The Disney theme parks, especially the esteemed Disney World, are some of the most beloved and most popular theme parks in the world, giving children and adults the chance to meet their favorite Disney characters. Every great park has its rivals, though.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a park you can visit at the Universal Orlando Resort, has been open since 2014 and has been wowing Harry Potter fans even since. We have compiled five magical things that Disney theme parks do better than anyone else, and five that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter does better than anyone else.
10 Disney: Firework Shows
If you've ever watched a Disney movie, you'll know that during the beginning previews, the signature Disney castle and fireworks show up on your screen for a few seconds. It's not just how the franchise reminds the viewer that they are watching a Disney movie, it's also a very important and popular attraction at both Disney World and Disneyland parks. The show is so popular that it is held nightly. Paired with the gorgeous site of the Disney Castle, the firework show is legendary; nobody beats Disney at their own game.
9 Wizarding World: Quidditch
We all remember the white-knuckling scenes from the Harry Potter films; the adventurous and fast-paced quidditch games. Harry would hop on his broom stick and try to snatch the golden snitch while the rest of his team worked hard to win the game for their house and gain the title. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter made sure that the game that was so important in the films made it into the theme park. Through one of the rides, you can join Harry, Hermione and Ron on one of their quidditch adventures.
8 Disney: Simulations
Some of the best rides at Disney are not even really rides, per se. Simulation rides have become very popular, especially for those who are not big on the real thing; rollercoasters can be scary! Rides like the original "Star Tours" and its sequel "Star Tours: The Adventure Continues" and many of the other simulation rides that Disney theme parks have to offer have been ranked as some of Disney's most popular rides. The park has many of them for you to try out, and we can promise, they don't get any better than this!
7 Wizarding World: Dining
More often than not, amusement park food makes you feel good until it doesn't anymore. Meaning the hot ball of ooey gooey deliciousness might hit the spot on the way down, but after getting on some rides, it begins to come back up with a vengeance.
However, if you go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you will be met with traditional English food; if you go to The Three Broomsticks while you're there. At the inn, they serve dishes like fish and chips, shepherd's pie and beef pasties. You don't have to worry about feeling gross while you adventure the park after having a traditional homestyle meal.
6 Disney: Parades
If you've been to Disneyland, it is very likely that you have witnessed some of the most spectacular parades in the world. With so much work going into the complex parades, there are amazing floats from every famous Disney movie that you can remember and each one features different themes, movies, and characters. "Mickey's Soundsational Parade" is one of the most popular, featuring many characters with plenty of music and fun for the entire family. That's just one of them though; there have been (and still are) so many legendary parades that can't be beat.
5 Wizarding World: Butterbeer
Butterbeer is known in the wizarding world as the drink that tastes "a little bit like less sickly butterscotch" and was sold at The Three Broomsticks Inn in the movie, which was located in Diagon Alley. It would be a crime to go to the only place that sells the beverage (The Wizarding World of Harry Potter) and not grab a mug of this sugary drink. There are a few different ways that you can have it, as well, including the traditional, very foamy way or frozen, which is a little less sweet.
4 Disney: The Views At Night
Even though the fireworks take the attention from pretty much everything else during the evening at most Walt Disney theme parks, the sights that one can see while strolling throughout the park at night are some of the most beautiful.
With lights as far as the eye can see, and buildings that are out of fairytales (quite literally), cannot be topped. Despite the fact that the Hogwarts castle is one of the prettiest sites at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Boardwalk in Orlando is enough to take your breath away.
3 Wizarding World: Transport Between Attractions
In the very first Harry Potter movie, we see young Daniel Radcliffe play a bright and wide-eyed Harry. He goes to King's Cross train station to get to the legendary platform nine and three quarters. For those who have always wanted to go to platform nine and three quarters and ride the Hogwarts Express train, now you can. The theme park is split into two smaller sections, which you can ride back and forth to by train. Unfortunately, though, there is no wall to morph through to get there!
2 Disney: Story Telling
Let's face it: whether you are going to one of the theme parks in America or elsewhere in the world, Disney is always amazing at telling its story. Sharing the history of the park, the franchise, and the brain behind the entire thing (Walt Disney), is one of the things that Disney parks do best. One of Walt Disney's favorite rides, in fact, was the "Carousel of Progress", which is one of the best history rides of all time! It features animatronics that tell a 20-minute story of the hard work and imagination that went into your favorite movie franchise.
1 Wizarding World: Queues
Nobody goes to a theme park for the long, exhausting lines. Usually there are impatient children, loud teens, and groaning parents. The lines and queues at this theme park, though, are much different. More often than not, you are urged to wander through the long queues which usually have plenty of Harry Potter references and great architecture, as they weave through amazing buildings. While you may not be going onto the ride for the queue, it definitely makes the experience much more enjoyable and entertaining.