Universal Orlando Resort’s biggest draw to their parks is arguably the immersive and detailed lands that make up the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Both parks have their own dedicated area that transports guests into the universe of the books and movies. Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida and Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure both offer intricate and screen-accurate experiences that have helped to elevate the resort to a new level in theme park entertainment. One of the most popular aspects of these lands isn’t a ride, it’s the fun and interactive magic wand experience that guests can enjoy as they explore the land.
Purchasing Your Wand
Before a wizard can cast spells, they need a wand! Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter has spared no expense in bringing Ollivanders wand shop to life for guests to visit and obtain their implement of magic. Guests can purchase an interactive wand that will allow them to cast spells at special locations in both lands. These wands activate hidden infrared cameras placed in the spell location to create wondrous scenes and effects. There are also standard wands available that do not interact with the spell locations and are slightly cheaper. Each wand comes in a beautiful box with the character’s name and Ollivanders logo embossed on the lid. The interactive wands also come with a map of the spell locations for each park. A great aspect of purchasing an interactive wand is the ability to have it magically repaired, for free, should it stop working. Simply return to Olivanders and a helpful wizard will have the wand quickly repaired in the back of the shop.
The selection of wands includes those of famous wizards from the stories as well as unique designs made for the parks. Guests can explore the selection and purchase a wand on their own or attend Ollivanders special wand ceremony where one lucky wizard will be selected to receive their wand in a most magical way. The ceremony takes place throughout the day and can be quite popular, so it’s best to line up early to give yourself more time in the day to cast spells.
If you’re not interested in visiting Ollivanders, you can purchase wands ahead of time online at Universal Orlando Resort’s shop site. There is also a selection of magic wands at Wands by Gregorovitch in the Carkitt Market area of Diagon Alley. This small shop sells both interactive and standard wands for the same prices as Ollivanders. It should be noted though that this location only sells the interactive wands based on the characters from the films, also known as “Famous Wizards” wands. Guests wanting to purchase non-character based interactive wands will have to do so at Ollivanders.
How to Find Spell Casting Locations
Although each interactive wand comes with a map of spell casting locations, it’s still a bit tricky to find some of them. There are even some secret, unlisted locations. Luckily, the Ministry of Magic has placed small plaques throughout Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade to help aid new wizards in their quest. Each plaque is located directly in front of the spell casting spot. Wizards should stand directly on the plaque, facing the direction of the arrow point for each one. There are a total of 11 spell locations at Diagon Alley as well as 5 locations in Knockturn Alley. Hogsmeade contains 9 locations. Occasionally a spell location will be out of service. These are marked with signs informing wizards that an “anti-jinx” is currently in place and as such, all spells will be rendered ineffective.
Casting a Spell
The spell location plaques not only help guests find where to cast their magic but also tell them how to perform the spell. Each plaque has a directional arrow showing the name and wand movements required for each incantation. As with the spells used in the Harry Potter series, it will only work if you do it just right. Remember to follow the movement directions exactly, and always “swish and flick”! Don’t worry if you’re still having issues casting your first “Wingardium Leviosa” as Universal has placed many helpful and knowledgeable wizards near some of the trickier spell locations to assist and troubleshoot.
Now that you know the basics of casting spells at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you can confidently leave your muggle life behind and begin your magical journey to becoming a wizard! If you need help planning your fantastical vacation to Universal Orlando Resort, contact our friends at Key to the World Travel® for a free, no-obligation quote for your next trip. Click here.