Guides and Tips

The Complete Guide to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

February 1, 2019
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley

EDITOR’S NOTE: This blog was originally published in February of 2019 and then underwent extensive updates and editing in the fall of 2020 to remain current and relevant.

Many people have been waiting their entire lives to experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. After reading the books and watching the films, actually stepping foot into the stories is a phenomenal experience.

There are two unique lands to explore at Universal Orlando ResortHogsmeade, located in Universal Islands of Adventure, and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida. Each land has unique attractions, experiences, food, merchandise and more, all of which is inspired by the Harry Potter films and books. Whether you’re a big fan, or this is your first taste of the Wizarding World, there’s so much to do and see! You’re going to want to plan on a few days to experience it all along with reading this guide where we’ve listed out each and every activity you can enjoy during your trip to the theme parks.

Choose from the links below to head straight to that section:



Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Location: Hogsmeade

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Fly deep into the Forbidden Forest, beyond the grounds of Hogwarts castle as you join Hagrid on a thrilling roller coaster ride to discover magical creatures you’ve never faced before.

Pro Tip: Make sure you know if you want to ride the sidecar or motorbike first. 

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Location: Hogsmeade

Soar above the castle grounds as you join Harry Potter and his friends on an unforgettably thrilling adventure, while encountering an array of magical creatures.

Pro Tip: Take your time in the queue for this one so you can appreciate all the details of the Hogwarts corridors, including Dumbledore’s office, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, the Gryffindor common room, and more.

Flight of the Hippogriff

Location: Hogsmeade

Flight of the Hippogriff

Bow to Buckbeak as you board this family-friendly roller coaster that spirals and dives around the pumpkin patch, and then swoops past Hagrid’s hut.

Pro Tip: This ride is great for little witches and wizards who might be a bit spooked by Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey or Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.

Hogwarts Express: Hogsmeade Station

Location: Hogsmeade

Board the famous train and head toward King’s Cross Station in London. (You’ll need a park-to-park ticket for this one.)

Pro Tip: The experience is completely different on the way back from King’s Cross Station to Hogsmeade (see below), so you’ll want to ride it twice. Learn more about riding the Hogwarts Express. 

Hogwarts Express: King’s Cross Station

Location: London Outside of Diagon Alley

Hogwarts Express in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Enter King’s Cross Station and walk straight through a solid brick wall onto Platform 9 ¾ to board the Hogwarts Express. Remember, you’ll need a park-to-park ticket to board the train in either direction.

Pro Tip: If you want to journey in Harry Potter’s footsteps, do some shopping in Diagon Alley and then hop on the Hogwarts Express toward Hogsmeade to start your next term! 

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Location: Diagon Alley

Take a journey aboard this mind-blowing, multi-dimensional ride through the cavernous passageways of Gringotts bank. You may even find yourself coming face-to-face with Harry Potter’s biggest foes!

Pro Tip: For those looking for a more intense ride, ask the attendant if they can accommodate you toward the back of the ride vehicle. However, all seats offer a thrilling adventure!


See a Wand Choose a Wizard at Ollivanders

Location: Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley

Ollivanders in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Step inside this iconic shop and watch an Ollivanders wandkeeper go through the process of pairing a witch or wizard with just the right wand.

Pro Tip: Play your cards right and you might be the lucky witch or wizard chosen. (Note: The person chosen has the option whether or not to purchase their wand.)

Cast Spells With Your Interactive Wand

Location: Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley

Interactive Wands in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Look for medallions on the ground throughout Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley for opportunities to practice your magic. Simply follow the spell directions at your feet and look out for amazing surprises.

Pro Tip: You’ll need an interactive wand for this one, and inside the box is a map telling you where all the spells are located. Check out our guide on all of the interactive wands you can get and how to use them.

Meet the Hogwarts Express Conductor

Location: Hogsmeade

Hogwarts Train Conductor in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Oftentimes you can find this jolly gentleman next to Hogsmeade Station welcoming you to Hogsmeade.

Pro Tip: Take a photo with him to remember your Hogwarts Express journey.

Send a Letter Through Owl Post

Location: Hogsmeade

Here, you can mail a letter complete with a special wizarding world postmark.

Pro Tip: This is a great way to let your friends and family know you’re thinking about them during your trip in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Meet the Knight Bus Conductor

Location: London Outside of Diagon Alley

Knight Bus Conductor in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

On the London embankment, you’ll find this three-storied bus and its amiable driver.

Pro Tip: You can also chat up the shrunken head hanging over the steering wheel.

Exchange Your Muggle Money at the Gringotts Money Exchange

Location: Diagon Alley

Have a conversation with the goblin behind the counter before trading your U.S. currency for Gringotts bank notes in $10 or $20 denominations.

Pro Tip: The bank notes can be used for purchases within Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, and at select locations throughout the theme parks.

Check Out Dark Magic in Knockturn Alley

Location: Diagon Alley

Knockturn Alley in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley

Inside Knockturn Alley, you can get a taste of the dark magic in the wizarding world. Visit Borgin and Burkes for gruesome trinkets, and use your interactive wand on some secret spells that are only visible in the darkness.

Pro Tip: Try and keep your eyes peeled for all kinds of subtle, hidden details like singing shrunken heads and a wanted poster for Bellatrix Lestrange.

SEASONAL: Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Location: Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley, London, and Hogsmeade are transformed with festive décor and brilliant lighting during the holidays. Not only do the shows incorporate some favorite holiday tunes, but look out for special treats and drinks! The atmosphere is simply brimming with excitement.

Pro Tip: Plan some time to take in all the detail of the beautiful decorations.

Get Your Moving Photograph at Shutterbutton’s

Location: Diagon Alley

Create a portrait of yourself that actually moves and purchase a collectible photo album in commemoration of your trip.

Pro Tip: Borrow props and costumes or bring your own. Explore more of the experience.



Location: Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley

You simply can’t come to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and not try Butterbeer! This concoction is reminiscent of butterscotch and shortbread. Find it at many of the restaurants listed below and various snack stands throughout Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. 

Pro Tip: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has several ways to enjoy that delicious Butterbeer flavor, so prepare your taste buds in advance.

Three Broomsticks

Location: Hogsmeade

Great Feast from Three Broomsticks

This cozy, snow-capped inn offers tasty British fare including Fish and Chips, Shepherd’s Pie, Cornish Pasties, Turkey Legs, and Fresh Vegetables. View a breakfast menu and a lunch and dinner menu. 

Highly Recommend: The Great Feast – A platter of scrumptious food for four, featuring fresh garden salad tossed with a signature vinaigrette dressing, rotisserie smoked chicken, spareribs, corn on the cob, and roast potatoes.

Hog’s Head

Location: Hogsmeade

This pub in the back of the Three Broomsticks is the perfect place for a Butterbeer and Pumpkin Juice, along with domestic and imported beers, the pub’s exclusive Hog’s Head Brew, Gillywater (bottled water), specialty drinks, wine, spirits, and mixed drinks.

Pro Tip: Pay attention to the stuffed hog’s head over the bar — it just might snarl at you.

Leaky Cauldron

Location: Diagon Alley

Leaky Cauldron in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley

A small, grubby-looking pub and inn where you’ll find foods like Bangers and Mash, Fisherman’s Pie, Toad in the Hole, Ploughman’s Platter, and more. View a breakfast menu and a lunch and dinner menu.

Highly Recommend: Ploughman’s Platter – A selection of English cheese, crusty bread, field green salad, roasted tomatoes, cornichon pickles, apple beet salad, branston pickle and scotch eggs. Perfect for sharing!

Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour

Location: Diagon Alley

Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream Parlour

In this ice-cream parlour, witches, wizards and Muggles of every age can indulge in scoop and soft-serve ice-creams with fantastic flavors like Butterbeer, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Chocolate and Raspberry, and more.

Pro Tip: Keep an open mind…some unusual flavors may surprisingly delight you! Our recommendation is to try the Chocolate Chili or the Earl Grey and Lavender for something different.

The Hopping Pot

Location: Diagon Alley

Nestled within Diagon Alley, you can cool off with a variety of delicious drinks at this walk-up counter like Butterbeer, Tongue Tying Lemon Squash, Otter’s Fizzy Orange Juice, Fishy Green Ale, and more.

Pro Tip: This is a great place to grab a snack while watching a show in Carkitt Market.

The Fountain of Fair Fortune

Location: Diagon Alley

Fountain of Fair Fortune

Named for one of the fables in The Tales of Beedle the Bard, this location serves a variety of beers, like the exclusive Wizard’s Brew, Dragonscale, and a handful of non-alcoholic beverages. 

Pro Tip: You can also get Butterbeer ice cream here.

Eternelle’s Elixir of Refreshment

Location: Diagon Alley

Here, you can try a variety of colorful elixirs. All you need to do is choose your elixir, pour it into Gilly Water, and watch it transform into a tasty beverage. You can pick from Fire Protection Potion, Babbling Beverage, Draught of Peace, and Elixir to Induce Euphoria.

Pro Tip: Not only are they delicious, but they’re a fun gift to bring home for your Muggle friends.

London Taxi Cart

Location: London outside of Diagon Alley

Jacket Potato from London

Before hopping aboard the Hogwarts Express or wandering into Diagon Alley, stop by this cart for a Jacket Potato snack. Choose from Loaded, Broccoli and Cheddar, Bean and Cheese, or Shepherd’s Pie toppings.

Pro Tip: After getting your potato, check out the buildings behind you. You may see a familiar face peeking out the windows.



Location: Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley


In search of the most essential wizarding item? Look through the thousands of boxes filled with wands waiting to choose their wizard.

Pro Tip: There are many variations of wands in addition to character wands, and make sure to check out the interactive options.

Dervish and Banges

Location: Hogsmeade

This shop offers it all from brooms, Hogwarts clothing, journals, and stationery to magical items like the flying Golden Snitch and Quidditch supplies like Quaffles.

Pro Tip: Discover your Hogwarts house before arriving so that you’ll know which product will best show your house pride.


Location: Hogsmeade

Honeydukes Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The shelves of this legendary sweet shop are lined with all manner of colourful treats including Acid Pops, Cauldron Cakes, Fizzing Whizzbees, Chocolate Frogs, and Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans.

Pro Tip: Every Chocolate Frog comes with a wizard trading card, so look out so you can collect them all! 

Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods

Location: Hogsmeade

Peruse items taken from students who got on the wrong side of the school’s resident caretaker, Argus Filch. You’ll find Hogwarts t-shirts, shoulder bags, caps, scarves, house crest banners, and stationery.

Pro Tip: Keep your eyes peeled for the Marauder’s Map and watch as inhabitants move about Hogwarts castle.

Owl Post

Location: Hogsmeade

Here, you’ll find correspondence materials like stationery, quills, seals, and ink. This is also where you can send a letter with a special Hogsmeade postmark.

Pro Tip: Just like Harry Potter found Hedwig, you can even pick out your very own owl plush to take home.

Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

Location: Diagon Alley

Weasleys' Wizard Wheezus

This colourful emporium is the novelty joke shop run by identically ingenious prankster twins Fred and George Weasley. Shop for all manner of mischief such as magical jokes, tricks, and toys. Check out our 9 must-haves!

Pro Tip: Don’t miss the dazzling display of never-ending fireworks exploding on the ceiling and a few other fun finds you may recognize from the films.

Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions

Location: Diagon Alley

Madam Malkin's Robes for Every Occasion

Build your wizarding wardrobe at this cheerfully appointed shop. You can buy authentic replicas of Hermione’s Yule Ball gown. You’ll also find Hogwarts uniforms, ties, scarves, hats, and cardigans as well as jewelry.

Pro Tip: Model your potential purchase in front of the mirror and it just might talk back to you.

Magical Menagerie

Location: Diagon Alley

Purchase a variety of plush toys including Crookshanks, Fang, Buckbeak, Fluffy, and Scabbers. Also available are Cornish pixies, ferrets, Pygmy Puffs, and an assortment of owls, including Pigwidgeon and Hedwig.

Pro Tip: Try out your Parseltongue when you peek in at the snake in the window from outside the store.

Borgin and Burkes

Location: Diagon Alley

Borgin and Burkes In Diagon Alley

This dark and dusty Knockturn Alley shop is infamous for shady patrons. As you walk among the dimly lit shelves and displays teeming with malevolent relics, you’ll find Death Eater masks, skulls, apparel, accessories, jewelry, and collectibles.

Pro Tip: Look (and listen) for the Vanishing Cabinet just like the one Draco Malfoy once used to sneak Death Eaters into Hogwarts.

Quality Quidditch Supplies

Location: Diagon Alley

This is the destination for everything you need to play the most popular sport in the wizarding world, including Quidditch sweaters, brooms, Golden Snitches, Bludgers, Bludger bats, Quaffles, and more.

Pro Tip: You can even pledge your allegiance to professional teams like the Holyhead Harpies or the Chudley Cannons, Ireland or Bulgaria.

Sugarplum’s Sweet Shop

Location: Diagon Alley

Sugarplum's Sweetshop in Diagon Alley

Discover a wealth of wizarding treats. Every nook is stocked with tasty temptations like Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans, Acid Pops, Exploding Bonbons, Pink Coconut Ice and more.

Pro Tip: Feed Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans to unsuspecting friends and family and brace yourself as they just might end up with a flavor like earthworm or earwax.


Location: Diagon Alley

Find all the authentic writing supplies a witch or wizard could need including ink and inkwells, feather quills, parchment, journals, stationery sets, seals, bookmarks, and backpacks.

Pro Tip: Everything here is perfect for back-to-school or your office.

Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment

Location: Diagon Alley

Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment in Diagon Alley

Browse a variety of apparel and accessories from your Hogwarts house, as well as a variety of fun Butterbeer-themed items.

Pro Tip: You can have packages delivered to the front of the park or your Universal Orlando hotel room so that you don’t have to carry them all day in the theme parks.

Wands by Gregorovitch

Location: Diagon Alley

This long-time rival to Ollivanders also creates some exceptional wands. Here, you can choose from a wide assortment of Harry Potter character wand replicas.

Pro Tip: Boxes with gold labels are interactive and will help you practice magic in the theme parks.

Globus Mundi

Location: Diagon Alley

Globus Mundi In Diagon Alley

Globus Mundi is a travel agency of the wizarding world. Stop into their shop over by Carkitt Market where you can get all your travel essentials for your next magical journey like luggage tags, wallets, sweatshirts, and more.

Pro Tip: Look around the shop and you’ll see a gorgeous wall of ticking clocks representing different time zones and some of the coolest posters and maps from around the world.


Hogwarts Frog Choir

Location: Hogsmeade

Frog Choir Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Hear the vocal stylings of this small choir of Hogwarts students, accompanied by the smooth bass rumbles of their giant throaty frogs.

Pro Tip: Look in your park map or on the official Universal Orlando Mobile App for times.

Triwizard Spirit Rally

Location: Hogsmeade

Triwizard Spirit Rally in Hogsmeade

Cheer on the colourful procession of students from the legendary wizarding schools of Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang as they lead the excitement for the Triwizard Tournament.

Pro Tip: Stick around after the show for a potential meet-and-greet opportunity.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Location: Diagon Alley

Tales of Beedle the Bard

Watch as adept players perform a trunk show using stylized scenic pieces, props, and puppetry. See them retell two famous tales of Beedle the Bard, a 15th-century author of wizarding fairytales, including The Fountain of Fair Fortune and The Tale of the Three Brothers.

Pro Tip: This stage is right near The Hopping Pot in Carkitt Market (see above), so grab a snack and enjoy! 

Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees

Location: Diagon Alley

Celestina Warbeck in Diagon Alley

Sway and groove to the dulcet tones of wizarding world sensation, Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. The swinging show features never-before-heard songs including “A Cauldron Full Of Hot, Strong Love,” “You Stole My Cauldron But You Can’t Have My Heart,” and “You Charmed The Heart Right Out Of Me.” 

Pro Tip: Visit during the holidays and enjoy four hits from Celestina’s chart-topping holiday album, including “My Baby Gave Me a Hippogriff for Christmas.”


Call the Ministry of Magic

Location: London Outside of Diagon Alley

Magic Telephone Booth in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Try entering the telephone booth in London and dialing 62442 (`MAGIC`) to see what you get connected to. 

See 12 Grimmauld Place

Location: London Outside of Diagon Alley

Keep an eye out for the Black family`s loyal house-elf, Kreacher – you might just see him.

Watch Out for The Monster Book of Monsters

Location: Hogsmeade

The Monster Book of Monsters

A Book with Bite! Stop inside Dervish and Banges to view this beastly required reading for Hogwarts students taking the Care of Magical Creatures class. It’s caged for a reason.

Discover the Heavily Jeweled Shell of a Fire Crab

Location: Hogsmeade

Fire Crabs are one of the magical creatures that Hagrid used to create Blast-Ended Skrewts. You may be able to catch a glimpse of one of these creatures’ massive jeweled shells in the queue of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.

Be sure to keep an eye out for all the hidden gems inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort.

So much to see and do! Where to first? Tell us in the comments below.

To have the ultimate Harry Potter experience, book our exclusive The Wizarding World of Harry Potter vacation package.

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  • Reply Austin B. February 4, 2019 at 9:39 am

    You should go to Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and to Flight of the Hippogriff also.

  • Reply Linda Foster March 4, 2019 at 10:58 am

    My husband and I want to plan a trip to Hogwarts’s. What motel accommodations are available?

  • Avatar photo
    Reply Social Media Team March 4, 2019 at 11:24 am

    Take a look at our on-site hotels here:

  • Reply THERESA MOREAU March 17, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    My family and I will be visiting during Halloween, are there any special attractions. We want to spend the entire day at the Harry Potter Wizarding World.
    Also, How do I purchase tickets in advance and how much are they. Looking forward to the attractions. Sounds amazing.

  • Avatar photo
    Reply Social Media Team March 17, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    Hi Theresa!

    We do have Halloween Horror Nights beginning September 6th – November 2nd, 2019. To purchase regular park tickets, please visit our website at We currently have a Halloween Horror Nights special under Deals & Specials on the page as well.

  • Reply madison lock January 31, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    Planning to come Feb 20 and maybe 21st, 2021. Two adults, may only do one park. Will you also be having Mardi Gras Parades?

    • Avatar photo
      Reply Social Media Team February 1, 2021 at 7:17 am

      Hi Madison! There will not be a Mardi Gras parade this year, however a fleet of spectacular Pirate Treasure themed floats will be on display throughout Universal Studios Florida along with a collection of Universal’s classic Mardi Gras floats!

  • Reply THEODORA C. MARTIN February 25, 2021 at 9:28 pm

    I’m bringing my daughter for her birthday. We have the flights and clerk hotel but I’m totally confused about how and where to buy tickets. She loves Harry Potter….I figure two parks in two days…. is that the best way to do it?

  • Avatar photo
    Reply Social Media Team February 25, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    Hi Theodora! We’re so excited you’ll be celebrating with us! You can purchase tickets and look at all of our options online here:

  • Reply Amanda March 23, 2022 at 1:40 pm

    Hi, afternoon~ if we are going in May, is there any sorting hat experience in either dragon alley or Hogsmeade? thank you

  • Avatar photo
    Reply Social Media Team March 23, 2022 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Amanda, we do not offer this type of experience at either of our parks. We apologize for any disappointment this may cause.

  • Reply DIANNE B. November 9, 2023 at 8:50 am

    Hello, my daughter and I (61/38 you don’t have to be a child, to have fun), will be visiting this weekend (November 10-12 2023) and we can’t wait to get started. There is so much to see and do and, we’ll do our best to get thru it all.
    Thanks for all the work you do in describing the parks, especially the “Pro Tips”.
    We’ll come back and let you know, how everything went on our trip.
    Harry Potter and all the other rides, shops and food, here we come!!!
    Is it very busy at this time of year and if so, should we purchase the express pass? (I have a bit of a mobility issue)
    Thank you in advance, for your responses.
    See you soon!

    • Reply Digital Guest Communications November 9, 2023 at 9:25 am

      Hi Dianne. We are so excited to hear about your upcoming visit and can’t wait to welcome you! While you are here, we definitely recommend stopping by Mythos Restaurant for a delicious dining experience. Additionally, while crowd patterns can be hard to predict, holidays and school breaks are typically our peak attendance seasons. Our Universal Express Pass options are designed to give our Guests an enhanced theme park experience as a limited number of passes are sold in order to minimize the wait time in the express queues. We can’t wait for your visit!

  • Reply Linda Duba January 26, 2024 at 12:31 pm

    My adult children and I are coming on February 2 for the day. Will it be busy? Do we need the express pass? what tickets will we need to enjoy both Harry Potter parks and a ride on the Hogwarts Express? We are huge Harry Potter fans and are looking forward to this!

    • Reply Digital Guest Communications January 26, 2024 at 1:05 pm

      Hi Linda! We’re happy to learn about your visit! While attendance does fluctuate throughout the year, historically, we find it that February is a very pleasant time to be at the parks! Additionally, Universal Express Passes are a great way to enhance your visit, however, it is not required in order to enjoy our attractions. Lastly, a Park-To-Park ticket will be required for all Guests that are looking to ride the Hogwarts Express. You can find more information about tickets by visiting this page.

  • Reply Alessandra February 1, 2024 at 8:55 pm

    Are there any activities suitable for toddlers in the Harry Potter world? I’m planning a visit with my 3yo daughter, she is really into wizards and magic themed but she doesn’t know Harry Potter yet, I wonder if it’s too early and she’ll get bored or if it’s a great start for a new fan.

  • Reply Hunter February 13, 2024 at 10:08 am

    Hi, my girlfriend and I are visiting in June for the first time! My girlfriend is a huge Harry Potter fan and I want to give her the best experience except due to other arrangements we are only able to visit the park for one day. which park would be the best to visit?

    • Reply Digital Guest Communications February 13, 2024 at 10:34 am

      Hey, Hunter! We can’t wait to see you! Each park features an immersive land including attractions, entertainment, dining, and shopping. For the full experience we recommend Park-to-Park Admission for the day if possible. However, if you are only able to choose one we encourage you to explore our interactive website to make the most informed decision. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Guest Services at (407) 224-4233 if you have any further questions!

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