My Guide to Harry Potter World

Universal Studios’ World of Harry Potter is a magical place. But it can be even more magical when you know all of the tips and tricks on how to make a full day of the park. 

One of the things that I recommend to everyone is to get an interactive wand. They are very pricey which is a huge turn-off, but when you have the wand, there is a new experience offered. Around HP World are locations in which you can put your magic skills to the test and use the wand to cast different spells. A personal favorite of mine is at the large double doors when you can awaken a dragon and see his fire from under the doors. The look on some of the kids' faces when that spell is performed tends to be the most adorable thing ever.

While visiting the world, it's important to go on all of the rides and experience all of the attractions. There’s the Forbidden Journey and the Flight of the Hippogriff, as well as Ollivander’s. The Forbidden Journey always has the longest wait time, so I recommend going to that one first. The line is inside the castle and you walk through the classrooms and halls and corridors to get to the ride, which makes you feel like a legitimate student at Hogwarts. The setting is done so well and everything looks so realistic. 

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However, this isn’t the only way to go through and get to the ride. The access line goes through a different part of the castle that isn’t accessible to the “normal” riders. This totally blows because the pass to skip the lines is too expensive. Well, here’s a little trick for you. If you’re a huge Harry Potter fan like myself, then get ready to put your knowledge to the test. Head over to the access line and ask the person for trivia. They won't always give it to people, but if you get asked a question and then get it right, you get to go through the line without paying for the pass. 

This little trick has saved me hours of waiting in line for my favorite ride and allowed me to experience the different parts of the castle. All that being said, I still recommend going through the normal part of the line because that is magical itself.

Next, head to the Flight of the Hippogriff. The line is usually a lot shorter for this ride and features Hagrid’s hut, which is exactly how it looks in the movies. This ride is a small rollercoaster, but it moves fast and is a good ride for taking a break on. Just remember to nod in respect to Buckbeak. It’s rude not to bow to a Hippogriff and they become aggressive when they’re disrespected. 

Ollivander’s is an absolute must. The wand always chooses the wizard and one lucky wizard in the group will be chosen to find their wand. The experience of watching the young wizard destroy the room and make mistakes until their wand finds them will bring goosebumps to your arms. And later, you’ll be able to go into the wand shop and find your own lucky wand. Check out the personality wands and the character wands. They’re all so beautiful and there’s one for every person's style. 

While you’re walking down the cobblestone streets, admiring the castle and the snow-covered roofs, make sure to grab a frozen butterbeer. The white stuff that they put on top is the most flavorful thing that I’ve ever had and it is a delicious treat. As are the chocolate frogs from Honeydukes. Start your collection of holographic cards by picking one up.

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Lastly, stop into The Three Broomsticks for a tasty, albeit expensive meal. They have many options to chose from, many from traditional English recipes. My favorite is the roasted half chicken because the seasoning they use is to die for. Get a hot butterbeer as well and you’ll be all set!

Have a magical time should you ever find yourself at Harry Potter World!