Grab a broomstick, we're going to Harry Potter World!
"Please respect the spell limits." The Ministry of Magic is always watching.
I've always felt a special connection with Harry Potter. House Ravenclaw! I've been in love with the books since June 26th, 1997 and have enjoyed spending every summer of my childhood in the world of Harry Potter.
As an adult, it is truly a dream come true to have access to Harry Potter World. I bought a pass to Universal Studios Hollywood and come to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter all the time, and every time, I notice something magical.
Here is my guide to Harry Potter World Universal Studios Hollywood:
As you first walk in through the gates of Hogsmeade, you'll see the Hogwarts Express, Zonko's Joke Shop, and Honeyduke's Homemade Sweets.
Oh no... Looks like a Slytherin! I slipped past Malfoy's gang, and bought some chocolate frogs, pumpkin juice, lollypops, cinnamon bursts, and a love potion.
The butterbeer is as delicious as the book describes it! It tastes like a sweet, creamy liquid caramel (heavy on the sugar, light on the butter). There are many magical ways you can consume it. Hot or cold. On tap, or frozen like a slushy, or in ice cream! It costs $7 or $13 with a souvenir glass. You'll find 2 butterbeer carts throughout the park. One at the entrance of Hogsmeade and the other near Hogwarts Castle.
At Olivander's Wand Shop, you'll find a magical experience! You can experiment with the wands of your favorite witches and wizards (character wands), or have magic select a personality wand for you. The wands cost $40-50. Be sure to purchase the wand that interact with the park. They are more $, but enhance the Harry Potter World experience. You can practice your spells and magic throughout the park enchanting dragons, pouring tea, and all sorts of quirky things.
Famous wands from top to bottom: Harry, Hermione, Ron, Professor Dumbledore, Professor Snape, Sirius Black, Bellatrix Lestrange, Draco Malfoy, Narciss Malfoy, Lord Voldemort, and Mad-Eye Moody.
Such a friendly little guy!
See a hippogriff outside of Hagrid's cottage! Hagrid's Cottage is nestled inside the Flight of the Hippogriff Ride. Here you'll find the natural, magical aspects of the story come to live including elements of the Forbidden Forest.
Hagrid has a pumpkin the size of a pig.
The Flight of the Hippogriff is a humble soft roller coaster. The height requirement is 43". There's a little drop and a 2 ring corkscrew. Perfect for kids 7+. The 2nd ride at Harry Potter World is
The Forbidden Journey
This ride is a screen/motion induced robocoaster that travels through the darkness of Hogwarts castle. I don't have a problem with thrill rides, I have a problem with robocoasters. You're basically jiggling around in the dark looking at screen and it's very disorienting.
If you get motion sickness easy, don't do it.
Now that we've burned all the energy, it's time to eat!
The Three Broomsticks is a magical implementation of storybook architecture.
If you see people carrying barbaric chicken drums around the park, chances are they got it from 3 Broomsticks. It's perhaps one of the best, healthiest restaurants inside the theme park. The only thing I don't like about it is the blatant display of Heinz mustard and ketchup. That's not magical at all. The other thing that's "meh" about is, is that it's more like a cafeteria than a restaurant. I'd have much rather have food delivered to a table.
I ordered a kid's fish and chips, butterbeer ice cream and a delightful apple pie. The fish and chips came with grapes. I'm sorry I ate the fish and chips so quickly I didn't photograph it, but it was filling. Together, the kid's meal, apple pie, and butterbeer ice cream were enough for my son and I to feel real nice.
Everywhere you look is magic.
All of the magic is within you.
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Have you been?! Share your tips and questions in the comments below!