Skip to Content

10 Things Harry Potter Fans Will Love In Universal

10 Things Harry Potter Fans Will Love In Universal

For a stress-free Disney or Universal Studios vacation, let the FREE expert planners at Royal Carriage Vacations take care of every detail including dining reservations, applying discounts, and onboard cruise credit.

If you are a Harry Potter fan, and you are traveling to Universal Studios in Orlando, this one is for you. Here are 10 experiences you cannot miss.

Universal for Harry Potter Fans

Credit: Universal

If you are a fan of either the Harry Potter books or the movies, Universal Orlando is a great place to visit. It is the Home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and it is an amazing experience for fans who want to immerse themselves in the stories!

I (Katie) am a Disney girl myself. But, I have to say that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is absolutely one of the very best themed areas in any theme park anywhere. It is a must-do for fans.

Here is a rundown of 10 Harry Potter experiences you need to know about as you plan your trip. You might just want to go ahead and add them to your must-do list.

Butter Beer

Credit: Marisol

How many people have ever read a Harry Potter novel and wished they could take a sip of Butter Beer? Well, now you ABSOLUTELY can. Butter Beer is a very real thing in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and it is perhaps the most popular menu item in Universal.

Once you have tried traditional Butter Beer, you may even want to branch out and try one of the other varieties. It is also served warm and frozen, and it even comes in soft-serve form!

Better yet, there is even allergy-friendly Butter Beer available. You can learn more about it HERE.

Hogwarts Express BOTH WAYS

Credit: Universal

If you are going to go to travel between London and Hogwarts, you are going to have to take the Hogwarts Express. This delightful train ride travels between Hogsmeade Station in Islands of Adventure and King’s Cross Station in Universal Studios. You should know that each way provides a completely different ride experience. You are going to need to enjoy the ride BOTH ways to get them both.

If you want to ride, it means that you will need the park-to-park upgrade on your tickets, which is the 2-Park option. It’s the only way to get to enjoy the Hogwarts Express! And, if you are a Harry Potter fan, you will want to experience it. Truly, it is a brilliant detail for the park.

The Platform 9 3/4 Trick!

Credit: Katie

Universal Orlando has a few tricks up its sleeves that delight visitors. But, if you don’t know what to look for, you might just miss them! For example, did you know that after you enter King’s Cross Station (at Universal Studios), you can run through the wall at Platform 9 3/4 to get to the Hogwarts Express just like the aspiring wizards and witches do in Harry Potter?

Universal Orlando has cleverly set up an illusion to make it happen for King’s Cross Station in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! It is the perfect transition between the Muggle World and the Wizarding World.

However, some people don’t realize it is there. You may walk right through it without even knowing what you did. But, if you watch while you wait your turn to head to the platform, you will see your fellow visitors vanish through the bricks right before your eyes!

Here is a video of how it works! You can see visitors vanishing through the brick wall like magic as they head to the Hogwarts Express.

Credit: @pixiedustforthesoul

Pirate Tip: Have someone in your travel party film the others running through the wall at Platform 9 3/4 in King’s Cross Station!

Hogwarts Photo Ops

Credit: Universal

Next, when you arrive in Hogsmeade and approach Hogwarts, do not become so mesmerized that you forget to grab some photos! The castle is amazing, and it will make a perfect backdrop for you and your travel party to preserve precious vacation memories.

It is especially magical if you or one of your travel party is dressed in Wizarding robes. Capturing a shot of an aspiring wizard or witch in front of Hogwarts creates a memory to treasure always.

And, don’t be afraid to ask the Universal Team Members to capture a shot for you. They are typically accommodating, and some of them know the very best angles.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Credit: Universal Orlando

If enjoy rollercoasters, you have got to hop aboard Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. Not only will you be immersed in the story as you encounter Hagrid’s various creatures, but you will have an exhilarating ride.

I, like many people, do not relish the idea of waiting in long lines for rides. However, I promise that this ride is worth the wait. I once waited a full two hours for it, and I have zero regrets.

Credit: Universal

It is one of the best roller coasters ever. It is just the right amount of wild, just the right amount of surprise, and it is smooth to boot! The best way I can describe it is joyfully zippy.

Personally, I am not a roller coaster fan in general. This is a great roller coaster even if you are normally a bit fearful. I think it is because it is not a terribly high coaster. The thrills are delivered via other creative methods that I will not spoil for you here.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Credit: Universal

Another attraction you should try is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. This is the ride that you will find inside of Hogwarts Castle. If you ever dreamed of riding a Nimbus 2000 or joining a game of Quidditch, then this is for you! You get to experience both during your adventure.

This ride combines simulation with a unique ride vehicle to give you the experience of flight. It is like nothing else you will ever encounter!

Pirate Tip: If you don’t want to ride, ask a Team Member if the Castle Tour is available! You get to walk through the corridors without riding.

Diagon Alley

Credit: Katie

Diagon Alley is quite literally hidden in plain sight in London at Universal Studios. You might walk right past it trying to get there. I did the first time I visited.

Once you find it, though, brace yourself! You will feel as if you have stepped right into the pages of the story. I remember being surprised that I got a little emotional and teary-eyed when I first stepped in.

Here you will find the shops and eateries of the stories bright to life for you. You can easily spend hours taking it all in, so give yourself plenty of time here.

Credit: Universal

And, you simply MUST see the Gringotts Dragon. It even breathes fire, so wait for it if you want to catch sight of the spectacle.

Pirate Tip: Give yourself plenty of time to explore Diagon Alley.

Ollivanders Wand Shop and Interactive Wands

Credit: Universal

Ollivanders Wand Shop is where young wizards and witches come in search of the most essential wizarding item: their wand. This is one of the many amazing shops you can visit in Diagon Alley. Here, you can witness a unique interactive experience and see a wand choose a wizard! You might even be the wizard selected for the experience if you are lucky.

While you don’t necessarily need an interactive wand to enjoy The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it is certainly FUN to have one. You will enjoy being able to use the interactive wands to cast spells at select locations found around Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. It is also fun to see others cast the spells.

There is also an Ollivanders on Hogsmeade for greater access to wands across the parks. But, if you are more of a purist, you will probably want to visit the one at Diagon Alley.

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Credit: Universal

The only ride inside Diagon Alley is Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. It is inside of Gringotts, of course!

This ride takes you on a journey deep underground. As you navigate perilous subterranean vaults, you’ll have to evade the wrath of villains Voldemort, Bellatrix, trolls, and other creatures that stand between you and a safe return to Diagon Alley!

One thing that should NOT be overlooked is the ride queue. It is entirely immersive and takes you past the goblins working tirelessly within Gringots. The queue has some GREAT photo ops.

Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour

Credit: Universal

There is plenty of good food in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You can enjoy Three Broomsticks or the Leaky Cauldron. But, if you have to pick one place to visit, make it Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour!

Here, you will find ice cream flavors peculiar to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. There are a number of hardpacked ice cream flavors to try as well as soft serve. Specifically, there is Butterbeer soft serve. It is one of my favorite things in all of the world.

Final Thoughts

Credit: Katie

You could easily visit Universal Orlando and spend every moment of your time in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter without paying much attention to at any of the other themed lands. There are plenty of details to take in, foods to sample, and experiences to be had. If you do have a chance to visit, we hope you enjoy every bit of it for all it is worth.

Have you ever visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Orlando? What were your favorite things? Did we skip anything amazing that people NEED to know about? Let us know in the comments. And, feel free to pass this along to the Harry Potter fans in your life so that they don’t miss out on the fun.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.