Complete Guide to Planning a Trip to Harry Potter Universal Orlando

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Complete Guide to Planning a Trip to Harry Potter Universal Orlando

This page is your complete guide to planning a trip to Harry Potter World in 2022! It is also the perfect starting point for any muggle getting ready for their Universal Orlando trip! You’ll find that there is so much to do in Universal Orlando at Harry Potter World! With incredible restaurants, shops and attractions that bring you right into the Harry Potter Universe, it truly feels like you’re in another world.

So, what is the best way to see Harry Potter at Universal Orlando? That’s exactly what we are about to break down for you. We’ll also fill you in on how to make the most of your time with Universal Early Park Admission.

So if you’re planning a trip to Universal Studios Harry Potter World read on!

SPECIAL NOTE: If you need help picking the best time to visit Universal Orlando for your next vacation be sure to check out our Universal crowd calendar!

 Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar

Planning a Trip to Universal Studios Harry Potter World 2022

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There is no doubt that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has quickly become one of the most popular destinations in all of Orlando. But with this increased popularity can sometimes come increased lines, and families left overwhelmed trying to figure out which rides to go on and when. This is especially true for those who are planning to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and have been fans sine they have been kids. While there is so much involved with planning a trip to Harry Potter World, the most important thing is to remember to have fun! And that’s why we have created this guide to the best way to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Including all of our tips and tricks for using Harry Potter early park admission tickets to get on the most popular rides with very little wait!

Where is Harry Potter World located?

First let’s start out with the basics and that is where exactly is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter located? And guests might be surprised to learn that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is located between two parks being Diagon Alley which is located in Universal Studios Florida, and Hogsmeade Village is located in Islands of Adventure.

Related Page: Discount Wizarding World of Harry Potter Tickets

What to Know While Planning a Visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter?

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We have found that families who have the best experience at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter always have a great plan going into their Universal Orlando trip. This includes knowing exactly how to use all of our Harry Potter early park admission tickets , which rides their family will want to go on, if they plan to have meals inside of Harry Potter World, and what they plan to do with their free time! Below are some of the most important things families should consider when planning a day at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! 

What to consider when planning a day at Harry Potter World?

  • Will you use Harry Potter early park admission?
  • Which Harry Potter rides will you go on?
  • Should you upgrade to the Universal express pass combo ticket? (Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Adventure not included)
  • Will you have lunch or dinner at The Leaky Cauldron or The Three Broomsticks
  • Will you buy a Harry Potter wand or robe?

Now of course every family is different so there might be a few additions or deductions to this list. However we have found this is the best place to start when planning the perfect day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Below is also additional information on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter basics for your next trip!

When is The Best Time to Plan a Visit To Harry Potter World?

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Picking the best time to plan a visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter isn’t too difficult. As a general rule we typically say to avoid any major school breaks whenever possible. Next we have found one the best ways to visit Harry Potter World and plan around the crowds is to use our Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar. This free tool breaks down the expected crowds, average temperature, and even theme park ticket prices. We find that the least crowded times of year tend to be early fall and right after New Years Eve!

One of our favorite tips is also to pay attention to Universal Orlando theme park ticket pricing. Just like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando theme park tickets now fluctuate based on the time of year you visit. So one of the easiest ways to pick the best time to visit Universal is to compare the cheapest Universal Orlando ticket prices. The cheaper the tickets the more likely it is that the parks won’t be as crowded during that time of year. If you prefer a few great dates we have outlined them below.

When is the best time to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter?

  • Jan. 11-19, 25-31
  • Feb. 2-12
  • Aug. 02-31
  • All of September

Related Page: Harry Potter Early Park Admission Discount Tickets

How Many Days Do You Need to Plan at Harry Potter World?

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Another popular question we receive, is how many days should I plan at Harry Potter World? And as you can imagine there are so many amazing things to do in each section, you should give yourself at least two days to experience everything the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has to offer. That’s not saying that you can’t see a ton of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in one day, however we find the best way to see Harry Potter in Universal Studios is to not feel rushed. As even guests who purchase the Universal park-to-park ticket to ride the Hogwarts Express will want to ride the train twice as the attraction is different going both ways.

Two days at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will also allow families to enjoy some of the other experiences such as the Harry Potter interactive wands and also all of the fun themed shops. Taking your time will allow your family to take everything in and bring the magic of Wizarding World of Harry Potter home.

What Tickets to Buy for Harry Potter World in 2022

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Another one of the most common questions we receive is, what tickets do I need for Harry Potter World? As we discussed, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is in two different parks which means you will need the right tickets to allow you entry to both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. We believe the most important aspect if you want to get on all of the Harry Potter rides is to have the Park-to-Park ticket however that is not the only way to enjoy the parks.

Below are the most common questions we receive when purchasing Universal tickets to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter a separate ticket?

It is important to know if you’re planning a trip to Harry Potter World, access to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is included with any valid Universal Orlando ticket. It is important to know that, if you purchase a one day ticket ticket to Universal Studios, then your entry to Diagon Alley will be included in that ticket. If you purchase a one day ticket to Islands of Adventure, your entry to Hogsmeade will be included in that ticket.

If you want to visit both parks in the same trip, consider buying a park-to-park ticket to Universal Orlando. Plus all of discount one day Universal Orlando tickets that we sell will include Early Park Admission to the Harry Potter rides!

What Harry Potter World ticket when visiting on separate days?

The best fit ticket for anyone looking to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter on two separate days is the Universal Orlando standard one park per day ticket. Interesting enough this ticket can actually be a great option if you are visiting Universal Orlando during peak season. The reason being is Universal will actually open both Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios for early park admission. This will allow you to experience both parks separately for early park admission during your vacation.

What Harry Potter World ticket when visiting on the same day?

The only ticket that will allow guests to visit both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade in the same day is the Universal Orlando park-to-park ticket. It’s important to note that this is also the only ticket which will allow guests to ride the Hogwarts express!

It’s important to note that if you are looking for the least expensive tickets will allow you to visit one theme park per day. We suggest asking these questions when deciding which ticket is the best fit for your family. Do you plan on going and exploring the other rides at each Universal theme park? If so, then you will have plenty to do while visiting one park per day. Or do you plan on spending all of your time in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? If so, you might be better off purchasing a Universal park-to-park ticket so you can explore both Harry Potter World lands.

Related Page: Discount Harry Potter Early Park Admission Tickets

Harry Potter Early Park Admission Tickets

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We offer some of the best Universal Orlando vacation packages and discounted tickets! Not only do our experts know all of the best deals, there are a ton of perks and benefits that come with booking with our small business.

Receive EARLY PARK ADMISSON to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and purchase discounted Universal Orlando theme park tickets with The Park Prodigy! All of our tickets are the exact same tickets you receive if purchasing from Universal directly. The best part is you can combine our Universal Orlando ticket deals with any vacation package booked through our travel agency.

Related Page: Discount Harry Potter Tickets

Planning a Trip to Universal Studios Harry Potter 2022

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So now that you know what tickets to buy for Harry Potter World, let’s plan your perfect Universal Studios Harry Potter Itinerary! 

Not everyone’s Harry Potter Itinerary will be the same though. Some might prefer to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in one day and others might have a full weekend. We are going to start with the basics tips for visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and then break down the best way to visit Harry Potter World based on your trip length.

What time does Harry Potter world open?

The first step is to decide how early to arrive at Universal Studios for the Wizarding World of Harry PotterWe always recommend to arrive as early as possible to avoid long lines later on in the day. This is true even if you are spending a few days at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Typically, the Wizarding World Hours are the same as park open hours, meaning, as soon as the gates are open, guests are allowed to enter.

This is why Early Park Admission is so important as it allows you entry into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter up to one hour before regular park guests! Your family can hop on a ride such as Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and save two to three hours later on in the day.

Don’t forget that staying at a Universal hotel isn’t the only way to get Early Park Admission. All of the Park Prodigy tickets included Early Park Admission, check out our Universal Orlando Tickets Page!

When does Harry Potter World close?

The Harry Potter theme park hours will remain the same as regular park close. Both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade close along with the rest of the parks, which we know varies throughout the year.

Be sure to check our Universal Orlando Crowd calendar for all theme park hours.

What time does the Hogwarts Express start running?

The Hogwarts Express operates under the regular park hours! It’s important to note that you will need a Universal Park-to-Park ticket in order to ride the Hogwarts Express.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade

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The original and first land of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is Hogsmeade. Hogsmeade is located in Universal Islands of Adventure, and you will want to head right over to this section as soon as the park opens. For the fastest entrance to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is to go to the right as soon as you enter the park and take a left once you hit Seuss Landing.

For fans of the books and movies you will recognize Hogsmeade as the charming town covering in snow, and home to the famous butterbeer! You will also find some of the best attractions, stores, and restaurants in all of Universal Orlando.

You can also find the newest and coolest Harry Potter World attraction for 2022 in Hogsmeade: Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure which is included with all of our Universal Early Park Admission tickets! 

Related Page: Early Park Admission Universal Tickets

Hogsmeade – Wizarding World of Harry Potter Attractions

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So now that you have arrived you are probably wondering what are the best things to do in Hogsmeade in 2022? 

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey  

The original Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction and still one of the most popular rides in Hogsmeade! Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is located inside of Hogwarts castle and is a one of a kind ride which will allow you to experience the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry on your very own broomstick. This used to be the most popular attraction with the longest line in the parks however they have not been as bad ever since Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure opened last year. (more on this soon)

Flight of the Hippogriff

This family friendly ride is short but sweet. This kid friendly roller coaster is located directly between the Forbidden Journey and Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure. The line for this ride is usually short so no need to make it a priority during Universal early park admission. 

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure 

Fly deep into the wilds of the Forbidden Forest, beyond the grounds of Hogwarts castle, on a thrilling roller coaster ride that plunges into the paths of some of the wizarding world’s rarest magical creatures. To be honest, I have been a Walt Disney World annual pass holder for years and this ride single handedly convinced me to purchase a Universal annual pass. IT”S THAT GOOD!  It is a must when you’re figuring out what to do at Universal Studios Harry Potter.

The Hogwarts Express

 This attraction is also one of the quickest ways to travel between the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade (Islands of Adventure) and Diagon Alley (Universal Studios). This train ride will bring you from Hogsmeade to the King’s Cross Station in London.  It simply is a must do for all die hard Harry Potter fans and your chance to see platform 9 3/4. That’s why we always recommend that the best way to do Wizarding World of Harry Potter is by purchasing the the park-to-park ticket. (Park-to-park ticket is required to ride the Hogwarts Express)

Guide to Harry Potter World Hogsmeade Shops

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In our opinion one of the coolest aspects of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is how much attention to detail went into everything. This couldn’t be more true for the shops located in Hogsmeade as they are right out of the books and movies. Here is a list of the shopping things to do at Wizarding World of Harry Potter: 

Ollivander’s Wand Shop

Ahh yes, the wand does indeed choose the wizard! You might recognize this wand shop from the original Harry Potter book where Harry receives his very first wand. At this fun shop, you can participate in your own wand ceremony! Universal has also stepped their game up and now offers interactive wands which can be taken through out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to interact with different parts of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley.

Honeydukes

Fill your sweet tooth craving with a visit to Honey dukes candy shop. In this shop you will find a ton of goodies and treats from all of the Harry Potter books and movies. Think peppermint toads, Chocolate Frogs,  Fudge Flies, Candy Floss, Fizzing Whizbees, and exploding bons bons.

Owl Post

Mail your family and friends an official Wizarding World of Harry Potter postcard!

Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment: Represent your favorite Harry Potter house with amazing Hogwarts robes and a variety of uniform attire.

Other Hogsmeade Shops

Dervish & Bangs: Souvenir and merchandise shop

Zonko’s Joke Shop: This shop has some of the best merchandise and souvenirs.

Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods 

Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade Restaurants 2022

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The Three Broomsticks

The main restaurant in Hogsmeade offers up a variety of classic British food inspired by the books and movies. The Three Broomsticks serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and begin serving guests around 9:30 AM. This restaurant is a must do whenever we plan a trip to Harry Potter World. 

Hog’s Head

This bar serves up classic drink choices such as pumpkin juice, butterbeer, and other grown up drinks.

Butterbeer Stand

You can also grab your favorite butterbeer drink at various stands through out Hogsmeade. This classic drink comes in two varieties of cold butterbeer and frozen butterbeer!

For a additional information on the restaurants be sure to check out our Complete Guide to Dining at Harry Potter World! 

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade Hours 2022

The theme park hours when visiting Harry Potter Hogsmeade will line up with the regular park hours which you can find here! This is of course if you are not taking advantage of the Early Park Admission which comes with the Park Prodigy Universal Orlando tickets!

Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter 2022

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The second land added to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is Diagon Alley (located in Universal Studios). If you are entering from the front of the park walk straight until you hit the Revenge of the Mummu attraction and make a right, then continue until you see the Knight Bus. The area outside of Diagon Alley is themed to fill like London, and you will need to make your way through the brick wall until it opens up as Diagon Alley.

Be prepared especially if you are a die hard Harry Potter fan as the attention to detail is unmatched in Diagon Alley. You will be in the middle of shops and cooked buildings, as well a fire breathing dragon nestled over Gringotts Bank!

Where is Diagon Alley in Universal?

Diagon Alley is located in the back left corner of Universal Studios. Directly to the right of Kings Cross Station and to the left of the Knight bus.

Visit Harry Potter World Diagon Alley with the Hogwarts Express

If taking the Hogwarts express from Hogsmeade, you will find yourself on platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station. You will want to exit this station and make a left. From here you will see the Knight Bus, and can enter Diagon Alley through the same brick entrance.

Diagon Alley – Wizarding World of Harry Potter Attractions

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So now that you have arrived you are probably wondering what are the best things to do at Harry Potter Universal Diagon Alley. As of right now, and besides the Hogwarts express there is only one ride, but it is amazing!

Harry Potter and the Escape of Gringotts

This one of a kind indoor rollercoaster is themed exactly like the Gringotts wizarding bank found in the books and movies. Opening in 2014 it quickly became one of the most popular attractions in Universal Studios. On the downside because it is so popular it tends to have one of the longest wait times in the parks.

That’s why we recommend Early Park Admission to our clients so much! If you take advantage of entering the park one hour earlier than other guests you can ride Harry Potter and the Escape of Gringotts and save time later on in the day!

Be sure to check out our Universal Orlando tickets page to learn how we can help you get EARLY PARK ADMISSION without staying on Universal property!

Guide to Harry Potter World Diagon Alley Shops 2022

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Although we don’t like to pick favorites, the shops in Diagon Alley are simply magical. The attention to detail that went into not only the inside of the buildings but the outside is amazing. Here are our tips on Harry Potter Wizarding World Diagon Alley shops:

Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

This shop is a must see for any aspiring wizard or magician. Be careful as you enter as will see Professor Umbridge swinging from the celling. This store is full of fun novelty gifts for magic, jokes, and pranks.

Ollivander’s Wand Shop

Yes, there are two! You know what they say about wands…don’t leave home without it.(Please don’t sue me @Mastercard) But just incase you only plan on visiting one park, you still have the option to participate in your very own wand choosing ceremony.

Madam Malkin’s Robes for all Occasions

Just like in Hogsmeade you can find all of our favorite Harry Potter house apparel in Madam Malkins Robes. Dress up in your favorite house colors as you explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley. 

Quality Quidditch Supplies

Find the very best and newest Quidditch apparel for your favorite wizarding sport.

Sugarplum’s Sweet Shop

Just like Honeydukes, this sweet shop is the perfect store for anyone in the mood for Harry Potter themed candy.

Magical Menagerie Shop

There is no better friend in the Wizarding world than an Owl. Be sure to visit Magical Menagerie to adopt your very own wizarding pet.

Shutterbuttons

Recreate your very own moving picture photo just like in the Harry Potter books and movies.

Gringott’s Money Exchange

This is the perfect stop if you plan on giving your young Wizards a few spending dollars once you get into Diagon Alley. Here you can exchange for Wizarding currency in nominations of $10 & $20 to be spend in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Borgin & Burkes

Located in Knockturn Alley, here you can find your favorite merchandise inspired by the dark arts.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley Restaurants 2022

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Very similar to Hogsmeade there is only one main restaurant in Diagon Alley. We will say that if you consider your self a foodie and love to snack you will want to check out Diagon Alley!

The Leaky Cauldron

At the Leaky Cauldron guests can dine on British inspired food very similar to the three broomsticks. Guests can book and participate in a special Leaky Cauldron breakfast until 10:30 AM. Guests can also visit this restaurant for lunch and dinner.

Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor

This is one of my favorite treat spots in all of Universal Studios. Guests can snack on different ice cream flavors inspired by the Harry Potter books and movies.

You can pick from Salted Caramel Blondie, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Chocolate Chili, Early Grey and Lavender, Chocolate and Raspberry, Granny Smith, and clothed Cream. Oh and of course Butterbeer! 

The Fountain of Fair Fortune: A cart carrying a variety of different beverages from pumpkin juice, butterbeer and adult beverages.

For a additional information on the restaurants be sure to check out our Complete Guide to Dining at Harry Potter World! 

Planning a Harry Potter Trip FAQ

Q: Do you need park-to-park tickets for Harry Potter?

Very simply, if you want to ride every single Harry Potter ride at Universal Orlando yes. The reason being is the park-to-park ticket is required in order to ride the Hogwarts express between the two parks.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Universal Orlando?

Our Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar is the best tool to help you get the most out of your time in the parks. We breakdown the park crowds, park hours of operation, ticket prices by day, and average temperature.

Are You Ready to Plan Your Next Universal Orlando Trip?

If you’re ready to plan your trip to Universal Studios, be sure to check out our Universal Orlando Tickets! All Park Prodigy Universal Orlando tickets will get you into the park one hour before regular park guests with Universal Early Park Admission! 

Michael Belmont

Michael Belmont is the owner and chief editor at Theparkprodigy.com, an authorized Disney and Universal travel agent. He specializes in Disney and Universal theme park tickets and vacation packages, as well as daily park plans to help optimize vacation time. Michael and The Park Prodigy have been featured on ABC’s Florida affiliate, WTFV, as well as over 10 Disney focused blogs. As owner, Michael manages The Park Prodigy blog and social media, a Disney themed podcast, and a Disney and Universal focused YouTube channel. Prior to starting The Park Prodigy, Michael was a long time Disney and Universal enthusiast, frequent visitor of the parks, and even served as a Walt Disney World Cast Member in Orlando, Florida!