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“Couldn't Be Better”

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
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$213.99*
and up
Universal Orlando 2-Park Ticket
Ranked #1 of 421 things to do in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: There are many ways to enjoy your Orlando vacation, but there is only one place where vacation becomes adventure: Universal Orlando Resort. It is a unique destination featuring two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure, three magnificently themed on-site hotels and a nighttime entertainment complex. It's the only Orlando destination where you are not just entertained - you become part of the most exhilarating entertainment ever created. You can soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing above the streets with Spider-Man, battle aliens alongside Agent J, and help Shrek save Princess Fiona in Shrek 4-D. Now open: the new, heart-warming and hilarious Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride. And coming soon: Transformers The Ride-3D. Universal Orlando Resort is part of NBCUniversal, a Comcast company.
Useful Information: Stroller parking, Bathroom facilities, Lockers / storage, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access
Orlando, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Couldn't Be Better”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2013

As a longtime Harry Potter fan, I obviously had very high expectations for Universal when it came to expanding into a theme park environment. They succeeded beyond all expectations.

Hogsmede and Hogwarts are painstaking recreations, often to the detriment of crowd flow (the small streets and stores often result in a traffic jam and the crowds have only just begun to die down since opening, but J.K. Rowling was adamant that they match the films), and the area is filled with interesting storefront displays, animatronics, and small details in every nook and cranny. The Butterbeer is brilliant and the perfect refreshment, and the Three Broomsticks serves rather generous portions of typical British or Americanized British cuisine for its price.

Of course, the big draws are the rides. Flight of the Hippogriff and Dragon Challenge are rebranded rides from the old Lost Continent days, though both are rather good in their class (Dragon Challenge unfortunately has disabled the dueling aspect due to some unjust paranoia), but Forbidden Journey is literally a ride like no other. While other rides have combined live action set pieces and screens (The Amazing Spider-Man on the opposite side of the lagoon does the same), no other uses the articulated arm and combines it with a track to allow for an unprecedented freedom of movement and an extremely unique experience. Just keep in mind that while Harry Potter has mass appeal, the ride is probably not recommended for anyone 10 or under; it's filled with scenes that tend to scare or surprise even adults, and the Dementors are probably guaranteed to cause nightmares for anyone not old enough to tell fact from fiction.

If you can handle the crowds, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter provides a unique experience even beyond the obvious draw of the series.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank Cody C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Antioch, Illinois
Level Contributor
203 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 166 helpful votes
“Excellent Attraction!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2013

Last year I spent a little bit of time here when a conference I was attendeding rented out Islands of Adventure for a corporate event - it was enough to know that I wanted to come back. I'm not usually a theme park person, but I do love Harry Potter. This was an excellent combination of both. The village was an amazing recreation of fantasy from the books and a likeness to the real midieval towns of England. Hogwarts was amazing during the day, but there was a specialness to it at night. The Forbidden Journey (no express pass for this ride) had a 60 min wait our first time through but the line moved quickly and although it took the whole 60 min to reach the ride, it didn't seem that long as you were kept entertained throughout most of the line by moving through Dumbledore's office, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, and the moving picture hallway. The ride itself is a must do - it's a virtual ride that has you 'riding a broomstick' (sitting in a 4 seater car) following Harry through the castle and quidditch match before you return safely to the castle. Simply Brilliant! We rode this several times and each time was more thrilling.

We ate at the Three broomsticks and it was typical theme park food, but we were served quickly and seated immediately.

The shops are well done - especially Olivander's Wand Shop. If the line isn't too long, go for the show - it's cute. The sweet shop and joke shop are fun to poke around and sell themed merchandise, but it's expensive for what you get. $10 for a small bag of jelly beans? Yes, I know they are special themed flavors, but do you really have to cash in that much?

All in all, it was worth a visit to Universal Studios to see this, especially if you are a fan of Harry Potter.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank travel_junkie3000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brunswick, Georgia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2013

Our family recently took a trip to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventures. We purchased 3 day tickets good for both parks. Our first day we went straight to the Harry Potter section which is in the far back of the park. All the areas we walked through on the way were almost empty. When we got to Harry Potter we figured out why, everyone heads straight to Harry Potter World first. Several staffers told us that area is busiest in the mornings. We did Olivander's Wand shop first which was pretty cool, but the Wands are $32 each which seems like a lot for a plastic stick. Our daughter was chosen for the wand ceremony which was cool, but then you have to purchase the wand- how can you say no to your child after that? Olivanders is really small and so crowded you can barely move. The lines for Butterbeer at the outside carts were really long, but we figured out that you can go into the Leaky Cauldron bar and the line is much shorter. Food at the 3 Broomsticks was pretty good but expensive. Hogsmead town is cool, especially in the evening, it looks very real but the crowds are so thick it's hard to feel like you're really there. We thought the Harry Potter section was a little small and didn't have much for younger children, hopefully they'll add more. The ride in the castle is fun and although the line is really long it winds through the castle which keeps you occupied.

Day 2 we went to Universal. The Rocket Coaster is one of the best we've ever ridden. I suggest going through the single rider line on all the coasters that have it, its much faster and who cares who you're sitting next to for 45 seconds on a ride?

The Express passes are really expensive but you could definately shave an entire day off your vacation by getting the passes. It was a little annoying standing in the long lines and watching people just breeze to the front of the line. I think the passes were $70 per person if you add after you buy the park tickets.

Day 3 we went back and forth between the two parks and re-rode all our favorites. I would suggest purchasing the coke refillable bottles for about $9 and then you get refills for $1. We also got the refillable popcorn for about $6 and refills were $1 also. This gave the whole family drinks and snacks for the whole day. They say you can only use them the day of purchase but some staffers said we could bring them back so we did and didn't get any hassle.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Brian W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Yorkshire, UK
Level Contributor
79 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 246 helpful votes
“Wow!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

I haven't watched any of the movies but I loved this place! The theming was stunning and detailed and if I felt like this then I can't imagine how real Potter fans will feel!!
I'm sure the fans could easily spend hours here alone.
The Forbidden Journey ride itself was totally amazing and I spent the second time totally open mouthed! We headed here as soon as the park opened and rode within 5 mins of queuing. The castle and queue area itself are amazing. I was a little worried about the warnings of motion sickness but I was fine and so was my 8 year old daughter who also loved it.
The ride itself...how can I describe it!? You are sat in seats with a harness over you which is on a giant pneumatic/electronic arm that actually moves along a track and simulates flying by steering you left and right and swooping up and down, sometimes you are laid horizontal on your back. The ride moves through sequences with giant props and figures (could be scary to some) and then into animated scenes from the movie which simulates flying from a dragon.
It is totally awesome. A must see area of the park regardless of whether you're a fan or not and an absolute MUST DO ride.

Helpful?
3 Thank lacost69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold Coast
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Well worth it”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

We stayed at the Portofino Universal which entitled us to early access passes (1 hour before the general public are admitted to the park). Great for getting onto the rides before the crowds arrive. The rides were great, but the whole park was amazing. A real credit to the designers. My daughter, being a self confessed "Harry Potter nerd" was in heaven, & went back the following day for more wizardly wonder!. Thouroughly recommend a visit.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank JDSG_Ball
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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