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Guide to Harry Potter Rides in Orlando

Even those who are not a Harry Potter fan want to know the rides that, in addition to being relatively new, are different from everything else and please even those who have never seen a movie or read a book of the saga.

If those who are not fans like the rides, then imagine who understands the importance of every detail in the attractions like we do? 😀

For starters, in addition to the tips below, you can learn a little more about the attractions of Harry Potter at Universal’s parks by following the video script we made of the two parks on our channel, with an exclusive video for the Harry Potter area in each of them.

The videos are old and lack some attractions. We promise we’ll redo it soon, but until then, you can get a good idea of ​​what you find in Orlando by playing down there. 🙂

Harry Potter Rides in Orlando

Following the theme of each park, attractions involving the Hogwarts and Hogsmeade scenery are at Islands of Adventure, while attractions involving London are at Universal Studios.

In the middle of all this is the Hogwarts Express that goes from one park to another, which ends up creating doubts among many visitors.

So that everything is clear from the beginning, I’ll talk about the Hogwarts Express first and clarify any doubts, and then I’ll go into more details about the attractions of each park, ok?

Hogwarts Express

This ride sits between the two parks and actually goes from one to the other.

Hogwarts-Express-Universal Studios
Hogwarts-Express-Universal Studios

It brings two different experiences, one for each direction of travel. If you go from London (Universal Studios) to Hogsmeade/Hogwarts (Islands of Adventure), you will see the scene of students going to school as described in the Harry Potter books: with the candy cart passing by, some characters from outside and some events that I won’t tell you so as not to spoil the surprise.

Before getting on the train, you will pass by the 9 ¾ station (or 9 ½ here in Brazil), a detail that for many people goes unnoticed and for me is a must.

If I were from Universal, I would put a photographer in the middle of the line right away, to take a picture of everyone passing by on the platforms. You really go through the seasons and I think it’s amazing to be able to film/shoot this moment!

Hogwarts Express Platform 934
Hogwarts Express Platform 934

In the direction Hogsmeade/Hogwarts (Islands of Adventure) to London (Universal Studios) you see it as if it was the return of students to their homes with some different details from London and other characters. Once again:

I don’t want to tell everything and end up spoiling the attraction but here’s the tip: if you don’t want to miss any details, go on the Hogwarts Express both ways, huh?

If you have a park-to-park ticket (which allows access to both parks on the same day), then you can come and go as often as you like without spending anything more than your ticket for it!

In order to understand more about tickets to use Expresso, just see the first part of this guide with general tips (link above, at the beginning of the post).

Harry Potter Rides at Islands of Adventure

This was the first Harry Potter area and still features some of the most popular attractions, not least because Universal loves something new and has even rebuilt a roller coaster in this area.

Besides being the Hogwarts castle area, which is a super attraction even just to see from the outside!

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

It’s the famous Hogwarts attraction! The castle itself is already full of interactions and a wonderful attraction for fans of the series. I went crazy the first time I walked in there.

Harry Potter fans take off on the Forbidden Journey ride at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando in Orlando

I didn’t want the line to move just so I could see the details! It’s on that level! The attraction itself is an amazing 4D simulator that makes you feel inside the movie and you don’t want it to end ever again.

Since it has some scenes a little more scared that might scare some kids (in addition to my older sister) and also because it shakes a little, some people prefer not to ride this simulator.

If you don’t want to go to the attraction but want to see the castle, you can! Just ask to do the castle tour for the employee at the attraction’s door. You can take your tour with your machine and everything, without lining up and taking your time to see every room at Hogwarts.

The castle tour doesn’t pass in some parts right at the beginning of it, which I like (the conservatory and the entrance to the castle with the scoreboard of the houses), but it passes through the vast majority of points worth visiting and it’s the best way to know Hogwarts without facing lines. When the tour comes to an end, you can still ask to see the sorting hat right in front that they always leave!

By the way, even if you go to the attraction, you can also take this tour later, so you can take photos and enjoy the castle calmly.

When the park is full, the tip is to go to the attraction through the Single Riders queue (which separates you from your group but is faster) and then visit the castle more calmly with this tour.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

The latest themed roller coaster is a ride on Hagrid’s motorcycle through the Forbidden Forest.

Since it is new, it is also the attraction with the longest queues in this park. To make matters worse, Universal often opens the attraction later (because of maintenance) or closes earlier (because of the length of the line), so it’s the attraction that complicates planning your day at the park the most.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

That said, even with all the complications, it’s still very much worth it! A super full of details attraction for fans and a delicious roller coaster even for those who don’t love Harry Potter.

The attraction replaced the old Dragon Challenge, and as we expected, it was obvious that Universal would do even better, right?

The attraction is an immersive roller coaster that takes you on a ride through the Forbidden Forest.

The tip here is to arrive when the park opens and go early if it is open. If it’s not open, then follow the Universal app to run there as soon as the queue opens and the wait time is acceptable.

Don’t be scared: in the first days it was chaos, but things are slowly getting back to normal there.

Flight of the Hippogriff

It is a children’s roller coaster with the theme of hippogriffs, who played an important role in the story, especially in the third book/movie.

Flight of the Hippogriff - Harry Potter
Flight of the Hippogriff – Harry Potter

Nothing very special has been done to create the Harry Potter vibe here, other than you can see Hagrid’s house from there, but it’s pretty cute for little kids.

Olivers Wand Shop

It is halfway between the store and the attraction, as there is a small show about wands, attached to a store that sells this product.

Here I’m going to focus on the show, but in the shopping part of this guide, I give tips on this subject, okay?

Look there, huh? If you want to buy a wand, be sure to check out the shopping tips elsewhere in the guide first. 😉

Olivanders is present in both parks, although I consider the second unit (at Universal Studios) the original, since in the book this store is located in Diagonal Alley.

Here goes a show showing how a wand chooses a wizard along the same lines as the scene where Harry is going to buy his wand.

It’s really cute for fans and kids, and it’s really fast.

Although the show of the two units is the same, I like to watch it more at Universal Studios because the environment is a little better, newer and a little more spacious.

Stage Shows

When you are walking around Hogsmeade on your way to Hogwarts you will see a stage where a few different performances take place.

I don’t like any of them to tell you the truth, I think they are really weak.

One of the shows features a kind of Hogwarts choir, with singers, one from each house, singing the chapel with a frog.

The other show has a hyper-fast presentation by Beauxbatons and Durmstrang students.

Kind of nothing to do in my opinion.

The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle

A nightly screening show at Hogwarts Castle that celebrates the 4 houses of the book’s history.

The-Nighttime-Lights-at-Hogwarts-Castle-Ravenclaw-1170x731
The-Nighttime-Lights-at-Hogwarts-Castle-Ravenclaw-1170×731

It takes place several times a night, on select dates, from when it starts to get dark until the park closes.

Harry Potter Rides at Universal Studios

It’s the newest area and, to me, home to one of Orlando’s most impressive attractions. It was along with this new area of ​​Harry Potter at Universal Studios that the Hogwarts Express, which I talked about earlier, was also created. The whole area is a show. There are few attractions, but if you’re a fan of the series, you won’t want to leave! And not to miss anything, here are the attractions you find there.

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

One of my favorite Orlando attractions and super popular. Another one that always has queues, but that is always worth it.

Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts

Whenever I thought of a Harry Potter park (yes, I visualize parks in my head. Disney and Universal don’t know what they’re missing without my ideas!)

I figured there must be a Gringotts roller coaster, so I stayed very happy when it was finally built.

By the way, Universal made a show of doing more than that: the ride has a bit of a light roller coaster, a bit of a 4D simulator, and it’s unlike anything you see in parks these days.

It’s awesome!

The queue itself is already beautiful and an attraction in itself for the fans. If you’re not a Harry Potter fan, then you can opt for the Single Rider if the queue is long, and just have a quick peek in the lounge with the main queue to kill your curiosity. If you’re a fan, you can do the same thing if the line is huge but then try to go back to see the entire attraction.

I say this because in addition to enjoying the beautiful line, whoever goes to the Single Rider misses the pre-show and a fan who is a fan doesn’t want to miss any details, right? 🙂

Gringotts Money Exchange

Here you can buy witch coins in exchange for your American coins directly with one of the Gringotts goblins.

He actually interacts with you and although it’s not considered an attraction per se, I think it deserves a spot here because everyone only buys money there to see the show!

Gringotts-Money-Exchange-Universal
Gringotts-Money-Exchange-Universal

Cool only for the fans, since no one else will be interested in paying for wizard money, right? 😛

If you buy money there, you can spend it on all Universal property.

And if you want to talk to the goblin without buying anything, you can too, okay? 😉

Olivers Wand Shop

Newest unit and my favorite from the show wand shop. I’ve already told you everything you need to know about her up there in the Islands of Adventure section.

Also, in the shopping section of the guide I talk about tips for purchasing yours.

Conclusion about Harry Potter’s Rides in Orlando

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, maybe the photos alone are enough for you to reach the same conclusion I’m going to talk about here.

These may be the official attractions of the Harry Potter areas but in reality, there are many more attractions for you to enjoy that go beyond the “toys” that exist in this area of ​​the parks.

Don’t get me wrong, they are some of Universal’s best simulators and roller coasters, but for those who love this saga, the fun doesn’t stop there.

The biggest attraction is being able to experience everything that was part of your imagination when you read the books, or even everything you saw in the movies.

Enjoying this environment calmly is in itself a must-see attraction and I hope that with this and the other parts of the guide, you can enjoy this experience even more!

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More Tips for Your Trip to Orlando

As we talked about above, be sure to check out our youtube channel where we give several travel tips to Orlando.

In addition we show you lots of cool things to do there, do you want a better way to plan a trip than already living a little bit of what you will see there?

Click on the Image below to check all our tips on Youtube

Art of Animation - Little Mermaid Carlos and Nath - Departed Disney Parks
Art of Animation – Little Mermaid Carlos and Nath – Partiu Disney Parks

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