Wizarding World of Harry Potter Universal Orlando Review: Tips on How To Have A Magical Time

Photo by Ariana LaBarrie/ fresh pair of iis

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I visited Universal Studios Florida for my birthday and was most excited to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I read all the Harry Potter books and watched the movies for the first time during quarantine last year, so to see all of this come to life was amazing. Read below for my tips to prepare for your visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and my overall review of the experience.

Tips To Do Before Visiting Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Get shirts and Harry Potter Gear

A lot of people will be dressed up in Harry Potter gear to visit the enchanted Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Many have Harry Potter-themed shirts or wear house robes. Some also dress up as students in uniforms or make their T-shirts using a Cricut. Get your gear before so you can hit the ground running.

Hogwarts Shirt

Harry Potter Hogwarts Vintage Crest T-Shirt at Amazon

Cricut

Cricut Explore Air 2 at Amazon

White Oxford Shirt

Short Sleeve Ladies Oxford at Amazon

Grey Vest

Women Solid Classic V-Neck Sleeveless Pullover Sweater Vest Top at Amazon

Pleated Skirt

High Waisted Pleated Skirt at Amazon

Knee Socks

Harry Potter House Crests Argyle Juniors/Womens 4 Pack Knee High Socks at Amazon

Hogwarts House Neck Ties

Pinstriped Formal Necktie Tie Set at Amazon at Amazon

Read the books and watch the movies

In order to really enjoy the magic of the Wizarding World, you should definitely read the books and watch the movies if you haven’t, or revisit them if you haven’t read or watched them in a while. The World is very detailed, and in order to truly appreciate it you should be familiar with it all.

Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7) 

Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7)  at Amazon

Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection

Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection [DVD] at Amazon or stream on Amazon

Find out which Hogwarts House you are in

Knowing your Hogwarts House is essential before visiting the Wizarding World. A lot of different people are representing their house, so it’s important to know which team you’re on! Take the quiz before visiting.

Bring small bag that can fit into locker

A lot of rides require you to put your stuff in a locker. Have a small enough bag that can fit into the small lockers, which are free while riding the rides. For larger backpacks and items, you’ll be charged about $2 per ride. Either have a ticket with a barcode or ask for a free locker barcode card; the lockers can be a bit weird with the QR code tickets.

Hogwarts Drawstring Backpack

Hogwarts Crest Official Drawstring Bag at Amazon

Bring external phone charger

Unfortunately, there isn’t a place to charge your phone, and you’ll be using it a lot for pictures, checking waiting times, and storing your park ticket. Make sure you bring an external phone charger so you can charge on the go.

External Phone Charger

Anker Portable Charger at Amazon

Tips of Things To Do While Visting Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Get in line for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

This is the newest ride in the Wizarding World and wait times can be very long. Also, sometimes it will have a virtual queue that can also fill up fast. Get in line or join the virtual queue as soon as you get to the park when it opens.

Put phone in locker while riding Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Hagrid’s is a crazy ride and loose items won’t be safe! Put your phone in the locker. You don’t want to risk it flying out or breaking.

Flight of the Hipogriff will have a long line too

While this is a family-friendly coaster, this line is only second to Hagrid’s. Try to ride this early in the day.

Try Butterbeer

You’ll either love or hate Butterbeer, there is no in between. Try it at least once and share it with members of your party. You can decide from there if it is you want a glass for yourself. It comes in regular, frozen, and hot during the chillier months. There is also a soft-serve ice cream version and fudge version.

Take a ton of pictures!

While it’s easy to get lost in all the magic, make sure to take pictures! You’ll appreciate looking back at it all once you return to the Muggle world.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter food review

Butterbeer is…fine

I had the frozen version, since I tend to prefer Slurpees to regular pop. I thought it was going to be sweet, but it wasn’t. Kind of tasted like mix of gingerale and creme soda, but flat. I would try the regular version, but wasn’t too impressed to be honest.

Ice cream is not sweet at all

And in my opinion, not worth it. I had the Apple Crumble and Sticky Toffee pudding from Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour. Both tasted the same and weren’t really sweet. I wouldn’t get it again.

Most of the sweets you can get outside of the park at a lower price

Most of the sweets sold have been available in grocery stores for years, and while they are pricey, they are cheaper than the ones you can get at the park. Only by the sweets if you’re looking for the collectible, reuseable packaging.

Harry Potter Jelly Gummy Candy Slugs, Bertie Botts Every Flavour Jelly Beans & Chocolate Crispy Frog at Amazon

Wizarding World of Harry Potter Merchandise review

Not a lot of merchandise:

I was surprised that there wasn’t a ton of Harry Potter merchandise. There are shirts, wands, robes, key chains and pins but I was expecting more stuff. Items that are exclusive to Harry Potter venues (like the parks, the London tour and the Harry Potter store in NYC) are the house sweatshirts, Mrs. Weasley sweaters, and the wands. You can find more stuff at Universal Studios online shop.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter ride reviews and rankings

5. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™

Photo by Ariana LaBarrie/ fresh pair of iis

Nestled in the Gringotts bank, this is one of the their 3D rides. While being inside the bank was beautiful, I felt like the audio was kind of muffled and the ride wasn’t as exciting as the others. They also didn’t make it clear if this was based on the scene where Hermoine changes in Bellatrix or if this was the real Bellatrix.

4. Flight of the Hippogriff™

Photo by Ariana LaBarrie/ fresh pair of iis

While this was a family friendly coaster (more kid-like) and short ride, it was super cute to see Buckbeak and had enough thrills for everyone.

3. Hogwarts™ Express

While this technically is just part-to-park transportation, its so detailed and engaging that you forget that you’re going to another park. Make sure to ride it both ways, its a different experience each way. Make sure you get park-to-park tickets to experience this and both parks.

2. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™

Its super hard to describe this unique ride. Its a bit of a rollercoaster, but you’re also moving through a storyline created specifically for this ride. A ride that I would say its most similar to is Disney World’s Soaring. While the ride is delightful, walking through Hogwarts and seeing things like the Fat Lady and the Pensieve is brillant.

1. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Worth the wait! This is a true coaster. I highly recommend riding on the motorbike if possible, but the side care is fun aw well. So many twist and turns and surprises that I don’t want to spoil but I though the ride was over several times before it actually was.

Get tickets here.