Part 1 of My Review of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: The 3 Things You Must Know and Some Helpful Hints
Posted Jan 08 2011 11:57pm
I’ll be completely honest–when I booked my trip to Orlando, Florida, I really just wanted to go for one thing: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! And as I started to write this post, I realized that I couldn’t say everything I wanted to without writing a novel of a post. So I decided to divide this up into parts, and thus, I present Part One!
First, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is part of the Universal Studios Islands of Adventure park. An admission ticket grants you access to the Harry Potter area of the park as well as the other “islands” which include the Jurassic Park area and Comic Book area, each with their own attractions and rides.
Second, there is no way that the Harry Potter area of the park can “sell out.” I know this sounds silly, but it’s a rumor we actually heard from a couple tourists when we first arrived in Orlando. They told us that the Harry Potter park was closed to only season ticket holders and tourists that were staying in a Universal Studios sponsored hotel. We got a little nervous. Luckily, the hotel desk guy set me straight!
Third, be prepared to wait in line. The Universal Studios limits the amount of people who can be in the Harry Potter area of the park. If you visit on a day that is especially busy, you may have to wait in line just to enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You will definitely have to wait in line to for the rides and possibly for some of the shops.
Tip #1: Arrive EARLY!
Josh and I arrived at the entrance of the Universal Studios Islands of Adventure park about a half an hour before it opened at 9 AM. And believe me, we weren’t the only ones there! Being early served us well, for we were able to get into the Harry Potter area of the park without any wait. For comparison, around noon on the day we visited, there was an estimated 2 hour wait into the park.
Tip #2: Buy your tickets ahead of time.
I bought our tickets online here. When you buy them online, you can either print them out or pick them up at a will call kiosk. We picked them up at a will call kiosk, which simply required me to swipe my credit card and enter a confirmation code into the computer. Took me less than 2 minutes, and we didn’t have to wait in line.
Tip #3: Have a Game Plan.
We knew that we wanted to hit the rides before the lines got too long, so we went to them first. The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey seems to be the most popular, with line wait times of over an hour and a half. The other two rides, the Dragon’s Challenge and the Flight of the Hippogriff, had ride wait times ranging from 15 minutes to about an hour.
However, the shops can also be very busy and a couple of them had lines. We went into the shops after all the rides, and things were packed! There are a total of 6 shops. They are: Honeydukes (candy shop), Zonko’s Joke Shop, Dervish and Banges (general souvenirs), Ollivanders (wands and other wand related items), and the shop at the end of the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride.
Tip #4: Once you get into the Harry Potter area of the park, DO NOT leave it until you are completely finished with visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
We made the mistake of leaving the Harry Potter area of the Universal Studios Islands of Adventure park to go seek some food elsewhere in the park. Once we got back, we were told that it was an estimated 2 HOUR wait to get back into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We bit the bullet and waited in line, because we had not purchased souvenirs for friends and family the first time around. Luckily, it only took us about 40 minutes of waiting in line to get back into the Harry Potter park, but it all depends on the rate of people leaving the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Stay tuned for Part 2! I’ll be covering my review of the rides!
For all you Harry Potter fans, what was your favorite Harry Potter book or movie?