Dragons, wands, broomsticks and butter beer? There’s only one place that has all of those and that’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I had the most magical and action packed day at Harry Potter World at Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure in Orlando, and I wouldn’t have to think twice if someone asked me to go back.
As I walked into Hogsmeade I was greeting by snowcapped hatched roofs and cobbled streets that were nestled with crooked buildings, including the recognisable Three Broomsticks Pub, Honey Dukes sweet shop, and stalls offering butter beer (a must have!). It seemed almost surreal as the heat of the Florida sun baked down on me, but I couldn’t help but be whisked away into the magical universe of Harry Potter.
We quickly jumped into the queue for Dragon Challenge before it got too busy (We went on the Blue side, AKA the Hungarian Horntail). I’ll say that all of the rides at Harry Potter World are a must do, but the Dragon Challenge is one of the best roller coasters at Universal in my opinion. We then took a tour through Hogwarts Castle, which is like an attraction in itself. The ride at the end of the queue is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, which I believe is quite a new ride. It’s definitely not for the faint hearted, as it is so immersive you feel right at the heart of the magical world of Harry Potter. I won’t give too much away, you’ll need to experience it for yourself!
Diagon Alley is the newest addition to the Harry Potter attractions in Orlando. In order to get there from Hogsmeade you need to take a trip on the Hogwarts Express. As you hop off the train it actually feel as though you’ve arrived in London Kings Cross Station- they really have done an excellent job!
Diagon Alley really goes above and beyond. You’re instantly drawn to the eery dragon perched on top of Gringotts Bank (Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts is another ride not to be missed!) which breathes fire down on the shops below. The Leaky Cauldron, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and Ollivanders Wand Shop are just some of the stores you can browse while you’re making through your list for your term Hogwarts.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is hands down a must visit on your trip to Orlando. Even if you’re not into roller coasters and rides, it’s the immersive, truly magical experience that counts.