Harry Potter is a worldwide phenomenon. From the studio tour in London, to the hidden sites in Porto, Portugal where J.K. Rowling got her inspiration, to the recreated worlds featured at Universal Studios, Harry Potter is a truly incredible character that has captured the hearts of many! Harry Potter World has made its way into most of the Universal Studios parks around the world. I highly recommend visiting the one in Orlando as it is the largest and has the most to offer. But, every Harry Potter world across the globe will have most of the things on my must do list so whichever one you choose to visit, make sure to do all of these things!
1. Eat at Three Broomsticks
I don’t think there is any other place in all of Harry Potter world that feels more authentic than Three Broomsticks. I felt so immersed in all things Harry Potter! I was just waiting for Hagrid to bust in at any moment. In this restaurant you’ll find meals that are so much better than your average theme park food! Forget burgers and fries, how about fish and chips? Meat pies? Rotisserie chicken? All delicious! But don’t forget dessert- butterbeer ice cream!
2. Get a Butterbeer
No trip to Harry Potter world is completely without a butterbeer. This non-alcoholic beverage can be served cold or frozen. We got a frozen one and it was delicious!
3. Ride the Hogwarts Express
The Hogwarts Express is not just a “train ride”. It serves as one way ticket to the other side of Harry Potter world and you must have a park hopper to ride! Each direction provides a different experience and they paid so much attention to detail! It may not be a huge thrill (they don’t even require seatbelts) but make time for this ride, you won’t regret it.
4. Explore Gringotts Bank
Gringotts Bank is home to what I think is one of the best rides in Harry Potter world. It is unique, imaginative and full of all those tiny details that make you feel completely immersed. The entrance alone houses giant gorgeous chandeliers and you’ll walk through the bank lobby while goblin bank tellers do their work. They spent so much time getting this ride just right and it shows!
5. Visit Ollivanders
Ollivanders isn’t just a store, it’s an experience. There’s one in Hogsmeade and one in Diagon Alley and chances are there will probably be a line. You can get a wand in most of the stores across Harry Potter world but it’s not nearly as exciting!
6. Indulge at Honeydukes
Honeydukes is a dream! Chocolate frogs, Bertie Bott’s every flavor beans and Fizzing whizzbees. If it was in the books, it’s in this shop!
7. Take a Stroll Down Knockturn Alley
If you walk too fast down Diagon Alley you’ll completely miss Knockturn Alley! It’s dark, it’s eerie and it’s everything Knockturn Alley should be. Check out the shrunken heads and find unique darker themed merchandise you won’t find anywhere else.
8. Witness the Gringotts Dragon Breathe Fire
Every 15 minutes or so the Dragon on top of Gringotts Bank shoots flames from her mouth. It’s worth hanging around for! If you’re not sure when it’s going to go off next just ask a cast member nearby, they’ll be able to tell you.
9. Ride the Dragon Challenge
This is probably my favorite ride in all of Universal Studios. I love inverted rollercoasters! This is the biggest thrill ride in Harry Potter World and it’s one you absolutely can not miss, especially if you love coasters! Chinese Fireball or Hungarian Horntail. Which dragon do you choose?
¾. Take in the Joke Shop
Weaselys’ Wizard Wheezes can be found in Diagon Alley and offers a selection of novelty tricks and toys. Zonko’s, located inside Hogsmeade, has a storefront but the inside is a continuation of Honeydukes. So, if you’re in the mood for some tricks and jokes, Diagon Alley is where it’s at!
Have you done all of these things at Harry Potter world? What would you put on your bucket list?!
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