The ULTIMATE Guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

A dragon statue on top of a building

Do I have a magical article for you! Today, we’re talking about all things magical at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort.

Split between both Universal theme parks in Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure™, and Universal Studios, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter transports you out of the muggle universe and into the beloved Harry Potter books and Warner Bros. films.

With so much to do and see in this enchanting Wizarding World, having a plan before you arrive will allow you to make the very most of your visit and ensure a spellbinding good time!

I’m going to be sharing everything you need to know about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, as well as some tips and tricks I’ve picked up from my visits as a Universal annual pass holder living in Orlando.

Do you solemnly swear that you are up to no good? Let’s go then!

Overview of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

People walking in front of castle

Both theme parks at Universal Orlando Resort offer their own unique Wizarding World experiences, including distinct shopping, dining, attractions, and entertainment.

A park-to-park ticket is the best way to explore, as this allows you to see both halves of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter on the same day. With this ticket, you can really kick the magic up a notch by riding the Hogwarts Express from one to the other. But more on that later! 😉

Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

People walking in Hogsmeade alley

Step into the story at Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure, the only all-wizarding village in the United Kingdom! At Hogsmeade, you’ll find iconic locales from Harry Potter, like Ollivanders, Honeydukes, and even Hogwarts Castle!

You may remember from the Harry Potter books that Hogsmeade is not far from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry – the same is true at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure is where you’ll find the breathtaking Hogwarts Castle and the exciting ride inside, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Fancy meeting some rare magical creatures? Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is a one-of-a-kind rollercoaster that will introduce you to creatures of all kinds. The junior coaster, Flight of the Hippogriff, will show you how to approach them too.

Whether you’re a thrill seeker or just seeking some Butterbeer (it’s non-alcoholic!), prepare to be fully immersed in magic at this half of Harry’s World.

Hogsmeade is home to 3 of the 4 Harry Potter rides at Universal Orlando, so if you’re a Harry Potter fan only able to do one of the 2 parks, I highly recommend Universal’s Islands of Adventure for the most complete experience on its own. That’s not to say Diagon Alley isn’t equally amazing, but the concentration of rides and experiences in Hogsmeade makes it the better option if I were to choose just one!

Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida

View of alley with shops with a dragon statue on top of a building at the end of it

Next up is Diagon Alley, the other half of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ that’s located at Universal Studios Florida. What this area lacks in rides, it more than makes up for in amazing, immersive experiences, as well as fantastic food and drinks!

The one ride in Diagon Alley at Universal Studios, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, is a thrilling, larger-than-life adventure that you’ll definitely want to put on your to-do list. But there’s much more to explore after the attraction wraps up.

As much as I love Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley’s theming and architecture are hard to beat, as is its magical location. To get to Diagon Alley, you’ll turn down an unsuspecting walkway behind a brick wall (Does Platform 9¾ ring a bell?), making it all the more spectacular when you emerge onto the packed streets and get a glimpse at the fire-breathing dragon-guarding Gringotts Wizarding Bank.

Unique shopping, dining, and entertainment await you in Diagon Alley, but if you’re not careful, you may end up taking a wrong turn down Knockturn Alley. You never know what kind of shady wizards you’ll find there!


Tickets to Universal Orlando Resort

Since The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ is split between the 2 parks, the ticket-buying process can be a little confusing at first, but I’m going to break it down for you, so it’s easy and stress-free!

You have 2 main options for buying Universal theme park tickets. A basic ticket is one park per day, which means you’ll only have access to one of the 2 lands in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If you’re staying for multiple days and want to give each park a full day, this option is great. That way, you won’t feel rushed and will really be able to take it all in.

However, a park-to-park ticket is required if you want to ride the Hogwarts Express from Hogsmeade Station to Kings Cross or vice versa. It’s really hard to squeeze both parks into one day, especially if you want to see and do everything, but park-to-park tickets definitely have their benefits. I like being able to hop around depending on what I’m feeling, and the Hogwarts Express experience alone is worth it for Potterheads.

Universal Orlando Resort is almost constantly offering amazing promotions that’ll save you $$ if you stay multiple days! Check out their current deals for the best pricing!

Another great way to save is to bundle your Universal Orlando admission with other major attractions in Orlando, such as Walt Disney World, by buying the Klook Pass Orlando. This way, you can really maximize the fun on your next Florida vacation!

Buy Klook Pass Orlando

Adult EntranceKids Entrance 
One ParkStarts at US$109 per person for one dayStarts at US$104 per person for one dayBook tickets
Park-to-ParkStarts at US$164 per person for one dayStarts at US$159 per person for one dayBook tickets
Express PassStarts at an additional US$90 for one park and US$120 for bothStarts at an additional US$90 for one park, US$120 for bothBook tickets
Express UnlimitedStarts at an additional US$105 for one park and US$135 for both Starts at an additional US$105 for one park and US$135 for both Book tickets

Universal Express Pass

People standing in front of the Hogwards Express train

Are you a serious ride-lover who wants to pack as much fun into one day as possible? I highly recommend the Universal Express Pass, which is available for an additional cost on top of your park tickets. Express Passes let you skip the regular line, and there are 2 types available!

A regular Universal Express Pass allows you to skip the line at each participating attraction once and starts at US$90 per person. If you’ve got some favorite attractions you want to ride again and again without a wait, you may prefer the Universal Express Unlimited Pass, which starts at US$100 per person.

I do want to mention that Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure does not have an Express Pass line, so you will need to wait in the regular line regardless. It’s worth every second of waiting, though, I promise!

Getting to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

A sign pointing left that says Hogwarts

In this section, we’ll go over transportation to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter from both the airport and from within Universal Orlando Resort.

From the airport

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, located at Universal Orlando Resort, is just 15 miles (25 km) from the Orlando International Airport (MCO) – about a 20-minute drive.

MCO offers the same rideshare options you’ll find at other major airports, like Uber and Lyft. Since Universal Orlando is so close to the airport, this is probably the simplest transportation option, as it doesn’t require any planning in advance.

If you’re like me and you prefer to have your airport transfer scheduled well ahead of time, this MCO Private Transfer is perfect for you and your travel group!

Book MCO Private Transfer

From within Universal Orlando Resort

The entrance of Universal Studos Florida

One of the very best things about Universal Orlando Resort is how close the 2 theme parks are to each other, as well as the Universal hotels. This makes getting around the property a breeze! Parking for both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, as well as Universal CityWalk, are all located in the same place – not far from the parks themselves.

You can opt to walk from one park to the other or take a very magical method of transportation, which we’ll talk all about in the next section!

Parking is US$30 per day.

Things to do in Hogsmeade 📍 Islands of Adventure

There are so many fun things to do at Hogsmeade in Universal’s Island of Adventure, so I’ve rounded up the best of the best for your next visit.

1. Go for a thrilling ride on Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure

Adults and children riding on Hagrid's Motorbike Adventure

I have to kick this list off with Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure because it’s arguably one of the best theme park rides of all time. This state-of-the-art rollercoaster is one-of-kind, and I can honestly say I’ve never experienced a ride quite like it anywhere else!

Get ready for an exhilarating adventure deep into the Forbidden Forest as you embark on a quest for Professor Rubeus Hagrid’s Care of Magical Creatures class. You’ll discover rare magical creatures along the way, with unexpected twists, turns, and drops around every bend!

This is hands-down my favorite of the Harry Potter rides, and an absolute must-do when visiting Hogsmeade. Unfortunately, it tends to have the longest wait of all attractions at the Universal parks. There is no Universal Express Pass option for Hagrid’s, but later in this article, we’ll go over some of the best time-saving tips and hacks to cut down on wait time.

Height restriction: 48 in (122 cm) or taller to ride

2. Soar up in the sky in Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

View of the castle

The stunning Hogwarts Castle is more than just for show! It houses Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a larger-than-life ride that’ll have you soaring above the castle grounds, through the magical corridors, and into the Forbidden Forest. Who knows what dangers lurk ahead?

On this state-of-the-art dark ride, you’ll take on dragons, dementors, giant spiders, and the notorious Whomping Willow! I’m not going to lie, I actually found this attraction to be a bit scary myself (I did it once and never again), so that’s something to keep in mind if you’re visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with kids. But for the daring, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey should not be missed.

A huge plus of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is that the queue is phenomenal! It really immerses you into various locations within Hogwarts, like Professor Sprout’s greenhouses and Dumbledore’s office.

The ride exits into Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods, where you can shop all kinds of “confiscated goods” that the Hogwarts caretaker, Argus Filch, has taken from Hogwarts students. You’ll even find amazing replicas of Harry Potter movie props, like the Marauder’s Map!

Height restriction: 48 in (122 cm) or taller to ride

3. Join the Flight of the Hippogriff

Adults and children riding on the Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster

If the first 2 The Wizarding World of Harry Potter attractions are too intense for you or someone in your travel party (no judgment here), check out Flight of the Hippogriff.

This is a junior coaster located in Hogsmeade at the Islands of Adventure, and it has just the right amount of thrills with a max speed of 29 mph.

Flight of the Hippogriff takes place in the Forbidden Forest and features Hagrid’s Hut, his pumpkin patch, and a hippogriff, of course, which is essentially a giant eagle horse. Not to worry, though – Hagrid teaches you the proper etiquette to approach this fantastical creature safely.

TIP: Ride this attraction at night for some spectacular views of the lights around Hogsmeade!

Height restriction: 36 in (92 cm) or taller to ride

4. Dine at Three Broomsticks

A large room with a chandelier hanging from the ceiling

The first place Harry Potter ever tasted Butterbeer in the books, a meal at Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade is a must! This quick-service restaurant is so cozy – it has the same snow-capped roof as the other buildings in the area, with weathered wood beams and cast-iron chandeliers inside.

Three Broomsticks serves up some mouth-watering pub fare, including shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, beef pasties, and The Great Feast, a giant platter that serves 4. Don’t forget to try some Butterbeer or pumpkin juice!

No reservations are required to eat here, as the restaurant is first come, first served. While the line can get a bit long around peak lunch and dinner times, I’ve never had a problem waiting too long or not being able to find somewhere to sit. You’re going to love it!

5. Have a refreshing libation at Hog’s Head

A hog's head between two barrels for butterbeer

Located in the back of Three Broomsticks™, Hog’s Head has a separate entrance as well, in case you’re only stopping in for a drink.

The pub has an exclusive Hog’s Head Brew that you can’t find anywhere else, as well as Butterbeer (served cold, hot, and frozen!), pumpkin juice, and a whole bunch of other unique, fantastical libations. It’s the perfect way to cool off from the hot Florida sun.

6. Get your very own wand at Ollivanders Wand Shop

Window display of Ollivanders Wand Shop

As the Harry Potter books tell us, the wand chooses the wizard. You can see which wand chooses you at Ollivanders Wand Shop!

Replica wands of Harry Potter characters, custom wands, and interactive wands are sold at various places around the parks, including on CityWalk. But only at Ollivanders, makers of fine wands since 382 BC, can you be a part of the wand selection ceremony!

In this show, a small group is taken into Ollivanders, and one lucky person from that group is chosen to “test-drive” wands and see which wand calls to them! It’s a one-of-a-kind experience, even just watching the whole thing go down! Even if you’re not chosen, though, you are able to purchase a wand for yourself.

Interactive wands let you cast spells around The Wizarding World of Harry Potter for an even more immersive and magical visit to the parks. Ollivanders Wand Shop is one of the most popular things to do in Hogsmeade, and the line for this experience gets very long very quickly. Your best bet is to go first thing in the morning and take advantage of Early Park Admission, which we’ll talk about in our “Time-saving tips” section!

The same experience is available at the Ollivanders location in Diagon Alley.

FUN FACT: That’s where it’s located in the books, but since Hogsmeade opened first at Universal Orlando Resort, the shop has a location in both of the 2 lands. The Diagon Alley location has a larger capacity and more room inside, so that may be a better option for you if you’re visiting both parks.

7. Try a fantastical treat from Honeydukes

Window display with sweets of Honeydukes

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things about the Harry Potter universe is all the fascinating sweets and treats they eat. You, too, can enjoy the whimsical candies – just head over to Honeydukes.

Honeydukes is the local sweet shop in Hogsmeade, and you can find favorites like exploding bonbons, chocolate frogs, and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. While I’d rather pass on Bertie Bott’s after a particularly nasty one (I had the misfortune of unknowingly trying the booger-flavored bean), my recommendation for a magical treat at Honeydukes is Fizzing Whizbees, which are delicious chocolates with a surprisingly fizzy, fruity center.

Whatever you choose, you won’t want to miss a stop at Honeydukes on your next Wizarding World trip!

8. Marvel at the Frog Choir

People holding frogs and singning

I love the Frog Choir in Hogsmeade so much – it just tickles me to watch the Hogwarts students in their house robes holding these giant, magical croaking frogs! There is even a representative from each Hogwarts house in the performance – I’m a Slytherin gal myself.

You can catch the acapella stylings in Hogsmeade, on the outside stage between the village and Hogwarts. Showtimes are typically every hour on the half-hour, with other Wizarding World shows in between, like #10 on our list!

9. Go shopping for magical gifts

Window display of Owl post

No visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is complete without repping your Hogwarts house! Stop into Dervish and Banges for all your wizarding needs, from quidditch gear, robes, and shirts to stationery and home goods. There’s an Easter egg in here as well for all the Potterheads out there – this is where you’ll find The Monster Book of Monsters!

Owl Post is where you’ll purchase the wand you choose at Ollivanders, but there’s more to it than just wands! You can send a letter or postcard with a special Hogsmeade postmark. There are plenty of awesome souvenirs and collectibles to check out, too.

10. Show your school pride at the Triwizard Spirit Rally

People dressed as wizards performing a show

Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure boasts some fantastic entertainment options and the Triwizard Spirit Rally is one of them!

Sharing a stage with the Frog Choir at alternating times, the Triwizard Spirit Rally is a celebration of the Triwizard Tournament and features students from the 3 legendary wizarding schools: Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang. The costumes and dancing are incredible! I love breaking up a long day of walking and waiting in line with an outdoor performance like this, and I highly recommend seeing it for yourself!

11. Take the Hogwarts Express to Diagon Alley

View of the Hogwarts express train

Now, if you have a park-to-park ticket, you’re absolutely going to want to do this one because it’s the ultimate immersive experience at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You can ride the Hogwarts Express from Hogsmeade Station in Universal’s Islands of Adventure to King’s Cross Station, right outside of Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida!

There are a few things that really make this a standout attraction, despite it not being an official ride. First, the Hogwarts Express is a very convenient way to travel from park to park, completely eliminating the walk through CityWalk, which is super hot during the summer months especially.

Most importantly, it’s unbelievably magical as you look out the windows and see scenes from the streets of London, The Malfoy Manor, the Forbidden Forest, and more. The events and scenes actually change depending on which direction you’re riding the Hogwarts Express!

I will say that the wait time for the Hogwarts Express can get a little ridiculous for what it actually is. I’ve seen it upward of an hour before, making it difficult to justify when it’s much quicker to just walk over to Diagon Alley yourself.

For the diehard Harry Potter fans, though, this should be a priority. Just keep an eye on the wait times and see if you can catch it with a wait under 20 minutes if you do not have a Universal Express Pass.

Parents, you’ll be happy to know that the Hogwarts Express is stroller-friendly!

Things to do in Diagon Alley™ 📍 Universal Studios Florida

We’ve covered Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, now let’s jump into all the amazing things to do at Diagon Alley at the other Universal Orlando theme park, Universal Studios Florida.

1. Ride Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

A dragon statue breathing fire on top of a building

Although it’s the only ride in Diagon Alley, this one packs a punch! You’ll travel dangerously deep down in Gringotts’ subterranean vaults with Harry, Ron, and Hermione as they hunt for a Horcrux. Along the way, you’ll encounter some terrifying villains. Yes, He Who Shall Not Be Named is there, as well as a few others that I’ll leave unnamed for now!

You’re completely immersed in this 4D experience, and every moment keeps you guessing about what’s coming next. It’s an absolute blast with no shortage of thrills.

The queue leads you through Gringotts Wizarding Bank, which is unbelievably gorgeous! I actually think I enjoy the queue as much as I do the ride itself.

PRO TIP: The giant dragon atop the attraction will breathe actual fire throughout the day! It makes for an awesome photo, so see if you can catch it while you’re there.

Height restriction: 42 in (107 cm) or taller to ride

2. Enjoy tasty British fare at the Leaky Cauldron

A plate of food with meat and vegetables

How cool is it that you can have a meal at the Leaky Cauldron from the movies and books! This is my favorite restaurant at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and like Three Broomsticks, the Leaky Cauldron serves up some really delicious, classic British cuisine.

Fisherman’s Pie, Bangers and Mash, Toad in the Hole, and Scotch Eggs are all featured on the menu here. If you choose to dine at breakfast, you can enjoy a traditional English breakfast with all the fixings, an American breakfast if that’s more your style, or one of their other yummy offerings.

You can get Butterbeer ice cream here, and it’s to die for! You’ll find it at the next place on our list too, as well as some of the best theme park ice cream I’ve ever had. No reservations are required to eat at the Leaky Cauldron – whenever you’re hungry, you can get in line or utilize mobile ordering in advance on the Universal Orlando Resort App.

3. Cool off at Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour

Exterior of Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream Parlour

Every time I visit The Wizarding World, a stop at Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour in Diagon Alley is a must for me! This place is so adorable, and their ice cream tastes as good as it looks.

Florean Fortescue’s has some really unique flavors of ice cream, such as Butterbeer, Clotted Cream, Earl Grey & Lavender, and Sticky Toffee Pudding, just to name a few! You’ll also find tantalizing sundaes served in super cute souvenir cups – my favorite is the Chocolate Strawberry Peanut-Butter Sundae because it tastes like a creamy, dreamy PB&J.

Soft serve is also popular at Florean Fortescue’s, with even more fascinating flavors to choose from, including Orange Marmalade, Granny Smith, Toffee, and Strawberries and Cream.

Don’t let the line discourage you – it’s well worth the wait!

4. Quench your thirst at The Hopping Pot

Exterior of the Hopping Pot bar

Whether you’re looking for Butterbeer or something with a little more kick, The Hopping Pot is the place to go in Diagon Alley! It’s a walk-up bar serving up magical libations, like Butterbeer, Pumpkin Juice, Tongue Tying Lemon Squash, Otter’s Fizzy Orange Juice, and Fishy Green Ale.

You’ll also find a selection of alcoholic beverages at The Hopping Pot as well, so it’s a hot spot for the 21+ crowd. They even serve Beef Pasties and Butterbeer Ice Cream if you’re feeling a bit peckish.

5. Wander through Knockturn Alley

A brick wall with a sign on it that says Knockturn Alley

The first time I discovered Knockturn Alley at Universal Studios, I had actually made a wrong turn, leading me to stumble upon this dark and eerie part of Diagon Alley.

For the unfamiliar, Knockturn Alley is where Harry Potter accidentally ends up when he’s trying to travel with Floo powder. It’s a shopping area right off Diagon Alley, with shops dedicated to the Dark Arts and full of seedy characters.

While Knockturn Alley isn’t necessarily an attraction, this walk-through area has some awesome special effects (or, shall I say, magic?) and a lot of Easter eggs hidden throughout. Stop into Borgin and Burkes to check out the wide selection of Dark Arts artifacts. You know, in case you realize you need a Deatheater mask for some reason. 

6. Get wizarding ware at Madam Malkin’s Robes for all Occasions

A mannequin of women with old lamp on top of a table

The scorching Florida heat doesn’t stop Harry Potter fans from sporting their Hogwarts house robes, and if you’re looking for your own, look no further than Madam Malkin’s Robes for all Occasions in Diagon Alley.

It’s the best place to shop for magical fashion, and some of the sweaters for sale here were made by the same company that produced the sweaters for the Harry Potter films!

Look out for that magical talking mirror, though – it loves to share its opinions on how you’re dressed, and it’s not always nice about it. Ouch! 😆

7. Take home a cuddly creature from The Wizarding World

Entrance to Weasleys Wizard Wheezes

Among the shops in Diagon Alley, you’ll find 2 very unique stores. The first is the Magical Menagerie, where you can find all kinds of fantastic beasts from the Harry Potter world, like Nifflers, unicorns, dragons, and owls.

There are so many adorable stuffed animals there to take home with you, even plushies of beloved Harry Potter characters, like Buckbeak, Fluffy, and Hedwig. Exchange your muggle money at the register for a cuddly new friend and official adoption papers! On the outside of the shop, you’ll even find a snake that speaks to you! Do you happen to know Parseltongue by chance?

You’ll also want to check out Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, an emporium of gifts, gags, and lots of magical fun. You can adopt an absolutely precious Pygmy Puff from Magical Menagerie, but at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, the adoption ceremony is an unforgettable experience.

Ask your cashier for the ceremony, and they’ll ring a bell for the entire store to clap and celebrate! You’ll fill out your adoption papers, and just like that, you’re the adoptive parent of one of the cutest creatures around.

8. Check out the Knight Bus (and shrunken head!)

View of three decker bus

Right outside of Diagon Alley in what’s considered the London area of Universal Studios Florida, you’ll find the legendary Knight Bus, one of the 2 actual prop buses used when filming Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban.

It’s impossible to miss this massive, three-decker purple bus, but there’s even more than meets the eye. Occasionally, the conductor will be there, as well as the interactive shrunken head, for even more magical fun! It’s a really great photo spot.

Time-saving tips

View of an alley with shops

Let’s get into how to best manage your time so you can do them all! We’ll start with free ways to cut down on wait time and include some splurges that are totally worth it if they’re within your budget.

  • Arrive bright and early before park opening – By arriving ahead of park opening, you can beeline it to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and be one of the first in line for the most popular attractions.
  • Visit on weekdays – Weekends are always going to be the busiest days of the week to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter because that’s when most locals go as well. For fewer crowds, plan your vacation over weekdays if possible.
  • Utilize the single riders line – This is the ultimate hack for skipping the line for free at Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The 3 most popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter rides (Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, and Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts) also offer single rider access. While you will be separated from others in your group, your wait time will be cut much, much shorter!
  • Mobile order your food – Since there are only 2 main restaurants at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, there’s no denying the lines can get pretty long at both. Download the Universal Orlando Resort App, so you can place your food orders in advance and arrive at a return time for pickup.
  • Stay at a Universal Orlando Resort hotel – The Universal Orlando hotels are some of my favorites in Orlando, and they come with some awesome perks. Not only are they very close to the parks, but they come with Early Park Admission. This lets you enter the parks up to an hour before regular guests and is the perfect chance to get on popular attractions before the major crowds show up.
  • Buy a Universal Express Pass – We chatted about these in the Tickets section of this article, and they really make a huge difference in how much you’re able to accomplish in one day at the parks!

Where to stay at Universal Orlando Resort

The Universal Orlando Resort hotels are fabulous! I’ve stayed in quite a few of them myself and can honestly say I’ve never had anything short of an amazing experience there. The locations, amenities, service, rooms, and perks are all top-notch.

The luxury hotels on this list come with a massive benefit: they include Universal Express Unlimited Passes with your stay!

A collage of three hotel photos: water slide, aerial view of hotel, and bedroom

Luxury (US$500 and up)

  • Universal’s Loews Portofino Bay Hotel – One of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever had the pleasure of staying in, Portofino Bay is just a 5-minute walk from all the action at CityWalk, and immerses you in the breathtaking scenery of Portofino, Italy, right here in Central Florida.
  • Universal’s Loews Royal Pacific Resort – If escaping to a tropical paradise is your idea of a good time, you’ll love Loews Royal Pacific Resort! You’ll be transported to sunny shores and sandy beaches. Relax, you’re about to be on island time!

Mid-Range (US$200 – US$400)

  • Universal’s Loews Sapphire Falls Resort – Another of my all-time favorite Universal Orlando hotels, Sapphire Falls makes you feel like you’re on an exotic island vacation. I had the best stay here, and the pool (and pool bar) is so incredible!
  • Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress – While not technically in the Universal Orlando Resort area, Grand Cypress is, in my opinion, one of the best hotels in all of Orlando, with one of the best pools in town! This is a great location if you’re planning to do both Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World.

Budget (up to US$200)

🎢 Top attraction:Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
🏨 Best hotel:Universal’s Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
👧 Best attraction for kids:Flight of the Hippogriff
🥟 Best restaurant:Leaky Cauldron
🚌 Best shuttle service:Private Transfer from MCO

FAQs about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

View of the castle

⚡ How much does it cost to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter?

A visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is included with your park admission (one park from US$109 or park-to-park from US$164) and does not cost extra. To visit both halves of The Wizarding World, you’ll need valid admission to both Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida.

📍 Is Harry Potter World in LA or Florida?

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, also known as Harry Potter World, is located in both California (LA) and Florida (Orlando). Universal Studios Hollywood features just Hogsmeade, while Universal Orlando Resort features both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley between two parks.

🌟 Is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter worth it?

Absolutely! You don’t even need to be a die-hard Harry Potter fan to enjoy all the magic The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has to offer, from thrilling attractions to one-of-a-kind shows and entertainment.


Hogsmeade alley at night

That’s a wrap! We’ve covered so many fun things to do in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter today, as well as everything you need to know before you make your first magical visit. Whether you decide to head to Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, or both, you’re going to have the absolute time of your life on this adventure.

I’m around if you have any questions whatsoever! You can always leave a comment, and I’ll get back to you. Thanks so much for reading!

Mischief managed,


Pin it for later!

A dragon statue breathing fire on top of a building

Pin it for later!

A collage of two photos: a roller coaster ride and castle

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links on this page might be affiliate links, which means that at absolutely no extra cost for you we will earn a small commission for a sale generated through the website. We only recommend the things we actually use ourselves and never accept useless sponsored crap. Thank you so much for supporting this project!

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Follow @misstourist on Instagram!