Jake and I got to go to Universal Studios Hollywood this week with my cute mom to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I wore my Kate Spade Triceratops purse since I knew we might run into a few dinosaurs at Jurassic Park! The best thing about the park is the atmosphere of actually being in Hogsmead and Hogwarts. They really did such a good job replicating the look and feel of the movies. The rides are fun, but the best is just walking into the shops and feeling like you could bump into Harry, Ron and Hermione at any time.
Tips for getting the most out of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Get There Early
The sooner you get into the park, the less time you have to wait. Go straight to the Harry Potter part of the park and go straight to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey to get in line. The line will only get longer as the day goes on. Throw your belongings into the free locker and get ready to go on one of the most nauseating rides around. This is also a great time to get photos around the park while it is less crowded however you can still find some great photo opportunities later in the day.
Go on the walking tour of Hogwarts
After you go on the ride, or if you decided to skip it since you want to keep your breakfast down, ask the Employee at the gate of Hogwarts for the Castle Walk Tour. He’ll give you a ticket and direct you into the castle and you get to keep your backpacks, purses, and cameras. Take as long as you want to stroll through Hogwarts and take as many pictures and videos as you want. The key difference here from that normal line is that you don’t go through the greenhouse and you get your own private Portrait Hall. Near the end of the walking tour, be sure to ask to see a close-up of the sorting hat.
Eat Lunch at the Three Broomsticks
The atmosphere is great and if you get there a bit before noon, it isn’t too crowded. We really enjoyed the fish and chips, as well as the Stew and the vegetarian option (Asparagus, potatoes and cole-slaw). Be sure to order a butterbeer as well! You can get them outside at the stand too but you might as well get one with your meal!
Drink Plenty of Butterbeer
There is nothing quite like it! It’s expensive, but Jake loves it! This past trip we drank 5 of them. The best is getting one right before closing to walk out of the park with and everyone else wishes they did the same thing.
Ride the Flight of the Hippogryph (if the wait is 15 minutes or less)
This ride is fun but short. We’re talking 1 minute or so short. It’s fun to do and worth the ride but only if the line is 15 minutes or less. Later in the day the line died down so we hit it up then.
Buy an Interactive Wand and practice your Magic
This part seems really simple, but Universal hit the spot. What feels more magical than waving your wand around, chanting “luminos” as you light up lanterns in a glass window? Each wand comes with a map of Hogsmead to show you where all the interactive locations are. Since the wands are expensive, you may be able to get away with one wand per family, unless you have young kids who each want their own. If so, I’m sorry 🙂 There is literally a different wand for every character in the movies (even the lesser known ones) so you will have plenty of styles to choose from. Jake got Snape’s wand and I got Volde… sorry, He Who Must Not Be Named.
Get some tasty treats from Honeydukes
The Chocolate Frog was really just that… a big, thick, solid, chocolate frog. So we really liked the smaller treats and ones that came in packs that were easy to share like the peppermint chocolate toads. The decorations and colors inside Honeydukes are really fun and make perfect backdrops for your cute treats to post on Instagram.
Come join us as we explore The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood! Thanks for stopping by today!