Visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios is an absolute must for anyone who considers themselves a diehard Harry Potter fan. It's a magical place that will make you feel immersed in the fantasy world full of magic, mischief, Butterbeer, and more. You'll be able to visit and shop on Diagon Alley.
You can exchange currency at Gringotts, ride the Knight Bus, and even visit Hogwarts itself! But trips to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter aren't cheap, especially if you want to make the most of it. Here are some things you should know before you start planning to ensure you get the best experience for your money!
10 The bathrooms are haunted
You remember Moaning Myrtle right? Well, she haunts the bathrooms in the parks! Not really, of course. But it can be a startling experience to be going into a stall and suddenly hear her loud wails blasting from overhead. Now you'll truly know what Hermione felt on a regular basis, and even Harry a few times!
It's a cool added touch that further immerses you into the fantastical world of Harry Potter. They play audio recordings of the infamous Moaning Myrtle on a loop. For some extra fun, don't tell anyone you're traveling with and see if they get spooked!
9 Staying onsite will help you manage crowds better
It should go without saying that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter gets extremely crowded. Millions of people all over the world love the magical world, and they come in from other countries simply to visit the theme park.
It is advised that you stay on-site in one of the Universal hotels if you're able to as it will allow you to get to the rides much earlier and stay out later. You won't have to worry about travel times between the park and your off-site hotel if you're already there and you'll be able to keep an eye on the crowds better to find the best times to go.
8 Don't miss out on Knockturn Alley
It can be easy to miss Knockturn Alley because it is somewhat hidden away (as it should be), but you shouldn't miss out, especially if you look spooky stuff! Search for a wooden arrow near Madam Malkin's, and you'll be lead down a dark passageway.
Eventually, you'll come out in the Alley, and you'll be able to visit Borgin and Burkes and a couple of other creepy dark wizard shops. There are also some interactive spell spots in the area if you've bought one of the interactive wands and it's certainly worth seeing it all!
7 There are lots of different Butterbeer treats
Harry Potter World - as writing the full name is starting to get old - doesn't mess around when it comes to Butterbeer. Not only can you get a standard frothy mug of the deliciously sweet stuff but you can also try Butterbeer ice cream, cupcakes, and other sweet treats.
However, don't miss out on the other delicacies of the theme park. They don't hold back when it comes to bringing popular candy from the series to life. Don't miss out on the Fizzing Whizzbees and the other drinks they offer! There are tons to try.
6 If you can afford to get a wand, Ollivander's is worth the visit
Buying a wand at Universal can get expensive. It's going to cost you a minimum of $44 and it'll go up to $50 if you want an interactive wand. It's recommended you get the interactive one so you can see the spell spots in the park.
However, you can buy them for the same price online before you go and avoid the line. That said, the experience at Ollivander's for the wand choosing ceremony is truly special and shouldn't be missed if you have the time to spare.
5 Only bring a small bag or backpack
Trust us, in the long run, you'll be so glad you didn't get bogged down with a large bag. You won't want to deal with lockers. They're expensive and the lines for them are long.
Odds are, you'll be waiting in long lines already but wasting time waiting for a locker is just cutting into the time you could at least be waiting for a ride or another fun part of the park. Plus the lockers are pretty tiny and might not fit everything anyway. Just do yourself a favor and don't bring anything beyond a tiny bag for a wallet.
4 The Universal Express Pass Is A life-saver
Like the Disney Fast Pass, the Universal Express Pass is going to make your day much more enjoyable. It is expensive, we won't deny that, but ultimately it will help you get more money's worth out of your trip if you don't have to waste a substantial amount of time waiting in long lines (and there will be long lines).
The best part about the Express Pass is you can use it however many times you want. It doesn't have as many restrictions as the Disney Fast Pass.
3 You can actually call the Ministry of Magic
Re-enact some of the famous book scenes by calling the Ministry of Magic from the phone booth! If you go inside and you dial 62442 (MAGIC) and you'll be connected with a Ministry of Magic operative! As far as we know, the red phone booth doesn't double as a secret elevator (yet). But then again, who knows? Might as well try it and find out, even if it's just to feel like a real wizard for a moment!
2 Ride the train both ways
For starters, visiting the platform 9 3/4 at the park's King Cross is a must. You can even "walk through" the brick wall like they do in the series. Not really of course, but it looks pretty realistic!
Don't rush through the area if you can, try to follow through the real way you would get on the platform and you'll be rewarded. Plus, make sure you take the train to Hogsmeade and then take it back, as the ride is different in opposite directions and offers new interactions and magical discoveries along the way!
1 Hit the most popular rides first
As we mentioned before, Harry Potter World can get extremely crowded, quite quickly. It's best you visit the most popular rides first, especially Harry Potter and the Forbidden Forest, Escape from Gringotts, and Hagrid's Magical Creature Ride.
If you stay on-site and have an Express Pass, that shouldn't be an issue. Then you can relax for the rest of the day and take your time on other, less-popular ventures and shopping.