Are you a Harry Potter Fan? It’s almost easier for me to ask who’s not a fan these days! Although the films are complete the craze isn’t fading and that is clearly evident at Universal Studios & Island of Adventures in Orlando, Florida. Hogsmeade™ and Diagon Ally™ continue to be the hot-spots in the parks. I’m speaking from performance numbers as well as personal experience. If you haven’t been back to Universal Studios since they’ve built Diagon Ally™ you are in for a massive surprise. Hogsmeade™ offers more attractions as in rides BUT Diagon Ally™ offers the scenery. Diagon Ally™ is also three to four times the size of Hogsmeade™. I’m not here to bash on Hogsmeade™, but simply state if you were unimpressed be ready to have your mind blown. Both sections of the park work wonderfully together. Here’s my step-by-step on how to get the most enjoyment out of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ in a day!
Step 1: Purchase a Park-to-Park Pass (This will let you aboard the Hogwarts Express!)
(note: tickets can be purchased through Global)
Step 2: Make sure to go to Islands of Adventures first. Then make your way directly to Hogsmeade™.
Step 3: Must see attractions in Hogsmeade™ are: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™, Honeydukes™, and Ollivanders™
(note: if you’re an adult Hog’s Head in The Three Broomsticks is pretty cool too!)
Step 4: Make your way to Hogsmeade™ Station and head to King’s Cross Station!
(note: you will need to show your park-to-park pass to gain access to the train)
Although you probably don’t want to wait to see to Diagon Alley™ there are two reasons I suggest visiting Hogsmeade™ first. Firstly, Hogsmeade™ is much smaller in size. It will be kind of a let-down if you see Diagon Alley™ first expecting more out of Hogsmeade™. Hogsmeade™ still towers over other parts of park for Harry Potter fans none-the-less and I actually enjoy “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™” more than “Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™.” Secondly, I find it rather fun to arrive at Diagon Alley at Kings Cross Station already completely submerged in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™. Instead of walking through Universal Studios passing “The Simpsons”, “Despicable Me”, or “Transformers.”
Step 5: Leave King’s Cross Station and go to your left. Enjoy the London attractions such as the Knight Bus!
Step 6: Find Diagon Alley. It’s actually hidden a little and I’m not going to spoil the fun!
Step 7: Must see attractions in Hogsmeade™ are: EVERYTHING! but don’t wait until the last minute to go to “Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™.” Because I made that mistake my first time visiting and it was rather sad.
(note: Diagon Alley also includes Knockturn Alley™ that contains the shop, Borgin and Burkes™)
Step 8: Take it easy and shop while have a Butterbeer™ or a Wizards Brew™(21+). Make sure to stop by the famous Leaky Cauldron™ for a meal also!
Summer is right around the corner and let me guess… you’re having trouble deciding on what your family should do? It’s not an easy thing to decide because family time is so special! Well I’m going to make this really easy for you. Visit Orlando! Not only is there the Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, but there is so much more! Remember, like there’s no safer place than Grongotts Bank™… there’s no better place to stay with than Global Resort Homes with your family and friends! We offer a great selection of homes near the theme parks, plus great tips. Visit our website today and let’s begin planning your next Orlando Vacation together!