explore and appreciate the little things. 

Purple double decker bus

Across from the entrance to Diagon Alley, the Knight Bus is parked for the perfect photo opportunity. Most of the time, the Knight Bus driver stands just outside, making chitchat with photo takers along with an animatronic shrunken head who heckles weary travelers. Number 12 Grimmauld Place , the former home of Sirius Black and the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, is just down the street and also worth a quick visit. Keep an eye on the upper windows – you may just see the house elf Kreacher pull back the curtains to take a peek outside.  

Before you walk through the magically shifting bricks and into the wizard shopping district beyond, you’ll also want to pop into the red telephone booth . Not to make a call – this is the visitors’ entrance to the Ministry of Magic. Just dial MAGIC 62442 to be connected. 

Diagon Alley 

Alley way with shops

This is the first part you see when you enter from the London waterfront. As a Harry Potter fan, while I certainly love seeing Hogwarts loom over the village of Hogsmeade, nothing compares to the feeling I got when seeing Diagon Alley for the first time. From the storefronts with windows filled with magical items to the vibrant advertisements hawking wizarding wares to the dragon spitting fire from the top of Gringotts, walking along the cobblestones here truly feels like stepping into the world of Harry Potter. 

As you wander around, be sure to stop into the many shops and look around. Even if you’re not shopping, many stores have unique bits of magic that breathe life into the world which are fun to see.  This is also a great place to grab something to eat. Whether you’re looking for a full meal, a quick snack, or just something to drink, there are a few places for you to choose from. Here are some of our favorite Harry Potter stores and dining options:

Leaky Cauldron

Metal witch hanging from a wall

The Leaky Cauldron is the only full restaurant in Diagon Alley. Of the two quick-service restaurants in Harry Potter World in Orlando (Leaky Cauldron and Three Broomsticks), the Leaky Cauldron is my favorite. While both options serve up classic British eats like Fish & Chips and Shepherd’s Pie, the Leaky Cauldron has even more English favorites for a true pub experience. Before you leave, stop and look at the sign for a minute. See those water droplets? They don’t call it the “Leaky” Cauldron for nothing. 

Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour

Ice Cream shop in alley way

At the end of the street, in the shadow of the dragon, sits Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour. This pastel-hued sweet shop was a favorite haunt of Harry’s when he lived temporarily in the Leaky Cauldron during Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Harry’s favorite flavor? Strawberry and Peanut Butter, which is available here along with other flavors like Butterbeer, Salted Caramel Blondie, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Earl Grey & Lavender, and more. 

Ollivander’s Wand Shop in Diagon Alley

The best wandmaker in the Wizarding World – and the one Harry gets his wand from – is Ollivander. Luckily, he’s set up shop in Diagon Alley. They say that the wand chooses the wizard, so see what match gets made during the interactive Ollivanders Experience. If you’re not the special witch or wizard to have their wand chosen for them, no worries – you can choose your own in the attached store. Interactive and non-interactive wands are both available. 

Magical Tip for Muggles: Wanting to take a picture of the dragon (it’s a Ukrainian Ironbelly, if you’re curious)? Rather than standing transfixed in front of it, move off to the side of it instead. For the perfect timing, listen for the dragon to rumble right before breathing fire for an especially impressive photo.  

Wands in a window shop

Looking for a Harry Potter souvenir of a different kind? There are several other shops along Diagon Alley that are worth a look. Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes is a must-visit for fans of the entrepreneurial Weasley twins, and anyone in the market for magical toys and tricks. Quality Quidditch Supplies stocks gear and apparel for the popular magical sport, while Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions is the place to go for Hogwarts robes and other Harry Potter-inspired clothing. Or, star in your own moving portraits at Shutterbutton’s Photography Studio. 

Knockturn Alley

Knockturn Alley is the underbelly of London’s magical community, where witches and wizards go for evil artifacts and ingredients for the darkest of potions. This creepy corner of Diagon Alley is home to one store, along with several interactive spell locations. Before walking into the depths of Knockturn Alley, I suggest you sit for a minute or two near the entryway to the area to let your eyes adjust to the darkness, both for safety purposes and so you can really appreciate more of the area’s many design details. 

Borgin and Burkes

Borgin and Burkes Signage

Borgin and Burkes is the place where Harry first comes face to face with dark magic. While you can buy all manner of Voldemort and Death Eater-inspired items here, it is also stuffed with Easter eggs – or rather, powerful artifacts filled with dark magic – from the books and movies. Stop, look, and listen near the disappearing cabinet (you can hear a chirping canary that’s been locked inside – I wonder how it got there?) and a chest with an angry Boggart locked inside. 

Magical Tip for Muggles: Before you leave Knockturn Alley, take a peek at the basement windows below Borgin and Burkes. See that green light that keeps flashing? Experienced witches and wizards know to steer clear of that ominous sight: Avada Kedavra, or the Killing Curse, emits an emerald-green jet that knocks the target dead. And it seems like someone is practicing – best make haste back out into the light of day.

Horizont Alley

First, Diagon Alley; then, Knockturn Alley; next, Horizont Alley. Diagonally, nocturnally, and horizontally – get it?  It might not be the headlining street in this magical shopping district, but this next thoroughfare in Diagon Alley hosts a few Wizarding World attractions, including Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and several more interactive spell locations.

 If you’re parched, The Fountain of Fair Fortune is the place to go for all manner of magical beverages. Butterbeer is available here, along with an array of other unique non-alcoholic drinks, or opt for something boozy instead, like a glass of beer or a hard cider spiked with Fire Whisky.

Nearby, the Magical Menagerie sells a host of plushies and other items inspired by the Wizarding World’s magical creatures. While you’re visiting, stop and listen to the snake in his tank. He’s fluent in both English and Parseltongue, just like the boa constrictor Harry met at the zoo in the first book. 

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Ride attraction vehicle for Gringotts

Gringotts Wizarding Bank is at the heart of Diagon Alley, and the main entrance for Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. This unique ride is a fusion between a roller coaster and a dark ride, with heavy use of Universal’s beloved screens. The queue here is long and highly immersive, with animatronic goblins lining the bank lobby counting out knuts and galleons and an “elevator ride” into the bowels of the bank. Once you hop in your ride vehicle, it’s a rollicking ride through the bank vaults. Just keep an eye out for He Who Must Not Be Named and Bellatrix Lestrange. 

Carkitt Market

Shops in old time London style

Carkitt Market is the glassed-in neighborhood in Diagon Alley and the land’s entertainment area. Here, you’ll come across a number of interactive spell locations as well as several more shops and dining options. Wiseacre’s Wizard Equipment , which stocks wizard supplies and Hogwarts gear, and Scribbulus , an outpost for stationery, are right next to Escape from Gringotts. Globus Mundi is a wizarding travel agency, but they also sell apparel and other accessories.  

Near the front of Carkitt Market, Sugarplum’s Sweetshop offers Harry Potter foods like Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans, while The Hopping Pot dishes up Butterbeer, other beverages, and a few light snacks. Finally, Slytherins and others with an affinity for the dark arts (or those who simply prefer less of a crowd) may want to buy their wands at Wands by Gregorovitch instead of Ollivander’s. 

Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees

Three women singing on stage

Over on the Carkitt Market stage, Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees, a vaunted singing sensation and talented witch known as “The Singing Sorceress”, serenades visitors with some of her greatest hits. Molly Weasley is a fan, her favorite song being “ A Cauldron Full of Hot, Strong Love”. 

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Or, if you have a flair for the dramatic, you may want to check out The Tales of Beedle the Bard instead. Put on by the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts, this stage show uses a magical mix of props and puppetry for a dramatic retelling of two of the wizarding world’s most beloved fables: The Fountain of Fair Fortune and The Tale of the Three Brothers. 

Magical Tip for Muggles: Don’t skip over the Gringotts Money Exchange . Though considered a shop, this little gem is more like a currency exchange booth, with an audio-animatronic Gringotts goblin on hand to answer any questions you may have. While you won’t find any gold galleons or bronze knuts here, you can trade your Muggle money for Gringotts banknotes which can be used throughout The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (or saved for an extra-special souvenir). 

Hop on the Hogwarts Express from King’s Cross to Hogsmeade

Hogwarts Express Train with steam

Just like 1 st through 7 th years heading to Hogwarts for the school year, the easiest way to get between Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade (AKA Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure) is to take the Hogwarts Express. In Diagon Alley, the Hogwarts Express leaves from Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station. To take the Hogwarts Express from either station, you must have a Park-to-Park Universal ticket. 

The Hogwarts Express is a ride-meets-transportation. Don’t expect any thrills here, however. This slow-moving ride recreates the experience of taking the Hogwarts Express. Leaving King’s Cross, you’ll see the streets of London give way to the English countryside just “outside” your “window.” Keep your chocolate close by though, because the dementors have been known to stop the train from time to time. 

Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Old time homes with snow on roofs

If you’re in the mood for more Harry Potter rides, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade is the place to be. This Harry Potter land is broken into two different sections: Hogsmeade and Hogwarts. 

Hogsmeade Village

Stuck in a perpetually snow-covered winter wonderland (at least at Islands of Adventure, anyway), this quaint hamlet is home to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and is the only all-wizarding settlement in Great Britain. Like Diagon Alley, this pastoral town is made for wandering. So, grab a cup of Butterbeer and do some window-gazing (sorry, no shopping – most of these stores aren’t open for business) at the fascinating wizarding wares on offer. If you’ve got an Interactive Wand, you can also practice your magic skills at several spell spots here. 

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Rock Castle with tower

Opened in 2019, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is the headlining attraction in Hogsmeade and the highlight of the entire land. This unique storytelling roller coaster is arguably the best in all of Florida, at least until the VelociCoaster officially opens. Animatronics of the magical creatures in Hagrid’s care, a long track, and multiple launches keep the fun coming for 3½ minutes. Plus, with the option to ride on Hagrid’s motorbike itself or shotgun in the sidecar, you’ll want to ride at least twice for the full experience. 

Owl Post & the Owlery

Ever wished you could send mail by owl like they do in the Wizarding World? Well, now you can(‘t). Sorry to get your hopes up – owls still aren’t able to hand-deliver correspondence and issues of The Daily Prophet, but you can mail a letter from here with a special Hogsmeade postmark. While you’re there, stop by to listen to the Howlers being sent. If you’re there long enough, you can even listen in on the messages from angry neighbors and upset parents. 

Three Broomsticks

Three Broomsticks Building with snow

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s other main dining outlet is the Three Broomsticks. While the Leaky Cauldron features a menu that’s decidedly more authentic, the Three Broomsticks serves up a mix of British favorites and comfort food classics like Fish & Chips, Beef Pasties, Rotisserie Smoked Chicken, and Spareribs. Also attached to the Three Broomsticks is the Hog’s Head , favored haunt of Dumbledore’s Army and the place to go if you’re looking for extra-magical to drink (i.e. boozy) in Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure. 

Jars of candy on a shelf

Honeydukes is the first store Harry experienced on his first (unofficial) trip into Hogsmeade during his 3 rd year at Hogwarts and is our favorite sweets shop in the Wizarding World. With a kaleidoscope of treats piled in jars up to the ceiling, this is a fun place to walk through whether you’re hunting for some Chocolate Frogs, Pumpkin Juice, or Cauldron Cakes, or simply looking to soak up some atmosphere. 

Triwizard Spirit Rally

Get into the spirit of the Triwizard Tournament at the Triwizard Spirit Rally. Hogwarts may be hosting this magical competition, but students from two competing wizarding schools – Durmstrang Institute and Beauxbatons Academy of Magic – are also taking part. Check out the competition and show your Hogwarts school spirit at the Triwizard Spirit Rally, with performances by students from the visiting schools. 

Wizarding student choir with frogs

Hoping (or rather, hopping) for some a cappella, Hogwarts-style? Hogwarts’ Frog Choir puts the throaty rumbles of these magical pets to good use. While the frogs play bass, students from Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff houses sing along to some of their favorite wizarding songs. 

Magical Tip for Muggles: Need a place to go to the restroom? Stop into the bathroom next to The Three Broomsticks and the Hog’s Head – just look for the Public Conveniences sign. Inside, you’ll get an unexpected visit from Moaning Myrtle. While she usually likes to haunt one of the girl’s bathrooms up in Hogwarts from the comfort of the u-bend, every once in a while, she likes to pop into Hogsmeade and pout. 

Still looking for other magical items and souvenirs? Dervish and Banges is a one-stop-shop for Hogwarts clothing and accessories as well as Quidditch equipment. And if you didn’t get a chance to get your Harry Potter wands at Universal Studios, you can also visit the Hogsmeade branch of Ollivander’s Wand Shop .

Hogwarts Castle

Hogwarts Castle at night time

Hogwarts Castle is the pièce de resistance of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade. If you’re anything like me, fans of Harry Potter are sure to come down with a case of goosebumps as soon as its grand spires come into view. The castle itself is home to the land’s other main ride – Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – as well as another gift shop, with another ride just next door. 

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

As impressive as it is to walk past the rows of goblins in the Escape from Gringotts queue, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey takes the cake, with the queue wrapping around and through the castle grounds. With stops in Dumbledore’s office and the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, this is one line Harry Potter fans will have no trouble waiting in.

Once you’re through, you’ll set off on a Hermione-powered flight (she really is the brightest witch of her age) across Hogwarts as you take part in a Quidditch match, run from a dragon, almost get whomped by the Whomping Willow, and get chased by dementors.  When you’re done, you’ll empty off into Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods , perfect for grabbing one last memento of your time in the Wizarding World. 

Flight of the Hippogriff

Two stone huts with pumpkins

Looking for a ride for even the littlest witches and wizards? Then the Flight of the Hippogriff is for you. This easy-going family coaster swoops and dives just like Harry’s friend Buckbeak, making for a kid-friendly romp past Hagrid’s hut. 

Well ya’ll, that wraps up the Muggle’s Guide to Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Which part of the Wizarding World is your favorite? Do you like your Butterbeer hot, cold, or frozen? Does the wand really choose the wizard? Let us know in the comments!

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Universal's Harry Potter vacation package includes a letter from Hogwarts

  • Sharon Kennedy Wynne Times staff

Universal Orlando's relaunch of its popular Wizarding World-themed vacation package hits Harry Potter fans right in the sweet spot: They will get their very own letter from Hogwarts.

One of the new enhancements in Universal's Harry Potter vacation package, available now through Dec. 20 for Florida residents, is a keepsake box that arrives in the mail with the names of the family members and a welcome letter and travel guide.

The box is filled with goodies such as Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione luggage tags, as well as lanyards for Hogwarts Railways. As avid fans of the boy wizard know, the adventure begins when Harry gets a letter just before his 11th birthday from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, his first indication that he's a wizard.

Starting at $135 per person per night, the package includes three nights in a Universal hotel (the price goes up for luxury hotels), two-day park-to-park tickets for both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, plus two additional park tickets that can be used at those theme parks or Volcano Bay water park.

The package also includes a breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron in Universal Studios and a session at Shutterbutton's Photography Studio in Diagon Alley at Universal Studios for a free DVD photo album and one 8-by-10 photo.

The idea of immersing yourself in the world of your favorite characters has not only brought unheard of double-digit attendance spikes since the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in 2010, but other theme parks have also made big investments in "lands," including Disney's Avatar -themed Pandora, the new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, opening Aug. 29, and SeaWorld's life-sized replica of Sesame Street.

Star Wars fans will get their own immersive vacation package someday. Disney has announced plans for a space-themed hotel where the windows look like portals into outer space. From there, guests will shuttle to the 14-acre Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Hollywood Studios.

Disney has said the hotel, currently under construction at Walt Disney World, will offer a "seamless connection" to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.

Some new features to look for at Universal this fall are the new Hagrid-themed coaster in Islands of Adventure and a fall debut of a light projection show called "Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle." The show will use high-tech projection mapping, making Hogwarts Castle come alive with Dementors, Death Eaters and other sinister creatures. The show, which already debuted at Universal Studios Hollywood in California, included Universal's first use of drones in a theme park. At one point, Harry Potter's Patronus filled the night sky in the form of dozens of glowing drones.

The park has not announced a schedule for the light show, giving a debut date of "fall" in Orlando.

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For information about the Wizarding World vacation package, go to universalorlando.com .

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at [email protected]. Follow @SharonKWn.

Events, Family and Travel reporter

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Universal Studios Orlando Vacation Packages, Discounts, Hotels, Park Tickets | Universal Family Vacations

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Exclusive Vacation Package

Step into the excitement of some of Harry Potter’s greatest adventures and enter two magical lands: Hogsmeade™ in Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley™ in Universal Studios Florida.

Vacation Package Includes:

  • 5-Night Hotel Accommodations
  • 2-Park 2-Day Park-to-Park + 2 Days Free Promo Ticket 1 to Universal Studios Florida AND Universal’s Islands of Adventure on the same day (Valid for select travel dates 9/1/22-3/2/23. Restrictions apply.)
  • Early Park Admission 2 to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and Universal’s Volcano Bay up to one hour before the park opens (valid theme park admission required, select attractions)
  • Welcome Letter
  • Travel Planning Guide
  • Luggage Tags – one per person
  • Hogwarts™ Railways Lanyard – one per person
  • Breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron™ in Universal Studios Florida – one per person
  • Breakfast at the Three Broomsticks™ in Universal’s Islands of Adventure – one per person
  • One (1) Shutterbutton’s™ Photography Studio 8 sessionin The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Diagon Alley ™ that includes one commemorative DVD photo album and one exclusive designed 8” x 10” photo print

For Package Arrivals 12/17/22-1/2/23 and 3/3/23-12/31/23, your package will include a different ticket type. We’ll always automatically include the best options for your travel dates and length of stay. Availability on additional days are subject to change.

We Are Now Delivering A Special Themed Keepsake Box When they book 15 days or more in advance, you will receive a special Themed Keepsake Box § as a part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ Exclusive Vacation Package delivered directly to the address provided at the time of booking

Bundle and Save up to $200 ^

On a 2 night or longer hotel stay with a 2-Park or 3-park ticket

  • SAVE $10    When you stay 2 nights
  • SAVE $25    When you stay 3 nights
  • SAVE $50    When you stay 4 nights
  • SAVE $75    When you stay 5 nights
  • SAVE $125    When you stay 6 nights
  • SAVE $200    When you stay 7 or more nights

Get a Vacation Quote

Prime Value On-Site Hotel

Universal's cabana bay beach resort.

Cabana Bay

Complimentary delivery of merchandise purchased throughout the resort to your hotel

Resort-wide charging privileges with your room key card

Universal's Aventura Hotel

harry potter universal trip letter

Preferred On-Site Hotels

Loews sapphire falls resort.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando

Premier On-Site Hotels

Loews royal pacific resort.

Royal Pacific Resort

FREE 4 Universal Express Unlimited™ ride access to skip the regular lines at participating rides and attractions at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. That’s a value of $129.99 5 per person, per day. Valid theme park admission required. Not valid at Universal’s Volcano Bay.

Complimentary transportation and walking paths to Universal’s theme parks and Universal CityWalk

Priority seating at select restaurants throughout the resort

Hard Rock Hotel®

Hard Rock Hotel Orlando

​ FREE 4 Universal Express Unlimited™ ride access to skip the regular lines at participating rides and attractions at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. That’s a value of $129.99 5 per person, per day. Valid theme park admission required. Not valid at Universal’s Volcano Bay.

Loews Portofino Bay

Portofino Bay

Add these fun extras to your Universal Vacation…

Upgrade to park-to-park tickets.

The Universal Park-to-Park ticket offers the flexibility for you to visit BOTH Universal parks in a single day.

Universal Meal Plan

You can purchase the Universal Meal Plan and enjoy unlimited trips through the line at select Universal Orlando theme park restaurants. Valid lunch through dinner at participating Meal Deal locations only. 1- Day, 1-Park & 1- Day, 2-Park – includes one entrée platter and one dessert per trip through the serving line at either Universal Studios® or Universal’s Islands of Adventure® Contact Universal Family Vacations for more information.

Universal’s Superstar Character Breakfast

Start your day at Universal Studios® with an unforgettable breakfast featuring the stars of Universal’s Superstar Parade. Join Gru, Margo, Edith, Agnes, and the mischievous Minions from Despicable Me; Nickelodeon’s Dora & Diego, SpongeBob SquarePants™ and Patrick; E.B. from the film Hop; and more as you enjoy a delicious breakfast.

Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular Dining Experience

It’s the perfect climactic finale to a day of blockbuster thrills at Universal Studios®. Make it an evening to remember with the exceptional cuisine and unforgettable movie moments of the Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular Dining Experience.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s22)

All prices, package inclusions & options are subject to availability and to change without notice and additional restrictions may apply. Errors will be corrected where discovered, and Universal Orlando and Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations reserve the right to revoke any stated offer and to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions, whether such error is on a website or any print or other advertisement relating to these products and services.

^Bundle and Save offer discount only applies to Universal Orlando vacation packages purchased on Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations websites (UniversalOrlando.com, UniversalOrlandoVacations.com, VAXVacationAccess.com/UPRV), the Universal Orlando Guest Contact Center or through travel agencies registered to sell vacation packages with Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations. Valid for bookings now-2/1/23 with travel now-12/31/23. To qualify for savings, vacation package must minimally include a 2-night hotel stay and a 3-Park Ticket OR 3-Park Annual or Seasonal Pass for each member of the traveling party, except for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ Exclusive Vacation Package, which must minimally include a 2-Park Park-to-Park Ticket OR 2-Park Annual or Seasonal Pass OR 3-Park Ticket OR 3-Park Annual or Seasonal Pass. Offer not valid on vacation packages with a 1-night hotel stay OR 1-Park or 2-Park Tickets. Select packages require a minimum length of stay to book. Savings are based on length of stay. Offer valid on new bookings only and is not valid with any other offers, discounts, promotions or prior purchases. Void where prohibited. Additional restrictions may apply and are subject to change without notice. Bundle and Save does not apply to: vacation packages offered through online auction websites, membership programs, corporate discounts, group rates, promotional rates offered for groups including but not limited to associations, military, government, convention attendees, timeshare tour offers, or promotions not offered by Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations to the general public. Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations reserves the right to change or remove applicable savings as part of the Bundle and Save offer at any time without advance notice.

1 The 2-Park 2-Day Park-to-Park + 2-Days Free Promo Ticket Dated entitles one (1) guest admission to BOTH Universal Studios Florida AND Universal’s Islands of Adventure on the same day.  Ticket is valid for any four (4) calendar days during a seven (7) consecutive calendar day period which commences on and includes the date selected. The ticket will expire in full on the expiration date printed on ticket. Unused days will be forfeited. This ticket will be sold only within the U.S., Canada and Latin America. The above Admission Media is non-refundable, non-transferable, and must be used by the same person on all days. Standard entry includes biometric scan. Valid only during normal operating hours. Parks, attractions, or entertainment may: close due to refurbishing, capacity, weather or special events; change operating hours; and otherwise change or be discontinued without notice and without liability to the owners of Universal Orlando Resort (‘Universal’). Unless otherwise stated, does not include admission to separately ticketed events at any of the Universal theme parks or within any of the CityWalk venues, Universal Cinemark, or Hollywood Drive-In Golf™, and parking or discounts on food or merchandise. Some CityWalk venues require ages 21 or older for admission. Valid Photo ID required. Additional restrictions may apply and benefits are subject to change without notice.

2 Requires theme park admission. Early Park Admission begins up to one (1) hour prior to regular scheduled park opening to either Universal Studios Florida or Universal’s Islands of Adventure as determined by Universal Orlando. Early Park Admission begins up to one (1) hour prior to regular scheduled park opening for Universal’s Volcano Bay. Valid at select attractions at each park. Attractions are subject to substitutions without notice. Additional restrictions may apply.

§ Residents of the United States and Canada who submit final payment at least fifteen (15) days prior to departure will receive their Special Themed Keepsake Box via UPS Home Delivery which will be shipped fifteen (15) days prior to departure to the address provided at the time of booking. Residents of the United States and Canada who submit final payment between one (1) and fourteen (14) days prior to departure and residents of any country other than the United States and Canada will have their Special Themed Keepsake Box delivered to their hotel within twenty-four (24) hours of arrival and should follow ticketing instructions contained within the E-Travel Document sent upon receipt of final payment. Merchandise items are subject to availability and to change without notice.

4 Requires theme park admission. Valid only at participating rides and attractions in Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Not valid at Universal’s Volcano Bay. Excludes separately ticketed events. Park-to-Park admission required to board the Hogwarts™ Express. Benefit valid only for guests of Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Hard Rock Hotel® and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, for the number of guests staying in the room for the length of hotel stay. Available during normal theme park operating hours only. Additional restrictions may apply and benefits are subject to change without notice.

5 Based on average price of a 2-Park Universal Express Unlimited pass ranging between $84.99 and $189.99.

6 Reservations required. Transportation schedule and availability are subject to change without notice. Excludes Club Wyndham Orlando International.

7 Package purchase required; one “A Universe of Savings” coupon book per package. Excludes merchandise locations in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Hogsmeade™ and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Diagon Alley™. Other restrictions may apply.

8 Valid for one (1) Studio session per room and a maximum of five (5) guests per session. Session includes: one (1) commemorative Shutterbutton’s experience DVD in a Shutterbutton’s Photography Studio DVD case with access to unlimited digital views and one (1) 8” x 10” photo print. Access to digital viewing is provided by Colorvision International Inc. and is subject to additional terms and conditions. Data rates and other charges may apply. Please check with your carrier.

Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations is registered with the State of Florida as a seller of travel. Registration number ST-24215.

Universal elements and all related indicia TM & © 2023 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.

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harry potter universal trip letter

Complete Guide to Planning a Trip to Harry Potter Universal Orlando

harry-potter-world-tickets

This page is your complete guide to planning a trip to Harry Potter World in 2024!  You’ll find that there is so much to do in Universal Orlando at Harry Potter World! With incredible restaurants, shops, and attractions that bring you right into the Harry Potter Universe, it truly feels like you’re in another world. For now, guests can enjoy two Universal Studios Harry Potter-themed lands themed after Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade Village.

We hope you find this post helpful! Our goal at The Park Prodigy has always been to help you save time and money on your next Universal Orlando vacation!  If you are planning a trip to Universal Orlando be sure to check out our   discounted multi-day Universal Orlando tickets  and  Universal Orlando vacation package deals   which include  EARLY PARK ADMISSION  to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

So if you’re planning a trip to Universal Studios Harry Potter World  read on!

SPECIAL NOTE: If you need help picking the best time to visit Universal Orlando for your next vacation be sure to check out our Universal crowd calendar!

 Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar

Planning a Trip to Harry Potter World at Universal Orlando

harry-potter-orlando

While there is so much involved with planning a trip to Harry Potter World , the most important thing is to remember to have fun and feel the magic! And that’s why we have created this guide to the best way to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Including all of our tips and tricks for using Harry Potter early park admission tickets to get on the most popular rides with very little wait!

The Basics of Your Harry Potter Trip:

Universal Orlando captivates Harry Potter fans with magical experiences in both of its parks (and soon be the third park Epic Universe). Universal Studios Florida hosts Diagon Alley, featuring magical shops and the Escape from Gringotts ride. Over at Islands of Adventure, visitors can explore Hogsmeade Village and Hogwarts Castle. Additionally,  a third Harry Potter-themed land at the forthcoming EPIC Universe , potentially themed around the Ministry of Magic. Universal promises a fulfilling adventure for every Potterhead, blending existing enchantments with the anticipation of new attractions.

Choosing Your Universal Park for Harry Potter:

  • Universal Studios Florida : Explore Diagon Alley, featuring the Escape from Gringotts ride.
  • Islands of Adventure : Wander through Hogsmeade Village and visit Hogwarts Castle.
  • Coming Soon : A third Harry Potter-themed land at EPIC Universe, themed around the Ministry of Magic in 2025.

How Many Days Do You Need to Plan at Harry Potter World?

Two days at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will also allow families to enjoy some of the other experiences such as the Harry Potter interactive wands and all of the fun-themed shops. Taking your time will allow your family to take everything in and bring the magic of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter home. Especially if you’re planning on visiting both Harry Potter-themed lands between the parks!

Related Page: Discount Wizarding World of Harry Potter Tickets

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade

harry-potter-hogsmeade-universal-orlando

The original and first land of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is Hogsmeade . Hogsmeade is located in Universal Islands of Adventure, and you will want to head right over to this section as soon as the park opens. For the fastest entrance to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is to go to the right as soon as you enter the park and take a left once you hit Seuss Landing.

For fans of the books and movies you will recognize Hogsmeade as the charming town covering in snow, and home to the famous butterbeer! You will also find some of the best attractions, stores, and restaurants in all of Universal Orlando.

You can also find the newest and coolest Harry Potter World attraction in Hogsmeade: Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure which is included with all of our Universal Early Park Admission tickets! 

Related Page: Early Park Admission Universal Tickets

Hogsmeade – Wizarding World of Harry Potter Attractions

flight-of-the-hippogriff-universal-studios-orlando

In Universal Orlando’s Hogsmeade, part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visitors can immerse themselves in magical adventures through several iconic rides:

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey : Dive into the heart of Hogwarts castle for a unique ride that simulates flying on a broomstick, exploring various scenes from the Harry Potter series. Once the park’s most popular attraction, it’s located inside Hogwarts castle, offering an immersive experience into the Wizarding World.
  • Flight of the Hippogriff : A family-friendly roller coaster that provides a fun, albeit brief, experience suitable for all ages. Positioned near the Forbidden Journey and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, it’s a gentle ride with a usually short wait time, perfect for early park visits.
  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure : Venture into the Forbidden Forest beyond Hogwarts on this exhilarating coaster. Encounter some of the series’ rarest magical creatures on a ride that has swiftly become a fan favorite for its depth of immersion and thrill, turning even the most loyal Disney fans into Universal enthusiasts.
  • Hogwarts Express : Essential for park-to-park ticket holders, this train not only offers a unique experience with different scenarios in each direction between Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley but also serves as a rapid transit system connecting the two Harry Potter worlds. Riding the Hogwarts Express is a must for any Harry Potter fan, offering a magical journey complete with views of Platform 9 ¾.

Each attraction offers its own unique slice of the Harry Potter universe, from the spellbinding interior of Hogwarts castle to the whimsical journey aboard the Hogwarts Express, ensuring visitors a magical experience unmatched anywhere else.

Related Page: Complete Guide to all Harry Potter Rides

Guide to Harry Potter World Hogsmeade Shops

harry potter universal trip letter

In our opinion one of the coolest aspects of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is how much attention to detail went into everything. This couldn’t be more true for the shops located in Hogsmeade as they are right out of the books and movies. Here is a list of the shopping things to do at Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

What are all of the Harry Potter Universal Shops in Hogsmeade?

  • Ollivander’s Wand Shop : Step into the place where every wizard and witch finds their perfect wand companion.
  • Honeydukes : Satisfy your sweet tooth with magical candies and confections.
  • Dervish & Bangs : A must-visit for all your magical souvenirs and themed merchandise.
  • Zonko’s Joke Shop : Dive into the whimsical world of wizarding pranks and discover some of the most enchanting merchandise and souvenirs Orlando’s Harry Potter World has to offer.
  • Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods : A unique collection of items that tell tales of mischievous Hogwarts students.
  • Owl Post : Send your loved ones an official postcard from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and let them in on the magic!

For those venturing into Orlando’s Harry Potter World, these Hogsmeade shops offer a magical immersion unlike any other

Related post:  Our Guide to Hogsmeade Village at Universal Studios

Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade Restaurants 2024

A Universal Orlando Harry Potter land would not be complete without dining options for witches and wizards to try some British fare. Perhaps, you’d even fancy a butterbeer , which comes in many different shapes and sizes throughout the lands. No matter what you’re craving, Hogsmeade has something for you with one of the food carts or restaurants.

What are the Universal Orlando Harry Potter restaurants in Hogsmeade?

The three broomsticks.

  • Butterbeer stand
  • Fresh fruit and snacks stand

The main restaurant in Hogsmeade offers up a variety of classic British food inspired by the books and movies. The Three Broomsticks serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and begin serving guests around 9:30 AM. This restaurant is a must do whenever we plan a trip to Harry Potter World. 

This bar serves up classic drink choices such as pumpkin juice, butterbeer, and other grown up drinks. One of our best tips is heading to Hog’s Head to get your butterbeer. You’ll typically have a shorter wait than at any of the carts outside!

Butterbeer Stand

You can also grab your favorite butterbeer drink at various stands throughout Hogsmeade. This classic drink comes in two varieties of cold butterbeer and frozen butterbeer!

For a additional information on the restaurants be sure to check out our Complete Guide to Dining at Harry Potter World! 

Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter 2024

diagon-alley-harry-potter-orlando

The second land added to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is Diagon Alley (located in Universal Studios). If you are entering from the front of the park walk straight until you hit the Revenge of the Mummy attraction and make a right, then continue until you see the Knight Bus. The area outside of Diagon Alley is themed to fill like London, and you will need to make your way through the brick wall until it opens up as Diagon Alley.

Be prepared especially if you are a die hard Harry Potter fan as the attention to detail is unmatched in Diagon Alley. You will be in the middle of shops and cooked buildings, as well a fire breathing dragon nestled over Gringotts Bank!

Where is Diagon Alley in Universal?

Diagon Alley is located in the back left corner of Universal Studios. Directly to the right of Kings Cross Station and to the left of the Knight bus.

Related post:  The Complete Guide to Hogsmeade vs Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando

Diagon Alley – Wizarding World of Harry Potter Attractions

harry-potter-orlando-escape-from-gringotts

So now that you have arrived you are probably wondering what are the best things to do at Harry Potter Universal Diagon Alley. As of right now, and besides the Hogwarts express there is only one ride, but it is amazing!

What is the Harry Potter ride Universal has in Diagon Alley?

  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Harry Potter and the Escape of Gringotts

This one of a kind indoor rollercoaster is themed exactly like the Gringotts wizarding bank found in the books and movies. Opening in 2014 it quickly became one of the most popular attractions in Universal Studios . On the downside because it is so popular it tends to have one of the longest wait times in the parks.

That’s why we recommend Early Park Admission to our clients so much! If you take advantage of entering the park one hour earlier than other guests you can ride Harry Potter and the Escape of Gringotts and save time later on in the day!

Be sure to check out our Universal Orlando tickets page to learn how we can help you get EARLY PARK ADMISSION without staying on Universal property!

Related post:  Complete Guide to Knockturn Alley at Universal Orlando

Guide to Harry Potter World Diagon Alley Shops 2024

harry potter universal trip letter

Although we don’t like to pick favorites, the shops in Diagon Alley are simply magical. The attention to detail that went into not only the inside of the buildings but the outside is amazing. There is also a secret for those looking in the shadows, perhaps where Death Eaters may dwell in Knockturn Alley . Guests can find this section of Diagon Alley by following signs, or even looking for the spooky, dark streets that lead there.

  • Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes : A must-visit for novelty gifts, magic jokes, and pranks, with Professor Umbridge amusingly featured.
  • Ollivander’s Wand Shop : Offers a magical wand selection experience in two locations, essential for every witch or wizard.
  • Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions : Find all your favorite Harry Potter house apparel for a complete wizarding look.
  • Quality Quidditch Supplies : The ultimate destination for Quidditch fans, offering gear, brooms, and team jerseys.
  • Sugarplum’s Sweet Shop : A delightful candy shop offering whimsical and enchanting treats from the Harry Potter series.
  • Magical Menagerie Shop : Adopt your own magical creature from a selection of mystical pets.
  • Shutterbuttons : Create moving picture photos to capture magical memories in Diagon Alley.
  • Gringotts Money Exchange : Exchange Muggle money for Wizarding currency to spend within the Wizarding World.
  • Borgin & Burkes : Located in Knockturn Alley, this shop specializes in dark artifacts and sinister tales from the wizarding world.

Each shop provides a unique piece of the Harry Potter universe, from interactive experiences to memorable souvenirs

Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley Restaurants 2024

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Diagon Alley offers an enchanting dining experience with a mix of one main restaurant and various smaller stalls for quick bites, all inspired by J.K. Rowling’s magical universe.

Main Dining:

  • The Leaky Cauldron : The centerpiece of Diagon Alley dining, this restaurant serves traditional British fare reminiscent of the Harry Potter series. It offers breakfast until 10:30 AM, and lunch and dinner with a menu that blends comfort food with magical touches. A visit here provides an immersive experience into the wizarding world’s ambiance and flavors.

Treats and Snacks:

  • Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor : A favorite for unique ice cream flavors inspired by the Harry Potter books, including Salted Caramel Blondie, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Chocolate Chili, and, of course, Butterbeer ice cream.
  • The Fountain of Fair Fortune : For a quick drink, this cart offers a selection of beverages, including pumpkin juice, butterbeer, and options for adults.

Related post:  Complete Guide to Dining at Harry Potter World

What Tickets to Buy for Harry Potter World in 2024

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It is important to know if you’re planning a trip to Harry Potter World , access to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is included with any valid Universal Orlando ticket. It is important to know that, if you purchase a one day ticket ticket to Universal Studios, then your entry to Diagon Alley will be included in that ticket. If you purchase a one day ticket to Islands of Adventure, your entry to Hogsmeade will be included in that ticket.

If you want to visit both parks in the same trip, consider buying a park-to-park ticket to Universal Orlando .

What Universal ticket will I need when doing both Harry Potter Worlds on the same day?

The only ticket that will allow guests to visit both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade in the same day is the Universal Orlando park-to-park ticket. It’s important to note that this is also the only ticket which will allow guests to ride the Hogwarts express!

It’s important to note that if you are looking for the least expensive tickets will allow you to visit one theme park per day. We suggest asking these questions when deciding which ticket is the best fit for your family. Do you plan on going and exploring the other rides at each Universal theme park? If so, then you will have plenty to do while visiting one park per day. Or do you plan on spending all of your time in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter ? If so, you might be better off purchasing a Universal park-to-park ticket so you can explore both Harry Potter World lands.

Related post:   How Much Should I Budget for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter?

Planning a Harry Potter Trip FAQ

harry potter universal trip letter

Q: Do you need park-to-park tickets for Harry Potter?

A: Very simply, if you want to ride every single Harry Potter ride at Universal Orlando yes. The reason being is the park-to-park ticket is required in order to ride the Hogwarts express between the two parks.

Q: Which Universal park is best for Harry Potter?

A: That depends on what you’re looking for when it comes to the Harry Potter universe. If you want to visit Hogwarts, then you have to visit the Universal Studios Harry Potter World in Islands of Adventure. If you want to go into the mines of Gringotts or see a fire breathing dragon, you’ll have to head to the Universal Studios Florida Harry Potter land.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Universal Orlando?

Our   Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar   is the best tool to help you get the most out of your time in the parks. We breakdown the park crowds, park hours of operation, ticket prices by day, and average temperature.

Are You Ready to Plan Your Next Universal Orlando Trip?

If you are planning a trip to Universal Orlando be sure to check out our   discounted multi-day Universal Orlando tickets  and  Universal Orlando vacation package deals  which include  EARLY PARK ADMISSION  to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

And to stay up to date on everything going on inside the theme parks be sure to check out our partners at  Themeparktoday.com!

Who We Recommend

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harry potter universal trip letter

Michael Belmont

Michael Belmont is the owner at Theparkprodigy.com, an authorized Disney and Universal travel agent. He specializes in Disney and Universal theme park tickets and vacation packages, as well as daily park plans to help optimize vacation time. Michael and The Park Prodigy have been featured on ABC’s Florida affiliate, WTFV, as well as over 10 Disney focused blogs. As owner, Michael manages The Park Prodigy blog and social media, a Disney themed podcast, and a Disney and Universal focused YouTube channel. Prior to starting The Park Prodigy, Michael was a long time Disney and Universal enthusiast, frequent visitor of the parks, and even served as a Walt Disney World Cast Member in Orlando, Florida!

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ — Diagon Alley™ at Universal Studios Florida, Part of Universal Orlando Resort

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter ™

So, you never got that letter from Hogwarts™? You’re not alone. But if you've ever fantasized about leaving the Muggle world behind and adventure alongside wizards and witches, prepare to have your dreams come true at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ at  Universal Orlando Resort !

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Too wildly imaginative and expansive to be contained by any one theme park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ is split between Diagon Alley™ at  Universal Studios Florida  and Hogsmeade™ at  Universal Islands of Adventure , with the Hogwarts™ Express connecting the two. Before you know it, you’ll be casting spells, sipping Butterbeer™, going to a Quidditch™ match and even facing off against Lord Voldemort™ himself.

In short, it’s the fantasy adventure of a lifetime — and it’s all waiting for you at Universal Orlando.

Two Amazing Lands at Two Theme Parks

Please note that you’ll need admission to Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure to experience all the wonders of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™. A  Park-to-Park admission ticket  or an Annual Pass will grant you access to both parks, as well as the Hogwarts™ Express.

Discover :   The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ : Tips for the Best Experience

Travel Tip:  Staying at one of Universal Orlando Resort’s official hotels will allow you to enter The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ up to one hour before the parks open with Early Park Admission.

The Hogwarts™ Express

It’s a train ride like no other, and it’s one of the most immersive experiences at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™. Board the famous Hogwarts™ Express at Hogsmeade™ Station in Universal Islands of Adventure or King's Cross Station at Universal Studios Florida and take an exciting ride through the British countryside.

The action happens outside the train window as well as in your compartment, as scenes and characters from the movies emerge. Featuring different storylines depending on your point of departure, it’s an enthralling journey for wizards and witches alike. * Park-to-Park admission required. Additional restrictions apply.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ — Hogsmeade™ at Universal Islands of Adventure

It’s the one-and-only, all-wizarding village of Hogsmeade™, and you’ll only find it at Universal Islands of Adventure. The main attraction here is Hogwarts™ castle, which comes to majestic life on select evenings for The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts™ Castle.

Looming over Hogsmeade™, Hogwarts™ also features Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™, an attraction that will take you soaring high above the castle grounds. For more airborne adventures, hop aboard the family-friendly Flight of the Hippogriff™ roller coaster, which you’ll find at Hagrid’s hut.

Speaking of Hagrid™, he takes center stage in  Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure ™. Sending you deep into the Forbidden Forest for up-close encounters with a menagerie of wondrous creatures, this innovative attraction combines state-of-the-art coaster technology and gripping storytelling for one of Universal Orlando Resort’s most incredible experiences yet.

High Street — a popular hangout for Hogwarts™ students and professors alike — is brimming with enchanted shops. Send magical mail to family and friends at Owl Post™, load up on sweets at Honeydukes™, or get your very own Sneakoscope at Dervish and Banges™, among other arcane retailers.

You’ll also want to stop by Hog’s Head™ for a glass of Pumpkin Juice™ or Butterbeer™, which can also be found, along with a variety of tasty British fare, at the Three Broomsticks™. Once your appetite is sated, enjoy the vocal stylings of Hogwarts Frog Choir and get hyped for the next Triwizard Tournament at the Triwizard Spirit Rally.

Once your adventures in Hogsmeade™ are complete, Universal Park-to-Park ticket-holders can depart for Diagon Alley™ at Universal Studios Florida aboard the Hogwarts™ Express, with trains leaving regularly from Hogsmeade™ Station. Of course, with so much to experience here, it might be a while before you’re ready to say farewell.

It’s no secret that exploring the familiar corridors of Hogwarts™ castle on your way to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ is an attraction in and of itself. Guests can wander the halls and classrooms of the famous wizarding school inside the hallows of Hogwarts™ castle. Towering walls adorned with talking portraits are just one of the incredible touches along with the Mirror of Erised™, Dumbledore’s office, the Sorting Hat™, the Gryffindor™ common room and the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom. An unparalleled attention to detail makes this experience a fan favorite.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure™

All aboard for the most immersive roller coaster at Universal Orlando Resort. Combining masterful storytelling, next-generation roller-coaster technology, and fully realized environments and sets that include a real forest with more than 1,200 living trees, this ride also features Universal Orlando Resort’s most lifelike animated figure yet: Rubeus Hagrid™. With the gentle giant as your guide, you’ll travel deep into the Forbidden Forest surrounding Hogwarts™ castle for a wild flight packed with a menagerie of magical creatures pulled straight from the Harry Potter™ books and films.

Height restrictions : 48 inches (122 cm)

Flight of the Hippogriff™

A Hippogriff is a mythical creature with the head of a giant eagle and the body of a noble horse. Not sure how exactly to ride a Hippogriff? No worries, Hagrid™ is on hand to guide you with expert instruction as you spiral and dip over Hagrid’s hut — an authentic replica of the one featured in the movies — and around the pumpkin patch.

Height restrictions : 36 inches (91 cm). Children under 48 inches (122 cm) must be accompanied by a supervising companion.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™

Take off on an enchanted bench and soar above the Hogwarts™ castle grounds, check out a Quidditch™ match, propel under a bridge, be chased by a Hungarian Horntail, and descend into the Forbidden Forest. Be prepared to come face-to-face with unforgettable creatures and eerie Dementors™. It’s a multi-sensory adventure with Harry, Hermione and Ron that you won't forget.

Grab a bite to eat — wizard-style — when you visit Hogsmeade™ at Universal Islands of Adventure.

Three Broomsticks™

Rustic and at the same time cozy, this traditional pub gives off the distinct feeling that you just might run into some Hogwarts professors outside of class. Authentically British, menu fare includes the usual suspects: roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, cottage pie, fish and chips, and of course, Butterbeer™. The real triumph here is the Butterbeer™ Potted Cream — a creamy, lush butterscotch pudding topped with a bit of whipped cream and served in a glass jar.

It’s doubtful anyone can resist these clever and authentic stores. Don’t return home without at least a piece of the magic.

Dervish and Banges™

Visit this whimsical purveyor of all things musical and magical. They even repair enchanted instruments. Need a Sneakoscope? You’ve come to the right place, and there are plenty of Spectrespecs, Omnioculars and a diverse range of Quidditch™ essentials. Pick up a furry copy of The Monster Book of Monsters (this reading material looks more monster than book). Beware — the book bites and is caged up for your protection.

Filch’s Emporium™ of Confiscated Goods

There’s a spellbinding trove of goods to be had here. Magical creature toys such as the Hedwig™ hand puppet, pink or purple Pygmy Puffs, or a hatching Norbert puppet are tough to resist, while spooky Death Eater™ masks, the Marauder’s Map and special chess sets inspired from the movies are sure to be equally tempting. Diehard fans can also pick up authentic movie prop replicas to add to their Harry Potter™ collections.

Honeydukes™

It’s easy to spot the pink and green sign. What a delight it is to enter a wondrous sweetshop, home to noteworthy confections like Exploding Bonbons, Fizzing Whizzbees and Chocolate Frogs™. Bright green shelving and glass decanters filled with a colorful assortment of candy and specialty treats popularized by the Harry Potter™ book series line the shelves and tables. It’s a sweet-lover’s dream come true. Be sure to purchase some Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans™, delicious surprises coupled with a few jarring flavor options. Travel Tip : If you’re prone to buying excessive Honeydukes™ goodies, it’s no problem. You can have your purchases sent to the front entrance and claim them as you leave the park.

Ollivanders™

“The wand chooses the wizard” is the thinking, and Ollivanders™ would know. They’ve been making fine wands since 382 BC. Head inside to experience a special selection ceremony where a witch or wizard is paired with the wand that chooses them. It’s truly a magical experience, so there are no spoilers here. Replicas of the wands used by Harry, Hermione, Dumbledore and Luna Lovegood™ along with other assorted wands can be used to cast spells throughout the park. Each wand comes in a special box with a secret map that outlines spell locations. It’s a worthy magical investment.

Owl Post™ & Owlery

Don’t miss this quirky stationery shop that also sells The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ stamps and writing instruments along with owl-themed gifts. The best part is that you can mail your letters and postcards from here, which means your mail will be stamped with a Hogsmeade™ postmark. Check out a couple of dozen owls roosting (they move and make sounds) while a howler screams in the window.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ — Diagon Alley™ at Universal Studios Florida

Experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ — Diagon Alley™ as you walk the familiar streets of London, passing buskers, red telephone booths and King’s Cross Station. You will know you’re close to Diagon Alley™ once you see the Knight Bus™. Just pass through the brick archway and catch your first glimpse of this hidden magical marketplace.

Once inside, grab a cup of Butterbeer™ or Pumpkin Juice™ from iconic establishments like Leaky Cauldron™, The Hopping Pot and other themed dining options, or even from a passing street vendor. Several Diagon Alley™ venues also have wizard-friendly eats.

Of course, it’s not the wizarding world without adventure, and you’ll find plenty of it at Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™. Keep a watchful eye on the roof of Gringotts™ Money Exchange while you’re there, though — the 60-foot Ukrainian Ironbelly dragon is known to breathe fire.

Next, it’s time to gear up on everything you’ll need to make your time at Hogwarts™ a success. Find the perfect wand at Ollivanders™, get sized for your school uniform at Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, prepare for the big game at Quality Quidditch™ Supplies, or just stock up on side-splitting gags at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, among other shopping opportunities. And if you have the nerve to brave Knockturn Alley, Borgin and Burkes™ is your source for Death Eater™ masks and other merchandise coveted by members of House Slytherin™.

Lastly, King's Cross Station is where you can board the Hogwarts™ Express and journey from the center of London to Hogsmeade™ Station. Universal Park-to-Park ticket-holders can travel between the destinations aboard the iconic train.

Endless adventures unfold inside Diagon Alley™ at Universal Studios Florida — starting with the land’s magical ambiance and continuing to its wizard-friendly attractions.

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™

It’s a daring break-in and escape as you navigate the underground vaults of Gringotts™ on one of the bank’s carts. Ride alongside Ron, Hermione and Harry as they travel deep into the vaults looking for the magical object that will help them defeat Lord Voldemort™. This ride features a state-of-the-art 3D Infitec projection system with high-tech special effects to put you right in the middle of all the action.

Height restrictions : Children under 48 inches (122 cm) must be accompanied by a supervising companion.

Hogwarts™ Express

Pass through the icon brick barrier to Platform 9 3/4™ and board the Hogwarts™ Express to journey to Hogsmeade™, home of the wizarding village of Hogsmeade™ and legendary Hogwarts™ castle. In this ride, you’ll encounter Death Eaters™ and Dementors™, plus see some other familiar faces from the wizarding world*. * Park-to-Park admission required. Additional restrictions apply.

Come hungry to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ — Diagon Alley™, or risk missing out on these wizard-friendly eats and drinks.

Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour

This may just be one of the coolest ice cream parlors around, with their creamy treats coming in both soft serve and scoop ice cream. Gaze up at the flavor board and you’ll be charmed by imaginative flavors such as Earl Grey and lavender, clotted cream, apple crumble, sticky toffee pudding, strawberry and peanut butter, and of course, Butterbeer™. Decidedly British desserts are on hand such as tarts, scones, cookies and sweet cakes, as well as an assortment of teas.

Leaky Cauldron™

Not your average restaurant: The Leaky Cauldron's ramshackle appearance belies its true purpose. Partake in a frothy cup of Butterbeer™ or grab a pint of Wizard’s Brew lager (must be 21+ with valid ID to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages). Cottage pie and fish & chips are popular favorites, and there’s also family favorites like mac & cheese.

Street Vendors: Butterbeer™ and Pumpkin Juice™

So what’s all the fuss surrounding Butterbeer™? Butterbeer™ is a refreshing wizarding world beverage with a flavor reminiscent of a blend of butterscotch and shortbread. Since its introduction, it has won over legions of fans. Not surprising, Pumpkin Juice™ has a distinctly fall taste with a hint of cinnamon sweetness.

Harry Potter™ fans can’t seem to get enough of the items that they’ve read about in books and can experience for themselves. Ingenious souvenirs and authentic Hogwarts™ apparel can be found among the various shops of Diagon Alley™.

Borgin and Burkes™

Stroll down Knockturn Alley and you’ll happen upon this sinister shop overloaded with Dark Arts objects. Skulls, Death Eater™ masks, costume replicas and more are a few of the eerie items on hand.

Gringotts™ Money Exchange

Inside, marbled halls and a goblin ready to exchange your money await. Walk up to an interactive, audio-animatronic goblin and exchange your Muggle money for Gringotts™ Bank Notes. Ask the goblin specific questions and he will answer back. The interaction is quite fun, but don’t ask him if he’s a house elf.

Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions

If you need a wizard’s hat or a Gryffindor™ robe, you’re in the right spot. Every Hogwarts™ house is represented: Gryffindor™, Ravenclaw™, Hufflepuff™ and Slytherin™. Best of all, there’s a diverse offering of apparel and jewelry here to be found.

Magical Menagerie

Here you can find an assortment of plush toys from the Harry Potter™ books and movies. Choose between a Pigwidgeon or Hedwig™ owl. If you’re not in need of a messenger owl, there’s no shortage of cuddly creatures: Hippogriffs, Crookshanks™ and more. Gaze up at the second level to spy a Crumple-Horned Snorkack, Luna Lovegood’s favorite mythical creature.

The details are painstakingly authentic — expect to see tons of wands haphazardly stacked in this ancient magical shop. Witness a wand choosing a wizard in a style similar to Harry’s experience when his wand selected him.

Quality Quidditch™ Supplies

Sports fanatics, specifically Quidditch™ obsessed ones, will be drawn to the allure of this shop specializing in all things Quidditch™. Brooms, Quidditch™ apparel, the Nimbus 2000™, Holyhead Harpies gear and even Golden Snitches are for sale. Get your team spirit on at Quality Quidditch™ Supplies — you’ll score big.

Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes

The prank-loving twins, Fred and George Weasley, seem to be up to their tricks again at this ultra-amusing gag shop. Jokesters and little pranksters will delight in the variety of novelty gifts. Magical jokes, love potions and Extendable Ears are just a few of the amusing items available for purchase.

Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment

Magic needs its devices. After you exit Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™, explore this shop and add resourceful items to your wizarding inventory. Magnifying glasses, binoculars, hourglasses and even crystal balls are just some of the wizarding items available for witches and wizards alike.

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ENJOY THE EVENT WITH A MULTI-DAY PARK-TO-PARK TICKET

  • Q&A sessions with the cast members and filmmakers
  • A wand masterclass hosted by Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter featuring Wand Combat choreographer Paul Harris, plus a special guest.
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  • - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ™
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  • Opportunities to explore Hogwarts™ castle, and shop and dine in Hogsmeade™

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Hogwarts Acceptance Letter

A personalized Hogwarts Acceptance letter is the perfect way to surprise the Harry Potter fan in your life with a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando! You can now purchase an official acceptance letter from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! Check out the Hogwarts Acceptance letter in the video below--it arrived via Owl Post of … [Read more...]

Harry Potter Movie Deals!

With the release of the latest (and last) Harry Potter movie, the WB Shop (official Harry Potter merchandise shop) is having some deals on Harry Potter merchandise to celebrate the release of the last movie. To start, WB is shipping your entire order for only $5!  If you spend more than $60, your shipping is FREE! The WB Shop has many Harry Potter exclusives, including … [Read more...]

Hogwarts Acceptance Letter Review and Unboxing

I received my Hogwarts Acceptance Letter, today! Ms. Minerva McGonagall has accepted me into the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry! The letter is really quite cool, with the Hogwarts crest at the top, customized with my name and address, details about what I need to do to start "school" and deadlines for acceptance. The "letter" appears behind a "Chromalux" … [Read more...]

Get your own acceptance letter from the Hogwarts school!  This is seriously cool!  I just received an email from the Harry Potter WBShop about this new product that I just thought was awesome! A WBShop.com exclusive, this personalized Hogwarts acceptance letter panel is a fantastic gift for any Harry Potter fan.  You can personalize the letter for anyone -- just read the … [Read more...]

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11 Secrets of Universal Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Alohomora! We’re unlocking the Easter eggs and hidden gems you need to know for your next trip.

harry potter universal trip letter

Universal Orlando Resort brings the Harry Potter universe to life in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and anyplace rooted in wizards, witches, and magic is bound to have a few secrets. To discover them all, you'll need to purchase a two-park ticket to visit Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida and Hogsmeade at Universal Islands of Adventure — you can even board the Hogwarts Express to travel between the two theme parks.

Some features, like the cleverly disguised entrance to Diagon Alley, are hidden in plain sight, while others are more subtle. Finding these secrets is part of the fun of visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but we figured we'd let you in on a few to help you get started.

These 11 lesser-known details will take you from a mere muggle to a certified wizard and ensure your next trip is all the more magical.

Julie Bang/Travel + Leisure

The Leaky Cauldron sign actually leaks.

The Leaky Cauldron is the spot for hearty English fare in Diagon Alley. Start your morning off with a full English breakfast or stop by later to try the fish and chips, bangers and mash, or cottage pie for lunch or dinner. Designed to resemble the pub and inn of the same name from the series, the Leaky Cauldron's dingy brick exterior opens to cathedral ceilings, weathered furniture, and a large cracked cauldron in the hearth.

Note that this particular cauldron doesn't leak, but the wrought-iron sign above the inn's entrance does. If you look up, you'll see small drops of water falling from the crack in the witch's cauldron, while looking down will reveal a small puddle on the ground beneath the sign. It's a tiny detail that's easy to miss, but it's fun once you spot it.

You might miss the hidden entrance to Knockturn Alley.

As it is in the books, Knockturn Alley is a bit more seedy and mysterious than the bright and bustling Diagon Alley. It's also easy to miss. The entrance — marked only by a small sign on the wall — is through an archway next to the Leaky Cauldron.

As you step into the dimly lit corridor, you may worry you've taken a wrong turn, but the shadowy world of Knockturn Alley will soon reveal its secrets. Once inside, you'll find spots to cast wand spells, decrepit decor, and the dark arts supplier, Borgin and Burkes .

The shop carries Death Eater masks, skeletons of various worldly and otherworldly creatures, and plenty of Azkaban and Deathly Hallows merch. Even if you don't intend to purchase any sinister souvenirs, it's worth stopping in for the atmosphere alone.

There are secret spots to cast wand spells.

When you purchase an interactive wand from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (or let the wand choose you at Ollivanders Wand Shop ), you can test out your best "swish and flick" at magical wand spots throughout Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.

Each wand comes with a map that marks the spell-casting areas, also denoted by bronze medallions on the ground. As of 2024, there are 25 official spell spots between the two lands, including a few secret ones you can't find on any map.

We won't ruin all the fun, but you may have some luck at the window outside the Scribbulus shop in Diagon Alley and with the shrunken heads in Knockturn Alley. The best way to find the others is by asking a friendly witch or wizard (a Universal team member) to point you in the right direction.

The beers are specially brewed for the land.

Non-alcoholic, easy-to-make-at-home Butterbeer dominates the drink menus in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It’s available as a hot, cold, or frozen drink — there’s even a dairy-free version. You’ll also find the popular butterscotch-like flavor in dessert forms throughout the parks.

If you’re up for something a little stronger, the land's popular pubs also serve up custom beers specially brewed by a local beer company for Universal Orlando Resort.

At the Leaky Cauldron, The Hopping Pot, and The Fountain of Fair Fortune in Diagon Alley, thirsty muggles can try Wizard's Brew or Dragon Scale on draft — the former being a stout with notes of chocolate, the latter, an amber lager. Over in Hogsmeade, the Hog's Head pub offers Hog's Head Brew, a crisp red ale.

Two more custom brews were introduced in 2023 — Dark Forest Ale, a brown ale featuring caramel flavors, and Daisyroot Draught, a full-bodied British golden ale. Try the Dark Forest Ale at any of the four locations mentioned above, or the Daisyroot Draught at The Hopping Pot (in Diagon Alley) or the Hog's Head Pub (in Hogsmeade).

You can even combine those brews with others available on tap to create a one-of-a-kind beverage. We recommend the Deathly Hallows (also called The Triple), a layered drink made with Strongbow Cider and Hog's Head Brew that's topped with Guinness.

If beer isn't your thing, those same Wizarding World eateries serve a cinnamon-flavored whisky made exclusively for the park called Fire Whisky, best enjoyed with Strongbow Cider for a refreshing apple cinnamon cocktail with a spicy kick.

You can call the Ministry of Magic.

The red telephone box in the London area between Kings Cross Station and the hidden entrance to Diagon Alley is more than just clever decor. If you step inside and dial M-A-G-I-C (62442), you'll be connected directly to the Ministry of Magic. Stick around to hear a funny message from the Ministry and, if you have kids in tow, you can show them what a rotary phone is.

Keep an eye on the upstairs window of 12 Grimmauld Place.

Another little secret to look out for in the London area is hidden in the window above the row of houses past the entrance to Diagon Alley. If you take a look in the second floor window of 12 Grimmauld Place, a house-elf peeks out every few minutes. Harry Potter fans will recognize the address as the home of Sirius Black, and the house-elf peering out as Kreacher. If you time it right, you can take a photo on the stoop with Kreacher looking out from the window above.

Hogwarts Castle is full of references to the films.

There's so much more to Universal's Hogwarts Castle than the thrilling Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride — the towering stone structure is just as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside. Guests walk the halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as they line up for the ride, and encounter familiar Harry Potter scenes and characters along the way.

In addition to passing through Dumbledore's office, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, the Room of Requirement, and the Gryffindor common room, you'll see walls covered in talking portraits and the famous Sorting Hat. You may need to ride more than once to take it all in, though this one can be a bit intense, so maybe have a snack (or, better yet, a Dramamine) before your second go-round.

You can hear Moaning Myrtle in the restrooms.

You may remember Moaning Myrtle from the Harry Potter series, the young ghost of a Hogwarts student who haunts the school's restrooms. In the films, she sticks mostly to the girls' facilities, but if you visit Hogsmeade at Universal's Islands of Adventure, you may hear her moaning and wailing in the men's and women's restrooms. Look for the "Public Conveniences" sign near the Hog's Head Pub to find Myrtle's favorite hangout.

There's a money exchange where you can get Gringotts bank notes.

Next to the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride in Diagon Alley, you'll find the official Gringotts Money Exchange . Here, you can trade muggle money for Gringotts bank notes that can be used to make Wizarding World purchases or kept as souvenirs (if you don't switch them back to U.S. dollars at Guest Services before heading out).

While inside the money exchange, you'll see a cantankerous animatronic goblin working behind the counter. He may even talk to you if you ask a question, though you may not like the answer. Goblins, after all, aren't known for their hospitality, especially if you interrupt their work.

You can see real props used in the Harry Potter films.

While many of the props seen throughout The Wizarding World of Harry Potter are replicas of those used in the films, a few of them came to Universal Studios directly from the movie sets. For instance, the barometer you see in Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment was featured in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." A whopping 90 percent of the props on the second level of Borgin and Burkes are straight out of the films, including the Vanishing Cabinet, the gigantic hand, and the eerie collection of elf, goblin, and giant skulls.

You can mail a letter from Hogsmeade.

Yes, it really is possible to send mail through the U.S. Postal Service from Hogsmeade, complete with a Hogsmeade postmark stamped on it. Just stop by the Owl Post , which is located next to Ollivanders wand shop and also carries stationery, quills, ink, and Harry Potter -themed stamps. While the postage will obviously cost you, the postmark stamp is free. You can bring your own letters or purchase them from the Owl Post and drop them straight into the letterbox to be mailed.

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Surprise Universal Studios Trip Reveal Idea ~ Harry Potter Owl Post!

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I have the best surprise Universal Studios trip reveal idea for you! Let’s be real – everything in the wizard world of Harry Potter is more fun. Even getting the mail! Can you imagine receiving post by owl who knows where to find you?! Now you can be a wizarding world owl yourself and the bearer of the best news  for you family – a vacation to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Universal Studios Hollywood. And believe me, Get Away Today knows their stuff when it comes to family vacations, not to mention their ability to get you the best deal out there (their service is totally FREE.) So, make the wait for your vacation fly by with our Hogwart’s Owl Post Vacation Countdown!

universal studios trip reveal

Surprise Universal Studios Trip Reveal Idea

Getting started ~ harry potter owl post.

To begin this magic surprise, decide how many days you want to have as part of your countdown. I think anything between one to two weeks is perfect! For every day of your countdown you will need a brown paper bag to deliver your goodies.

We are going to print the design right on the bag, which you can download here . It makes your presentation look so fun and up to those wizard standards.

To get the design on your paper bag, tape the top securely onto a standard sheet of printer paper. I used a thick Washi Tape because it isn’t too sticky, it lays flat and it’s easy to peel it off once the design is printed on the bag. You also want to be sure to place the part of the bag with the flap laying down on the printer paper so that the top is smooth. Things go really smoothly when you follow these steps.

Print the Owl Post logo onto all of your bags. Make sure to look at the little picture on your printer that shows how to insert the paper into the feed tray. Mine went in upside down with the taped part of the bag at the top.

Harry Potter Universal Studios - Send your family

Now fill out the number of days left to you will be “delivered” to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter on the owl’s envelopes.

Harry Potter Universal Studios - Send your family

Filling the Owl Post Bags for the Harry Potter Trip Reveal

Here comes the best part! Fill each of the bags with all sorts of Harry Potter activities, treats and items. I liked to start off small and get more exciting as the trip gets closer. These are a couple ideas I thought of to get you get started:

  • On day one, announce your going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! You can use pictures off of the internet or make your own surprise announcement.
  • Put in a pair of socks for everyone’s favorite house elf, Doby! They can be old socks to make the kids laugh, or a pair of new Harry Potter themed socks to wear on your vacation.

Harry Potter Universal Studios - Send your family

  • Dump some of the infamous  Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans (a.k.a. potentially really good or really bad jelly beans) into your bag. When they say every flavor, they mean EVERY flavor.

Harry Potter Universal Studios - Send your family

  • Print off a Harry Potter coloring page for the kids, or use an adult Harry Potter coloring book too! Fun for everyone!
  • Download our  List of Spells  and learn some magic to prepare for your trip. You never know when a good spell will come in handy…

Harry Potter Universal Studios - Send your family

  • If you are lucky and happen to grab a handful of Professor Lupin’s werewolf hair, toss it into the bag. The kids will get a kick out of this. (You can pick up some furry fabric at the craft store.)
  • Make a batch of our very own  chocolate covered frogs . You can put the ingredients into the bag and print the recipe and let the kids help make them, or have the finished product in there for them to simply enjoy.

Harry Potter Universal Studios - Send your family

  • Make a note to tell them that you are going to watch your favorite Harry Potter movie together. Or, slip the  DVD  into the parcel.
  • Print a map of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter off of Universal Studios Hollywood’s website. Look at it together and talk about all of the places you are going to visit and where you are going to explore first. It is fun to make a game plan of everything you have to see!
  • Fold our  Origami Sorting Hat . Take turns figuring out who is a member of each of the Hogwarts Houses. Let’s hope you don’t get Slytherin!

You can be as creative as you want. It is so much fun to fill each parcel with some sort of magical trinket or activity to surprise your family with every day. You can deliver the bags however you want! Leave one on the porch, ring the doorbell and run. Or leave one somewhere new every morning before anyone ways up. This is such a fun and easy way to get everyone excited and make the time go by faster until your magical vacation!

More Bag Ideas for Your Universal Studios Vacation Announcement

Green Direct Perfect Durable Brown Paper Lunch Bags Size Medium for All Ages (Pack of 100)

At  Universal Studios Hollywood they have their own Owl Post where send yourself a card or letter postmarked from Hogsmeade! Your family will be sure to have a magical time wandering the halls of Hogwarts, having a meal at The Three Broomsticks, riding the Forbidden Journey, watching a wand ceremony at Ollivanders and so much more.

The Best Place to Book Your Universal Studios Vacation

Book your Universal Studios Hollywood tickets online or call our vacation wizards at 855-GET-AWAY. Mention code OSSS10 and save an additional $10 on your Southern California vacation package. Like I mentioned earlier, I use Get Away Today for literally all of my vacations, from Disney vacations, to cruises , to Universal… and everything in between. They are totally free to use and will find you the BEST deal on your vacation. They’ll book it for you, line up cars, airfare, hotels, shuttle… and make everything work together, so you don’t have to deal with it. Plus, they travel to all of their vacation destinations, REPEATEDLY, so they know exactly how to answer your questions and share their best tips with you. You’ll love them, I promise.

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If You Liked This Surprise Universal Studios Trip Reveal Idea…

  • Harry Potter ‘Would You Rather’ Printable PDF Game – Both kids and adults love ‘Would You Rather’ questions. These questions are so fun for all ages of Harry Potter fans. Great for laughing about over family dinner or keeping the kids entertained on a road trip… maybe a road trip to Universal Studios Hollywood??
  • Harry Potter Copycat Butterbeer Fudge – Here’s a thought… maybe the day that you first reveal your Universal Studios vacation, you can also whip up a batch of this amazing Hogwart’s favorite… butterbeer fudge. If you’re going to set the mood, set the mood!! Here are some additional great Harry Potter recipes too, if you really want to go big.
  • Harry Potter DIY Wands – This is such a fun party or family craft! Make wands, turn on a Harry Potter movie, and have a super fun evening!

harry potter universal trip letter

March 25, 2016 at 1:18 pm

I LOVE THIS, ADELLE!!! YOU ARE ALWAYS SO CLEVER!

harry potter universal trip letter

March 28, 2016 at 9:32 am

Thank you! I have a pretty fun job. 🙂

harry potter universal trip letter

April 25, 2017 at 2:44 pm

Hi Adelle – what a cute idea. I noticed the word “Special” is misspelled (speical). Is there any way you could make that correction and re-upload the template?

harry potter universal trip letter

October 21, 2017 at 3:54 pm

Is there somewhere to get the rest of the Spell activity? Great ideas! Thanks!

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harry potter universal trip letter

Universal Orlando Resort Offering Free 'Harry Potter' Interactive Wand with Gift Card Purchase

F or the first time ever, guests can receive a free interactive wand to use in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with the purchase of a gift card at Universal Orlando Resort.

Free Interactive Wand at Universal Orlando Resort

Signs around the resort advertise a free interactive wand with the purchase of a $300 shopping card, a.k.a a gift card . This offer is not entirely new, as Universal has previously held promotions for free non-interactive wands ; however, this is the first time the interactive wands are up for grabs. They are currently priced at $65.

Here’s a look at the four options guests can choose from after purchasing a gift card.

This added perk is likely a sign that new interactive wands and upgraded experiences could be on the way. Over the past year, we’ve seen several patents come in for various wand experience upgrades. The changes are rumored to debut at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort this summer.

Will you be taking advantage of this deal? Is using the interactive wands a key part of your Universal vacation? Let us know in the comments below.

For more Universal Studios news from around the world, follow Universal Parks News Today on Twitter , Facebook , and Instagram . For Disney Parks news, visit WDWNT .

The post Universal Orlando Resort Offering Free ‘Harry Potter’ Interactive Wand with Gift Card Purchase appeared first on WDW News Today .

For the first time ever, guests can receive a free interactive wand to use in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with the purchase of a gift card at Universal Orlando Resort. Free Interactive Wand at Universal Orlando Resort Signs around the resort advertise a free interactive wand with the purchase of a $300 shopping ... Read more

The Upcoming

The ultimate Harry Potter gift guide for muggles and wizards alike

harry potter universal trip letter

It’s been over 20 years since Harry Potter first flew into our lives on his broomstick, introducing us muggles to the wonderfully whimsical wizarding world. Whether you’re a diehard Potterhead who’s read the books until the covers fell off or a newcomer just discovering the magic, J.K. Rowling’s enchanting series has left an indelible mark on multiple generations.

As the fandom continues welcoming new witches and wizards with each passing year , finding the perfect Harry Potter gift remains a grand gesture for celebrating this cultural phenomenon. This definitive guide is overflowing with delightfully themed ideas to wow kids and adults, casual fans, and obsessives alike.

The most coveted wizarding wands and robes

Every aspiring witch or wizard needs their own wand and robe to properly embrace their magical studies. Detailed replica wands modelled after iconic characters like Harry, Hermione, and Dumbledore cast an irresistible spell as coveted collectables.

But why stop there? Dressing the part requires an authentic Hogwarts house robe, tie, or scarf to go with the wand. Feel the adrenaline rush of getting sorted into Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin on your first trip to Diagon Alley.

For the full enchanting experience, seek out interactive wand props that trigger actual light and sound spell effects. Pair them with compatible playsets to really make magic happen – like conjuring a Patronus charm or Lumos lighting spell!

that bring the entire cast, both human and creature, to life on an eye-catching display.

The wonders of Hogwarts in LEGO form

The masterful brick wizards at LEGO have truly outdone themselves with their astounding Harry Potter sets. These mind-blowingly intricate kits let imaginative fans construct iconic locations like the majestic Hogwarts Castle, the whimsically zigzagging Diagon Alley, and countless other famous scenes from the book and films.

For the ultimate Harry Potter LEGO gift , combine multiple complex sets into one breathtaking micro-realm diorama that fully encapsulates the wizarding world’s architectural splendour. It’s an astounding creative challenge met with an awesomely rewarding finished piece.

Real-life sorcery and wizarding adventures

For the ultimate Harry Potter fan who dreams of getting their Hogwarts acceptance letter, there are now real-world experiences that let them step straight into the pages of the books. Sign them up for escape rooms or outdoor scavenger hunts that put their wizarding knowledge to the test. It’s a uniquely thrilling spin on Potter fandom.

And then there are the maxed-out gift ideas: Surprising them with an actual trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort . This isn’t just a theme park – it’s a mind-bogglingly detailed recreation of the entire wizarding world, from the shops and pubs of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley to the looming spires of Hogwarts itself. They’ll finally get to walk those hallowed halls, sip real Butterbeer, and even brave thrill ride adventures based on the films’ most harrowing scenes. It’s enough to make any muggle believe in magic!

Tabletop treasures for enchanted pastimes

When not roaming the wizarding world, Potterheads can still experience the thrill of sorcery from the comfort of home. Fill family game nights with Hogwarts-approved board games and activities like Harry Potter Cluedo, Trivial Pursuit, Chess, and all sorts of RPG adventures where players vanquish dark forces cooperatively.

For an extra challenge, you can’t go wrong with intricate 3D puzzles that recreate breathtaking moments and locales from the films. Imagine piecing together a richly detailed model of the Triwizard Tournament maze or a sweeping view of the colossal Hogwarts Castle itself!

Handsomely luxe book collections and reading retreats

While the Harry Potter stories can be enjoyed through eBooks and audiobooks, many fans still crave the immersive experience of curling up with an actual hardcover tome. Why not surprise them with an entire Potter book series box set featuring all the classic novel artwork?

But if they’re a truly discerning bibliophile, you may want to hunt down gorgeously bound special editions packed with all-new illustrations, elaborate cover designs, and behind-the-scenes insights from J.K. Rowling herself. It’s the ultimate literary collection worthy of a spot in the Restricted Section.

Build out the perfect reading retreat to pair with those pristine Potter hardbacks. A plush, cushy armchair or sofa is essential, along with whimsical lighting, Harry Potter bookends and shelving to properly display the collection. For a true Gryffindor Common Room aesthetic, top it off with decorative throw pillows and blankets that rep their Hogwarts house.

Jewellery and accessories for subtle sorcerers

Not every Harry Potter fan wants to dress like they’re en route to Charms class. For the more subtly sorcerous, you can find chic jewellery and accessories that lowkey signal their wizarding world allegiance. Trust us, witches and wizards everywhere will recognise delicate golden snitch pendants on sight.

On the more stylised side, check out customizable pieces like monogrammed bracelets or rings engraved with their signature magical symbol (say, the Deathly Hallows insignia). House emblems on leather bracelets, jacket patches, and embroidered bags provide super sleek ways to rep their Hogwarts pride.

Immersive sweets and culinary magic

No Harry Potter celebration is complete without the edible hallmarks of wizarding life. Treat their sweet tooth to whimsically packaged iconic candies straight out of the books and films. Chocolate Frogs, Peppermint Toads, Cauldron Cakes, and (if you’re feeling truly adventurous) shockingly flavoured Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans await.

For the homebodies, gift an immersive Harry Potter baking cookbook filled with recipes for decadent wizarding treats that will turn any muggle kitchen into a working Honeydukes shop. Now they’ll finally be able to bake their own batches of butterbeer and pumpkin pasties just like at Hogwarts! Be sure to include some fun cooking gear like cauldron-inspired cookware or serving platters.

There’s truly no shortage of magical realms to explore when crafting the ultimate Harry Potter gift for the muggles and wizards in your life. From covetable collectables and wearable essentials to theatrical adventures and daily life accessories – this guide captures the sheer scope of enchanting options out there.

Simply take inventory of your favourite witch or wizard’s unique Potter passions, consult your personal catalogue of merchandising magic, and get ready to gift a delightfully personalised package. Because this generation of spellbinding fandom isn’t disapparating anytime soon.

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IMAGES

  1. Printable UNIVERSAL STUDIOS Surprise Trip Tickets. Vacation

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  2. Harry Potter Lettering Template

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  3. Resultado de imagen de EDITABLE INVITATION LETTER TO HOGWARTS Harry

    harry potter universal trip letter

  4. hogwarts letter surprise trip to universal

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  5. Hogwarts Printables

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  6. Printable Harry Potter Letter Template

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VIDEO

  1. Harry Potter

  2. Japan Trip 2023 [Part 4]

  3. Universal Studios Hollywood

  4. Universal Studios

  5. Wizarding World of Harry Potter Walkthrough

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COMMENTS

  1. Free Harry Potter Vacation Announcement Printable

    Keep the magic going until your vacation by re-reading the books, re-watching the movies, playing Harry Potter themed games, and making Harry Potter themed treats like butterbeer and chocolate frogs. To book your Universal Studios Vacation, call our travel specialists at 855-GET-AWAY or view all our vacation packages online.

  2. Create a Hogwarts Acceptance Letter

    Hello fellow Harry Potter fans, I am Miss Motivational Pinup and I absolutely love everything Wizarding World. I created some Hogwarts Acceptance Letters for two of my kiddos as part of the reveal for our surprise trip to Universal Orlando. If you would like to see a vlog of the creation process, check this out. I was really excited and shared ...

  3. The Complete Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

    Pro Tip: This ride is great for little witches and wizards who might be a bit spooked by Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey or Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. Hogwarts Express: Hogsmeade Station. Location: Hogsmeade. Board the famous train and head toward King's Cross Station in London. (You'll need a park-to-park ticket for ...

  4. Complete Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando

    Hogsmeade is my favorite of the two Harry Potter worlds currently open at Universal. Between the sweeping views of Hogwarts castle, the world-famous rides, and the Three Broomsticks, this world has it all.. Hogsmeade was built in 2010 and was the first Wizarding World of Harry Potter developed in Universal Orlando. The resort worked hand in hand with J.K. Rowling and filmmakers to make sure ...

  5. Complete Guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal

    Send a Letter Through Owl Post. Location: Universal's Islands of Adventure Here, you can mail a letter complete with a special wizarding world postmark. Pro Tip: This is a great way to let your friends and family know you're thinking about them during your trip in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Meet the Knight Bus Conductor. Location ...

  6. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

    E nter Enter two lands of groundbreaking thrills and magical fun in Universal's Islands of Adventure™ and Universal Studios Florida™. Step inside the story on the streets of Diagon Alley™ where hidden dangers lurk far beneath Gringotts™ bank. Then, board the Hogwarts Express™ to travel to the wizarding village of Hogsmeade™ and into Hogwarts™ castle for a spellbinding journey ...

  7. Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Vacation Package

    Sep 28. Now, with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter vacation package, you can have the ultimate fan experience right here at Universal Orlando Resort. The Harry Potter EXCLUSIVE vacation package is customizable but starts with: 3 nights at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel. 2-Day, Park-to-Park theme park tickets. Plus the following perks:

  8. It's Time to Visit Hogwarts

    Enter the magical world of Harry Potter™ at Universal Orlando. Explore two lands of rides, attractions, and shows. Board the Hogwarts™ Express and travel between them.

  9. Universal Orlando Resort

    Universal Orlando Resort

  10. Wizarding World of Harry Potter Expansion

    Hogwarts™ Express True Experience the two uniquely different lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ at Universal Studios Florida™ and Universal's Islands of Adventure™. Step inside a world where magic is real. Within Universal's Islands of Adventure™ theme park you can visit the iconic Hogwarts™ castle and explore ...

  11. FREE Wizarding World of Harry Potter Touring Plan

    Harry ate here often before departing for school. 10. Board the Hogwarts Express at King's Cross Station to head to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at Hogsmeade (located in Islands of Adventure). 11. Ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey inside of Hogwarts Castle.

  12. TPG's guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando

    A visit to Universal Orlando to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter had been on my wish list for a while. Suspension of disbelief takes place here every day. Visitors don wizarding robes, grab interactive wands and — at least for a day or two — pretend that they are following in the footsteps of Hermione, Ron and Harry, truly inhabiting the magical world of "Harry Potter."

  13. A Muggle's Guide to Universal Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter

    If you only have 1 day at Universal Orlando and you want to go to both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, Park-to-Park access is key, as it allows you to get into both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure on the same day. 2-Park - 1 Day Tickets start at $164 for adults and $159 for children ages 3 to 9. If you have multiple days in the ...

  14. Universal's Harry Potter vacation package includes a letter from Hogwarts

    Universal Orlando's relaunch of its popular Wizarding World-themed vacation package hits Harry Potter fans right in the sweet spot: They will get their very own letter from Hogwarts.

  15. Wizarding World of Harry Potter Vacation Package

    Vacation Package Includes: 5-Night Hotel Accommodations; 2-Park 2-Day Park-to-Park + 2 Days Free Promo Ticket 1 to Universal Studios Florida AND Universal's Islands of Adventure on the same day (Valid for select travel dates 9/1/22-3/2/23. Restrictions apply.) Early Park Admission 2 to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and Universal's Volcano Bay up to one hour before the park opens ...

  16. Planning a Trip to Harry Potter World Universal Orlando 2024

    Universal Studios Florida: Explore Diagon Alley, featuring the Escape from Gringotts ride.; Islands of Adventure: Wander through Hogsmeade Village and visit Hogwarts Castle.; Coming Soon: A third Harry Potter-themed land at EPIC Universe, themed around the Ministry of Magic in 2025.; How Many Days Do You Need to Plan at Harry Potter World? Two days at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will ...

  17. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

    Too wildly imaginative and expansive to be contained by any one theme park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ is split between Diagon Alley™ at Universal Studios Florida and Hogsmeade™ at Universal Islands of Adventure, with the Hogwarts™ Express connecting the two.Before you know it, you'll be casting spells, sipping Butterbeer™, going to a Quidditch™ match and even facing ...

  18. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ at Universal's Islands of Adventure!

    †Requires paid theme park admission. Early Park Admission begins one hour prior to Universal's Islands of Adventure ® regular opening hour for On-site Hotel guests and is valid 7 days a week for travel through 12/31/10, valid only at Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™, Flight of the Hippogriff™, Dragon Challenge™ and The Cat in the Hat™.

  19. Hogwarts Acceptance Letter

    A personalized Hogwarts Acceptance letter is the perfect way to surprise the Harry Potter fan in your life with a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando! You can now purchase an official acceptance letter from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! Check out the Hogwarts Acceptance letter in the video below ...

  20. Universal Orlando Resort

    Book an exclusive vacation package and enjoy the magic of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ at Universal Orlando Resort. Ride, shop, and explore like a wizard.

  21. 11 Secrets of Universal Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter

    Keep an eye on the upstairs window of 12 Grimmauld Place. Another little secret to look out for in the London area is hidden in the window above the row of houses past the entrance to Diagon Alley ...

  22. Universal Studios Hollywood

    Discover the magic and adventure of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood. Explore Hogwarts, ride the Forbidden Journey, and witness the Dark Arts at night.

  23. Surprise Universal Studios Trip Reveal Idea ~ Harry Potter Owl Post!

    Harry Potter DIY Wands - This is such a fun party or family craft! Make wands, turn on a Harry Potter movie, and have a super fun evening! The cutest surprise Universal Studios trip reveal idea!! Send your family daily Harry Potter "Owl Post" to let them know how soon you'll be going!

  24. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

    Background. A Harry Potter-themed attraction at either a Disney or Universal park was rumored in 2003. However, the rights to the Harry Potter franchise had been acquired by Warner Bros., who denied all rumors. Both Disney and Universal entered bidding negotiations with Warner Bros. and Rowling for the theme park rights to Harry Potter. In 2004, Rowling signed a letter-of-intent with Disney ...

  25. Kaitlyn's 10th Birthday at Universal Studios Orlando

    Tweens! I have tween ( S) now that Hailey is 12 and Kaitlyn is newly 10 years old. Celebrating her entering double digits by visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was magical and fun for all of us! Well, perhaps David just tolerated it- thrilled to be with his family; not so thrilled to be at a theme park. But I digress….

  26. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

    Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a motion-based dark ride located in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-themed areas of Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida; Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City, California; Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, Japan; and Universal Studios Beijing in Beijing, China.The ride takes guests through scenes and environments in and around Hogwarts ...

  27. Universal Orlando Resort Offering Free 'Harry Potter' Interactive Wand

    Free Interactive Wand at Universal Orlando Resort. Signs around the resort advertise a free interactive wand with the purchase of a $300 shopping card, a.k.a a gift card. This offer is not ...

  28. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a fantasy novel written by British author J. K. Rowling and is the third in the Harry Potter series. The book follows Harry Potter, a young wizard, in his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.Along with friends Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger, Harry investigates Sirius Black, an escaped prisoner from Azkaban, the wizard prison ...

  29. The Ultimate U.K. Harry Potter Tour You Can Plan Yourself

    Details: Entrance to the Harry Potter Studio Tour is £39. Catch the 09:34 train from London Euston to Watford Junction for £11.10 return. This journey takes ~20 minutes each way. Aim for the 15:27 (3:27 pm) train from London Paddington to Oxford for £25.60 one-way. This journey takes ~100 minutes.

  30. The ultimate Harry Potter gift guide for muggles and wizards alike

    And then there are the maxed-out gift ideas: Surprising them with an actual trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. This isn't just a theme park - it's a ...