Pages Navigation Menu

Your Disney Vacation Specialist
Making Dreams come true, one vacation at a time

Fav 5: Wizarding World of Harry Potter Edition

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.” And just like that J.K. Rowling captured our hearts and minds over 20 years ago. And it seems at each turn, Potterheads are skeptical. These beloved books surely wouldn’t translate to the big screen in all the grandeur that we had pictured as we read the books. But alas, we watched Harry Potter explore Diagon Alley and we knew – this was just like we imagined. But a theme park land…? Surely corners would be cut, forced perspective would look, well, forced; and we would hand over our money to eat French fries (so very un-Harry Potter). We feared we would be looking at a half-hearted attempt at a world so grand it bears no equal (shh, Star Wars fans I see you – but hyperbole calls). I’ll admit it, my little Ravenclaw heart was skeptical but hopeful. My daughter, the Slytherin, scoffed. But still we had to visit – because, what it? What if we got to walk into our imagination? What if we were part of the stories we love? And walk into our favorite stories is exactly what we did on that beautiful spring morning. I could spend hours recounting our favorite details but in the effort of not spoiling the magic – here are out top 5 favorite things that we love in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The interactive wands. I am not referring to the wand ceremony at Ollivander’s, although that is very cool. But you can purchase an interactive wand and cast spells! Make it rain, animate bones, or repair a suit of armor. Some spells require more skill than others but there are usually wizards out and about who are more than ready to help you perfect your spellcasting, after all we don’t want to look like Seamus after he first attempted to cast Wingardium Leviosa.

Knockturn Alley. I did mention my daughter is a Slytherin, right? What I loved about Knockturn Alley (aside from being a cool respite on a hot day) is that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter recognizes that not all witches and wizards are good. And this nod to the dark wizards has the same immaculate attention to detail as the bright, colorful parts of the Wizarding World.

Butterbeer. No French fries to be found in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. While you can find chocolate frogs, pumpkin pasties and bangers and mash, nothing says Harry Potter quite like Harry, Ron, and Hermoine’s favorite drink – butterbeer. You can try it regular, frozen, or even hot during the winter months. Sitting in the Three Broomsticks with a butterbeer makes you feel like you might just be planning the next meeting of Dumbledore’s army.

The Knight Bus. Sitting just outside of 12 Grimmauld Place you can find Ernie and Stan waiting to whisk you through the streets of London. So often overlooked, the Knighs Bus is so much fun to see it brought to life. And true to form, you can expect Ernie to be waiting for you with a wisecrack! (Added pro tip: look up at second floor of 12 Grimmauld Place while you are standing at the Knight Bus – directly above the placard that tells you the address – you might just see a certain house elf spying on you!)

Hogwarts Castle. Sure, Forbidden Journey is a great ride but this Potterhead loves the QUEUE to the ride! (How often do you hear someone rave about waiting in line!) No detail was overlooked. Meander through the greenhouses while searching for Professor Sprout. Get a glimpse of the Sorting Hat, see if you remember the password to Professor Dumbledore’s office – it’s all there. Now, don’t get me wrong, I hate standing in line as much as the next person but I often find myself wishing that people wouldn’t move so fast so that I can take more of it in.

Have you visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter yet? Did your favorite make the list? Tell me in the comments – bonus points for letting me know your house too. Haven’t been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter yet? Or maybe you are just ready to head back, let’s plan your next Universal Orlando vacation!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *