Complete Guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando

Arguably the most popular area at both Universal Resort parks is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

These lands are not only an almost perfect recreation of Hogsmede and Diagon Alley from the movies, but they offer rides, shows, shops, food, and more.

Here you'll find an in depth guide to everything you can see and do at the Wizarding World areas at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter Rides 

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Escape from Gringotts ride queue

This ride has one of the best ride queues you'll find. Animatronic goblins count gold in Gringotts as you make your way to the ride. This ride combines a rotating coaster, 3D screens, real props, and more.

If you suffer from motion sickness prepare yourself before riding.

  • Located in Diagon Alley in Universal Studios
  • 42" height requirement
  • Under 48" must be supervised by an adult
  • Ride type: Thrill, 3D/4D motion simulator
  • Single rider available
  • Express Pass accepted

Hogwarts Express: Kings Cross Station

Kings Cross Station

While technically this is how you can get from Universal Studios over to Islands of Adventure, I would still consider this a Wizarding World ride. You'll see familiar characters out your window and even walking through your train car.

You can only ride this attraction if you have a park to park ticket. If your only goal is to get from one park to the other, walking can take about 20 minutes. So I would only wait longer than that if this ride is a priority.

  • Located in Diagon Alley in Universal Studios
  • No height requirement
  • Ride type: slow family ride
  • Express Pass accepted

Hagrid's Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure

Hagrids ride queue

This is one of the best rides in Orlando. Hands down.

It's a fun coaster loaded with incredible surprises.

  • Located in Hogsmede in Islands of Adventure
  • 48" height requirement
  • Ride type: Thrill
  • Single rider available
  • Express Pass accepted

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

This ride has one of the most unique ride vehicles I have ever been in!

You'll be riding a broom along with Harry and Ron in this motion simulator ride. If you suffer from motion sickness prepare yourself before riding.

  • Located in Hogsmede in Islands of Adventure
  • 48" height requirement
  • Ride type: Thrill, 3D/4D motion simulator
  • Single rider available
  • Express Pass accepted

Flight of the Hippogriff

This is a great starter coaster for families with smaller children. It's fun, but also not intense. It's also a shorter ride. So if you're nervous about starting your child on a coaster, this is a great place to begin.

  • Located in Hogsmede in Islands of Adventure
  • 36" height requirement
  • Under 48" must be supervised by an adult
  • Ride type: Family friendly coaster
  • Express Pass accepted

Hogwarts Express: Hogsmeade Station

Hogsmede station

While technically this is how you can get from Islands of Adventure over to Universal Studios, I would still consider this a Wizarding World ride. You'll see familiar characters out your window and even walking through your train car.

You can only ride this attraction if you have a park to park ticket. If your only goal is to get from one park to the other, walking can take about 20 minutes. So I would only wait longer than that if this ride is a priority.

  • Located in Hogsmede in Islands of Adventure
  • No height requirement
  • Ride type: slow family ride
  • Express Pass accepted

    Harry Potter Wands

    If you are looking for a wand, you'll have so options. Wizarding World offers both interactive and non-interactive wands.

    The interactive wands can be used across the Wizarding World lands to cast spells.

    Where to Buy a Wand at Universal Studios

    wand shop

    Olivanders Wand Shop located in Diagon Alley has floor to ceiling wands, both interactive and non-interactive. You can also watch a fun show where one lucky witch or wizard is picked by Olivander's apprentice. Then you'll watch as a wand chooses them!

    Even if you aren't picked, it's a fun show, and you can purchase your own wand. 

    wands by gregorovich

    Wands by Gregorovitch is another option with floor to ceiling wands to chose from. This shop will give you all of the options of Olivander's Wand Shop without the wait.

    You'll also find a Wand Cart with a limited selection of wands to chose from. This is a great option if you have a better idea of what you want and want to grab it quickly, or if the other shops are busy.

    Where to Buy a Wand at Islands of Adventure

    Olivanders

    Olivanders Wand Shop has a second shop located in Hogsmede. This location also has floor to ceiling wands, both interactive and non-interactive. You can also watch the show where one lucky witch or wizard is picked by Olivander's apprentice at this location. You'll watch as a wand chooses them!

    Even if you aren't picked, it's a fun show, and you can purchase your own wand. 

    You'll also find a Wand Cart in Hogsmede with a limited selection of wands to chose from. This is a great option if you have a better idea of what you want and want to grab it quickly, or if the other shops are busy.

    Spell Casting In Wizarding World

    Once you have your interactive wand, you'll probably want to start casting spells immediately. But it's actually harder than it looks. So knowing some of the tricks before you cast your first spell will help you successfully cast that first spell.

    First, know where to find spell casting locations at the parks. When you purchase your wand you'll be given a map that shows spell locations.

    Wizarding World spell map

    If you're anything like me, trying to hold a butterbeer and a wand and read a map at the same time will be hopeless.

    So to help you out, here is a list of locations where you can cast spells in Wizarding World:

    Universal Studios Diagon Alley Spell Locations

    • Bowman E. Wright Blacksmith Spell (2 spells at this location)
    • Filmflams Lanterns
    • Magical Menagerie
    • Mermaid Fountain
    • Pilliwinkle’s Playthings 
    • Scribbulus
    • Tallow and Hemp Toxic Tapers
    • Umbrella Sign
    • Wiseacres Wizarding Equipment (2 spells at this location)
    • Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes Spell
    • Knockturn Alley (multiple spells can be found here)
      • Chimney Sweep Elf Sign
      • Noggin and Bonce
      • Dystal Phaelanges
      • Trackleshanks

    Islands of Adventure Hogsmede Spell Locations

    • Zonko’s Joke Shop
    • McHavelock’s
    • Dogweed and Deathcap
    • Honeydukes
    • Madam Puddifoots
    • Gladbags Wizardwear
    • Spintwitches
    • Dervish and Banges
    • Tome and Scrolls

    If you still aren't sure where to go, just look to the ground! You'll find helpful gold medallions at each spell location.

    These medallions not only show you where you can cast spells, but also what the specific spell is.

    On the medallion you'll see the name of the spell and the motion that you must make with you wand in order to make the spell work successfully.

    Spell casting marker

    How to Successfully Cast a Spell

    Like I said before, casting spells is harder than it seems. The first several times I tried to cast spells I wasn't successful. It was frustrating, but here is what I learned.

    First, follow the medallion on the ground exactly. You'll see the shape that you need to make, and arrows on the shape show you the direction that you'll need to move your wand.

    Next, look in the window for a small camera. This is where you'll want to point your wand. They are easier to spot at night because you'll see small red lights in the camera. The camera you are looking for is actually a sensor. The wands works by reflecting light to the sensor. When you make the correct movement the spell will work.

    When you are casting your spell the motion that you make should be about the same size as the shape on the medallion on the ground. One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is they make huge grand arm gestures. The gesture you make with your wand should be with your wrist only. And it should be small and precise.

    If you are still struggling (I've been there), there are often helpful team members nearby who are there to help you. They want spell casting to be fun. So if you are getting frustrated look out for a team member helping guests with spell casting.

    Harry Potter Shows

    You'll find several fun shows at both Wizarding World locations. All of these shows are free and take place out in the land. Check the Universal app for showtimes.

    Celestina and the Banshees show

    Shows in Diagon Alley at Universal Studios

    Tales of Beedle the Bard

    This show is presented by the Wizarding Academy of dramatic arts, and uses puppets and other props to tell the fairy tales of Beedle Bard. The stories include The Fountain of Fair Fortune and The Tale of the Three Brothers.

    Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees

    Molly Weasley's favorite singer, Celestina Warbeck, performs her hit songs from the Wizarding World on stage with her backup singers, the Banshees.

      Shows in Hogsmede at Islands of Adventure

      Frog Choir

      This choir consists of Hogwarts students from each house singing a cappella. They are accompanied by giant throaty frogs singing bass. It sounds silly, but it's a fun and unique show.

      Triwizard Spirit Rally

      This show is like a pep rally, but for the wizarding schools. Here you'll see students from Hogwards, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang perform to get you excited for the Triwizard Tournament.

      Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts

      Hogwarts Castle comes to life with lights and music. The show typically starts at dusk and will happen about every 20 minutes. 

        Food in the Wizarding World

        There are several food options available at Diagon Alley in Universal Studios. The fun thing about the food in this area is that you'll find food and drinks that are authentic and British, and you'll also find fun food you know from the books and movies.

        Food Options in Diagon Alley at Universal Studios

        The Leaky Cauldron

        • Quick service restaurant
        • Indoor seating available
        • Serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner
        • Mobile Order available

        The leaky cauldron at universal studios

        Here you'll find some British favorites like bangers and mash and fisherman's pie. You'll also find my personal favorite, fish and chips. This restaurant has one of the best fish and chips plates I have ever eaten!

        Eternelle's Elixir of Refreshment

        • Drink kiosk
        • No seating available
        • Serves drinks only
        • Mobile Order NOT available

        This is a small drink kiosk where you can purchase Gillywater and other elixirs. Your options are Fire Protection Potion, Babbling Beverage, Draught of Peace, and Elixir to Induce Euphoria. 

        Florean Fortescue Ice Cream Parlour

        • Quick service snacks and desserts
        • No seating available
        • Serves snacks and desserts
        • Mobile Order NOT available
        Florean Fortescue's ice cream shop at Universal

          This shop offers both prepackaged snacks and treats, and a counter with house made goodies and ice cream. The butter beer ice cream and pumpkin juice are a must try!

          The Fountain of Fair Fortune

          • Quick service drinks and snacks
          • No seating available
          • Serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, limited snacks
          • Mobile Order NOT available

          This is a great stop for some famous butter beer!  You can also try the Wizarding World's own Dragon Scale or Wizards Brew beer (these ones do have alcohol so be sure to have your ID ready).

          The Hopping Pot

          • Quick service drinks and snacks
          • Limited Outdoor seating available
          • Serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, limited snacks
          • Mobile Order NOT available

          The Hopping Pot at Universal

          This is another great stop for butter beer! You'll also find a larger selection of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks at this location. Some of the popular selections (other than butter beer) are pumpkin juice, peachtree fizzing tea, and fire whiskey (have your ID ready for this last drink).

            Food Options in Hogsmede at Islands of Adventure

            The Three Broomsticks

            • Quick service restaurant
            • Indoor and outdoor seating available
            • Serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner
            • Mobile Order NOT available

            Here you'll find some British favorites like Shepard's pie and fish and chips. You can also add a delicious butter beer to your order. Or just grab a trifle and drink and take a break with a sweet treat in the air conditioning on a hot day.

            Hog's Head

            • Quick service drinks and snacks
            • No seating available
            • Serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
            • Mobile Order NOT available

            The cart that sells butter beer often has a super long line, so I've found this is often a faster way to get that tasty drink. You can also grab Hogshead Brew, mixed drinks, and non-alcoholic drinks at this stop.

              Butter Beer

              Butter beer

              Butter Beer is the butterscotch and vanilla drink that Harry and the other students at Hogwarts drank in Hogsmede. And it is one of my absolute favorite treats to get at Universal.

              Does Butter Beer Have Alcohol?

              No! Butter Beer does not contain any alcohol at all. And you cannot ask team members to mix any alcohol in to your butter beer. Even if you are at a location that serves alcoholic drinks. Butter Beer is entirely a family friendly drink.

              Types of Butter Beer

              There are different versions of the drink. You can get a regular butter beer, which is a lightly carbonated drink similar to cream soda. It has a vanilla foam on top (the best part, in my opinion).

              You can also get a frozen butter beer. While this isn't my personal favorite version (I'm not a huge fan of frozen drinks in general), I definitely get the appeal on a hot Orlando day.

              Hot butter beer is available periodically, typically in the winter months. This is a delicious treat on a cool night.

              Butter beer ice cream is one of the most refreshing treats you'll find in all of the Wizarding World! If you're an ice cream fan, stop in to Florean Fortescue Ice Cream Parlour in Diagon Alley. 

              butterbeer menu

              Where to Buy Butter Beer

              You can find butter beer at several different locations in Hogsmede and Diagon Alley. Not every location that sells butter beer offers every type. So if you are looking for hot butter beer or a butter beer dessert you'll want to make sure you head to the correct location to find those.

              Butterbeer

              Here are all locations that sell butter beer, and what you can typically order:

              Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour

              • Butter Beer Ice Cream

              The Leaky Caldroun

              • Butter Beer
              • Hot Butter Beer
              • Frozen Butter Beer
              • Butter Beer Ice Cream
              • Butter Beer Potted Cream

              The Fountain of Fair Fortune

              • Butter Beer
              • Frozen Butter Beer
              • Butter Beer Ice Cream (Soft Serve)

              The Hopping Pot

              • Butter Beer
              • Frozen Butter Beer
              • Hot Butter Beer
              • Butter Beer Ice Cream

              The Three Broomsticks

              • Butter Beer
              • Hot Butter Beer
              • Frozen Butter Beer
              • Butter Beer Ice Cream
              • Butter Beer Potted Cream

              Hogshead

              • Butter Beer

              Shopping in the Wizarding World

              The Wizarding World has some of the best shopping. If you are a fan of the Harry Potter or Fantastic Beasts series, you'll find all sorts of gems from the books and movies. 

              wizarding world shopping

              From wands to knit sweaters with the letter "R" or "H" on them, you'll find everything you could possibly want related to the Harry Potter universe.

              While there is shopping available at both parks, you'll find way more shops to explore on the Universal Studios Diagon Alley side.

              Diagon Alley Shops at Universal Studios

              • Ollivander's Wand Shop
              • Weasley's Wizard Wheezes
              • Gringott's Money Exchange
              • Borgin and Burkes
              • Globus Mundi
              • Madam Malkin's Robes for all Occasions
              • Magical Menagerie
              • Quality Quiddich Supplies
              • Scribbulus
              • Shutterbutton's
              • Sugarplum's Sweet Shop
              • Wand's By Gregorovitch
              • Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment

              wizarding world shopping

              Hogsmede Shops at Islands of Adventure

              • Ollivander's Wand Shop
              • Honeydukes
              • Dervish and Banges
              • Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods

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              See you at the parks,
              -Julie

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