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For the past ten years, Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando lets you experience magical days from entering the Diagon Alley to riding the Hogwarts Express.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando consists of two theme parks based on the Harry Potter franchise. Diagon Alley is located at Universal Studios Florida and Hogsmeade and Hogwarts Castle is in Islands of Adventure.
The two theme parks are connected by the Hogwarts Express – the famous cable railway that brings students to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Both theme parks offer a lot of entertainment, Harry Potter merchandise shops, themed dining, and rides.
If it is your first trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, planning to experience all the entertainment can be overwhelming due to the large area of the theme park and lots of things to do. To help you not to miss the best experience, here are some tips for planning your magical visit.
Spend an Entire Day in Each Of The Parks
You can experience the majority of the rides and other attractions. However, you will not be able to experience the whole wizardry of both theme parks. It is better to spend the whole day in Diagon Alley and another day in Hogsmeade.
Purchase Park Hopper Passes so you could ride the Hogwarts Express which connects both theme parks. You can also save money with these passes if you are visiting the theme park on multiple days.
Buy Tickets in Advance and Do Not Get an Express Pass Yet
Ticket prices vary each day. If you book in advance, you will be able to save some money since the ticket for each part costs around $115 each. You would not want to visit just one park alone, so it is better to get tickets for both at a lower price.
If you planned to visit the theme parks on a weekday, it is not recommended to buy an express pass. Aside from being expensive which starts at $79.99 on top of your ticket, queues on the rides during weekdays are not that long.
If the park is full of visitors on your first day, you may check the shops and other experiences first then you can buy the Express Pass on the next day.
Get a Map
To find your way to all the experiences, there are paper maps provided once you enter the theme park. However, downloading the Universal App gives you a digital map.
It would not only help you to get around but it also has the ride information including the waiting time in lines as well as the schedules of various shows.
Experience the Most Popular Rides First
Get to the park very early to enjoy the most famous rides without waiting in long lines. You will also be able to be on Hogsmeade an hour earlier if you are checked in at a Universal Studios Hotel.
From there, head to the rides inside the Hogwarts Castle first. If you start on the Diagon Alley, ride the Escape from Gringotts first thing in the morning. This ride always has long lines.
Get a Wand and Wear Your Wizard Robe
To get the best and most unique experience, be a wizard character. You can get a wand at Olivander’s Wand Shop. This can be used on performing spells inside the theme parks to make magic happen.
This can be an expensive item, but you are not just buying a souvenir or a toy, it can also be considered another attraction that you can experience.
Hire a Photographer
The experience of visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is worth remembering for the rest of our lives. Hiring a Wizarding World of Harry Potter photographer will capture your best memories while you are in the park, from looking like a wizard to getting those bubble mustaches from butterbeer.
Visiting theme parks can be quite expensive especially if you are doing it on multiple days. But splurging on experiences at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is worth the money.
Planning it ahead of time will lessen your time thinking about where to go and what to try.