by Teri Murray
A world of adventure awaits to thrill the young, and young at heart, at the Universal Orlando theme parks. Attractions inspired by Dr. Seuss, Minions, Shrek, and Marvel Superheroes are all on deck to entertain. But, of course, the biggest draws are The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Hogsmeade™and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Diagon Alley™.
Thanks to the Hogswarts Express, the real fun is being able to experience the worlds of Harry Potter back to back just like in the movie. Spend a few hours at Universal Studios Florida in Diagon Alley, escaping Gringotts, and dining at the Leaky Cauldron enjoying fish and chips or bangers and mash. Shopping options are plentiful, including Ollivanders, an interactive wand shop, with wands from floor to ceiling. Then, with your park-to-park ticket, make your way to the Kings Crossing Station 9 3/4 and jump on the Hogswarts Express where you can travel to Hogsmeade. This short train ride is a must see for all true Harry Potter fans!
Once at Hogsmeade, there are even more rides and shops to explore. You can fly with a Hippogriff with the whole family or journey with Harry, Ron, and Hermine through Hogwarts on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. For the more daring, embark on the Dragon Challenge and enjoy high-speed adventures. Three Broomsticks restaurant offers a variety of menu options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, including kid meal options. And, of course, be sure to stop at the Hog’s Head to grab a tasty Butterbeer or pumpkin juice.
Interactive wands allow guests to cast spells in multiple location throughout both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. Simply look for the medallions on the ground and follow the directions with the map included with the wand purchase. You’ll enjoy experiencing the wizarding world to the fullest!
- Be sure to have a park-to-park ticket or annual pass to be able to ride the Hogwarts Express between both park locations.
- Evening hours are great times to explore with a little less heat. Plan your day to enjoy staying for a bit after the sun goes down. (Check park hours before you go).
- Interactive wands allow guests a whole new way to experience the magic! Make sure to buy your wand early in your trip so you can enjoy it throughout your adventures.