Wizarding Week: Orlando, Florida

Castle

With the first installment of the Harry Potter finale due out on November 19th, I decided it might be a good idea to reflect on all the past movies to build up for that last movie. In my personal life, I’m making Harry Potter themed snacks, re-reading the books and doing a week long movie marathon. For this site I’ve decided to do a feature on Harry Potter related travel. There are so many options out there that I’ve had to actually cut places out! One place that had to be included though is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, or WWoHP as it’s known by fans.

WWoHP opened just this year and already it has been the talk of Orlando, Florida. It’s part of the Universal Studios Resorts there on the Island of Adventure. WWoHP includes roller coasters, shops from the wizarding world and even snacks to try.

Honeydukes - Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Universal Studios - Islands of Adventure

Fans line up to ride on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The line for this ride is part of the adventure and even if you don’t like roller coasters, you should wait in line with family and friends as you unwind in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Other rides include Dragon Challenge, where a Hungarian Horntail and a Chinese Fireball dual on tracks that leave your legs flying, and Flight of the Hippogriff, a calmer coaster based on Hagrid teaching Hogwarts students to fly.

After you’re done with the coasters, head into the re-creation of Hogsmeade. You’ll find Ollivander’s where you may just get a wand, Zonko’s Joke Shop, The Three Broomsticks and more.  You can even try butterbeer, pumpkin juice, cauldron cakes and chocolate frogs. The Three Broomsticks is a popular place to grab some lunch and its menu includes rotisserie chicken, ribs, turkey legs, fish and chips, Cornish pasties, soups and Shepherd’s Pie. For kids they can find the turkey leg and fish on their menu with chicken and macaroni options as well.

Photo by mich&pics

In WWoHP you’ll also see a model of the Hogwarts Express, students from Beauxbatons Academy of Magic and Durmstrang Institute, and even a performance by the Frog Choir of Hogwarts.

Trip Planning Tips:

  • Buy your tickets online to save $10 off the gate price for multi-day tickets, get a coupon book and avoid lines! Click here for ticketing information and pricing. Or check into the vacation offer.
  • Stay on-site! You get an hour of WWoHP without all the crowds, you get a Hotel Express Pass to get you to certain rides faster, you can get bumped to the dining lists and you can get souvenirs sent back to your room rather than bumping against you in all the crowds
  • Avoid Fridays and Saturdays for your stay. Those days are field trip and local family days and crowd levels are high
  • Head to Ollivander’s or The Forbidden Journey first and swap for the next one. These get lines quickest so get there early and avoid waiting
  • Buy in advance. While the gift shops do have robes, scarves and neckties on sale, you can save money by shopping around online and buying items in advance. Surprise your party with gifts beforehand so you can look like a wizard but not have to spend all of your galleons
  • Avoid the butterbeer crowds with this tip. There are two types of butterbeer: frozen and chilled. You can find butterbeer in carts outside but if it’s hot, avoid hot lines and the risk of melting butterbeer by heading inside the Three Broomsticks or the Hogshead Pub. Hoghead also serves real beer if you’re looking for that too. Also, if you buy the mug you can get butterbeer refills for cheap.
  • Want better pictures of Hogwarts? There’s a tour-only line that covers nearly all of the castle (plus a bonus portrait room!) and gives you emptier shots which mean better pictures.
  • Single rider line hints: The Forbidden Journey also has a single rider line but you may need to ask to get in the queue.This is a great way to avoid the line for re-rides.
  • Ways to get wands: While Ollivander’s Wand Shop does have a live show where a wand picks a witch or wizard, there is a separate place to buy wands. Look to either the Owl Post through Dervish & Banges or the Wand Kiosk outside Filch’s Emporium.
  • Avoid checkout lines in the shops. Honeydukes and Zonkos are connected so if you find items to buy in one store but the line is long, check the other store’s line. You can pay on either side.
  • Plus sized guests have more options. Plus sized guests who were told they did not meet the size restrictions for The Forbidden Journey may be in luck. Outer carriages for the ride have been fitted with new safety harnesses so ask attendants what you need to do to verify you can ride.
  • The bathrooms at WWoHP feature a surprise character. You can take a guess or you can just go right in.

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Author:julie

I'm Julie, I love to travel, I'm very hyper and I like to "hype" things and from that, TravelHyper was born. I'm a Missouri native and I cover St. Louis travel ideas as well as my own travels. I also like to focus on places I want to visit and budget travel ideas by creating trip plans. There's so much world out there and I hope you'll find that it's worth seeing and that vacation doesn't have to be out of reach to you.

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