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“Amazing!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Book In Advance
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$197.99*
and up
Universal Orlando 2-Park Ticket
Ranked #1 of 419 things to do in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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: Bathroom facilities, Stroller parking, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Lockers / storage
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
84 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Amazing!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 23, 2013

Who cares about 2 hour queues?

This place is amazing!

I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, from the true Harry Potter generation and this was like living a dream!

All rides are great fun, all shops are as described in the books! Merch is much cheaper than the HP merch in England!

A once in a life time holiday...but I do hope I'll be lucky enough to go again one day, especially with the expansion plans!

Although watch the lockers - we were told it'd be free for up to the next 40 minutes; got back well within our time and it charged us! There was no staff around to ask about this either.
Also, I get that it can't be an all British staff, but some of the Americans shouting "Hogwarts this way" sounded bored; perk up!

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Amelia D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
243 reviews
220 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Stunning”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2013 via mobile

Words cannot describe the splendor and wonder of this theme park. To wander through Hogsworts and Hogsmead, drinking frozen Butterbeer and being spooked in the toilets...the attention to detail is amazing! The Hogsworts school is STUNNING. Won't say too much, but you MUST GO!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Sara H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Cut Harry Potter waiting time by half !”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2013

Our first visit to the best ride in the park (Harry Potter) was preceded by a 90 minute long queue.
With 2 over excited daughters it was manageable. (Just) . We later were told of a short cut!!!
If you enter the gift shop, which is at the end of the ride. It is possible to just access the locker area, where all guests are directed to stow their bags etc, which is only 30 to 40 mins from the ride itself. Just join the ride queue at this point.
Yes, I know it is cheating and not the right thing to do, but you will see many other people doing this same thing, so, if you can't beat them. -join them.
Enjoy the ride....

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Adam5785
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
114 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“September visit was ideal”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2013

We headed straight for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter as soon as we got into the park which definitely seemed like a good idea an hour later when all the people turned up. We managed to get on The Forbidden Journey twice first thing, pausing to rearrange locker items so we didn't have to pay for them, they're only free for a certain period which it tells you as you rent them and as it varies throughout the day, take notice!

We then went on to the Flight of the Hippogriff which is a fun kids' rollercoaster before getting a mug of butterbeer each and joining the queue for the Ollivander's show (this was probably the longest queue of the day but it was fun) after buying what seemed like half the shop we stowed our bags and headed up for the Dragon Challenge coaster, which seemed very quiet. We managed to get on straight away and manage a turn on the second coaster fairly quickly.

I posted postcards from just beside Olivander's as by posting from here I got them franked with a Hogsmeade stamp. Annoyingly they only sell the special Harry Potter Stamps in sets of 10 and it takes 3 stamps to send a postcard back to the UK (the girl at the till was very helpful in showing me how to arrange the stamps so I had enough space to actually fit a message on the card) this meant I could only send 3 postcards per pack...I wanted to send more, so I would recommending taking stamps with you to sort out there to avoid issues!

We headed back to Harry Potter at the end of the day to fit in a couple more goes on The Forbidden Journey (in my defence you do notice something new on each trip and the technology involved is amazing, also each seat on the bench gets a different angle) and also to finish off buying a few last things that we didn't want to get crushed in the lockers when we were on rides.

We didn't eat in The Three Broomsticks (we ended up just having a snack from the kebab stand in the adjacent area) but you are allowed in to have a look which was worthwhile as it was very cleverly done. Also, you must have a visit to the Public Loos which are right next door because Moaning Myrtle talks to you as you go in!

Handy hint: If you buy butterbeer in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, buy the souvenier glasses. You can use these glasses across the two parks to get refills (soda is $0.99 although the butterbeer is more expensive). You can also use the glasses on multiple days, unlike some of the standard soda offers, so we used them in Universal Studios the next day. Also, they're pretty cool. Oh and the frozen butterbeer is the tastiest option!

I'm definitely looking forward to a repeat visit when the Harry Potter extenstion is opened!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Rachel T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McKinney, Texas
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Love Harry Potter stories but the Park left me longing... sorry folks. Not best for nut allergy...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2013

We visited 1 day the first week of June 2013. It was very hot and muggy and ended up pouring by 1pm and we chose to leave because of Lightning warnings in the park. This did not affect my rating or review, just FYI.

I wish I could give 5 stars because our whole family loves the books but the park was only OK and very expensive since considering we were not going on roller coasters or visiting much of the other islands. We were a family of 4- parents plus 10 year old who had never been on roller coasters and a 4 year old.

We visited Disney's Magic Kingdom first and squeezed in a day at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal. We called the local taxi the night before to arrange Taxi and it was $45-$50 EACH way by taxi from a Disney Resort (Fort Wilderness) plus tip.

The Castle and architecture were amazing and visually satisfying- Diagon Alley was extremely well done but the stores were a little "too true to the book" because they were tiny and a real turn off. I understand that the author (who we adore, of course) wanted to keep it authentic and quaint but this park attracts too many people and it was terrible going in the shops and trying to browse or buy anything.

At Olivanders, we were looking at wands and a salesperson was muttering "Dumbledore", "Harry", "Hermione", "Ron", etc. but with no context. I had read a review saying this was great but it is only interesting if someone is acting like they actually know the story. This sounded like a strange, rote, repetition by a person who (I'm sure was a very nice, hard working person), had no idea of the story line and just randomly muttered names. It would have been great to have someone who likes to act and ham it up.

At Honeydukes, we purchased chocolate frogs for the kids but learned on the package they they are produced in a factory that handles nuts ... and all the other candy as well including the lollipops, and sugar fruit candies, etc. This was disappointing. We understand that most kids don't have a nut allergy but Hershey's and Dove and the companies that make Skittles and Starbursts and other candies here in the USA do make some items that are safe from nuts and you can imagine the disappointment that our daughter couldn't eat anything.

The line for Forbidden Journey was only 1 hour for us but felt long with a cranky hot toddler. There were fans, water fountains and shade in Prof. Sprout's Greenhouses which were welcome. It was air conditioned in the castle and comfortable but sooo dark. It scared our youngest and we would have liked to see it be better lit to enjoy all the great visuals. My husband would have liked to see more of the castle and he felt like after we waited slowly in line outside, and we ended up running through the castle to get to the ride. I waited with my youngest in the ride swap room which again, was a little scary and dark for our 4 year old... the reoccurring theme here is don't bring young children who are afraid of the dark, etc. The ride swap was excellent and our oldest daughter was able go with each of us.

We ended up splitting up at the park so my husband and oldest went on the Hippogriff ride (waited 45 min) and I took the youngest to Honeydukes to buy a Pygmy Puff - this was a hit. The Dragon Roller Coaster line was way too long, so we left.

We would have eaten at the Three Broomsticks but they actually were kind to suggest Mythos Restaurant where our nut allergy daughter could have more options- this turned out to be great- we ate delicious Tomato Tuscan soup, real chicken nuggets, etc.

We stopped at the Dr. Seuss Area so my youngest would actually have some fun and wouldn't hate us forever because we took her to HP Island.. she did enjoy it. We spent a lot of time in the bookstore and read books and the SIZE of the store seemed more appropriate for the volume of visitors. The kids played around in the splash zone until employees closed the area due to lightning and then it poured so we left the park and returned to Disney.

FYI - You can get 10% off if you purchase items and have a AAA card at Universal but overall it was a bit pricey. We were happy to see and experience the Harry Potter Island once but wouldn't recommend it if you are not planning to spend the day at the entire park, enjoying all it has to offer including roller coasters and shows. We literally spent 4 hours there and almost $400 for tickets plus food and treats and taxis ... about $700. Again, we don't go there often and we really wanted to go while we were in Orlando.

Things that worked:

1. This was dead on- get there by OPEN. We arrived 30 minutes before open and even though we were there early, the line for Forbidden Journey was 1 hour and when we exited it was 2 hours and later in the day 3 hours!

2. Bring WATER!

3. Bring a Frogg togg towel or sport towel that stays cool so that no one overheats... our kids really loved this.

4. To avoid lines and high prices, we ordered HP shirts online. You can go to Universal but we liked ETSY for original family shirts and my husband had one that showed a cup of coffee and it says, "My Patronus" for $15 or so. We also ordered the time turner and Yule Ball earrings for our daughter off ETSY and surprised our daughter and they were so reasonably priced and NO LINES!

5. They do not allow strollers in the lines so we parked the stroller and carried our 4 year old.

6. rain ponchos helped- we got them at the Dollar Store and Target had some inexpensive ones.

So.... if you have someone to watch your toddler, you may want to choose this option while you visit HP Park- again, it depends on the kids and their interest in HP and their overall tolerance for crowds and dark places like the Castle and the Hoggs Head or Three Broomsticks. Also, even though our oldest is a Potterhead, she is not a roller coaster lover and neither are we so the value of Universal was diminished because we really just came here for this HP Island.

Hope this info helps :)

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank lemondrop2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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