Harry Potter – reason enough to visit the Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, as many visitors claim. We are not going to argue.
The formidable success Universal created here must have got the Disney people to seriously consider that witchcraft must have been involved. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the collective name of the two Harry Potter parks at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
Harry Potter x 2 and a double success for Universal in Orlando
Harry Potter x 2. Success x 2. Two parks in two different theme parks. So much to do here that it takes two days, without even having a glance at other Universal attractions.
The two Harry Potter worlds have the collective name The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Earlier this was the name used for what we now call Hogsmeade. Hogsmeade is located in the Islands of Adventure. Hogwarts School (the castle) is the central point.
The first park was a huge success straight after its premiere in June 2010, and it did not take long before Universal announced that another Harry Potter park would be built.
Now, the London part of the adventure would enter the picture in form of London and Diagon Alley.
READ MORE: Universal hotels are best for park visitors
Typical for many Universal attractions, major Hollywood stars are committed to film rides with which they are linked. Steven Spielberg is a good example. Still, it seems that JK Rowling’s commitment to both projects of her popular figure beats everything else. The author has been an active consultant and supporter.
Hogwarts Express takes you between two Harry Potter worlds
So with the Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley combination, there was need for transport between the two parts – Hogwarts Express of course. Not a long distance. But part of experiencing wizarding world completely.
The brains behind the project, including JK Rowling, want visitors to get the right picture of the entire Harry Potter world. Among other things, the train connection between the two areas has been of great importance.
We think Universal is a two-day adventure, so the two Harry Potter worlds naturally fall into place with a two-day combination ticket. Dont hesitate spending a few extra dollars for a park-to-park ticket. Worth every cent!
Follow the “2 x 2 rule” for best visit to Universal
One of the most common questions about tickets in Orlando is namely what kind of ticket to buy for the Universal parks.
The answer is simple: Follow our “2 x 2 rule”, which means two days and two parks both days.
Harry Potter is the central figure in both parks. Two Harry Potter worlds with the Hogwarts Express that takes the visitor from one part to the other. This alone is reason enough to have a park-to-park ticket. Simply put, the experience is not complete unless you can get to both worlds during the same visit.
In addition: Nobody has come to Orlando to stand in line? So aim for express passes, pass the queues and enter earlier in the parks.
Read the smart tips in the hotel section of how to get the express passes for free! Or vice versa: Get the hotel for free.
- At the Official Ticket Center select the ticket called “Universal 2 Park Multi Day Park to Park Ticket (2 days)”.
- The same applies to the child ticket (considered as child up to the day the child is 10 years old).
- Note that Universal’s differentiated pricing (i.e. different prices during the season) applies only to one-day tickets.
Harry Potter attractions, now with express pass
It was surprising news when Universal Orlando Resort lifted the express pass ban on all Harry Potter attractions. Still, expect longer lines to these rides than most other Universal rides.
READ MORE: All you need to know about express pass
New Potter ride replaces Dragon Challenge
Dragon Challenge (formerly Dueling Dragons) was a roller coaster at Islands of Adventure that existed before Harry Potter appeared in Orlando. The ride then became part of his world. Now the dragons have retired to make way for a new Potter attraction. Little is known about what is coming next. Universal says: “one of the most highly-themed coaster experiences”. Opens during 2019.
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All content on this page and other parts of FloridaUSAguide is based on information from the Scandinavian online publication Florida.nu, established in Clearwater Beach, Florida, 2006.