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Tips to Create a Magical Day at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The world of Harry Potter enthralls children and adults alike. Fans of the young wizard will find plenty of magical experiences at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a themed area spanning two theme parks in Orlando. At Universal’s Islands of Adventure, you can explore Hogwarts castle and Hogsmeade village. The thrilling and magical Diagon Alley can be found at Universal Studios Florida. To make the most of your visit, follow these tips and keep an eye out for special nods to those in the know and don’t forget to stay at Fantasy World, one of the Kissimmee resorts that is its own magical world.

First and foremost, before you leave for either park, download the Universal Orlando Wait Times app so you can plan around the wait times for each ride. Ideally, especially during hot Orlando summers, you may want to visit Hogsmeade first and then head to Diagon Alley later in the day, as it is designed with darker (and cooler) areas that are more comfortable during the hottest parts of the day.

If you are going to Hogsmeade, head straight toward Seuss Landing instead of Marvel Super Hero Island, as it is a shorter walk. Similarly, when you get to Diagon Alley, if the line into Universal Studios is too long, head to the entrance by the Blue Man Group. Once there, walk straight, make a right and you’ll see it by Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit.

While at Hogsmeade, look for the cat made out of a tape measure at Gladrags Wizardwear. It’s tail even moves! While you’re waiting for the Forbidden Journey ride, listen carefully and you’ll hear a teacher lecturing in the Potions classroom. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the Sword of Gryffindor at Filch’s Emporium, and in the Hog’s Head Pub, you can see the talking heads from Prisoner of Azkaban. If you’re in the bathrooms at Hogsmeade, don’t be scared – or annoyed – by the cries and complaints of ol’ Moaning Myrtle.

While on the Hogwarts Express to Diagon Alley, take a look, if you dare, at Malfoy Manor, where you may catch a quick glimpse of Voldemort himself. Don’t forget that in the books, the main entrance to Diagon Alley is behind the Leaky Cauldron and you can see the façade just as it’s described. Once in Diagon Alley, look for the phone booth at King’s Cross. If you dial 62442 (MAGIC), it will connect you to the Ministry of Magic.

If you’re looking for some fashion advice, the wardrobe mirror at Madame Malkin’s will give you some advice, but don’t take it personally if the mirror is less than friendly. Alternatively, the goblin at the Money Exchange in Carkitt Market will answer any question you may ask.

Finally, if you purchase a wand at Ollivander’s, you’ll receive a map. It may not guide you back to the Kissimmee resorts, but if you hold it under a black light at Knockturn Alley, you’ll see lots of little figures suddenly appear on the map!

These are just a few of the many things to keep an eye out for during your visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Keep your eyes and mind open for a truly magical experience.

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