1) Cast a spell
The whole idea of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is that it’s a totally immersive world which really makes guests feel like they’ve stepped out of reality and into the magical village of Hogsmeade. And if there’s one thing that most Potter fans would LOVE to try out, it’s casting spells and seeing the magical world come to life. Nothing is too much for the imaginations of the creators of Wizarding World of Harry Potter, so they’ve managed to do just that, adding in 11 magical windows which will delight and surprise you with just a flick of your Ollivander’s wand. To play along, visit Ollivander’s wand shop to choose your wand and receive your accompanying Hogsmeade map.
2) Send a letter from Hogsmeade
Hogsmeade at Universal Studios Hollywood really is its own little world – it even has a post office where you can send post to anywhere in the world! Owl Post (which even features very realistic looking owl droppings on the floor outside!) is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir for your loved ones and even get it sent straight to them. Your post will feature an official Hogsmeade stamp, so it makes a great gift for those who are still waiting for their letter to Hogwarts.
3) Try some Wizard food
There are plenty of places to sample some of the famous foods at the parks, which come straight from the books and films and on to your plate. There’s hearty English fare which wouldn’t look out of place in The Great Hall at The Three Broomsticks, creamy Butterbeer from the Butterbeer Cart and Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans at Honeydukes sweet shop (just watch out for the vomit and bogey flavours!).
4) Spot real props from the film
The Universal Studios Hollywood’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter is full of real props used in the films, but it takes a trained eye to spot them! One of the first you’ll be able to spot is in the Hogwarts Express carriage compartment at Hogsmeade Station; here, the luggage racks are the real luggage racks that Harry and Hermione sat under during the making of the films. Later on, if you keep your eyes peeled in Hogwarts you’ll also spot the desks and chalkboard used in the films and Cho Chang’s actual dress form the Yule Ball on display at Gladrags.
5) Ride the Forbidden Journey
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a firm favourite at Universal Orlando, so it’s definitely one not to miss at the new Wizarding World. Put on your Quidditch-inspired 3D goggles and sit back on this unique part-track part-simulator rollercoaster for the ride of your life through Hogwarts! Soar and duck around the castle grounds before dipping into the classrooms and corridors of Hogwarts on this unforgettable and adrenaline-pumping new ride.
6) Get ‘that’ shot of the castle
One of the most awe-inspiring sights in the new park is obviously the huge, imposing Hogwarts castle set against a dramatic skyline. The castle was built using forced perspective, meaning it looks a lot larger than it actually is when viewed from below and makes a great photo when shot from this angle. Try to time it so you can see the sunset at the same time – the view is spectacular!
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