Muggles all over have been long awaiting the appearance of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood. The magic has been unleashed and it is breathtaking!
Photo by Universal Studios Hollywood
With the overwhelming popularity of this new attraction area, our first suggestion is to arrive at Universal Studios Hollywood as early as possible. There are several Harry Potter-themed stores toward the entrance – don’t let them distract you – head directly to the real deal inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. First stop, the rides!
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Rides at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo By: Elizabeth Bickford
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
The line for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey can be more than two hours, so stop here first! Take note that guests need to put all loose belongings in the FREE lockers located at the entrance to Hogwarts Castle before entering the ride. Then, get ready to board a vessel and take a flight through a chimney floo to experience the Hogwart’s grounds firsthand. It is an incredibly smooth ride and enjoyable for all over 48″ tall. The ride is only half the fun with this attraction; the line, located inside the Hogwart’s Castle, is chock full of all things magical. Two worthwhile notables include visiting Dumbledore’s office and talking with the Sorting Hat.
Traveling with toddlers? The Forbidden Journey has a child swap room located at the entrance of the ride for families traveling with young kids. Harry Potter films play while kids wait with their accompanying adult. This is great because the little kids will not want to miss the sights inside Hogwart’s Castle. If the little ones want or need to skip the lines altogether; catch one of the fun shows on the main stage or help them explore with their interactive wands!
Tip: If you are prone to motion sickness, be aware that while the ride is smooth, the 3-D view was removed due to complaints and still may be too much from some riders.
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Flight of the Hippogriff
Walk through Hagrid’s pumpkin patch and stop in for a visit with Bane while on your way to board your Hippogriff. This ride is a fun roller coaster for the entire family (minimum height to ride is 36″). Kids will love the view of Buckbeak and adults will enjoy seeing a new perspective of Hogwarts Castle.
Tip: Visitors to both Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff benefit in Universal Hollywood’s Front-of-the-Line tickets. The cost varies depending on the day.
Experiences at Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo By: Elizabeth Bickford
Now that everyone has had an adrenaline rush on the rides, head to these attractions to further immerse yourself in Harry Potter’s world.
The Hogwart’s Express greets all attendees at the main entrance of the Wizarding World. Stop by for a quick photo with the conductor as steam billows from the massive locomotive!
Ollivanders is by far the most impressive shop and best interactive experience, and it has the wait time to prove it. This line has been known to creep up to an hour or more. Grab the family some Butterbeers to enjoy while in line as there isn’t much in way of entertainment. While waiting, prepare little ones for the experience by letting them know only one participant will be selected by the wand and have one chosen for them during the show. Be aware, it is recommended that the selected participant purchase the wand at the exit.
The interactive experience exits into an actual wand shop filled with all types of wands representing the characters of the Harry Potter series. Wands are also available with an interactive mode which allows newly-dubbed wizards to follow a map and complete several spells throughout the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. (Choose a gold-labeled wand for this experience.)
Tip: If you want to check out the wand shop without the interactive show, enter through the Wiseacre’s Shop to save yourself some time!
Triwizard Spirit Rally
Ever wonder what the Triward Tournament looked like? Stop by the main stage to witness a rally to support the wizards of this year’s tournament. The theatrical presentation gets the crowd cheering for their favorite wizards. Wait until the end of the show and get a quick photo of with the entire crew!
Other great experiences inside the land include Hogsmeade Station, where you will find a photo booth of a train cabin complete with props, and the Frog Choir, where you can experience a performance by Hogwarts students and their musical frogs. Their croaking companions are quite the sight!
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Shopping at Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Photo By: Elizabeth Bickford
It’s all about the details. These shops give fans the opportunity to take a piece of Hogwarts home with them.
Zonko’s Joke Shop
This is a great shop to pick up novelty items. Many products have graced the pages of the Harry Potter series. Don’t miss the fun!
Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment
Every wizard needs to stop in for their telescopes, crystal balls, and magical school gear. Once you visit the sorting hat in Hogwart’s Castle, pick up your house robe at Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment.
Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods
Take a peek at some of Filch’s confiscated goods here, including the Marauder’s Map and the Monster Book of Monsters! Take home some magical movie replicas to experience the wonder at home!
Photo Courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood
A staple in Harry Potter’s life, Honeydukes is not to be passed up. A sugary paradise awaits you, complete with Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans and Chocolate Frogs!
Support your favorite house by picking up your spirit gear at Gladrag’s Wizardwear or show support by picking up a scarf or a tie!
Deverish and Banges
Getting ready for a game of Quiddich? Stop in at Derish and Banges. This shop has everything a player would need to get on the team!
Sending a letter has never been more fun! Post your letter with a Hogsmeade postmark and send it off to your favorite Harry Potter fan back home. Pick up other fun owl related items at this shop.
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Photo By: Kevin Kolczynski
Neither muggles nor wizards will go hungry in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. From dining carts to sit-down restaurants, Universal Studios Hollywood added magical touches to every location.
This tasty treat comes in two options: Frozen or Chilled. Stop by one of the two carts on the main street to have a taste of Harry Potter’s favorite Hogsmeade drink! The vendors said icy version seems to be the most popular.
Tip: Save some time and head to the second cart located next to Ollivander’s exit. This cart seems to get less crowded throughout the day.
Magic Neep Cart
This convenient cart sells bottled drinks and fresh fruit for those looking for some quick fuel.
Hog’s Head Pub
Families might want to take a quick stop at Hog’s Head Pub.It offers specialty brews on tap for the grownups as well as Butterbeer, Pumpkin Juice, and Gilly Water.
The main dining area goes beyond all expectations! This picturesque restaurant takes diners right into the heart of Hogsmeade. With indoor and outdoor dining, there is room for all. The Three Broomsticks offers both a breakfast and lunch/dinner menu, offering some typical theme park goodies as well as traditional English offerings. You will not want to miss this dining experience. The line looks daunting, but it moves quickly. Try to head here for breakfast, the line is shorter earlier in the day.
Tip: No time to dine? Grab a drink and quick snack at the Hog’s Head and enter into the dining room from their entrance.
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