Planning a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida? With so many things to do however will you fit all in? Especially since the Wizarding World of Harry Potter spans two separate parks! Never fear, we’ve got you covered with tips and our favorite activities for your day. Here are the Top 10 Things to Do in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Whether you’re trying to do Wizarding World of Harry Potter in One Day or trying to stick to enjoying Wizarding World of Harry Potter on a Budget. Here are the Top 10 Things to Do at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Top 10 Things to Do at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Before we jump in, let’s get our bearings. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Florida can be found in the Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure Park. These two spaces are connected by the Hogwarts Express. As such you will need the Park to Park Ticket in order to cover it all. Check out our Wizarding World of Harry Potter Guide for maps, and tips on how to spend your time in each area.
Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure | Hogsmeade
The newest ride at Wizarding World, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is a rollercoaster with a surprising drop somewhere on your journey. As you wind through forests and spaces filled with magical creatures, on your bike with a sidecar. This ride features a “bike” like setup where you sit next to someone. One of you will be higher on your motorbike, while the other is in the lower sidecar. Each offers a different type of experience on this ride. Definitely one of our Top 10 Things Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Hogwarts Frog Choir | Hogsmeade
While we love all the shows at Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Hogwarts Frog Choir is one of our favorites. This open-air stage show takes place right near Hogwarts Castle and a Butterbeer cart, soooo convenient. It’s also a shorter show with just a few songs, sang by the Hogwarts choir and their Frogs.
If you’re looking for something a little more Broadway or academic, we’d also highly recommend heading to Diagon Alley for the Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees show, and the Tales of Beedle the Bard. Both are just fantastic and a treat for any Harry Potter fan familiar with the intricacies of Pottermore lore.
Ride the Hogwarts Express
An official rite of passage for any Harry Potter fan, taking the Hogwarts Express Train back and forth between Diagon Alley and Hogsmead is an experience! On the Diagon Alley side, you get a real London underground experience, complete with a disappearing enchantment as you step through the door of Platform 9-3/4. What’s more, is that while you’re on the train you’ll get to overhear conversations from familiar characters and maybe even witness a chocolate frog escape.
Get the Butterbeer
Frankly, we love Butterbeer. We’ve used this caramel butterscotch flavor in our Butterbeer Pancakes with Hot Butterbeer, and in our Butterbeer Pie with Marshmallow Fluff Topping. And if you’re in the Wizarding World then grabbing a Butterbeer, hot or iced is a MUST! Luckily, you can also grab butterbeer-flavored things across Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. So, if you love this flavor, keep an eye out! While we have this as one of our top 10 Things to Do at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it really should be #1 on your list.
Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes Shop | Diagon Alley
Another favorite shop at Wizarding World. The Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes Shop may not have a ton of things you’d actually buy, but it’s a beautiful place, with tons of interesting things to see. Of course, if you’re into gags then this may be the place for you.
We also love Wiseacres Wizarding Equipment & Scribbulus in Diagon Alley, just outside the Gringott’s Bank, for a slew of Harry Potter merchandise, stationery, travel gear, and more you won’t find anywhere else.
Get an Interactive Wand at Ollivanders | Diagon Alley
Another must is to spring for a Wizarding World Interactive Wand. Especially as any true Harry Potter fan will want to see all the inner workings of the parks, and all the spells they can cast to make stuff move. You can grab an Interactive Wand at Ollivanders in Diagon Alley. And be sure to check out the full list of spells and locations in our First Timer’s Guide to Wizarding World of Harry Potter post.
Escape from Gringotts | Diagon Alley
Our other favorite ride and a must-do ride at Wizarding World is Escape from Gringotts, in Diagon Alley. This indoor rollercoaster, simulator ride is fun and weaves you all over the place as you try to outrun Voldemort and Bellatrix in the vaults of Gringotts Bank.
Honeydukes | Hogsmeade
Anything from the trolley dears? If you’re ready for sweets and rogue chocolate frogs you can head to the Honeydukes sweet shop. Here you’ll find elixirs of all kinds, Fizzing Whizzbees, and weird flavored jelly beans. The perfect cheap and consumable souvenir to commemorate your visit.
Knockturn Alley | Diagon Alley
This hidden pathway is one you’re sure to miss if you’re not looking. Noted by just a small sign that says Knockturn Alley, this dark and winding corridor leads you to places where you can use your interactive wand, AND the Borgin and Burkes Gift Shop. Filled with all sorts of things you may need for any Dark Arts, you can find tees, souvenirs, skulls, and more weird and curious items to consider.
Wizarding World of Harry Potter Tips
In order to really enjoy these Top 10 Things to Do in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it’s important to note that there are ways to make the most of your day. Things like Early Park entry, being within walking distance of Universal Studios, and knowing when to go could also help you stick to your Wizarding World of Harry Potter Budget.
Stay at a Universal Studios Resort
Universal Studios has several hotels on the property which are simply within walking distance. While you could stay off the property we didn’t really find the prices were cheaper, and the walking distance farther, made later nights in the parks impossible for us. That said we loved having a walking path from Loews Portofino Bay Hotel to Universal Studios that simply ran across the waterway. And since Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is also a Universal Studios property we were able to get the perks of boat transportation to the gates of the park and early park entry.
Take Advantage of Early Park Admission
Early Park Admission at Universal Studios is available to guests who stay on property. But don’t let that deter you. Universal Studios has several really great hotels on property that are budget-friendly and have a slew of perks.
Premier Hotels ( with Express Pass included)
- Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
- Universal’s Aventura Resort
- Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites & Dockside Inn and Suites
Get the Park-to-Park Ticket
To make the most of your Wizarding World of Harry Potter Visit, you really need to visit both Universal Studios Orlando and Islands of Adventure. Especially if you want to fit your Wizarding World of Harry Potter Trip in One Day. OR if you want to ride the Hogwarts Express Train. If neither of those things is terribly important to you then you can skip the park-to-park ticket and just plan one day for each. Otherwise, we’d recommend getting it.
Get the Express Pass
We go back and forth about whether or not you really need the Express Pass at Universal Studios, and it really all comes down to time. If you have time and bought a 3-day ticket, then you probably don’t need it. But, if you’re trying to fit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter into one day, then we highly recommend it. Or you can just stay at an on-site Premier Hotel as shown above, for a “free express pass” as part of your package.
Go at Night
If you don’t need daytime photos of the park, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter becomes a different place at night. And dare we say a little spookier in certain parts. If you’re not averse to staying out late, you’ll see fewer crowds and have less competition when it comes to trying out your interactive wand at all the locations across both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.
Top 10 Things Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Hopefully, this list has given you a starting point for your visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. From great rides to shops and treats, there is plenty to fill in more than one day. Know that as both of these areas of each park as pretty small, the challenge comes in noticing the details. Be sure to peer into the windows of each shop, frequent the restaurants, and cast some spells.
Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.