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Wizardy World Of Harry Potter
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Wizardy World Of Harry Potter

It seems strange that no one has written about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park. I can’t be the only muggle that has been there. I live in Central Florida and have been to the theme park too many times now to count. So if the Floo network or any other muggle transportation drops you off at Hogsmeade’s Station, here are just some fun and interesting tips that will make your stay even better.

Here’s a bit of background on the park itself. Island’s of Adventure is the second theme park at Universal Resort Orlando; the other theme park is Universal Studios. Wizarding World of Harry Potter (WWOHP) is just one of the seven ‘Islands’ in the theme park. Just a bit of side trivia, all of the Islands tie into one of Universal Studio’s movies.

WWOHP, or as most of the local call it Harry Potter World, is the latest addition to the park. Construction began on January, 2008 with the officially opened on June 18, 2010. It’s rumored that this island has doubled the resorts guests, and if you don’t go on the right day with and hopefully have a good guide, you will know it!

It’s been widely criticized that WWHOP area is just too small and I agree. One busy summer days, the area is blocked off and you need to get a ticket (free) from a kiosk that will tell you when to return. Unlike Fast Passes at Walt Disney World, if you don’t make it within the time frame then you must get another ticket. The secondary problem is once people gain entrance, they don’t leave. Which means those tickets go out fast for capacity. Too make matters worse, guests staying at one of Universal’s three hotel gain access an hour before its open to the public. So picking the best day to travel and visit if WWHOP is your main attraction is critical. There is a way to figure out which days are best and how to get in even on a busy day, but more on that later.

Harry Potter World is just like stepping into Hogsmeade from the movies. The detail is absolutely phenomenal. Also if you are as big of fan of Harry Potter, you notice Ollivander’s wand shop is in Diagon Alley, but we’ll let that slide.

In fact that’s probably a good place for my first tip. If there’s a line, skip it. It isn’t worth the wait. It’s a small show where one person out of the group is picked to let the wand choose the user. It’s actually a good show the problem is the shop can only accommodate 20 people at a time. There’s so much other stuff to see.

I’m a big rollercoaster fan. It has two of the best called The Dragon Challenge and a smaller one called Flight of the Hippogriff. I know some people just don’t do roller coasters. I still highly recommend walking through the queue as it’s basically a recreation of Goblet of Fire (you can still exit if you don’t want to ride it). Be warned, it is the longest queue path I have ever taken for a roller coaster.

Butter beer is a must. It’s kind of hard to explain the flavor but it is good. Here’s another tip most people don’t know. There are two carts at either end of the park that sell it. Instead of waiting in long lines, go to the Boar’s Head bar as it’s sold there also.

So as I said earlier, there is a very easy way to figure out the best time of the year to go. Go to Universal Studio’s Orlando website and start the process of buying a ticket. Eventually it will ask you to pick dates for your express pass. Universal has a lot of attendance history so it knows how to price the express pass. The cheaper the price, the less crowds expected. If you couldn't make it inside WWHOP on a busy day, wait for later in the night. People eventually leave and the area is open freely again.

As far as Hogwart's castle and the parks signature ride Harry Potter and the forbidden journey that will take a whole article by itself. The adventure is just beginning. Here’s one last bit of advice from the Sorting Hat itself “Now thank you all for listening.Our safety lesson’s done.We hope you live to tell the tale.And most of all, have fun.”


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