Are you a muggle or aspiring wizard ready to walk in Harry's footsteps at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Orlando? Walt Disney World isn't the only magical place to visit in Orlando.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Orlando is a spellbinding adventure for the whole family and any super Harry Potter fans. It's full of fun rides and thematic experiences everyone will love.
Located in Universal Studios, Florida, and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, there are plenty of rides, shops, and interactive experiences that apparate you right into the heart of Harry's world. And, you will feel like you received your own owl mail invitation for your spot at Hogwarts!
My Gryffindor-loving kids were mesmerized by our enchanting experience at this incredible theme park fit for even the most knowledgable wizards.
But truth be told, it was a bit tricky to understand all of the house rules for navigating it when we were first planning our trip. So to ensure your experience is the most magical, I have created this helpful guide with tips and an itinerary that will impress even the most studious of wizards like Hermione!
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What You Need to Know Before Your Wizarding World Orlando Adventure
To take in the whole Universal Orlando Harry Potter World, it is important to note this experience is in two theme parks: Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Islands of Adventure.
Diagon Alley and several attractions, restaurants, and shops are on the Universal Studios Orlando side. Hogsmeade, Hogwarts, and several attractions, restaurants, and shops are on the Universal's Islands of Adventure side. To get in between the lands, you ride the Hogwarts Express between the two lands!
You could just visit one side on one day and the other side on another day. But if you want to take in the full experience of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Orlando in ONE DAY, make sure you purchase admittance tickets to both places that are home to the Harry Potter rides and attractions. You’ll need to buy two tickets – one to Universal Studios Orlando and one to Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
And, in order to ride the Hogwarts Express, you must have a Seasonal Pass, Annual Pass, or Park-to-Park tickets to ride the train.
Are you ready to walk in the footsteps of Harry Potter? Let’s go!
Universal Studios Orlando – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley
If you’re like me, you’ll be as excited as your kids are for all the Harry Potter rides and other attractions! There are so many fun things to do. Here are the rides and attractions on the Diagon Alley side of Harry Potter.
Rides and Attractions
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
In this thrill ride, you’ll enter Gringotts under a huge fire-breathing dragon and venture underground to navigate subterranean vaults where you’ll encounter Harry, Hermione, and Ron. But watch out! You must evade Bellatrix, trolls, Voldemort, and many other creatures to get back safely to Diagon Alley.
Ride the Hogwarts Express from Universal Studio’s King’s Cross Station in London and travel through the countryside of Britain. You never know what or who you might see outside. The train is your ride between the two Harry Potter worlds.
Ollivanders – the Makers of Great Wands Since 382 BC
This location is special as you can buy your very own Ollivanders wand, Interactive Wands and Harry Potter character wand replicas. It’s where all the witches and wizards come to buy their wands.
Now, before you head into the shop, be sure to visit the experience beforehand, where one lucky aspiring wizard is selected to have the wand choose the wizard!
My son was the lucky wizard selected during our visit, and was chosen by a very special wand that we ended up purchasing! He was chosen by the Holly Wand!
You can cast spells using the Interactive Wand at specific attractions to create unique magical experiences.
You’ll find spell locations marked by medallions on your Universal map, and they are set in the pavement in front of locations where you can use your Interactive Wand. Some of these are secret spell locations, so I don’t want to give everything away.
Spell Locations in Diagon Alley
- Pillwinkle’s Playthings
- Horizont Alley
- The Magical Menagerie
- Brown E. Wrights Blacksmith Shop\
- The Mermaid Fountain near Carkitt Market
- Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes
- Slug and Jiggers Apothecary
Hogsmeade Spell Locations
- Zonko’s Joke Shop
- Gladrags Wizardwear
- Madam Puddifoot’s
- Dervish and Banges
- Tomes and Scrolls Specialist Bookshop
Knockturn Alley Spell Locations
- Dystyl Phaelanges
- Borgin and Burkes
Visit the purple, triple-decker purple bus that wizards flag down and strands witches. You can look inside to see beds, a chandelier, curtains, and even a talking shrunken head.
Before you go into Diagon Alley, be sure and stop at the phone booth. Dial 62442 (or M-A-G-I-C) and be connected to the Ministry of Magic!
Places to Eat in Diagon Alley
The Leaky Cauldron
One of my favorite places to eat in the Harry Potter World in Orlando is the Leaky Cauldron. Here you can dine on traditional British fares such as Fisherman’s Pie, Bangers and Mash, Toad in the Hole, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and more. There are also kid-friendly eats such as macaroni and cheese, fish and chips, and more.
The Hopping Pot
The Hopping Pot is a walk-up counter inside Carkitt Markett where you can get drinks like Butterbeer, Tongue Tying Lemon Squash, and more.
The Fountain of Fair Fortune
Adults enjoy this watering hole where you can buy alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages such as Frozen Beerbutter, Pumpkin Juice, Pumpkin Fizz, and more.
Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour
Muggles and Wizards of all ages will love the delicious ice cream here. You’ll find ice cream in delightful British flavors such as Earl Gray and Lavender, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and more. You can also get delicious pastries here.
Shops in Diagon Alley
Gringotts Money Exchange
Ask the Gringotts goblin any questions (just don't ask if he is a house elf!) And then, trade your U.S. money for Gringott banknotes that you can use to buy things at Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.
Borgin and Burkes
Famous for shady patrons and objects with magical and unusual properties, Borgin and Burkes is the place to buy skulls, Harry Potter costume replicas, jewelry, collectibles, and more.
This is the place to find anything that flies, slithers, leaps, creeps, or crocks. You can purchase plush toys such as Buckbeak, Scabbers, Gang, Hedwig, Pigwidgeon, and more. Check out the window to see if the giant snake communicates to you in Parseltongue!
Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions
Buy your robes, uniforms, ties, hats, and more here to build your wardrobe just like Harry Potter’s.
Here you’ll find genuine writing supplies that every witch or wizard needs, from feather quills to ink wells to notebooks and journals.
Quality Quidditch Supplies
Buy everything you need for Harry Potter’s favorite sport, including brooms, sweaters, Golden Snitches, Quaffles, Bludgers, and more.
Wands by Gregorovitch
This shop is the other place that sells wands. You can buy Interactive Wands, wand replicas, and more here.
Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes
Here’s the novelty joke store run by George and Fred Weasley. Buy your magical tricks and toys, Pygmy Puffs, Puking Pastries, U-No-Poo-Pills, and other funny gag gifts.
You’ll find delicious fudge and other candy here like Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans, Chocolate Frogs, Butterbeer Fudge, Cauldron Cakes, Pumpkin Pasties, and more!
Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment
You’ll find all the equipment a wizard or witch needs here. This story has a unique selection of accessories and apparel, along with crystal balls, telescopes, and more.
Possible Harry Potter World Orlando Itinerary
Every family is different, so you can use this blog post to create the schedule that works for you. But here is what my family likes to do.
Start at Diagon Alley
- Stop at the Knight Bus and have look inside.
- Next Visit the Telephone Booth and dial M-A-G-I-C for a message from The Ministry of Magic!
- Then Visit Ollivander’s – It’s essential!
- Stop at Gringott’s to exchange your money for Gringott banknotes
- Ride the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts thrill ride
- Visit a few of the Spell Locations and shops!
- Eat lunch at the Leaky Cauldron
- Visit the other shops and a few more Spell Locations
- Get To Platform 9 3/4 to catch a ride on the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade
Islands of Adventure – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Orlando – Hogsmeade
Once you hitch a ride on the train and head to Diagon Alley, you’ll arrive at Hogsmeade Station in Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Get ready for a fun time! You can also start here if you want, but to follow Harry’s path, you want to start at Diagon Alley.
There are so many fun things to do on this side of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Orlando adventure.
Rides and Attractions
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Join Harry Potter and his friends in this amazing and unforgettable adventure as you journey your way through Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Innovative, cutting-edge technology makes this a unique ride as you then soar above the castle with Harry. Keep an eye out for the moving Mandrakes while you wait in line!
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
Now you can fly with the beloved Hagrid (one of my favorite characters) into the Forbidden Forest on this roller coaster ride. As you fly above the forest, you’ll plunge into it to see glimpses of the magical creatures in this enchanted world.
Flight of the Hippogriff
The whole family can enjoy this ride where you travel on a coaster and enter the Care of Magical Creatures grounds. As you ride through the pumpkin patch, you may hear barking – that’s Fang! Along the way, Hagrid will give you instructions on the right way to walk up to a Hippogriff so you’ll know how when you get closer.
Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle
Get ready to face Voldemort, the Death Eaters, and Dementors in a brilliant display of music and lights.
The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle
You don’t want to miss the celebration of Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle. On certain nights you’ll be awed by the stunning light display that unfolds against the magnificent backdrop of Hogwarts Castle. It’s the perfect way to end your day at the Universal Studios Orlando Harry Potter Hogsmeade.
Places to Eat at Hogsmeade
Three Broomsticks is a great place to eat lunch and serves traditional British food like Beef Pasties, Fish and Chips, Great Feast Platter, and more.
You can find Hog’s Head in the back of Three Broomsticks. Here you’ll find beer, wine, spirits, and specialty drinks.
Shops in Hogsmeade
Dervish and Banges
Here you’ll find all the magical items you need like Omniculars, Sneakoscopes, and more. Plus, buy everything you need to play Quidditch as well as Hogwarts uniforms, other clothing, and more. Be sure and look for the Monster Book of Monsters in the cage (but keep your fingers away!)
You can’t leave Hogsmeade without eating a Chocolate Frog just like Harry. You’ll also find other delicious items such as Exploding Bonbons, Cauldron Cakes, Fizzing Whizzbees, and more at this popular sweet shop.
Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods
You’ll find all the things that the school’s caretaker, Argus Filch has confiscated, like Hogwarts uniforms, toys, house crest banners, and more.
Yes, there’s an Ollivanders on this side too so get your Interactive Wand if you haven’t yet! There are plenty of places to use it in Hogsmeade too.
This fun store is where you get your stationery needs like paper, quills, ink, seals, and more. You can even send Owl Mail with a special Hogsmeade post mark to your family and friends! Check out the store front for a message from the Howler!
Possible Wizarding World of Harry Potter Orlando – Hogsmeade Itinerary
You don’t necessarily need to hit any of these places in order, but don’t skip them. Here is what my family likes to do.
- Don’t forget to buy your Interactive Wand if you haven’t yet. And be sure to hit some of the Spell Locations!
- Ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- Ride Flight of the Hippogriff
- Enjoy Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
- Grab a bite to eat or snack at the Three Broomsticks
- Buy your Harry Potter necessities like clothing and magical items at the shops here.
- Get your Chocolate Frog from Honeydukes.
- Send an Owl Mail
- Visit any last shops for Hogwart's essentials
- Catch a ride on the Hogwarts Express back to Diagon Alley
Like Diagon Alley, if you haven’t bought your Interactive Wand yet, stop at Ollivander’s before going to the other attractions so you can use it throughout Hogsmeade. This activity is one that I would advise you not to skip!
Your little ones will love the Flight of the Hippogriff. You don’t want to miss the other rides and adventures either – Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – to be sure and enjoy the complete experience.
Your adventure isn’t complete without a delicious Chocolate Frog and other fun magical items, Harry Potter Stamps and stationery, and more. Be sure and visit the shops for all of your Hogwarts essentials.
And remember to send an Owl Mail! At the end of the time, ride the Hogwarts Express back to Diagon Alley.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wizarding World of Harry Potter Orlando
How do I get Harry Potter World Orlando Tickets?
To explore both Harry Potter lands at Universal, you need tickets to Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventures. You want a part-to-park access ticket, and you can learn more about how to get those tickets here.
Can you see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Orlando in one day?
Yes, you can with a park-to-park ticket that gets you into both Harry Potter lands. If not, you’ll miss one of them because you need a park-to-park ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express between King’s Cross Station to Hogsmeade Station.
Which Universal park is best for Harry Potter?
If your family is really focused on Harry Potter, then you want to do both! But many say that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade represents the Harry Potter story the best and makes you feel like you’re immersed in the world of Harry Potter.
The Hogwarts Castle replica and cobblestone streets lined with shops are truly amazing.
Your Universal Studios vacation wouldn’t be complete without the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It’s the perfect chance for your kids to actually live all the details of the magical Harry Potter movies in real life.
From their very own magic wand to meeting a magical creature like the Hippogriff, it’s a dream come true for your kids. Where else can you buy a Hogwarts uniform and eat the foods that Harry Potter and his friends do? It’s a vacation your family will never forget.
Where Are Lockers At Universal Orlando In Harry Potter World?
Unlike rides at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando does not permit bags on some of the Harry Potter Orlando attractions. There are Universal Studio's lockers located near Gringott's (Diagon Alley) in Universal Orlando and small ones near Hagrid's Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (Hogsmeade). The lockers range in price from $10 a day to $15 depending on the size. Not all sizes are available at all locker locations.
What To Wear At Universal Studios?
Well, it is hot in Orlando most times of the year so you will want to dress comfortable and for the weather. That said, it is hard to step inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando without dressing your wizarding best. My kids went with Harry Potter t-shirts to show off their house spirit!
Does Universal Studios Have Stroller Rentals?
Yes, just like at Disney World with toddlers and babies, you can rent single or double strollers at Universal Studios Orlando and at the Islands of Adventure near the entrances. They offer single and double strollers, and there are designated parking areas for strollers in various locations. You can bring your stroller onto the Hogwarts Express. However, if you don't want to travel with it on the train, you can park it at the station and pick up a new one at the other station upon your arrival.
The Last Thing You Need to Know About the Harry Potter World Orlando
This adventure is truly one your family doesn’t want to miss if you come to Universal Studios Orlando for vacation. From the thrilling rides to the places to eat with British food to the shops with unique Harry Potter gifts, there’s something for everyone in your family to enjoy.
If your family loves Harry Potter, this is one vacation you want to add to your bucket list. It’s really like stepping into the Harry Potter movies. So, book your trip and pack your travel suitcases now. You’re in for the adventure of a lifetime.
Want to check it out before you go? Watch a virtual tour of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter World Orlando!