One Day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Universal Orlando

Are you planning one day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and want to make sure you don’t miss a thing. We are sharing all the Harry Potter land fun at the Universal Orlando parks!

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Before you can plan your Harry Potter day you need to know a few details about the parks. “Harry Potter Land” is actually The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and there are two different locations, at two parks.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley is located at Universal Studios. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Hogsmeade is located at Islands of Adventure.

They are connected by the Hogwarts Express. In order to visit both Harry Potter areas in one day and to ride the Hogwarts Express, guests must have a park-to-park ticket.

Both parks offer an incredible Harry Potter experience and are worth visiting. I go into more details about what to expect from each Wizarding World area below and how to plan the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in one day.

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Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando

There are a few questions I often hear about visiting the Harry Potter attractions at Universal.

Is Harry Potter at Disney World?

Harry Potter is not at Disney World. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and all Harry Potter attractions are at Universal theme parks.

Is It Possible to Do Wizarding World in One Day?

Yes it is totally possible to do both Wizarding World of Harry Potter in one day. How long it takes to do the Harry Potter attractions, watch the shows, and experience the rides will be different for everyone.

If you are visiting Universal for Harry Potter only, you can easily immerse yourselves in all things Harry Potter and see everything in one day.

If you are planning to do both parks and all of the Harry Potter attractions you will have to prioritize your must-see things. You may have to miss a show to ride an attraction or spend less time casting spells with your wand.

Wands at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Guests can purchase interactive wands at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. These work at Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. They also can be used on multiple visits.

We have had our wands that we purchased in 2018 and have used on many visits since. If you have issues with your wand, and it is not working properly, you can talk to someone at Ollivanders Wand Shop to assist you.

There are Ollivanders locataions in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. You can also experience an interactive wand experience where one lucky guest will get picked by a wand. (The wand is not yours to keep unless you choose to purchase it.)

As of writing this wands cost $55.00 each. If you are traveling with a large group you can share the wands. It may take a bit more time as you stop at each spell station but it will allow you to save on the cost of the wands.

There are numerous spell locations in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. There is a map of the Wizarding World you will receive when you purchase your wand to assist you in finding the spell locations.

wizarding world of harry potter at universal orlando wand.
The interactive wand experience at Ollivanders at Universal Orlando Resort.

Universal Orlando During COVID

Universal Orlando is currently open with safety guidelines in place. Guests are required to wear masks, socially distance, and hand sanitizing is happening before and after rides.

There is also limited park capacity as well as nightly shows and parades where people congregate has been cancelled. Check out this post for more details on visiting Universal during COVID.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Diagon Alley Universal Studios

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley is located at Universal Studios. Before you arrive at Diagon’s Alley you will walk through King’s Cross and London.

King’s Cross is where you will board the Hogwarts Express from London to Hogwarts at Islands of Adventure. You can also meet the Knight Bus driver, which is one of our favorite photo-ops at Universal Orlando.

You can also see Kreacher the House Elf peering out the windows. This is after you walk past the Diagon Alley entrance.

The Diagon Alley entrance is hidden among the brick walls and on our first ever visit, we walked right by it. As you walk through the brick wall to enter Diagon Alley you will be immersed into the Wizarding World.

At the end of the road you will see Gringotts Bank. Gringotts Bank is home to the Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios Escape from Gringotts. This entire experience is a can’t miss for Harry Potter fans.

The entire ride from start to finish is incredibly immersive and a really fun experience.

gringotts at diagon alley universal studios.

Gringotts is not the only thing to do in Diagon Alley. You want to plan time to explore the area. There are shops, shows, and wand locations to experience, as well as dining options.

You’ll want to explore Knockturn Alley, which is where you will find a shop and wand experiences. We also like to stop at Leaky Cauldron for lunch.

Diagon Alley does a really great job of making you feel like you are part of The Wizarding World and not just visiting a theme park.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida Overview

  • Escape from Gringotts (Ride)
  • Hogwarts Express-Kings Cross (Ride)
  • Explore Knockturn Alley
  • Watch for Kreacher in London Window
  • Meet the Knight Bus Driver in London
  • Watch interactive wand experience at Ollivanders. You do not need to purchase wand to watch show.
  • Eat at the Leaky Cauldron for traditional British Food. Offers Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, and mobile ordering.
  • Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour- Try Butterbeer Ice Cream!
  • Watch Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees
  • Watch The Tales of Beedle the Bard
  • Exchange your Muggle money for Gringotts Money at the Gringotts Money Exchange. Guests can use this money at both Wizarding World Parks. The money can be exchanged back to US dollars at the end of your day.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Hogsmeade Islands of Adventure

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Hogsmeade is located at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. It is lined with snow covered shops and dining, and at the end your will find Hogwarts Castle.

Hogwarts Castle has the ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. This ride is not for the weak stomach and if you get motion sickness you want to proceed with caution.

I try to ride it before lunch because that keeps the motion sickness at bay. If you do not want to ride the attraction or have a young child with you there is an option to use child swap or walk the line to see the inside without riding the attraction. Ask the ride attendant when entering the attraction.

After riding Forbidden Journey we will ride Flight of the Hippogriff which is a kid friendly coaster that most will enjoy. Then I like to order a Butterbeer from the stand across from Hogwarts before the lines get too long.

Butterbeer comes in Frozen, Hot or Cold. I prefer the frozen and like to share it. It is very sweet! You can also purchase Butterbeer fudge and Butterbeer ice cream at both parks.

The most popular ride at Islands of Adventure is Hagrid’s Magical Motorbike Adventure. Lines will be very long and should be your first stop if you want to ride.

It does not have express pass options. Express Pass is a ride reservation system that allows you to skip the line. This is a purchased add-on to your ticket. Check out this post to learn more about express pass at Universal.

Guests can use the Universal Orlando Resort app to secure a ride time for Hagrids with the virtual line option. Basically you pick an attraction, add your number of guests, and pick a time to return. Learn more here.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

  • Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure (Ride)
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (Ride)
  • Flight of the Hippogriff (Ride)
  • Hogwarts Express (Ride)
  • Watch the Frog’s Choir.
  • Watch Triwizard Spirit Rally.
  • Listen to Moaning Myrtle in the Girls restroom in Hogsmeade.
  • Enjoy the Great Feast at Three Broomsticks. Offers traditional British food for lunch and dinner, mobile ordering.
  • Watch the Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts. (Currently Closed due to COVID)

Harry Potter Itinerary: One Day at Wizarding World

Planning a visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in one day depends on what you would like to see and do, how early you arrive at the parks, and what your prioritize for the day.

Morning

I suggest starting your morning with Diagon Alley and then visit Hogsmeade. Walk into Diagon Alley and head straight for Gringotts Bank. You will see it as soon as you enter the land and will see the fire breathing dragon on top.

If you have backpacks you may have to get a locker before entering the line. While you are in line for Gringotts secure a Virtual Line time for Hagrid’s for after lunch. This will give you time to explore Diagon Alley, have lunch at the Leaky Cauldron and ride Hogwarts Express over to Islands of Adventure.

After Gringotts explore Ollivanders wand shop and purchase a wand if you plan to use it throughout the parks. With your wand explore Knockturn Alley and the rest of Diagon Alley. As crowds start to grow stop for lunch at the Leaky Cauldron and then head out to London to meet the Knight Bus Driver.

walking around diagon alley at universal studios. Harry Potter
Arriving early is the best way to visit Diagon Alley.

Afternoon

After meeting the Knight Bus Driver and viewing Kreacher from the London windows, walk over to the Hogwarts Express to take the train over to Hogsmeade.

After you enter the que and make your way to board the train you will have to go through platform 9 3/4. It will look like you are running through the wall. Check out this video below to see.

Once you arrive at Hogsmeade expect to see busy crowds. At this point your virtual line should be available for Hagrids. Also check the wait times for Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff. If wait times are long save this for later in the evening.

At this point you have a few options. You can explore Hogsmeade, use your interactive wands to cast spells, and check out the shows.

You can also head back to your resort for an afternoon rest. If you are staying at an on-site resort this is a very easy option. Also check the park hours to make sure you can return in the evening.

Evening

We use the last few hours of the night to ride any attractions we may have missed. Usually at the end of the day wait times are short. Hogwarts is beautiful at night and during non-covid times has a nightly castle projection show.

Tips for Harry Potter Wizarding World

A few things to remember when visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Guests must use the lockers for any loose items, including purses and wands, for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, and Escape from Gringotts.

If you are staying at an on-site resort like Universal’s Cabana Bay, Endless Summer Surfside Inn and Suites, or another partner resort you may have early entry into the parks.

Early entry opens the park an hour early for on-site guests. If this is the case during your visit take advantage of it and visit the early entry park first.

A day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is an amazing addition to your Universal Orlando vacation.

Read Next: Universal Studios vs. Islands of Adventure (Best Universal Park)

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