As a fairly new Harry Potter super fan, I was so excited to travel back to Universal in Orlando to fully experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. My husband, sister and myself were there in November (you can read my Disney/Universal blog here) but I felt overwhelmed, and didn’t get to do everything that I wanted to but I also didn’t know everything that you could do at the Wizarding World!
If you can, buy the park to park pass. This is the only way you will be able to ride on the Hogwarts Express to and from Hogsmeade (located in Islands of Adventures) and Diagon Alley (Universal Studios.) Although it cost more, it is worth it.
Its hard to describe stepping into Diagon Alley, its magical.
What you will find
Leaky Cauldron – You can dine here for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We ate lunch there and enjoyed the food and experience.
Gringotts Bank – You can get your money exchanged into Gringotts bank notes. You can use the money in both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. I exchanged $20 so I could keep $10 as a souvenir.
Owl Post – Located in both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade you can get post cards stamped and mailed from either place. I ended up having my postcards stamped from Hogsmeade!
Ollivanders – Wands!! You can choose between two; regular wands and interactive wands. If you get the interactive wand there are speical areas in both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade where you can use your wand and see some magic happen! There is also one located in Hogsmeade. Also, take part in Ollivander’s Wand Selecting Ceremony, we didn’t but I’ve heard its fun.
Sugerplums Sweet Shop – You’ll find Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans, Chocolate Frogs, Exploding Bonbons, Dark Mark lollipops, Fizzing Whizzbees and more.
Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes – Some things you’ll find there; Sneakoscopes, Bombtastic Bombs, Decoy Detonators, Extendable Ears, Love Potions and the joke candies from the books. I ended up getting; Puking Pastilles and Fainting Fancies.
Knockturn Alley – Somewhat hidden (walk towards the dragon and take a left, keep going until you see the alley.) Borgin and Burkes is located in here along with items included in Dark Magic and Death Eaters.
What you will find
Three Broomsticks – Similar to Leaky Cauldron, but you should do both restaurants to get the full experience.
Hog’s Head – What better place to get a Butterbeer? It’s also connected to the Three Broomsticks.
Honeydukes – Has the same sweets as Sugerplums in Diagon Alley.
Hogwarts Castle – This is also home to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. I’ve heard the ride is amazing, but it is 3D and has a lot of twists, turns and upside motion. Anyone prone to motion sickness is recommend to avoid this ride, we ended up not going on it. BUT, you can walk through Hogwarts Castle (they have an exit right before the ride) so you can still get the experience.
Flight of the Hippogriff – A shorter, easier roller coaster. You’ll also get to see Hagrid’s Hut and Buckbeak!
Take your time, go in every shop, have lunch and dinner at Leaky Cauldron and Three Broomsticks, check out Hogwarts Castle, ride the Hogwarts Express, check out the shows, 12 Grimmauld Place (if you’re lucky you may see Kreacher,) Knight bus and most importantly HAVE FUN!