If you’re a major Harry Potter fan like myself, then you’ll probably appreciate the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios. Since the studios have two parks, the two Wizarding areas are divided into the parks. Diagon Alley lives in Universal Studios whilst Hogsmeade lives in Island of Adventure. Both of the areas give off such amazing and magical vibes and once you step into the area you feel as if you are within the Wizarding world. First of all let’s start with Diagon Alley which is located in the Universal Studios park. The area is built to look like a slice of London which is really cool and includes Kings Cross station, the houses where the Order of the Phoenix use as well as the Knight Bus.
You enter into Diagon Alley by going through the famous wall which bricks move in the first film. As soon as you are into the area, you feel instantly immersed in the world. One of the biggest things I find a little disappointing with Universal is the fact that each area is usually not as immersive as it could be but since Diagon Alley is really closed off, you feel more in the world than you do when you go to parts of the park like The Simpsons. The area has everything and anything you would expect to find in Diagon Alley in the books and films and one thing I love is that a majority of the stores and places are open and sell merchandise ranging from sweets like chocolate frogs to Quidditch merchandise. You can also buy regular and frozen butterbeer as well as eat at the Leaky Cauldron. It is a Harry Potter fans dream and the attention to detail is truly something else.
Diagon Alley also has Gringotts bank which is the Escape from Gringotts ride. This is one of my all time favourite rides and again, it is super detailed and immersive. Even the queue area is really cool and authentic as it has goblins working, talking paintings and makes you feel like you are descending down underground to get to the mine carts.
From Diagon Alley we then went through Kings Cross station which looks like a mixture of an underground station and a train station. Kings Cross allows you to board the Hogwarts Express to travel to the other park. Whilst the station isn’t completely accurate to how actual stations look in London, it is pretty well done and subtle things such as the British announcer and the brick work really does remind me of jolly old London Town. When going through the station we would joke about how we were back home.
The Hogwarts Express is a ride in itself which is great since, it not only allows you to be productive by getting to the other park but it also gives you an immersive Harry Potter experience which are different depending which park you are travelling to and from. From the train, we entered into Hogsmeade, home of Hogwarts!
I love the Hogsmeade area as the buildings are super cute and Hogwarts looks really authentic and real. They make Hogwarts look as if it is far away which makes looking at the castle pretty realistic. Everything is covered in snow in this area which is very strange to see when you’re dying in 100 degree heat. But still, I love the snow effect since snow is my favourite kind of weather. Hogsmeade has a few more rides compared to Diagon Alley as the area is home to The Forbidden Journey, Flight of the Hippogriff and the brand new Hagrid’s Magical Creatures. Hagird’s ride opened literally a few days after we arrived in Florida so sadly because of insane queues and technical difficulties meant that we couldn’t get on the new ride. I did however, get on my other favourite ride in Universal which is the Forbidden Journey which is set in Hogwarts castle. The Forbidden Journey actually takes you through the castle which is one of the coolest and most detailed rides I have ever seen to be honest. You can walk through some of the green houses, Professor Dumbledore’s office as well as the defence against the dark arts classroom. I cannot recommend the ride enough for Harry Potter fans. Both of the Wizarding World areas are honestly the best part of Universal Studios in my opinion and I cannot recommend visiting enough.
Until next time thanks for reading and I hope you’re having a great day!
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