The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando, FL

April 30, 2017 Paul Groves

Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida

Ron and I are both fans of J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter books so we could not pass up an opportunity to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We were here several years ago and saw Hogsmeade, but they had just announced that they were working on another portion of the world, that is, Diagon Alley. One of my strongest memories of the first visit, was that the incredible main ride in Hogwart’s Castle made me sick as a dog and I did not enjoy the rest of the day. However, as we were talking about this visit while still onboard, the idea came that we might put on our seasick patches before we went to the park. It worked very well. I felt a little queasy after the ride, but it went away almost immediately.

My favorite aspect of this section of the park is the great detail and attention to design that went into recreating Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. If you saw the films, the park looks very familiar. I enjoyed the books more than the films because you got so much more of the story s you read, but visually, I was always impressed with the films and now the park. We rode the Hogswart’s Express from Hogsmeade to Diagon Alley. Universal Resort consists of two separate parks that require two different admission fees (or a park hopper sort of ticket), so to board the Hogwart’s Express, you had to show your ticket. That little attraction was fun (and any excuse to sit down where it was cool was welcomed). We ended up in London and you turn down an uninteresting brick alley to enter Diagon Alley. You could hear the bricks magically moving as you turned the corner.

The big attraction here was Escape from Gringotts, but seeing the shops recreated from the films and having breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron were actually my favorite parts of this park. I don’t remember much else of the parks except that it was pretty hot and humid. We returned to the hotel to rest and came back out after a shower and a nap when the heat had abated somewhat.