7 Things Every Muggle Must Do at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

01 May 2016

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando in Florida is a life-like recreation of the books or movies, certain to please any HP fan. But even if you're not certain which House you'd be sorted into or are unfamiliar with crumple-horned snorkcacks and why we cannot name He Who Must Not Be Named, the theme parks are guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience for everyone.

As this may be your only time sneaking off to Hogsmeade or wandering down Diagon Alley, here are 7 things every muggle must do at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

7 Things Every Muggle Should Do at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter | The Brave Little Cheesehead
1 | DOWNLOAD THE UNIVERSAL ORLANDO WAIT TIMES APP
Know how long the wait time is for each ride in real-time so you can plan your day accordingly. Escape from Gringotts in Diagon Alley is known for having the longest lines at more than 2 hours on crowded days, so it may pay off to keep an eye on it with this app.

If the lines are against you, Escape from Gringotts is still well worth the wait. You'll feel like Hermoine disguised as Bellatrix Lastrange waltzing into the Gringotts bank, with goblins all around you. This 3D ride will take you on an adventure with some of your favorite characters, and you'll even come face-to-face with a fire breathing dragon!

7 Things Every Muggle Should Do at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter | The Brave Little Cheesehead
2 | RIDE THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS
This will require a park-to-park pass, since Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are in separate Universal Orlando parks, but it's well worth it. Ride it both ways, and you'll get a different story each timejust watch out for the dementors!

7 Things Every Muggle Should Do at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter | The Brave Little Cheesehead

3 | TRY SOMETHING OTHER THAN BUTTERBEER
I enjoyed the Pumpkin Juice, which tastes deliciously like apple cider mixed with pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. I've also heard the mint-flavored Fishy Green Ale is also a game stopper, but I did not have the chance to try it myself. Or stop by the Hog's Head and pick up a pint of one of the unique, specialty beers the Wizarding World of Harry Potter offers, aptly named Wizard's Brew and Dragon Scale.

But also, get the Butterbeer as many times as you can. Frothy and frozen, hot and spicy or just ice cold, it is exactly how my taste buds imagined it would be. I'm still dreaming of that toffee-flavored mug of magic months after my visit. You can even try it in ice cream form at Florean Fortescue's Ice-Cream Parlour in Diagon Alley!

7 Things Every Muggle Should Do at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter | The Brave Little Cheesehead
4 | VISIT HOGWARTS CASTLE
This is a ride you won't mind waiting in line for! The queue for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey takes you straight through Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, winding through the green house and into the dungeons, complete with talking portraits, and you'll even get to see the Sorting Hat up close. You'll even be doused with floo powder so you can fly through a Quidditch Pitchwatch out for the bludgers!—and past the Womping Willow. 


7 Things Every Muggle Should Do at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter | The Brave Little Cheesehead

5 | LET THE WAND CHOOSE THE WIZARD
Yeah, so, you might be nearing 30 and standing in line amongst toddlers waiting to cast spells, but you won't be happier. Stop by Ollivander's Wand Shop and pick up an interactive wand—or get lucky enough for one to choose you!—and then look for crests inside each park where you can take a stab at making your own magic.

7 Things Every Muggle Should Do at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter | The Brave Little Cheesehead

6 | EXPLORE SOME OF THE SHOPS
Among my favorites were Honeydukes in Hogsmeadewhere you'll find an assortment of candies like Chocolate Frogs, Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans, and Fizzing Whizbees—and Weasley's Wizard Wheezes in Diagon Alley. It so closely resembles Fred and George's colorful joke shop from the movies, with lots of toys like pygmy-puffs and skiving snackboxes. 

As an added bonus in Hogsmeade, you may get to watch the students of Hogwarts, Beauxbatons Durmstrang put on performances for the Triwizard Tournament! And while you're wandering around Diagon Alley, stop for a moment to watch the dragon atop Gringott's breathe fire. It happens every ten minutes or so—you can't miss it!


7 Things Every Muggle Should Do at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter | The Brave Little Cheesehead
7 | PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO EVERY DETAIL
There are plenty of easter eggs hidden throughout the parks. You might notice Kreacher poke his head out from between the curtains of 12 Grimmauld Place, or hear a bird chirping inside the Vanishing Cabinet at Borgin and Burkes.

Need more advice on planning your trip? Check out our guide! And if you're thinking of throwing in a few days at Disney World, we've got you covered.

Stay tuned for our guide to the rides at Universal Orlando if you have more time to explore beyond the Wizarding World!

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31 comments

  1. Really cool! I know this place exists but I've never been there (I have never been in US!) Shame one me, I know. So if I am planning my trip I will keep this in mind. The pictures look really cool and I need to get a wand!! Love from Stéphanie (Tourist Exclusive)

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    1. It's so very cool! And don't worry about not having been to the U.S. yet. There are SO many places we haven't been! It's hard to cram it all in. :)

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  2. The world of Harry Potter is really magical and the stuff that dreams are made of. You have shared some wonderful tips which definitely will work like magic.Thanks for sharing.

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  3. AHHHH so exciting! I'm a huge fan and I can't wait to visit the one in L.A. soon. It's only 45 minutes from me :)

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  4. I'd so love to visit here (and yes, I'm in my 30s too!), the butter beer sounds delicious, so mad that it's actually more than just fiction!

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    1. The butterbeer is quite possibly the biggest reason for repeat visits. :)

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  5. My kids would absolutely love this place. This was fun to read, thanks!

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    1. I think they would! There were tons of families there. It was really fun to watch the kids reacting to the magic throughout the park.

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  6. Good idea to download the wait times app!!! I would have the Pumpkin Juice over the Butterbeer.

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    1. It's really a life saver! And I did love the Pumpkin Juice as well. Very refreshing!

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  7. I know die-hard Harry Potter fans that I should link them to this post! Nice pictures & I really like your logo :)

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  8. Love these tips! I can't say I'm a die hard Harry Potter fan but I would most definitely be up for a visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Your last tip about paying close attention to the details is something I'll have to keep in mind.

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    1. Thanks Ivana! Completely agree that you don't have to be a die-hard fan to enjoy it, especially if you're the kind of person that likes theme parks.

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  9. When I visited, I only went to the wand store to buy my brother a wand. Haha sadly, I am not a huge Harry Potter fan but I did enjoy how much detail they put into everything!

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    1. That's so nice of you to buy your brother a wand! They did do a great job of building -- it looked so real to me.

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  10. I'm so ashamed to admit I've never read or seen Harry Potter *covers eyes in shame* lol. But, this definitely makes me want to pick up the book and see all the movies!

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    1. Hey Colby! Honestly, I didn't start reading the books until I was a sophomore in college... and then I couldn't put them down! I think any time is a good time to start. :)

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  11. The fire breathing looks cool!

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  12. Big fan of the HP books. I can't believe I still haven't visited this place. Major envy here :)

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  13. Great tips! I've been wanting to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for quite some time now

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  14. We all want a bit of wizard skills in our life, right? Not big in theme and entertainment parks but that's one place I would like to see!

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    1. I agree, Patricia! I do enjoy Disney World, but mostly for the same reasons I liked the WWofHP. I'm not a huge rollercoaster kind of girl, so there has to be another draw for me.

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  15. I loved it so much here but I was SO SICK on the ride. The details were amazing and so spot on!

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    1. Ah yeah Cassie! I got a little dizzy after riding the Forbidden Journey a few times. Couldn't handle going back and forth from 3D to animatronics and sets!

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  16. Shame on me I have never read Harry Potter so I did not "Understand" many terms...But it still looks very interesting and that candy shop....yeah .)

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    1. I think it would still be fun for people who haven't read the books or seen the movies!

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