Universal Orlando Resort’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter has become a “Mecca” of sorts for fans of the boy wizard and his adventures. With two themed lands featuring sets, scenes, and experiences straight from the vast history of Harry Potter stories, there’s so much for a witch or wizard to do. Today we’ve put together a list of our top 10 things to do in The Wizarding World that are sure to help you shake off your muggle existence, and live your magical truth!
Get Your Own Magic Wand
Every true witch or wizard needs an instrument to wield their magic, and Universal has you covered! Make a stop by Ollivanders wand shop in either Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade where you can purchase your own interactive magic wand that can be used throughout the lands. These wands are beautiful recreations of famous wands from the stories as well as a few original ones. These wands can be used to cast spells at special locations that will activate interactive elements and effects. You can pick your wand from the wide selection in the showroom, or join Ollivanders wand ceremony for the chance to have the wand choose you at a fun presentation.
Turn Your Muggle Currency into Wizard Money
Although the standard muggle forms of payment are accepted throughout the Wizarding World, if you want to truly immerse yourself in the magic, you’ll want to stop by Gringotts for currency exchange. The real fun here is interacting with the animatronic goblin banker who answers your questions and then allows you to trade U.S. currency for Gringotts bank notes in $10 or $20 denominations. These banknotes can then be used to purchase food or souvenirs throughout Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, and other select locations at the resort. If you don’t spend all of your magical money before the end of your trip, you can convert them back into muggle approved dollars at Guest Services.
Find Your Wizarding Pet
Every wizard or witch needs an animal companion to keep them company. If you’ve always dreamed of your own white owl or mischievous rat, you can take home a plush version from Magical Menagerie. This store has every notable creature from the Harry Potter stories in soft and cuddly forms. You can purchase new furry friends like Crookshanks the cat, Hedwig the owl, or a number of original animals. There are even a few fun interactive elements throughout the store like a snake who will respond to you if you speak to him in Parseltongue.
Take a Ride on The Hogwarts Express
Everyone remembers the awe Harry Potter felt as he passed through the wall to the 9 3/4 Platform to start his journey to Hogwarts. Guests of Universal Orlando Resort can feel that same way by entering King’s Cross station near Diagon Alley and hopping on the Hogwarts Express. This magical train travels between both Wizarding Worlds and gives guests a fun window show that varies depending on which way you travel. You’ll see scenes and characters from the films as well as a few surprises that happen onboard. Make sure you’ve got a park to park ticket though, as that’s the only way you can experience the train.
Grab a Butterbeer
If there’s one iconic Harry Potter treat, it’s got to be Butterbeer. This sweet concoction captured the imaginations of readers and filmgoers and Universal’s recreation of the beverage does not disappoint. At The Wizarding World guests can enjoy this sugary beverage in multiple forms: hot, cold, frozen, or even in fudge! The flavor is butterscotch and cream soda with a light whipped foam that’s perfect for those Wizarding World mustache photos that you see happy magic users sharing online.
Send a Letter to a Muggle Friend
If you want to share all of the fun you’re having at The Wizarding World with those back home, make a stop by the Owl Post in Hogsmeade. Here you can purchase elegant writing supplies like quills and stationery that will elevate your correspondences to a magical level. There’s also a selection of owl-themed merchandise. The most fun part of this spot is the ability to mail letters to friends and family that will arrive with a special Hogsmeade postmark.
Try Some Magical Treats
If you’re a wizard or witch with a sweet tooth, you can satisfy your cravings at Honeydukes. This enchanted candy shop sells many of the treats made famous by the Harry Potter stories. You can take a risk and try one of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Bean, or enjoy a more stationary version of the chocolate frogs (which come with a famous wizard card!). If that’s not enough there’s also Acid Pops, Exploding Bonbons, Cauldron Cakes, and Fizzing Whizzbees. Many of these treats also make great souvenirs to bring home as they come in colorful packaging that looks exactly like those in the movies.
Represent Your Hogwarts House
Whether you’re a member of Slytherin, Gryffindor, or even Hufflepuff, you’ll want to show off your house love. The best way to do that is to stock up on Hogwarts clothes and accessories. There are many places in both lands offering apparel and other items featuring the Hogwarts houses. Our favorite spot is Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods where guests can peruse the caretaker’s collection of items he’s taken from students over the years. Here you can purchase almost anything you can think of from Hogwarts as well as a few prop replicas from the movies.
Trick Your Friends with Some Magical Pranks
If you’re a witch or wizard on the more mischievous side, you can stock up on some enchanted jokes at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes in Diagon Alley. This fantastical shop is a sensory overload with wall-to-wall gags, candy, and toys. You can practice your eavesdropping with an Extendable Ear, share some Fever Fudge, or just play with the many classic toys like chattering teeth. There’s even a Decoy Detonator that you can use to distract your family when they say it’s time for you to leave the park.
Grab Your Quidditch Gear
Wizarding sports fans can stock up on supplies for the Wizarding World’s premier sport at Quality Quidditch Supplies in Diagon Alley. This shop has everything you’ll need to cheer on your favorite team, or prepare for your own match. Guests can purchase game items like Golden Snitches, Bludgers, Bludger bats, and Quaffles. Those who are content to stay in the safety of the stands can show their support with apparel, hats, pennants, and accessories themed around teams like the Holyhead Harpies and the Chudley Cannons.
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Photos Courtesy Universal