Harry Potter Visit

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JoAnn C's picture
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Harry Potter Visit

I am going to WDW in February with my best friend and her family. Her in-laws live in Florida and are coming for a couple of days while we are there. I thought I would take one of those days to leave the bubble and go to Universal and Islands of Adventure. eek

My main focus on this day is visiting the Harry Potter stuff. I'll make a list of secondary items to see / do. I will end the day with dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe (I try to eat at HRC if there is one in a city I am visiting. I haven't been to the one in Orlando yet. I have a collection of their shotglasses).

Does it matter which one I start with? I have so much planning and research to do.

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Just make sure you purchase a park to park ticket at Universal. That's the only way you can ride the Hogwart's Express which is pretty cool. The interactive wands aren't a necessity but they sure are fun! I have Professor McGonagall's wand.

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kathys's picture
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oHIo wrote:
Just make sure you purchase a park to park ticket at Universal. That's the only way you can ride the Hogwart's Express which is pretty cool. The interactive wands aren't a necessity but they sure are fun! I have Professor McGonagall's wand.

Wow I have that wand as well.

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Interactive Wands? What do they do?

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Kristen K. wrote:
Interactive Wands? What do they do?

With the right movements things happen! At the smithy shop a small suit of armor comes together before it collapses again, at another site it rains on unsuspecting guests who stroll underneath an umbrella, lights come on in shop windows and at Zonko's a sign sticking out of a toilet swirls as it flushes. Many others as well! There are cast members to help if you need assistance. It is a lot of fun, and it is all magic!!

biggrin biggrin

Kristen K.'s picture
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That's awesome! OK, I admit, I could get behind going just to play with the wands.

Sid Man's picture
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The priority of the park direction will also depend on if you go in via IoA or Studios.

Hogsmeade is in IoA with the village. The school contains The Forbidden Journey as it's top tier ride and you'll get various shows outside - the other wizarding schools do some kind of dance show just by the station.

Diagon Alley is in Studios with Kings Cross and other small scale recreations of parts of London including the house where The Order of the Phoenix held their meetings and the crazy bus with the Jamaican shrunken head driver. Inside the alley behind the hidden wall, you'll find The Leaky Cauldron and Gringott's Bank which houses The Escape From Gringotts. Hagrid's bike is parked outside and the dragon protecting the bank will shoot fire at random times.

As has been said, you'll need a park-to-park ticket to ride the train which is a ride in itself.

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I personally would recommend starting in Diagon Alley. There is a lot more to explore there and is a lot more visually stunning. Hogsmeade is more about the rides. Just my opinion! mickey

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Allie wrote:
I personally would recommend starting in Diagon Alley. There is a lot more to explore there and is a lot more visually stunning. Hogsmeade is more about the rides. Just my opinion! mickey

Hogsmeade is the older part of HP World but I agree - Diagon Alley with it's London facsimile is the better starting point and more photo opportunities too.

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Sid Man wrote:
Allie wrote:
I personally would recommend starting in Diagon Alley. There is a lot more to explore there and is a lot more visually stunning. Hogsmeade is more about the rides. Just my opinion! mickey

Hogsmeade is the older part of HP World but I agree - Diagon Alley with it's London facsimile is the better starting point and more photo opportunities too.

Yes I know and still stand by my original statement. I think the newer part (Diagon Alley) is designed better and has more to explore. For me, Hosmeade (the older part) doesn't have a lot more then just the attractions (Dueling Dragons, Hogwarts, etc).

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Allie wrote:
Sid Man wrote:
Allie wrote:
I personally would recommend starting in Diagon Alley. There is a lot more to explore there and is a lot more visually stunning. Hogsmeade is more about the rides. Just my opinion! mickey

Hogsmeade is the older part of HP World but I agree - Diagon Alley with it's London facsimile is the better starting point and more photo opportunities too.

Yes I know and still stand by my original statement. I think the newer part (Diagon Alley) is designed better and has more to explore. For me, Hosmeade (the older part) doesn't have a lot more then just the attractions (Dueling Dragons, Hogwarts, etc).

thank you!

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I would have to agree with Allie to start with Diagon Alley. That was my plan and it worked very well when we just went two weeks ago. We went on a Thursday right before Halloween Horror Nights so the crowds were very minimal to begin with. We were at the park 30 minutes before it opened and we headed straight back to there. Be warned though it is very difficult to find the entrance to Diagon Alley. I did my research and knew that it was hidden, but there was diehard Harry Potter fans in full dress that could not find the opening as we snuck by them. It is pretty incredible how they did this entrance!
I am pretty sure my husband had to pick my jaw up off the floor as I came in, as a diehard Harry Potter fan, I was totally blown away and in love with it as I walked in. We looked around but I was focuses on getting on the Escape from Gringotts ride as I have heard the line can be insanely busy. But its was only a ten minute wait at the time and that was basically walking on because its a huge que! This ride is a CAN NOT MISS! It was my favorite ride there. Disney passed on the technology on this ride when it came out, horrible decision on their part because this ride was truly AMAZING!
After this ride we walked around and explored a lot and there is a LOT to see. We were in this section for the better part of an hour and there was still little to no people there so it was really awesome.
If you are looking to do the Harry Potter stuff first that would be your best bet and then ride the Hogwarts Express over to Hogsmead and Hogwarts Castle from Diagon Alley and then go back again. My husband wanted to do everything in both parks so we did all the stuff at Universal and then went to Islands of Adventure. We were in Hogsmead about 4pm that day and the Hogwarts ride was a 45 minute wait, but Dueling Dragons was 5. That park closed at 6 that day and we boarded to Hogwarts Express about then, so we didn't get to ride it both ways or do everything, when we go back in two years we are going to get two day passes.
Despite myself being a DIEHARD Disney fan I actually really enjoyed Universal eek eek I know shocking!

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Every once in a while I forsake Mickey to go see Harry! mickey

The Harry Potter portion of Universal is truly magnificent. biggrin

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Diagon Alley is the best part of Universal. So start there, then take the train to Hogsmeade/Hogwarts, then take the train back again. Gotta take the train both ways, it's a different experience each way. Eat at the Leaky Cauldron in Diagon Alley and if you go to Florean Fortescue's, I highly recommend the earl grey lavender ice cream. And of course Butterbeer!

JoAnn C's picture
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thanks everyone

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i agree with everything above also i'm a big Simpson's fan so i really enjoyed that area as well.

crazycatperson wrote:
And of course Butterbeer!

this ^^^^^ oh my goodness yes!!

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