Let’s be honest, there’s not a bad way to experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. It’s incredible no matter what approach you take.
As a proud Gryffindor, however, I would like to take the opportunity to tell you what I think are the best ways for members of our house to enjoy the rides, dining, and entertainment of both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. So join me for this guide to this Gryffindor’s recommendations at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure| Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure
Summon your Gryffindor courage and board this absolutely fantastic “story coaster.” You’ll need that courage as you hurtle at 50 miles per hour through the Forbidden Forest, feel the rush of seven launches, and even fall backwards at one point. To get the full experience you’ll definitely want to do this one at least twice: once so you can ride in the sidecar like Harry and once to ride on the motorcycle just like Hagrid (a Gryffindor himself).
Favorite Gryffindor Details:
- Outside Hagrid’s Hut, you can spot a wooden hippogriff. This is an homage to Buckbeak, the hippogriff that Harry, Ron, and Hermione saved from execution.
- In a room full of eggs there is one that stands out: the golden egg from the Triwizard Tournament.
Triwizard Spirit Rally| Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure
Harry may have some advantage over the Champions from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang in the tournament, but their moves are hard to beat. The Durmstrangs show off their impressive combat skills and precision, while the ladies of the Beauxbatons Academy of Magic will enchant you with dance and acrobatics. It’s all enough to get you in the mood for a little friendly competition. Just don’t let all the theatrics make you forget who you’re rooting for.
Favorite Gryffindor Detail: While the exhibition features students from other schools, the lone participant from Hogwarts happens to belong to Gryffindor.
WHERE/WHAT TO SHOP
Quality Quidditch Supplies | Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida
Visit the very shop where Harry first encountered the Nimbus Two Thousand. You’ll want to represent your house and celebrate Harry’s sporting heroics with an authentic Gryffindor Quidditch sweater. You’ll also find brooms, Golden Snitches, Bludgers, Bludger bats, Quaffles, and more at this Diagon Alley purveyor of all things needed to play the wizarding world’s most popular sport.
Favorite Gryffindor Detail: On the back wall of the shop, there is a moving picture featuring the Chudley Cannons, Ron Weasley’s favorite Quidditch team.
Ollivanders| Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida
With so many Gryffindor members’ wands available, you should feel right at home at Ollivanders. From Harry Potter, Hermione Granger or Ron Weasley to Sirius Black or Dumbledore, you’ll have plenty to choose from. Or take part in the unique interactive experience and let the wand choose you. With an interactive wand you can cast spells throughout both lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and create some magic for yourself.
WHAT TO EAT
Leaky Cauldron | Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, visit the Leaky Cauldron — the oldest pub in London and place Harry Potter once briefly called home. Located just inside Diagon Alley, at the Leaky Cauldron you can enjoy authentic British fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and take in the authentic, whimsical theming of its dining hall.
Breakfast: While there are options that might be a little more familiar to you, you wouldn’t be a Gryffindor if you weren’t at least a little daring. So feed your adventurous side and try something new with the Traditional Breakfast, a feast of black pudding, English bacon, scrambled eggs, sausage links, baked beans, grilled tomato, sautéed mushrooms, and breakfast potatoes. Plus, Butterbeer is included which is a must for anyone visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Lunch/Dinner: Bring a fellow Gryffindor (or a member of another house, if you must) for the Ploughman’s Platter. This meal for two includes English cheese, crusty bread, field green salad, roasted tomatoes, cornichon pickles, apple beet salad, branston pickle, and scotch eggs.
Drink: While the Leaky Cauldron isn’t the only location that serves Butterbeer (in both frozen and non-frozen varieties), you don’t want to pass up a chance to enjoy one of Harry’s favorite beverages.
Sweet Treats | Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida
- Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans – Test that signature Gryffindor nerve with these sweets that aren’t always a treat from Honeydukes in Hogsmeade.
- Skivving Snackbox – Go to Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes (founded by Gryffindors) to pick up an assortment of Fainting Fancies, Fever Fudge, Nosebleed Nougat and Puking Pastille.
- Lemon Sherbets – The candy Dumbledore loved so much he used it as his office password can also be found at Honeydukes.
Sword of Gryffindor
After you ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, look for Godric Gryffindor’s famous blade inside Filch’s Emporium.
Godric Gryffindor Moving Portrait
The man who started it all, Godric Gryffindor, can be found talking with the other founders in Hogwarts castle, or in the palm of your hand when you grab one of the ornaments from Honeydukes.
Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder
The second floor of Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes houses this magical item, which Harry used to sneak onto Draco Malfoy’s train compartment. Can’t say Gryffindors aren’t determined!
We’re in The Lead
As you make your way through Hogwarts castle, be sure to check out the glass cylinders full of gems representing the standings of the four houses.
You’re ready to explore The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Don’t forget you can stream all eight Harry Potter movies for free on Peacock to get yourself in the right state of mind for your magical visit!