Universal Studios- Harry Potter World

Harry Potter World The new Wizarding World of Harry Potter, located at Univeral Studios in Orlando, is a definite “must see!” When you enter this new section of the park, you will definitely feel like you have stepped into Harry Potter’s world! Visitors enter Hogsmeade, which is designed in a winter setting, complete with snow. One of the first sights you will see is the Hogwarts Express sitting at Hogsmeade Station. You will also find some of the shops that are mentioned in the Harry Potter books and movies and can buy original Harry Potter logo clothing, accessories, and souvenirs. The most popular shop is Ollivander’s Wand Shop. Be prepared to wait just as long to enter this shop as you will for the rides. A limited number of guests are allowed into the shop about every 20 minutes. When you enter, you will witness a ceremony where the wands will actually select their owners, just like you see in the movies. Of course, you can purchase the wand that selects you or choose from hundreds of others. The main dining option in Harry Potter World is Three Broomsticks, which looks like an old rustic tavern and serves typical English entrees such as fish and chips, shepard’s pie, and turkey legs. Don’t leave without ordering a butterbeer, the drink that Harry and his friends enjoy on their trips to Hogsmeade. This non-alcoholic drink is frozen, frothy, and tastes similar to butterscotch. Really delicious!! As you continue through the main street of Hogsmeade Village, you will eventually come to Hogwart’s Castle. This is the location of what I think is the best part of the entire attraction. The castle itself is huge, but the 4 dimensional ride inside is amazing. Before boarding, the que line takes you through the castle and corridors of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You will be able to visit Professor Dumbledore’s office, the Defense Against the Dark Arts Classroom, and the Gryffindor common room. The ride itself is called The Forbidden Journey and you will feel as though you are soaring above the castle on a broomstick. You will encounter many magical and dangerous creatures on your journey and it is amazing how realistic it can be. The other 2 thrill rides are the Flight of the Hippogriff and Dragon Challenge. Both are types of roller coasters. The park offers several packages that combine park tickets with accommodations. You can also buy just the park tickets for any number of days that you would like. One nice feature is that if you stay in one of Universal’s on-site hotels, you will get complimentary express access on rides and attractions. Because of the popularity of Harry Potter World and the crowds that it has been attracting, that would be a great option! Posted by Selena A Jones, CTA, ACC

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