On the spectrum of Harry Potter fandom, I’m someplace within the center. Because of Pottermore, I do know my homes (Hufflepuff and Horned Serpent at Ilvermorny, the American equal of Hogwarts), my Patronus (fox), and my wand (redwood, phoenix feather core, 12 and 1 / 4 inches, pliant). I’ve learn the unique books and seen the flicks, however I gained’t win any trivia competitions, and I’m in no rush to sit down by way of the five-plus hours of “Cursed Little one.”
So when a pal and I deliberate a visit to go to her dad and mom outdoors of Orlando, it was a no brainer to take a look at Common Studios and the Harry Potter parks for the primary time. Listed below are essentially the most magical moments—and a few sensible suggestions—I discovered from my go to.
Magical second: Children (and adults!) in wizard gear
It was an 82-degree day in Florida after I visited the parks, however that didn’t cease wannabe witches and wizards from donning their home robes. At Disney, the a part of the magic comes from the characters themselves, however at Common, it was the parkgoers who made Harry Potter’s world come alive for me. Watching of us exit the Hogwarts Categorical, or stroll the streets of Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade repping their home colours is an immersive expertise.
Sensible tip: There’s extra Gryffindor and Slytherin merch
After visiting mainly each store in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, this Hufflepuff (and my Ravenclaw pal) observed that our homes acquired rather less illustration than the extra “well-known” ones. After all, main objects like robes and Quidditch tees repped all homes, however a few of the extra area of interest items had been solely obtainable in two of the 4. You’ll be able to at all times browse the official Harry Potter Store upfront of visiting, in order that you have already got your gear.
Magical second: Using round Hogwarts on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Have you ever ever needed to know what it’s prefer to fly on a brush round a Quidditch area? That’s precisely what you get on the signature Harry Potter experience in Islands of Journey (the identical experience can be at Common Studios Hollywood and Japan). It’s a type of multi-dimensional darkish rides that makes you are feeling such as you’re proper within the motion. Till the brand new experience opens, that is the one to spend your wait time on.
Sensible tip: Be prepared to attend, however right here’s the way to wait much less
Lengthy waits are a actuality of each theme park, and those on the Wizarding World are not any completely different. Within the morning and early afternoon of my go to, the 2 Harry Potter rides had wait occasions of 150 minutes. Saving rides for later within the day can lower your wait time by 30 to 45 minutes, or you possibly can spring for the Categorical Passes. You can even observe wait occasions and set reminders through the Common Orlando app.
Magical second: The Hogwarts Categorical
At its core, the Hogwarts Categorical is only a tram to get you from the Harry Potter space of Common Studios to the one in Islands of Journey and vice versa. However they add a narrative ingredient the place the characters are strolling the halls of the prepare automobile and are outdoors the window, and it was truly my favourite experience of the day.
Sensible tip: Journey it each methods
The experience is completely different whether or not you’re heading from King’s Cross to Hogsmeade or Hogsmeade to King’s Cross, so be certain to journey in each instructions to get the total expertise. You’ll want a 2 Park, 1 Day ticket to journey between the 2 parks.
Magical second: Purchasing like a Hogwarts scholar
With solely two rides at present (and a 3rd on the way in which), a lot of the Wizarding World is concerning the buying expertise. I acquired to scour Ollivanders for a wand, decide up magical sweets in Sugarplum’s, take a look at Fred and George’s prank store, and even browse Borgin and Burkes for darkish magic.
Sensible tip: You don’t have to purchase your wand at Ollivanders (and even within the park)
Wands are one of the vital sought-after purchases within the Wizarding World, and cramming all of the magic-craving muggles into one little store isn’t going to work. There are literally a number of shops in every park the place you should buy a wand, and even some freestanding kiosks for individuals who don’t like shut quarters. Many of the wands are additionally obtainable in an interactive model, which comes with a Marauder’s Map of locations the place a flick of the wrist will make some magic occur.
Should you desire to have your wand on the prepared (or need to save a pair galleons), they’re additionally obtainable on the Harry Potter Store and Amazon.
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